Key Themes:

Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Vision, Retail, Scaling a Business

Summary:

Sam Walton’s story is testimony to the true ‘American Dream’. He built Wal-Mart from the ground up – starting from a single variety store in the 1940s to thousands today. At his death in 1992, he had a net worth of $8.6 billion. A hard-working individual, who thrived on competition and put his customer first. He started Wal-Mart at the age of 45 years old and built it into an empire. Made in America is a story of staying true to your principles. The inspiring story of one man’s revolutionising of the retail industry.

Content Overview:

Walton started Walmart at the age of 45 years old and built it into an empire. Written in his own words and with quotes from family, friends, colleagues and competitors, this is a ‘warts and all’ biography of the man once named as the richest in America. Honest, unapologetic and real – Walton’s story is about taking risks, working hard and going the extra mile for the customer. His revolutionary approach to employee engagement, sharing his profits and staying true to the values that made Walmart great shine through on every page.

At the end of the book, Sam provides us a list of 10 rules for his success in business are essential for all entrepreneurs (whatever size):

  1. Commit to your business
    • Be tenacious and always look to improve your service or product.
  2. Share your profits with all of your associates, and treat them as partners
    • Be generous and pay your people appropriately.
  3. Motivate your partners
    • Ensure your people are listened to and motivated so they give their best.
  4. Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners
    • Information is power, and the more information your people can utilize, the better they can do their job.
  5. Appreciate everything your associates do for your business
    • Everyone in your business is doing their best and deserves thanks.
  6. Celebrate your successes
    • Stop being so serious, it’s okay to be happy for your successes and give yourself a break.
  7. Listen to everyone in your company
    • Everyone is unique and has great ideas.
  8. Exceed your customers’ expectations
    • Providing immense value to your customers will give them no choice but to choose you as their store of choice.
  9. Control your expenses better than your competition
    • The leaner your organization, the easier it is to manage tough times.
  10. Swim upstream
    • Don’t be afraid to go against the grain.

Whether you are already in business, looking to start a business, or interested in creating an empire like Wal-Mart, this book chronicles the secrets behind the brand.

Rating: 9/10

Filled with tales of entrepreneurial grit, courage, heart and hard work, Walton shares his thinking and the extraordinary tale of one of the great retail success stories.

Readability: 9.5/10

Walton’s uncompromising ‘shoot from the hip’ style, unflinching honesty and willingness to share his successes and mistakes make for a riveting read. Refreshingly frank and honest.

Does what it says on the tin: 9/10

Yes – this book will show the commitment and hard work required to create the American Dream. Made in America is one man’s creation of the biggest ‘bricks and mortar.

 

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