Soichiro Honda and Never Giving Up ~ Your Daily Inspiration




"Success is 99 percent failure."
—Soichiro Honda


Soichiro Honda, the founded of Honda motors, was an exceptional person. If ever there was someone who exemplified persistence, Honda is it.

In his early life he worked very hard on a design for a new piston. He would often sleep at his workshop and immediately start work again after just a few hours. He faced financially difficulties and even had to sell his wife's jewelry to get by. When he finally finished with his new piston he took it to Toyota only to have them laugh at him and tell him it wasn't up to their standards.

He went back to school and was taunted by everyone for his failures, including teachers. His designs were ridiculed but he believed in them and ignored all attacks. He struggled for two years before finally gaining a contract at Toyota.

Success? Hardly. Japan was at war and Honda found it difficult to find materials to build his factory with. To get around this, he developed and created a new way of making concrete. Using this new technique, he finished his factory.

Success? No. The factory he had struggled so hard to build was bombed twice. To make matters worse, steel became completely unavailable due to the war. Did he give up? Never. He started collecting gasoline cans which had been discarded by US fighters to help regenerate his factory. He called them "gifts from President Truman".

Just as he was finally rebuilding his factory, there was an earthquake that completely destroyed it. Most people probably would have given up. But Honda persisted, determined to achieve his dream.

After the war, while fiddling in his workshop, Honda developed a way of attaching a small engine onto his bicycle to make getting around town easier. This strange new invention quickly attracted attention and people started requesting Honda build them their own motor-bicycle.

Sadly the materials Honda needed for mass production were not available. Did he give up? Never! He wrote letters to 18,000 bicycle shop owners asked for their help revitalizing Japan through innovation. Enough of these shops contributed money to fund him. He soon designed and producing the Super Cub which became an overnight success. Within a little over a decade Honda was the leading motorcycle manufacturer in the world.

Having conquered the motorcycle industry, he moved on to the automotive industry. Despite opposition from Japanese officials who felt the country didn't need another automotive manufacturer, he persisted. By the 1980, Honda was the 3rd largest automotive maker in Japan. By the end of the decade, the 3rd largest in the world.

Soichiro Honda was the very embodiment of persistence and never ever gave up despite every failure life threw at him. Today Honda Corp. is one of the largest automobile companies in the world. They owe it all to a man who never gave up.




Hi there! David LaSpina is an American photographer and translator lost in Japan, trying to capture the beauty of this country one photo at a time and searching for the perfect haiku.

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    Nice post! I think his business philosophy is very interesting. I like the old Honda logo very much.

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    I did not know Soichiro’s story. I think it’s important nonetheless because it gives perspective to situations we go thru regularly. An interesting share, no doubt.

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    Honda motorcycles have been a part of my life since childhood. My father rode a Honda motorcycle and I would often go with him on rides. I have always been fascinated by the design and performance of Honda motorcycles And my favorite motorcycle is Honda 125. But I didn't know about Soichiro's struggle which you have brought to us through your post.
    It's hard to leave behind our comfortable lifestyle and go after the things that we are passionate about. But your post has reminded me that no matter what, it is never too late to start living your dream life! Thanks for sharing about this great man who made such a remarkable achievement in his life.

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    You're welcome. Thanks for reading!

    I agree. He's such a huge inspiration and reminds us that we can succeed too if we just don't give up.

    !PIZZA

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    I heard stories about him but never this detailed before. Didn't know he built his factory multiple times I always thought he started with a car not motorcycles. The persistence is amazing what an inspiration.

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    The persistence is amazing what an inspiration.

    I know. He's such a great model for us all to try to follow.

    !PIZZA

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    (Edited)

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