Be a Mercedes-Benz, not a Ford
Ford is a good car manufacturer, but it’s no Mercedes-Benz.
Ford makes a series of good cars. Ford helped set the initial standard for pickup trucks with the F-150. You may be a Chevy fan or a Dodge defender, but you can’t deny that Ford makes good cars. If they didn’t, no one would buy them. As great as you may think Ford vehicles may be, they’re no Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz is on pace to overtake BMW and Audi as the top-selling luxury car brand in the world. (Statista) Mercedes-Benz makes luxury cars with rocket launch-style flip covers for their ignition switches.
Ford sells more cars than Mercedes-Benz. More people buy Ford vehicles than Mercedes-Benz at used-car dealerships. More people can afford a Ford than a Mercedes-Benz. And yet, Mercedes-Benz is valued at $22.5B compared to Ford ($12.5B), a $10B difference!
When it comes to chasing your dreams, do you want to be a Ford, or a Mercedes-Benz. Whether you are or are wanting to become a writer, a brick-and-mortar entrepreneur, a speaker, a nonprofit, an artist, whatever your dream may be, you have a choice: create a dream that appeals to the masses (Henry Ford), or create a premium experience affordable and appreciated by a select few.
Luxury doesn’t have to be pretentious (Aston Martin), but it needs to feel extremely valuable. A Mercedes-Benz is more than the price tag. It’s an experience for which people pay a premium price. What might be a luxury add-on for a Ford, like leather seats, are standard features on a Mercedes-Benz.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of “Ford” writers. There are countless “Ford” businesses. There are artists who will never have the luxury type of art appeal and style of a Mercedes-Benz quality. And that’s okay.
I don’t want to be a Ford. I work very hard to reject a Ford-type quality of my writing. I wouldn’t say I’m a Mercedes-Benz-level of writer yet, but I’m working on it. Not everyone loves my writing. Not everyone loves driving a Mercedes-Benz; they’re horrible cars for hauling dirt or pulling a trailer.
As you create art, hone your craft, and build your business, you need to ask yourself, “Do I want this to be a Ford, or a Mercedes-Benz?” Again, there’s nothing wrong with Ford, if you want to be grouped with a main-stream appeal.
If you want to be exceptional, premium, even luxurious, the Mercedes-Benz of your industry, you need to work harder, push for elite quality, and make luxury add-ons become standard features in your work.