Sam Walton, fully Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton

Sam
Walton, fully Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton
1918
1992

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

Author Quotes

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

I still can't believe it was news that I get my hair cut at the barbershop. Where else would I get it cut? Why do I drive a pickup truck? What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce?

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.

Don't take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun.

I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work. I don't know if you're born with this kind of passion, or if you can learn it. But I do know you need it.

Money and ownership alone aren’t enough. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score.

The truth is when those Butler Brothers folks turned down my discounting idea, I got a little angry, and maybe that helped me decide to swim upstream on my own.

Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community.

I’d get down low, turn my plane up on its side, and fly right over a town. Once we had a spot picked out, we’d land, go find out who owned the property, and try to negotiate the deal right then. That’s another good reason I don’t like jets. You can’t get down low enough to really tell what’s going on, the way I could in my little planes.

My feeling is that just because we work so hard, we don't have to go around with long faces all the time. While we're doing all of this work, we like to have a good time.

The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Wal-Mart sign, "Satisfaction Guaranteed". They're still up there, and they have made all the difference.

Eat what you cook.

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.

My nature has always been to charge, to say let’s do it now. Often, Bud [James L. Bud Walton, Sam’s brother] would advise taking a different direction, or maybe changing the timing. I soon learned to listen to him because he has exceptional judgment and a great deal of common sense.

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.

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.]

Author Picture
First Name
Sam
Last Name
Walton, fully Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton
Birth Date
1918
Death Date
1992
Bio

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