Business tools are like diets. In the right hands, applied the right way, they all work. Roaming throughout central Jersey and across the globe, Bart Jackson has spent the past 25 years finding those business leaders and the tools they employ. Many of his stories have appeared in U.S. 1 Newspaper.
In fact, it was interviews with such New Jersey business leaders as former State Chamber president Joan Verplanck, and Ken Parker (who went from Atlantic City Electric’s lawn cutter to president in 18 years) that sparked Jackson’s quest to share these insights. Two years ago Jackson’s Prometheus Publishing formed a business division, BartsBooks Ultimate Business Guides. “My goal was to get experienced experts sharing their solutions to specific business challenges,” Jackson says. “So we set about packing an array of proven methods into concise, short, and humorous guides.”
Those who want to learn about the ways of business success and career satisfaction may hear Jackson speak about his recently released “Behind Every Successful Woman Is Herself.” This free event will be held on Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at Princeton Manor Community Club House. For details call 732-821-0288. Major contributors for this book include many New Jersey women, including Diana Henriques, Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has written the definitive book on Bernie Madoff, and Holly Bull, the Princeton-based alternative career planner.
BartsBooks’ spring releases include “The Art of the CEO” by Jackson and “Winning at Going Global” by Brian Shube. Visit www.bartsbooks.com for details. “One of the nice things about the Princeton-area business community,” says Jackson, “is that the people seem to be having a lot more fun at their work than most places. Not sure why. Surely can’t be the weather.”
Below is an excerpt from another work published by BartsBooks, “So That’s How They Do It — Tactics of Business Masters:”
Sam Walton’s Style
May Not Be Yours
‘When Sam Walton opened up his Walton’s Five and Dime near my store in Bentonville (Arkansas), he found a source for toiletries that was a full 50 percent below anyone else. So darn near every night Sam would drive the five hours round trip to stock up and sell them at this rock bottom price in his store. I also knew of this source, but I just decided I didn’t want to live that way. So I guess that’s why he’s Sam Walton, and I’m not.” — John Dunham, owner, Sterling Store, a competitor of Sam Walton in 1961.
Test yourself. What is your instinctive, gut reaction after reading this tale about America’s wealthiest retailer? If you felt a wave of personal inferiority or career regret, then, my friend, you are in the majority — and you have not quite passed. You have yet to determine the appropriate extent of devotion to business that brings your life satisfaction. And the time to do that is now.
For generations, business achievement has stood as one of the few status yardsticks in much of our modern culture. It is the only real way to enter America’s nobility. Admittedly, this is not a bad thing. Making one’s mark by building a societally contributing business serves far better than bloodletting one’s way to the top through rapacious military adventures.
However, the commonly held method of obtaining such success has become a somewhat flawed mythology. Look at Sam Walton, the parable preaches. He rose from store clerk to unequaled Emperor of Retail by a ruthless, monomaniacal devotion to business. That, my son, is the only way to succeed. But in truth, one myth does not fit all.
This little tale reveals more about Mr. Walton than his frightening fixation with commerce. First, it shows he was ever on the prowl for new suppliers. Wise. It further demonstrates Walton was true to his company’s niche. Also sharp. He had designed his first store, a Ben Franklin franchise, for strictly the lowest-price retail market. The trek for cheap toiletries, thus, made sense. He was working hard and smart.
Was Walton’s life of 18-hour business blitzkrieg days satisfying for him? Did the more relaxed life suit Walton’s competitor who told this tale? That’s of no concern to you, really. Your job is to discern where your own fulfillment level lies. No one is denigrating hard work or long hours. Few things better your odds of success more than these.
But don’t get caught up in other people’s models. Success comes from a blend of many paths and efforts. Some will slide into wealth by selling Pet Rocks. Others will labor long years to create a complex software package. The results of business are elusive and vastly unfair, so you had better love the daily work.
Society dangles the carrot of status to those who follow the Walton model. Meanwhile others insist on living a “balanced life” — whatever that is. Ignore them all. Work as your business demands and as your sense of fulfillment dictates. Then turn off the light, lock the door, and go pump iron, heft a cognac, or kiss a lover.