Most businessmen have a role model of who they want to be, and often that is one of the leading entrepreneurs in history both past and present. I want to be the next Steve Jobs, and so forth. This blog is in recognition to some of the world’s most amazing entrepreneurs and how they influenced the world.
One of the founders of manufacturing, Matthew Boulton, was the original self-made entrepreneur. Boulton was born into a poor family in Georgian England and his father was a lowly toy maker.
However, at twenty-one Boulton married and took charge of his father-in-law’s textile business. Eventually he also took over his father’s toy making business and he gained an interest in precious metals. After successfully growing both businesses he moved his empire to the Midlands of England and introduced modern production ideas into the manufacturing processes. At the time of his death Matthew Boulton was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the UK.
Carnegie was born into a lower-class Scottish family and his story is one of amazing success. Living in poverty his father took the family and they emigrated to America where they settled in Pennsylvania.
He started his working career as a bobbin boy and then from there he progressed to a telegraph messenger on $4 a week. As he grew through the ranks of the company he saved his money and eventually started to invest in other business, giving seed money to local entrepreneurs, eventually putting his reinvestments back into the railways.
Carnegie made a fortune during the Civil War but after it ran out, he invested in the oil industry, and within a year had made $1 million. He was also grateful to the people who had assisted him and donated generously to a library back in Scotland and a local hospital college so nurses could get a proper medical education.
Later in life Carnegie started writing and his first book actually sold 40,000 copies, and eventually he grew into a great author and journalist. At the time Carnegie died he left a legacy in investment, oil, literature and of course above all how to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Most people are aware of what Henry Ford achieved, he was one of the very few men that made the automobile a reality. Born from English immigration stock, Henry was fascinated how things worked. Taking a timepiece his father had given him he stripped it down to see how it worked, soon he was doing the same for friends and neighbors’ timepieces.
Coping with the problems of dyslexia he took on his first apprenticeship with a Dry Dock Company. Then in 1891 he met the great Thomas Edison who liked the idea of an automobile and granted permission for Ford to use two of his warehouses to start manufacturing. And as they say the rest is history, Ford went on to form the Detroit Automobile Company then the Cadillac Automobile Company and eventually the world brand leader Ford Motor Company. In part two we look at even more great entrepreneurs and their lives.