Connect with us

Entrepreneurs

4 Lessons You Can Learn From the Founder of Walmart, Sam Walton

Published

on

sam walton
Image Credit: Sam Walton

One day in the early 1960s, 44-year old Sam Walton founded his first department store in Bentonville, Arkansas a few years after being forced to let go of his first successful store for contract problems. Since this day, July 2nd, 1962, Walmart has grown to be the most successful retailer in the world (now is second to Amazon) with over ten thousand stores and more than $200 billion in market value. All that because of one dedicated and hard-working man who lived by his principles and gave many ambitious people, including me, the inspiration to do and grow more.

I have read Walton`s autobiography, ‘Sam Walton: Made In America’ and these are my top four lessons for you:

1. Understand the value of the dollar

Walton never believed in a having a flashy lifestyle and was capable of balancing the love of life with keeping expenses at bay. He had seen people selling their companies for little to enjoy the rich experience, then suffer later when it all goes down the drain. He also believed that to provide value to his customers he had to cut his expenses and be wise with spending money.

So he built a philosophy that every penny he saves, is a penny saved for his customers and created the famous Walmart motto: Save money. Live better. Walton dined at family restaurants, slept two to a room when traveling with his executives and among all of the eighteen airplanes he bought in his lifetime, none of them were brand new.

”Every time Wal-Mart spends one dollar foolishly, it comes right out of our customers’ pockets. Every time we save them a dollar, that puts us one more step ahead of the competition” – Sam Walton

2. Protect your success and learn from every mistake

After five years of hard work in Arkansas, Walton eventually managed to outperform his competitors and build the largest and most profitable variety store in the whole region. Unfortunately, he lost everything over a contract mistake. His landlord got greedy and wanted to give Walton’s store to his son, so he refused to renew his lease at any price.

To be honest, the man did offer Walton a fair price in exchange of his franchise name and inventory but this wasn’t what Walton wanted, and he had to leave behind all the success he’d just built and go.

But because of his positive mindset, Walton blamed nobody but himself for that mistake and vowed to learn from that mistake and spend double the time reading any future lease. He also realized his family needed someone with law experience who can also hold their best interest so, he encouraged his oldest son, Rob, to become a lawyer.

3. Learn everything you can about your business

Be desperate to learn everything about business and hang around those who know better than you. Wal-Mart stores have dominated the retail industry for years but did you know who made Walton interested in such business? His barber. The first rules Walton ever learned about retail work came from his barber and his brothers who had later grown their variety store into a sixty-store chain.

Walton also spent most of his Sundays at his manager`s house learning the business and talking about retailing. Even when he later left JCPenney and moved to Arkansas, he had to find someone experienced to learn from so he spent his lunch breaks at his competitor`s store and copied his best practices.

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

4. Be competitive

The best word to describe Walton is competitive. He got that from his mother who taught him to take life seriously and try to be the best at everything he did. He worked as a lifeguard, waited tables in exchange for meals and stopped getting allowance as soon as high school began.  He also made a considerable sum of money during college despite living through the most prolonged, and most prevalent depression of the 20th century.

Walton was so competitive that he played baseball, football, and basketball all at the same time and won the state championship in two different sports. Not mentioning climbing up the Boy Scout ranks at a very young age and being elected president of the town’s Bible Class.

This intense experience helped Walton set his mindset towards success and understand the importance of teamwork. He realized that publicly exercising his ego wasn’t the right way to build a strong business, so he invested much in attracting the best, most talented, and most loyal people to his team.

What do you think of the entrepreneur who built one of the largest retail empires in the world? Comment below!

Advertisement
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. walmartone

    Jan 28, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Great lessons. I think everyone should know this.

  2. Nigel Ikechukwu

    Feb 6, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Jamal.
    I’m always motivated whenever I read this blog. Keep up the good work Joel.

  3. John

    Feb 5, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Great lessons thanks for sharing.

  4. Ido Barnoam

    Feb 5, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Thanks for sharing!

    I have enormous respect for success minded people like Sam Walton.

    His commitment is shown through the points you shared. Especially the fact that he saved money on himself and his management and got the extra money invested back in his business.

    I think that commitment to yourself (and your business by proxy) is a major element in any success story. And in this one, it just springs out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entrepreneurs

5 Must Watch Netflix Movies and Documentaries About Business and Entrepreneurship

Published

on

netflix movies and documentaries about business and entrepreneurship
Image Credit: The Pursuit of Happiness

We all love to sit down after a long day of work, unwind, and turn on some of our favorite shows. Whether it’s humor, drama, or something more educational you’re after, your favorite streaming service is likely to have plenty of options. But what if you’re like a lot of us, and love the world of business, finance, and entrepreneurship, and your idea of entertainment is sitting down for 1-2 hours and becoming entrenched in the latest movie or documentary that delves into the world’s biggest corporations, the most prolific entrepreneurs, or simply a story of struggle that results in success. Well, then Netflix has plenty to sink your teeth into. (more…)

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

It’s Time You Understand That Your Media Plan is Your Business Plan

Published

on

business plan
Image Credit: Unsplash

Media is everywhere. Regardless of if you think about it in a ‘normal’ way such as TV or radio, the first reality we must acknowledge is that media is everywhere. Have a social media account? You are in media (hint: it’s in the phrase!).  (more…)

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

3 Things That Keep You From Creating an Exceptional Brand and How to Overcome Them

Published

on

branding mistakes
Image Credit: Unsplash

Competition is tight and you’re not sure where to start. It feels like you’ll never be able to charge more for your products and services. If winning the hearts of your customers is your most painful challenge, then it’s time to focus on your branding. So what are the common pitfalls when it comes to building a memorable brand? (more…)

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

6 Reasons Why Content Marketing Should Be at the Core of Your Brand

Published

on

why content marketing is important
Image Credit: Unsplash

So you’re building a brand! Congratulations! You’ve got your website up and running, social media profiles all set up and now it’s time for those sales to start rolling in! Right? Um..not quite! (sorry!) If you’re an Entrepreneur and building your own brand, there is one crucial piece of your sales and marketing strategy that you simply can’t ignore – Content. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending