We tried to buy a store in Siloam Springs, on the Oklahoma border, but we couldn't come to terms withthe owner, Jim Dodson, who later became a friend of ours. So one day Helen's father and I drove intoBentonville and had a look around the square. It was the smallest of the towns we considered, and italready had three variety stores, when one would have been enough. Still, I love competition, and it juststruck me as the right place to prove I could do it all over again. We found an old store willing tosellHarrison's Variety Storebut we needed to double its size, and to do that we had to get aninety-nine-year lease on the barbershop next door (no more five-year leases for me). These two oldwidows from Kansas City who owned it wouldn't budge, and, frankly, if Helen's father hadn't gone upthereunbeknownst to meand negotiated a deal, I'm not sure where the Waltons would have ended up. "Once I was setting up to photograph Sam out on the tarmac of some little airport inMissouri. He wasover filing a flight plan, and I threw a nickel down on the pavementtrying to be cuteand said to myassistant: 'Lets see if he picks it up.' Planes are landing and taking off, and Sam comes walking over in abig hurry, a little put out that he has to pose for another picture. 'Okay,' he says, 'where do you want meto standon that nickel'"By the time I got out in the world ready to make something of myself, I already had a strongly ingrainedrespect for the value of a dollar. But my knowledge about money and finances probably wasn't all thatsophisticated in spite of the business degree I had. Then I got to know Helen's family, and listening to herfather, L. S. Robson, was an education in itself. He influenced me a great deal. He was a great salesman,one of the most persuasive individuals I have ever met. And I am sure his success as a trader and abusinessman, his knowledge of finance and the law, and his philosophy had a big effect on me. Mycompetitive nature was such that I saw his success and admired it. I didn't envy it. I admired it. I said tomyself: maybe I will be as successful as he is someday. For several years the company was just me and the managers in the stores. Most of them came to usfrom variety stores, and they turned into the greatest bunch of discount merchants anybody ever saw. Weall worked together, but each of them had lots of freedom to try all kinds of crazy things themselves. A Really Useful Attitude is one of the major deliveryvehicles of the likability factor鈥攁nd it works like acharm. Your posture, your movements and your expressionwill speak volumes about you before you even openyour mouth. We're not just looking for merchandising ideas from our associates. Our latest effort is a program calledYes We Can, Sam!which, by the way, I did not name. Again, we invite hourly associates who havecome up with money-saving ideas to attend our Saturday morning meeting. So far, we figure we've savedabout $8 million a year off these ideas. And most of them are just common-sense kinds of things thatnobody picks up on when we're all thinking about how big we are. They're the kinds of things that comefrom thinking small. One of my favorites came from an hourly associate in our traffic department who gotto wondering why we were shipping all the fixtures we bought for our warehouses by common carrierwhen we own the largest private fleet of trucks in America. She figured out a program to backhaul thosethings on our own trucks and saved us over a half million dollars right there. So we brought her in,recognized her good thinking, and gave her a cash award. When you consider that there are 400,000 ofus, it's obvious that there are more than a few good ideas out there waiting to be plucked. 久久色悠悠综合网_亚洲人成电影网站色_色久久综合网 "Then he says: 'Tell me what's wrong. What am I doing wrong'