“It was a real blessing for me to be so green and ignorant, because it was through that experience that I learned a lesson that has stuck with me through all the years: you can learn from everybody. I didn’t just learn from reading every retail publication I could get my hands on, I probably learned the most from studying what John Dunham was doing across the street.”
This book was fun to read. Sam didn’t want to write it at all, but John Huey won him over just in time. This book was written while Sam was on his death bed.
Sam Walton: Made In America is written in a way that it feels like Sam Walton is sitting in front of you, telling you everything that happened in his life.
The first two chapters, “Learning to Value a Dollar” and “Starting on a Dime,” were great. Since reading them, I have picked up every coin I have seen laying around. At the end of the second chapter, Sam tells you about his Ben Franklin store that was making $250,000 in sales a year, with $30,000 t0 $40,000 of it being profit. After 5 years, his lease was up, and his landlord would not renew it for any price. He bought the store from Sam Walton, and Sam had to completely restart.
I think that most people would have given up in that situation. Working hard and smart for five years to build the best Ben Franklin in the region just to lose it would be tough, but Sam didn’t let it stop him. Every one of the biographies I’ve read has that in common. Sam Walton, Jeff Bezos, Tim Tebow, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Conrad Hilton, Jerry Weintraub, etc., all faced challenges that were a lot bigger than most people ever do, and they all overcame these challenges and became extremely successful.
After he talks about his first setback, there are 300 more pages to read if you buy the paperback version for only $6.
While Sam’s book taught me how he became successful with Walmart, I learned something even more important from reading it. He taught me the importance of staying humble:
“I still can’t believe it was news that I get my haircut at the barber shop. Where else would I get my haircut? Why do I drive a pickup truck? What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce?” -Sam Walton
At the end of the book, Sam gives a list of 10 rules that helped him become successful. To learn how Sam Walton overcame adversity, how he built Walmart, the value of being humble, and to read his list, buy Sam Walton: Made In America by Sam Walton with John Huey.
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