How Henry Ford Created Value

In the early 1890s Henry Ford worked as a night engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company. Even though Ford's shift was 6pm to 6am he used his free time to teach himself mechanical and building skills. Why? Ford had a crazy dream of building a machine that would carry him through Detroit without the assistance of a horse! However, in order to make this dream come true he had a few obstacles to overcome.

Primarily was his need for materials and tools. Rather than borrow money for purchases, Ford went to farms, blacksmiths, and scrap yards and asked for their junk metal and tools. Most of these places were happy to have their garbage hauled away. Later on in his homemade workshop, Ford taught himself how to fashion what others considered trash into useable tools and working machine parts.

Secondly, in order to further improve his crafting skills, he took a second, part-time job with a jeweler. There he continued to learn additional crafting skills as he was taught to use different tools and intricate mechanical parts.

During the early 1890s Ford invested in himself; his education; his abilities. He was famous for his frugality and never spent much on this early self-education. However, he did invest heavily in the amount of time he spent honing his mechanical skills. His education cost little, but the ultimate value he received from his educational investment obviously paid off very well as his career and business grew.

Creating value doesn't have to cost money. What assets do you already own (time, education, location, etc.) that you can leverage into more business and income?

More stories: Duncan Hines   George Washington   Thomas Jefferson   Benjamin Franklin   James Garfield   Harry Truman   Alexander Hamilton

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