- 1918 – Born
- 1945 – (@27)Bought a Ben Franklin store w/ 20k loan from father in law
- 72,000 in sales in 1945
- 250,000 in sale in 1950
- Ousted because of lease issues at the store
- 1951 – (@33) Opened 5&Dime in Bentonville, Arkansas
- By 1962, he had opened 16 stores in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas.
- 1962 – (@44)Opened 1st Walmart in Rogers Kansas. Mortgaged his home and borrowed to the hilt!
- 1970 – Walmart goes public
- 1979 – (@61)1st Billion $s in Sales yr
- 1982-88 – (@64) Richest man in America
In his own words – the one element in his life that is made a difference above everything else is: His “Passion to Compete”.
- “Money has never meant that much to me. Not even in terms of keeping score.”
- What motivates him – Is to be on the top. It is not about the money.
- He wanted to be the BEST. Not the Biggest
- This is one of my favorite stories about Walmart’s (WMT) founder Sam Walton. Back in the 1980s, the 60+ yr old Walton was arrested after crawling around in stores on his hands and knees in Brazil. When Walton’s friends came to bail him out, he told them he’d been measuring aisle widths to determine exactly how they displayed their wares
- “It never occurred to me that I might lose. It was almost as if I had the right to win. Thinking about that often turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
- David Glass said of Sam: “he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known”
- They conducted a lot of experiments a lot of which failed …. But the ones that succeeded, they leveraged them.
- 16 hours a day, 7 days a week
- He used to go to the office on Saturday at 2-3 AM – just to go over the weekly numbers.
- On other days he would at office at 4-4:30 in the morning
- This early morning uninterrupted time is tremendously valuable – as it allowed him to think and plan
- A lot of people think that Walmart was an overnight success however it was about 20 years in the making.
Think Small – Paradoxical Thinking
- The bigger Walmart gets, the more essential it is to think small
- “Because that’s exactly how we became a huge Corporation. By not acting like one”
- “If we ever get carried away with how important we are a great big $50 billion chain …. instead of this one store right now…. Then you can probably close the book on us”
- The bigger you are the more ardently you probably need to start thinking small.
- How does Walmart think small?
- Think one store at a time
- Communicate communicate communicate
- Keep your ear to the ground
- Push responsibility and authority down
- Towards the front lines
- Force ideas to bubble up
- This goes hand-in-hand with pushing responsibility down
- Stay lean and fight bureaucracy
- You never set out to add bureaucracy
- You just get it. Without even knowing it
Rules for Building a Great Business
- COMMIT to your business
- I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I had for the business
- If you love your work you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can.
- SWIM Upstream:
- Go the other way
- Ignore the conventional wisdom
- If every else is doing it one way – there’s a good chance you can find a niche by going exactly opposite direction.
- Be prepared for a lot of people to tell you that you are headed in the wrong direction
- To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time
- Take someone who has Real desire and willingness to work his tail off
- Over someone who has experience and know how
Never Predicting – Always Figuring It Out
- He’s often asked if ever came a point where he knew what lay ahead – and his answer is always no. It was something to be figured out
- 100 Ways to Develop the #1 Ingredient of Success
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