25 Sam Walton Quotes That Add Great to Our Lives

Let these Sam Walton quotes and sayings inspire you on your journey to greatness.

Sam Walton was born in a small Oklahoman farming town.

Farming didn’t provide his parents with enough income, and his dad eventually went to work in the mortgage industry with his brother.

Sam decided to head to college, hoping to have a better way to support his family.

He graduated with a degree in economics but had done many jobs while he was a student, gaining experience in real-world situations.

Three days after graduating from college, J. C. Penney hired him as a management trainee.

He worked there for 18 months before serving in the army during WWII.

While serving in the army, he realized he wanted to open his own retailing business.

Sam’s first foray into captaining his own retail store was the purchase of a franchised Ben Franklin store in Newport, Arkansas.

However, the landlord at that location ended up forcing Sam out when the lease was up, because of the store’s success and his desire to take over the store and give it to his son.

Keep reading these Sam Walton quotes to learn more about the man who founded your neighborhood Wal-Mart.

Don’t forget to also check out these Walmart quotes.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.

Sam Walton quotes for bosses, managers, and leaders

1. “Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.” ― Sam Walton

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

3. “Celebrate your successes. Find some humor in your failures.” ― Sam Walton

4. “All of us profit from being corrected – if we’re corrected in a positive way.” ― Sam Walton

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5. “The way management treats associates is exactly how the associates will treat the customers.” ― Sam Walton

6. “Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who’s going to have a great idea.” ― Sam Walton

7. “Nothing else can quite substitute for a few, well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” ― Sam Walton

8. “I learned this early on in the variety business: You’ve got to give folks responsibility, you’ve got to trust them, and then you’ve got to check on them.” ― Sam Walton

9. “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” ― Sam Walton

10. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” ― Sam Walton

11. “I learned early on that one of the secrets of campus leadership was the simplest thing of all: speak to people coming down the sidewalk before they speak to you. I would always look ahead and speak to the person coming toward me. If I knew them, I would call them by name, but even if I didn’t, I would still speak to them.” ― Sam Walton

Sam Walton quotes about expectations and taking care of people

12. “High expectations are the key to everything.” ― Sam Walton

13. “Give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people.” ― Sam Walton

14. “We let folks know we’re interested in them and that they’re vital to us. Cause they are.” ― Sam Walton

15. “Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community.” ― Sam Walton

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16. “Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want – and a little more.” ― Sam Walton

17. “Business is a competitive endeavor, and job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living.” ― Sam Walton

18. “For my whole career in retail, I have stuck by one guiding principle. It’s a simple one, and I have repeated it over and over and over in this book until I’m sure you’re sick to death of it. But I’m going to say it again anyway: the secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want.” ― Sam Walton

19. “What’s really worried me over the years is not our stock price, but that we might someday fail to take care of our customers, or that our managers might fail to motivate and take care of our associates. I also was worried that we might lose the team concept, or fail to keep the family concept viable and realistic, and meaningful to our folks as we grow. Those challenges are more real than somebody’s theory that we’re headed down the wrong path.” ― Sam Walton

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Sam Walton quotes about having a rebellious and resilient spirit

20. “Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom.” ― Sam Walton

21. “I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.” ― Sam Walton

22. “I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.” ― Sam Walton

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23. “If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction.” ― Sam Walton

24. “I always favored the mavericks who challenged my rules. I may have fought them all the way, but I respected them, and, in the end, I listened to them a lot more closely than I did the pack who always agreed with everything I said.” ― Sam Walton

25. “Two things about Sam Walton distinguish him from almost everyone else I know. First, he gets up every day bound and determined to improve something. Second, he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known. And once he sees he’s wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction.” ― Sam Walton

What did you learn from these Sam Walton quotes?

Walton would open the Walton Five and Dime in Bentonville, Arkansas, after leaving his first Ben Franklin store.

He also opened up 15 additional Ben Franklin franchises.

The first Wal-mart opened in 1962 and would end up revolutionizing shopping and consumer behavior.

‘Wally World,’ is truly a unique entity and economic giant.

The ‘Wal-Mart Effect’ is a term coined by business journalist Charles Fishman that encompasses the positive and negative effects that Wal-Mart has had on the business world.

I can’t imagine what life would look like if I couldn’t run to one store and grab groceries for dinner, cat litter, light bulbs, and some winter gloves.

Sam’s insight into what people wanted in a store, and where those stores needed to be located, was a work of genius.

Do you have any additional Sam Walton quotes and sayings you would like to add?

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