The bedrock principles that took Karsten Solheim from shoe
repairman to engineer to dramatically successful entrepreneur and allowed him to
live the American dream remain valuable for any student of life and business:
- Put God first in your life.
- A man's responsibility is to provide for his family.
- If you are the right kind of person, there's no reason
why you shouldn't be happy. Happiness depends on you.
- Know who you are, what you want, and where you're going
- and communicate it.
- Manage by walking around.
- If workers know the boss personally and are free to
call him by his first name, they will be happier, healthier employees.
- While salaries necessarily vary, pay bonuses to
everyone equally. They all work hard and are equally important to the
- Never abide shortcuts, shoddy work, or bargain hunting
at the expense of the final product.
- Never discount. Never mass market. Rather,
manufacture product at the highest level possible and trust the discriminating
buyer to rise to the appropriate price.
- People will pay for quality products made with quality
materials by skilled workmen.
- The customer who likes your product and sees its
benefits will be willing to pay for it.
- Aim toward customers who buy on the basis of quality,
- There are plenty of so-called bargains out there.
- The only real bargain is quality at a fair price.
- Worry more about your own plans and dreams than about
what the competition is up to. If you have a quality product, there will be
room in the market for it.
- Keep very limited inventories of finished product.
Manufacture only custom- ordered merchandise.
- Always do your best on every piece you work on.
- Don't let one piece on which you could have done a
better job go to the customer.
- Never ignore a ringing phone.
- Always stay busy. There's always something to do.
Never sit around.
- There is not an engineering or design problem that
cannot be solved, and there is not a discipline or sport that cannot be
Excerpt from Karsten's Way by Tracy
©2000 by the Solheim Foundation