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Sam Walton Quotes

Sam Walton Wisdom

Sam Walton quotes: here’s what you need to know from one of the most successful businessmen of all-time, Walmart and Sam’s Club founder, Sam Walton.

“To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time.”

“Swim upstream.  Go the other way.  Ignore what everyone else is doing.”

“High expectations are the key to everything.”

“If you take someone who lacks the experience and the know-how but has the real desire and the willingness to work his tail off to get the job done, he’ll make up for what he lacks.  And that proved true nine times out of ten.”

“Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score.”

“We couldn’t care less about what is forecasted or what the market says we ought to do.  If we listened to that sort of stuff, we never would have gone into small town discounting in the first place.”

“Individuals don’t win; teams do.  Walmart is just a spectacular example of what happens when people find a way to work together – where almost 400,000 people have come together as a group like this, with a real feeling of partnership, and have been able, for the most part, to put the needs of their individual egos behind the needs of their team.”

“Commit to your business.  Believe in it more than anybody else.”

“There is only one boss – the customer.  And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

“You can learn from everybody.”

“And once we’ve made that decision on Friday, we expect it to be acted on in all the stores on Saturday.  What we guard against around here is people saying, ‘Let’s think about it.’  We make a decision.  Then we act on it.”

“Eat what you cook.”

“I probably have traveled and walked into more variety stores than anybody in America.  I am just trying to get ideas, any kind of ideas that will help our company.  Most of us don’t invent ideas.  We take the best ideas from someone else.”

“I learned a long time ago that exercising your ego in public is definitely not the way to build an effective organization.”

“There’s a lot more business out there in small town America than I ever dreamed of.”

“Keep everybody guessing as to what your next trick will be.”

“Do it.  Try it.  Fix it.”

“I don’t subscribe to any of these investing theories, and most people seem surprised to learn that I’ve never done much investing in anything except Walmart stock.  I believe the folks who’ve done the best with Walmart stock are the ones who, like me, have just decided to invest with us for the long run.”

“If you want the people in the stores to take care of customers, you have to make sure you’re taking care of the people in the stores.  That’s the most important single ingredient of Walmart’s success.”

“It was almost as if I had a right to win.  Thinking like that often seems to turn into sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel.  If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

“If you don’t want to work weekends, you shouldn’t be in retail.”

“Appreciate everything your associates do for the business.  Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise.  They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”

“Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.”

“If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you — like a fever.”

“I had to get up every day with my mind set on improving something.”

“Focus on something the customer wants, and then deliver it.”

“If you want a successful business, your people must feel that you are working for them – not that they are working for you.”

“You can make a positive out of the most negative if you work at it hard enough.”

“The airplane turned into a great tool for scouting real estate.  From up in the air we could check out traffic flows, see which way cities and towns were growing, and evaluate the location of the competition – if there was any.  Then we would develop our real estate strategy for that market.”

“I’ve always had a passion to compete.  Our story proves that spirited competition is good for business.”

“Many of our best opportunities were created out of necessity.”

“The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want.  And really, if you think about it from the point of view of the customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience.”

“I’d hate to see any descendants of mine fall into the category of what I’d call ‘idle rich’ – a group I’ve never had much use for.”

“A computer can tell you down to the dime what you’ve sold.  But it can never tell you how much you could have sold.”

“Ignore the conventional wisdom.  If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.”

“Take the best out of everything and adapt it to your needs.”

“A good location, and what we have to pay for it, is so important to the success of a store.  And it’s one area of the company in which we’ve always had family involvement.”

“I remember one time I didn’t want to spend any money on motels so we all slept in sleeping bags on the floor of one of our guys’ house.  His furniture hadn’t gotten there yet.”

“I’m not sure I ever really figured out this celebrity business.  Why in the world, for example, would I get an invitation to Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding out in Hollywood?  Why do I drive a pickup truck?  What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce?”

If you want more wisdom, explore the entire quotes archive.

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