Soichiro was born in the small village of Komyo in Japan, in the early 1900’s. This was around the same time as Henry Ford introduced the first motor car. Soichiro was passionate about cars and while at school he started working on designs for a piston ring, which he planned to sell to Toyota.
Over the years he worked on perfecting his design. He even had to sell his wife’s jewelry to finance his dream. When he finally approached Toyota, he was rejected on the spot. His design was not up to their standards. Soichiro disheartened went back to school, where he was ridiculed by his class mates and even his teachers. He continued to work on his design and two years later he was awarded a contract with Toyota.
World War II had just broken out and Soichiro was having trouble finding materials to build his factory. He used his initiative and found a new way of making concrete. After the factory was built it was bombed twice. Adding to his woes, steel became unavailable. Soichiro collected the gasoline cans, which were discarded by US fighters, to use for steel. He referred to them as “Gifts from President Truman”.
He was almost finished building his factory when an earthquake leveled it. Most people would have given up, but not Soichiro. He believed in his dream and wanted to make it work no matter what. Soichiro needed to raise more capital and find supplies. But as a result of the war there was a petrol shortage and he couldn’t use his car. He attached a small engine onto his bicycle, and soon this “motorized bike” became very popular. People were asking him to make them and he decided to make a few to fund his factory.
He contacted bicycle shop owners to raise capital and several designs later he built the “Super Cub”. In 1963, the “Super Cub” was the top selling motorcycle brand in the US.
Soichiro is Mr. Soichiro Honda, and the rest they say is history…
What can we learn from Soichiro Honda?
1. Success needs a vision
Honda loved cars and he always knew he wanted to work on them. Despite all his troubles his vision kept him motivated and focused on the future.
We need a vision to keep us going and to make sure we are headed in the right direction. A lot of people are just going with the flow of life. And when something bad happens or they’re on their death bed they ask themselves; “How did I get here?”
When you create a life vision it’s similar to taking hold of the steering wheel, and deciding where you want to go. The journey won’t always be smooth. There may be some unexpected detours, dead ends and potholes along the way, but at least you’re in the driver’s seat.
Create your own life vision. What do you want to be remembered for? What is your purpose?
When you have a life vision, it makes you makes you ready for opportunity; it enables you to make wiser choices and decisions; and it gives you hope for the future.
2. Success goes hand in hand with failure
Honda’s first attempt at designing the piston ring failed. It was immediately rejected by Toyota. Every great success is a result of many great failures. Failure is inevitable – it’s what you do after failing that’s important. Will you let failure kill you or teach you?
3. Success means believing in yourself and your dream, even when others don’t
After Toyota rejected Honda’s idea, his class mates and even his teachers ridiculed him. To become successful you need to believe in yourself even when others don’t. You need to believe you can do it and will do it.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe; it can achieve.” Napoleon Hill
If you would like to find out more about the secrets of successful living, join me on an inspirational group Life Coaching Seminar taking place in Johannesburg on 15 October. This motivating, fun and interactive journey will help you clarity your vision, give you the tools to believe in yourself and your dream, and help you overcome obstacles along the way.
Author: Jacqui O’Bree
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