Be Careful What You Believe

ford_model_t_henryHenry Ford is one of my heroes. He was a pioneer of large-scale mass production, he founded the Ford Motor Company and he produced the Model T in 1909 – a product that forever changed the world’s idea about what was truly possible.

In 1900 automobiles existed and most people had seen them, but they were very expensive and available only for the very rich. Henry Ford had a dream of making the automobile available for the common man. To build a single car at that time it took an average of 13.4 hours. Each car was basically assembled by hand. By creating innovative new manufacturing techniques, Henry Ford reduced the average production time to 93 minutes. He continually worked to improve production methods until he was eventually able to produce a Model T every 24 seconds and over a 20 year period he produced 15 million Model Ts. The sudden availability of these cars changed the American economy by encouraging the rapid movement of people and goods. It also changed the American people’s beliefs about what was possible when creating businesses, about manufacturing and about prosperity.

Henry Ford was once quoted as having said “Whether you believe that you can do something or whether you believe that you cannot do something, then you are correct”.  If you believe you cannot succeed then you are probably correct. If, however, you believe that you can succeed, then you are also correct.

If you believe that it is difficult to start a business, then you are correct. If you believe that because you live in Europe, that it is much harder to succeed than if you lived in California, then you are correct. If you believe that without a PhD, then no one will listen to you, then you are correct. If you believe that you are not smart enough to succeed as an entrepreneur, then you are correct. If you believe that it is difficult to be an entrepreneur, then it is.

What we believe can limit us more than any other thing in life. Be careful what you believe. Be careful what limitations you put on your thinking, because this – more than any other factor – will determine what you experience and what you are able to achieve.

Since we are talking about the early 1900s, there is another good story. At that time Andrew Carnegie was a billionaire industrialist. He challenged an unknown and poor journalist named Napoleon Hill to write a book. Carnegie did not offer him any payment, but only letters of recommendation to some of the 100 most influential businessmen of the time. Napoleon Hill interviewed people like Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and many others in order to try to discover what was the secret of their success. In 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression, he published the book Think and Grow Rich, which is one of the most sold business books of all time. The secret to the success of all these great men was really quite simple. Hill wrote:

“TRULY, “thoughts are things,” and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches, or other material objects.”

If you want to change the world, then your first step is to start to believe that you can. If you want to create a hugely successful business, then start by believing that it is possible.

“Whether you believe that you can do something or whether you believe that you cannot do something, then you are correct”.

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Rick Salmon is an energetic entrepreneur who believes that this beautiful world that we have created needs our help. Subscribe to this newsletter to receive frequent updates and tips.