4 March 2014

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

In the spirit of National Apprenticeship Week, I’ve been thinking about some of the great entrepreneurs in history who were once apprentices. There are lots of them and, arguably, one of the best is Henry Ford, whose inventions went on to change the face of the motor industry.

Not only did Ford learn a lot about his craft from an apprenticeship with the Michigan Car Company, a firm that worked on railroad cars, he is also an example of something that most great entrepreneurs learn at one point or another – the power of resilience in the face of failure.

Whilst he has an incredible legacy now, Ford actually failed at his first two businesses. However, instead of being put off, he kept trying, knowing that all puzzles and problems have an answer – a winning combination that eventually unlocks the very thing you’ve been trying to achieve.

Reading about Ford, you can see that he intuitively gravitated towards the people who had some knowledge to impart and who could teach him things. As a young man, he befriended the people who worked on the steam engines so that he could learn from them and when he started up Ford Motor Company, he hired people who believed in him and who had great vision and expertise.

So if you’re facing obstacles in your journey towards your goals, it’s worth remembering that you can always learn something new from others; success doesn’t always happen at your first attempt; and when the going gets tough, simply take things up a gear and enjoy the ride!

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