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

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.

Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom.

We sell for less.

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.

I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time. [When his landlord did not renew his lease and gave Sam’s store to the landlord’s son]

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.

We’re all working together; that’s the secret.

And thank goodness we never thought we had to go out and buy anything like an island.

I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they've been.

Individuals don’t win; teams do. Wal-Mart is just a spectacular example of what happens when people find a way to work together – where almost four hundred thousand 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.

That’s one thing we never did much of while we were building Wal-Mart, talk about ourselves or do a whole lot of bragging outside the Wal-Mart family – except when we had to convince some banker or some Wall Street financier that we intended to amount to something someday, that we were worth taking a chance on.

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

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… If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.

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

Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitor.

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.

But we did try to think ahead some when it came to the cities. We never planned on actually going into the cities. What we did instead was build our stores in a ring around a city – pretty far out – and wait for the growth to come to us. This strategy worked practically everywhere.

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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