People first, then money, then things.
For J.C. Penney, none of the conditions for a typically profitable business existed. Except in his mind. He had no perks that put him ahead, except for his passion to enrich the lives of those in his community. He knew that people deserved better, that people would agree, and that they would take advantage of what he offered them.
The struggling people of Kemmerer, Wyoming, walked into the Golden Rule store and saw fashionable, well-made clothing. Instead of immediate defeat, turning around, and walking out the door, the people could delve into shopping. They had confidence that they could afford what was in front of them. That was empowering. That gave pride. Wearing those clothes changed how a person felt walking down the street.
What's more extraordinary is that it didn't stop with what the people could purchase and how that made them feel. His employees were empowered too. Their direct involvement in the business made them enthusiastic, confident, and empowered—all the qualities the customers wanted for themselves. This created a positive relationship between the customers and the salespeople.
This is the profound power of Penney's business model. It created an overwhelmingly positive experience for those on both sides of the line: the buying side and the selling side.
We have a product, we have a service. Something good. That is where every entrepreneur's journey begins. We must get this ...