Leave a Legacy
Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project. He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.
The Greatest Entrepreneur Ever?
May 12, 2011
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (05/06/2011)
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Born on a family farm in Dearborn, Mich., in 1863, Henry Ford is often called the greatest entrepreneur in American history. He transformed lifestyles, created industries, facilitated commerce and ushered in the industrialized economy.
He assembled his first motorcar, from scratch, in 1892. In 1899, he quit his day job and went into the automobile business. When he started, there was no demand—yet, as he reinforced in his own words, “there never is for a new article.”
Ford was intrigued by process and dedicated to progress. He created an entire economy. The automobile industry was not only about building cars, assembly lines and factories. It was about transportation, mobility, information and infrastructure. The new contraption called the automobile both brought us together and allowed us to spread out.
To give you a quick glimpse into Ford’s philosophy, here are a few excerpts from My Life and Work: An Autobiography of Henry Ford (Halcyon Classics) by Henry Ford and Samuel Crowther.
OPPORTUNITY THROUGH EFFORT:
“The natural thing to do is to work—to recognize that prosperity and happiness can be obtained only through honest effort.”
CAPITALISM / RISK / HARD WORK:
“Capitalists who become such because they provide better means of production are the foundation of society.”
“…money will become better adjusted to work when it is fully realized that through work and work alone may health, wealth, and happiness inevitably be secured.”
“Success is always hard. A man can fail in ease; he can succeed only by paying out all that he has and is.”
“The only harmonious organization that is worth anything is an organization in which all the members are bent on the one main purpose—to get along toward the objective. A common purpose, honestly believed in, sincerely desired—that is the great harmonizing principle.”
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For more inspiration, view the ‘Best of 2010 Legends’ feature from "Leave a Legacy TV" (January 2011).