April 13, 2015

Henry Ford : 'Success after 40' Series

Henry Ford

The first clue to his talent was when his father gifted him with a watch at the age of 17. All who knew him were astonished at how quickly he was able to dismantle and reassemble the watch – giving an idea of his Engineering inclination. Many were so impressed, they entrusted their watches to him, earning him his first reputation as a watch repair man.

Henry, however still had to hone his skills as an apprentice machinist to advance his career, while working on the family farm to support his family. At the age of 30, and after steadily moving up in his career, he got a job at Edison Illuminating Company, where he met the famous light-bulb inventor Thomas Edison. Not much is documented about the relationship between these 2 other than the fact that Thomas encouraged Henry to pursue his dream of building an automobile when he saw the result of his first design. In 1898, at the age of 35, Henry had a glimpse of his dreams with the launch of his first automobile company. He soon realised he had partnered with the wrong people and after 3 years, it all fell apart. Henry Ford never stopped dreaming, and in 1903, at the age of 40 that dream became a reality as Henry ford established Ford Motor Company. Not only did he realise his dream, he is noted for his philanthropic ideology and the contributions he made to the social strata in America.

While thinking about the life of Henry Ford, 3 questions came to mind

  1. Is there a link between excelling with your dream and being surrounded by people who have excelled in theirs? In particular, I can’t stop wondering what effect meeting Thomas Eddison had on Ford realising his own dream.
  2. Does excelling in whatever you are entrusted with give you the confidence to go ahead with your dreams? Henry was known to be excellent at whatever job he found himself.
  3. Is there a need for your dreams to go beyond meeting your needs to effecting change in the world you live in?

It’s probably a great time to think through these questions and draw parallels to your life and how to propel it forward to the next phase.


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