Made In America [Sam Walton] P87

Post Length: 3 min

In Review: Made In America

Author: Sam Walton

Length: 10 hrs 31 mins

Reco: taco bueno [5/5 bananas]

When are you going to leave that mom and pop shop and come sell with the big boys? - Dave asked me a year into my current company.

I learned how to sell with him in Boston, so he could get away with it.

Five years later, we are one of the big boys … but that was never the goal. Profitability was, and we are winning at that.

There is an allure to big growth, even fast growth, but that doesn’t always mean the business is healthy.

Sam Walton, like other extraordinary entrepreneurs focused on profitable growth and managed to build a $350 billion global company because of it.

In Made in America, he covers as much of the story as he could. There are so many times things could have folded and shut them down, but he always believed and would find a way to keep the business alive.

“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”. - Steve Jobs

Most of the principles shared we would chalk up as common sense, but there is beauty in its simplicity.

Learn from other innovators and try it out - The original model had clerks at stations around the store. A customer would ask for certain products, and the clerk would go and fetch them … while the customer stood there and waited. He heard of two stores in the north having no clerks where customers would shop on their own. He loved it, tried it, and never looked back.

Standardize your operating costs- They never wanted to pay more that $2 per sq ft in their stores. Because they negotiated hard and knew their numbers, they had a baseline for profitability. This is good in business.

Value your people - He saw a sign in London calling employees Associates, they adopted that language throughout Walmart and it made an impact on morale.

Keep your people - After one year or 1000 hours worked they qualified for stock or bonuses. Managers could buy into a new store @ 2% and share in profits over time. This also helped control shrinkage and unbalanced books, because it was the manager’s money invested.

Try what nobody else is trying, but not at the cost of your current business - Sam’s Club was a test that turned into a $10billion business, going after small business owners who would need to buy in bulk, getting access with a membership model.

Reinvent yourself - Walmart was birthed out of a transition period in retailing known as discounting. That wasn’t the model Sam was originally in, but saw it going there and made the move. Sell more volume at less profit, but make more over time. A formula that still works to this day.

“One person seeking glory doesn’t accomplish very much.” - Sam Walton

It’s hard to put into words the impact this company has had as a result of Sam Walton’s commitment to his customers while he was alive.

There is wisdom for the ages available to anyone willing to make the effort, I’m thankful it was captured for us alive today.

Until next week-

Love, Ando

ps- top bios / auto-bios … too many to list here, but these are taco bueno

  1. My Life and Work by Henry Ford

  2. Made in America by Sam Walton

  3. The Fish That Ate The Whale by Rich Cohen

  4. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

  5. Little Black Stretchy Pants by Chip Wilson

  6. The Billionaire Who Wasn’t by Conor O’Clery

  7. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

  8. Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger

  9. Iron Ambition by Mike Tyson

  10. My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey

  11. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Ando McCall