Lance Armstrong: Commit Fully to a Definite Objective
Cyclist Lance Armstrong beat cancer. Then, he focused intently on his dream to win the Tour de France. He won the 3,000-mile bicycle race a record five times by visualizing victory each day, no matter the obstacles that appeared.
Wal-Mart: Seize the Initiative
Sam Walton built his Wal-Mart empire in the suburbs of major cities. His was the first retail chain to prove that customers were willing to drive to the outskirts of town to save money.
Giovanni Giacomo Casanova: Mass Your Resources
While he knew that he couldn’t romance all the pretty ladies at once, Casanova knew he could probably devote himself 100% to one at a time. He did just that. Now, his name is synonymous with romantic success.
Kentucky Fried Chicken: Position Yourself Wisely
KFC opened stores in China in the mid 80’s, before McDonald’s was willing to try the market. Today, KFC is preferred in China, with more than 500 outlets, while McDonald’s trails with 400.
IBM: Do the Unexpected
While Apple maintained strict control over its software, IBM allowed others to write programs for its computers, which weren’t as cutting edge. Buyers preferred the flexibility of IBM, resulting in IBM taking over the personal computer market.
Harley-Davidson Motorcycles: Keep Things Simple
In the early 1980’s, developmental engineers did their own buying at Harley, which led to costly bottlenecks. The company hired a purchasing engineer to ease the process. Now, Harley is riding strong.
Upjohn: Prepare Several Approaches
Upjohn, once a well-known chemical company, developed a product that could not only cure mastitis in cattle, but could also be given safely to cattle by anyone. After encountering serious and unexpected resistance from veterinarians (who no longer had an exclusive on the cure) Upjohn introduced a chemically similar drug sold under a different name exclusively for veterinarians. Doing this allowed Upjohn to retain the veterinarian market, while learning how to sell to farmers and cattlemen.
Zane’s Cycles: Compete Indirectly
Zane’s Cycles, a small bike shop near New Haven, Connecticut, won customers by offering a lifetime warranty on every item sold. Large retailers couldn’t compete with that level of service, and Zane’s grew to be the #1 retailer in size in the area.
The Advent of the DVD: Master Good Timing
In the 80’s, RCA developed the video disc player—years ahead of its time. Five years after RCA’s videodisc went under, Phillips, Sony, Toshiba and Warner teamed up to develop the highly successful DVD using similar ideas, but superior technology.
Joe Sugarman and the Handheld Calculator: Make the Most of Your Successes
Direct mail marketer Joe Sugarman launched the handheld calculator using six mailing lists. Four of the lists failed, but two were highly successful. Sugarman took the results of the two successful lists to creditors and borrowed more. His second effort increased the number of letters mailed, but he only sent letters to the successful lists. Sugarman knew he would succeed because of the reliable intelligence from his first mailing.
Irene Becker, www.justcoachit.com