Sam Walton, fully Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton

Walton, fully Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton

American Businessman and Entrepreneur, Founder of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club

Author Quotes

Expenses should never exceed one percent of our purchases.

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?

No question about it, a lot of my attitude toward money stems from growing up during a pretty hardscrabble time in our country’s history: the Great Depression.

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

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

I’ve always had a passion to compete. Our story [Wal-Mart] proves that spirited competition is good for 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.

Though Helen [Wife for more than 50 years] bore more than her share, through our combined efforts the kids received your everyday heartland upbringing based on the same old bedrock values: a belief in the importance of hard work, honesty, neighborliness, and thrift.

How do you inspire a grandchild to go to work if they’ll never have a poor day in their life? [Asked at 6:00 am one morning.]

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

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.

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

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

I don’t know what causes a person to be ambitious, but it is a fact that I have been over-blessed with drive and ambition from the time I hit the ground.

If you get one good idea, that’s one more than you went into the store with, and we must try to incorporate it into our company. [Learning from the competition]

Remain a corporation and retain control if you like, but behave as a servant leader in a partnership.

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

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 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 Wal-Mart stock. I believe the folks who’ve done the best with Wal-Mart stock are ones who, like me, have just decided to invest with us for the long run.

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.

Success has always had its price and I learned that lesson the hard way when Forbes names me the so-called ‘richest man in America.’ The next thing we knew all these reporters and photographers arrived, I get to take pictures of me diving into a swimming pool full of money they imagined I had, or to watch me light big fat cigars with hundred-dollar bills while the hootchy-kootchy girls danced by the lake.

We let folks know we're interested in them and that they're vital to us. Because they are.

All of this is more important, and more fun, than you think. Don't do a hula on Wall Street. It's been done. Think up your own stunt.

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

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.

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Walton, fully Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton
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American Businessman and Entrepreneur, Founder of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club