"Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must
do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets."
-- Henry Ford
Ah. . . in our personal lives and in our businesses, we dream of the luxury and everything taken care of, plenty of time away, profits off the chart, cash flow like a rapid river--in other words, ease. Smooth and easy, that's what we want. And what do we get instead of that? We get challenges, cash flow issues, accounting tantrums, customer fatigue, a motley crew, and. . . well, that's just some of it, isn't it? Certainly not all at once, or we would quit and say heck with it. Yet, just enough to keep us off balance and hungry for our day of ease somewhere out there.
I get it and I can totally relate to it and even admit, that yes, I do look forward to the ease sometime in the future--sooner than later I hope. At the same time, I have been learning a valuable lesson. Though I've been through many challenges in my life, financially and others, I am only now recognizing the value of, as Henry Ford says, "scratching around for what it gets."
You may never know exactly how a great idea, or a number of good ideas, really change things for you and your life and your business. They can and do. This we know. What is interesting is that so many of the great ideas and even the good ideas come from scratching around as a result of challenge and adversity. I am beginning to get excited about that concept rather than avoid it, and it is making a big difference in me, and my business.
I've studied business and business leaders for a long time now. I've read a few hundred books on business leaders and businesses such as Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Conrad Hilton, Alfred Sloan, Andrew Carnegie, Juan Trippe, Piper, Boeing, Polaroid, and the list goes on and on. Out of each, I have received wise counsel and have heard stories of such courage and tenacity. I've read and heard of almost losing everything several times, then massive success, others were successful from day one because they chose to satisfy a great need effectively and efficiently. In almost all of them, they faced challenge and adversity and every one of them came through all the better for it--not only in themselves, but a stronger and better company as well.
I am suggesting, as I have begun to do, that we look at challenge and adversity with joy instead of fear. That we get excited instead of disappointed. And, that we learn to enjoy scratching around. I know that will change everything for us, as well as those on whom we have an effect. That would also include our clients and customers.