In 1938, while he was still in school, Mr. Honda took everything he owned and invested it in a little workshop where he began to develop his concept of a piston ring.
He wanted to sell his work to Toyota Corporation, so he labored day and night, up to his elbows in grease, sleeping in the machine shop, always believing he could produce the result. He even pawned his wife’s jewelry to stay in business. But when he finally completed the piston rings and presented them to Toyota, he was told they didn’t meet Toyota’s standards.
He was sent back to school for two years, where he heard the derisive laughter of his instructors and fellow students as they talked about how absurd his designs were. But rather than focusing on the pain of the experience, he decided to continue to focus on his goal. Finally, after two more years, Toyota gave Mr. Honda the contract he’d dreamed of.
Then a new problem arose. The Japanese government was gearing up for war, and they refused to give him the concrete that was necessary to build his factory. Did he quit there? No. Again, he decided to utilize the experience and developed another strategy.
He and his team invented a process for creating their own concrete and then built their factory. During the war, it was bombed twice, destroying major portions of the manufacturing facility. Honda’s response? He immediately rallied his team, and they picked up the extra gasoline cans that the U.S. fighters had discarded. He used them as raw materials he needed for his manufacturing process—materials that were unavailable at the time in Japan.
Finally, after surviving all of this, an earthquake leveled his factory. Honda decided to sell his piston operation to Toyota.
After the war, a tremendous gasoline shortage hit Japan, and Mr. Honda couldn’t even drive his car to get food for his family. Finally, in desperation, he attached a small motor to his bicycle. The next thing he knew, his neighbors were asking if he could make one of his “motorized bikes” for them. One after another, they jumped on the bandwagon until he ran out of motors.
He decided to build a plant that would manufacture motors for his new invention, but unfortunately, he didn’t have the capital. As before, he made the decision to find a way no matter what! His solution was to appeal to the 18,000 bicycle shop owners in Japan by writing them each a personal letter. He convinced 5,000 of them to advance the capital he needed.
Still, his motorbike sold to only the most hard-core bicycle fans because it was too big and bulky. So he made one final adjustment and created a much lighter, scaled-down version of his motorbike. He christened it “The Super Cub,” and it became an “overnight” success, earning him the Emperor’s award.
Debriefing of this Story
Today, the Honda Corporation employs over 100,000 people in both the United States and Japan and is one of the biggest car-making empires in Japan.
It succeeds because one man understood the power of a truly committed decision that is acted upon, no matter what the conditions, on a continuous basis.
So question you need to ask yourself is – can you continue in spite of difficulties rather than instead of difficulties?
From the book – “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins
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