To illustrate how a burning desire can make the difference between raging success or miserable failure, Hill gives the example of Marshall Field, founder of his namesake department stores, now part of Macy*s, Inc. (the new name of the former Federated Department Stores).
“The morning after the great Chicago fire, a group of business owners stood on State Street, looking at the smoking remains of what had been their stores. They met to decide if they would try to rebuild, or leave Chicago and start over in a more promising part of the country. They reached a decision–all except one–to leave Chicago.
The businessman who decided to stay and rebuild pointed a finger at the remains of his store, and said, “Gentlemen, on that very spot I will build the world’s greatest store, no matter how many times it may burn down.”
Proof In Perseverance
That was before the turn of the twentieth century. The store, the flagship of the famous Marshall Field’s Department Stores, was built. It stands there today, though recently acquired by Federated Department Stores and renamed Macy*s; a towering monument to the power of that state of mind known as burning desire. The easy thing for Marshall Field to have done would have been exactly what his fellow merchants did. When the going was hard, and the future looked dismal, they pulled up and went where the going seemed easier. Thankfully, Fields did not, and went on to be the father of many innovations in retail sales which have become basic tenets of the retail business today. Concepts such as unconditional return policies, the customer ‘always’ being right, consistency in pricing, and international importing are hallmarks of Fields’.”
When others gave up Field persevered because of his burning desire to succeed. And because he did that, the retail world will forever bear his mark. Had he not had that burning desire to succeed, he, too, would be just a nameless face in retail history, as the remaining three became.
SeanRasmussen.com © 2004 – 2008