Learn how to spot and avoid impostors at our free, two-part webinar Feb. 18 and 20. Register today!
by Paul Sullivan, From the AARP Bulletin Print Edition, September 1, 2010
In 1978, Bernie Marcus, 49, had just been fired from a chain of hardware stores. He had few options, so he did what he had been talking about doing for years: He started his own hardware chain. It helped that he did not have another choice. At every turn, he would have to be “clutch”—that is, excel under immense pressure. His stores would be different from all other hardware stores—they’d be warehouses filled floor to ceiling with everything needed to fix or improve a home. A great plan, except he didn’t have enough money to fully stock the first two stores. One store looked more like a going-out-of-business sale than a grand opening. But he came up with a solution born as much of his street smarts as of his two decades in retailing: “We bought boxes. We bought empty paint cans. We had to give the illusion that we had merchandise.” Two years after the first store opened, the concept was doing so well that Marcus and his partners decided to take the company—The Home Depot—public.
Excerpted from Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don’t. Published by Portfolio. Copyright Paul Sullivan, 2010.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Movie reviews, news and celebrity interviews.
Exclusive benefits for AARP members.
Members save 10% off the best available rate.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at