What Henry Ford And Jay-z Have In Common

By Jack Newcombe

November 30, 2012 5 min read

Henry Ford revolutionized transportation in America because he believed he could.

Founder of the Ford Motor Company, Ford brought a tremendous amount of innovation to automobile manufacturing. His Model T changed the course of American history by giving the masses access to an automobile at an affordable price.

However, Ford's success and the impact that he had on the world was no accident. Ford believed that his attitude was a critical component to his transforming an industry. His philosophy was summed up in his famous quote, "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right."

What Ford understood was the importance that one's mindset can have on their lives. In fact, there is an entire industry based on this notion.

According to Forbes, Americans spend $11 billion on various "self-improvement" products every year. People who buy these "self-help" products are looking for someone to tell them essentially what Henry Ford already told them: they have the power to change their lives.

Many self-help books and courses focus on increasing one's ability to make money. One popular example is both a book and a film called "The Secret." The New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon has sold over 19 million copies. The book's thesis is essentially that there is something called the "law of attraction" and anything that we think about (or attract) will play itself out in our lives. If we think about being broke, we'll be broke. If we think about having money, we'll have money.

That statement is obviously a gross oversimplification of the book's teachings but the idea is similar. More importantly, the idea is the same as the one Ford presented many years earlier. The common theme is that the first step in changing your personal financial situation is changing your mindset.

If you focus on clipping coupons or buying the generic brand of a product or scouring the sales rack at the discount department store, it can have a damaging impact on what your mind thinks you deserve. Specifically, trying to save a few bucks can negatively influence your sense of self worth. You feel as though you are not good enough for the things that you actually want or that your time is not valuable and should be spent trying to save a little extra money.

Ford was a billionaire businessman, which could make it a bit difficult for people to relate to him and actually listen to his advice. However, there are many examples of people understanding the importance of one's mindset as it relates to money in different aspects of life.

A good example can be found in the hip-hop community. Media mogul and famed rapper Jay-Z understands the importance of his attitude toward achieving his goals. Today, the rap icon is worth over $450 million, but what is most interesting about his wealth is that he maintains his commitment to his ability to control his attitude and how that impacts his life.

In his most recent album "Watch the Throne," Jay-Z addresses his success and the positive momentum that he has built throughout his career. In a song entitled, "Who Gon Stop Me," he literally asks the rhetorical and valid question of who could possibly stop him. He actually answers the question in the line, "Only thing that can stop me is me."

When it comes to having a good mindset for your own finances, different things click for different people. Ford's wisdom can work for some, the teachings of "The Secret" can work for others and Jay-Z's brilliant lyrics might be the answer to your problems.

The important thing to remember is that you have control over your attitude towards money and your attitude can have a big impact on your personal finances. If money is important to you, change your attitude toward it. I am not trying to say that by changing your attitude you will instantly be a millionaire, but I am saying that your attitude towards money is a choice.

Just as Ford said, you can choose to think you can make good money and live a good life because you deserve it. And just as Jay-Z said, who gon stop you?

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