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Entrepreneurial Know-How
by Joe Heller

"Henry Ford had but little elementary schooling, yet he is one of the best 'educated' men in the world because he has acquired the ability to combine natural and economic laws, to say nothing of the minds of men, that he has the power to get anything of material nature he wants." - Napoleon Hill

Even in this day and age, I am convinced that formal education is overrated. College degrees are necessary if you are to be a doctor or lawyer, or intend to pursue a career path within large corporations. Otherwise, it's easier to make the case against it than for it. The list of hugely successful entrepreneurs who never attended college is legion.

As Napoleon Hill realized and pointed out, Ford might not have been able to pass college exams, but he had a thorough understanding of business forces and principles to create economic success. Ford virtually invented modern mass production, as a means of leveraging labor; he developed a retail distribution system; and much more. W. Clement Stone who built AON, a billion dollar insurance company observed that many college graduates have a wealth of knowledge but not a cent's worth of know-how. Men like Ford have know-how. The difference is profound.

This is why I am amazed when someone debates the question of why something has or hasn't worked; that leads into a collegiate theoretical discussion and may or may not ever produce useful knowledge. Instead, I am only interested in WHAT works and what doesn't, so I can do more of the former and less of the latter. No theory, just back or white.

The question that was raised for me, when I first read this section in THINK AND GROW RICH, was whether or not I was familiar with the same fundamental success principles that would create personal success; did I know how things worked?

Even more important, did I know how to motivate "the minds of men" in order to gain acceptance and cooperation?*

*Great marketers as well as great leaders actually INSPIRE others. My speaking colleague, Coach Lou Holtz says that there's a good reason Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech is one of the best known speeches of all time - it's because Dr. King didn't get up and say "I have a strategic plan." When you take on the challenge of inspiring other people to raise their expectations, to feel better about themselves, and to reach for more, you automatically become more persuasive.

© Copyright Joe Heller. All Rights Reserved.

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