Who you listen to has an incredible bearing on your success. Continually listen to the people around you who are always criticizing your ideas and dreams will hold you back from realizing those dreams. On the other hand, surrounding yourself with people who encourage you and challenge you to stretch is a surefire way to make progress in achieving your goals.
Henry Ford faced such a situation.
When you think of Ford, cars are probably the first thing that comes to mind. That or the process we have come to know as the assembly line. Despite the Ford brand being as dominate as it is today, Henry’s success was not immediate. In fact, he failed miserably twice before finally making a breakthrough and achieving his dream.
Ford was just twenty-three years old when he first discovered the wonders of the internal combustion engine. Fascinated, he immersed himself in the mechanics of it with the idea of attaching it to a horseless carriage. He even came up with a prototype that seemed extremely promising.
Unable to develop the project further on his own, Ford sought financing so he could take the automobile to the next level. He secured this reasonably quickly so his success should have been certain, right?
The problem lay in the prototype. The car he’d designed initially had too many parts that were difficult to obtain. He had to keep tweaking the design to make it into something able to go into production. In short, he took too long to get the desired results, and the financiers lost faith and backed out.
Undeterred, Henry Ford dug in and tried again. This time he focused more attention to the production aspects. He somehow convinced his backers to give him a second chance. They did, with the stipulation they could bring their own manager in on the project.
This also led to failure. Ford felt micromanaged by someone who didn’t understand his vision. When this second attempt fell apart, it could have been the end of his dream. He still believed in both the product and his ideas regarding production. Instead of listening to those who said it couldn’t be done, he hung in there. This time he searched for backers who came to see and buy in to his vision and were willing to allow him the freedom to act as he saw fit to make it a reality. This was the real beginning of the Model A Ford, which was the foundation of Ford’s success in automobiles.
Ford was a visionary in that he never allowed anyone else to stop him from doing what he knew he could. When someone or something stood in his way, he found a new way around the problem and surrounded himself with those who supported him. In the end, he succeeded through persistence.
You can, too. Align yourself with supporters, not naysayers. I’m not talking about conformists or lackeys. I’m referring to people who believe in you even if they can’t fully envision your dream. People who will challenge you, stretch you and force you out of your comfort zone. Surround yourself with people who support you and there is no limit to what you may achieve.