After World War II, Sam Walton became a millionaire by running 15 Ben Franklin variety stores, selling merchandise with 25% markups. When he told his partners that he wanted to open discount centers that would have broader mass appeal but smaller markups, they thought he was crazy. So, acting alone, he opened his first Wal Mart store in 1962, and later became a billionaire.
To succeed in the world you have to change all the time, “said Walton, who following a rich tradition of American entrepreneurs quick to embrace change.
When soap salesman William Wrigley Jr. saw that the gum he gave away with each sold box of soap was more popular than his detergent, he went into the chewing gum business full time. Similarly, when A.P. Giannini found himself at odds with bank directors who wanted to lend only to the wealthy, he opened his own bank (Bank of America), extending credit to a new market: hard-working immigrants. The first day the bank opened in 1904, his new customers promptly deposited $8,780.
Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki said, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” An Iconic American company bears this out. Eastman Kodak’s Steven Sasson invented the digital camera in 1975, but because Kodak made huge profits selling film and photographic paper, it conceded the “film-less photography” business to Japan. The 131 year old company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
So, give change a chance. Solicit feedback from people, Take inventory of your life and business to see what’s been working and what has not. If you find a need, fill it, even if you must leave your comfort zone.