American self-help author, Napoleon Hill has shared a world of wisdom and perspective on achieving success. It’s no wonder his book, Think and Grow Rich is among the 10 best-selling self-help books of all time. For me, one quote from Hill speaks volumes, and especially for today’s entrepreneur…
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
We’ve all heard stories about great entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and of course, Walt Disney. All three, along with other creative like-minded individuals each had a vision that many thought was crazy and as such, unachievable. Key parts of their vision hadn’t even been thought of before. To that point, each had much more than a vision in mind.
Steve Jobs envisioned a future with computers on every worker’s desk, a progressive culture where technology creates more opportunities for employees and a workplace without secretaries. Key components of his vision included very precise criteria for both internal parts and exterior looks. Even detail for font size and type were important elements to his vision.
Specifically with a goal of helping farm families to become less isolated, Henry Ford’s vision was to build and market a simple, strong, reliable, affordable transportation for the masses. Key to Ford’s vision was the manufacturing process to be able to turn his idea to reality. His assembly line technique of mass production enabled Ford to convert his basic automobile design from an expensive luxury into an accessible conveyance that profoundly impacted the landscape of the 20th century — one that middle-class Americans could afford.
Walt Disney’s vision was much broader than that of Jobs and Ford as it evolved over time from his early interest in drawing to development of the Mickey Mouse character to becoming more adventurous, introducing synchronized sound, full-color three-strip Technicolor, feature-length cartoons and technical developments in cameras. All were key components of his ultimate vision, to create a place in which both parents and their children — together — could have fun.
Today, it’s hard to imagine life and business without the likes of Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney. I believe it is especially the case when one considers the multitude of developed processes and components that are entwined in the organizations of these entrepreneurs that might not have been created if not for their follow through on turning their ideas to reality.
Ideas and inventions aside, it was the passion for detail, perfection, and excellence that drove the success of each of these famous entrepreneurs. Attention to detail for each of the organizations they founded is still prevalent to this day. Perfection and excellence at Apple, Ford and Disney are evident in both product and experience. This brings a couple of questions to mind…
Why isn’t ‘attention to detail’ considered to be a necessary trait for entrepreneurs? How much does ‘command for perfection’ and ‘commitment to excellence’ contribute to the success of entrepreneurs and their endeavors?
With respect to the quote above — “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” — is entrepreneurial success possible without attention to detail, command for perfection, and commitment to excellence as foundational components of the plan to turn an idea into reality?
And one last question… To what extent must entrepreneurs include these foundational components as rock-solid cornerstones of their ideas and plans to ensure a sustainable business for the long haul?
Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!