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My Father's Business

The Small-Town Values That Built Dollar General into a Billion-Dollar Company
Narrated by: Cal Turner Jr.
Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

"This classic story told through the eyes of my friend Cal Jr. is instructive in almost every area of life. I simply could not put it down. Must-read!" (Dave Ramsey, best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio show host)

The first-person account of the family that changed the American retail landscape. 

Longtime Dollar General CEO Cal Turner, Jr. shares his extraordinary life as heir to the company founded by his father Cal Turner, Sr. and his grandfather, a dirt farmer turned Depression-era entrepreneur. Cal's narrative is at its heart a father-son story, from his childhood in Scottsville, Kentucky, where business and family were one, to the triumph of reaching the Fortune 300 - at the cost of risking that very father/son relationship. Cal shares how the small-town values with which he was raised helped him guide Dollar General from family enterprise to national powerhouse.

Chronicling three generations of a successful family with very different leadership styles, Cal Jr. shares a wealth of wisdom from a lifetime on the entrepreneurial front lines. He shows how his grandfather turned a third-grade education into an asset for success. He reveals how his driven father hatched the game-changing dollar price point strategy and why it worked. And he explains how he found his own leadership style when he took his place at the helm - values-based, people-oriented, and pragmatic.

Cal's story provides a riveting look at the family love and drama behind Dollar General's spectacular rise, pays homage to the working-class people whose no-frills needs helped determine its rock-bottom prices, and shares the life and lessons of one of America's most compelling business leaders.

©2018 Cal Turner and Rob Simbeck (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"A revealing and colorful book...Cal Jr.'s openness about the trials and tribulations both within the family and the company itself, as well as his personal reflection in retirement, is something we can all learn from and is sure to help us be more honest in our own self-assessments." (Senator Bob Corker) 

"My Father's Business is the story of what it took to build Dollar General into a national retail chain from its rural, Kentucky roots and will encourage anyone with a dream of building a business." (Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart)

"The story of Dollar General is an example of what makes our country so great." (George Roberts, co-founder and co-chair, KKR)

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  • Overall
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  • Rick Caldwell
  • 2018-06-19

THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ!

I am an old time Retailer. I spent most of my life managing stores for Walmart. If you are young and dream of a successful care in Retail. You had better read this book. It is filled with stories and wisdom that ever retailer needs to know.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 2019-10-23

Great book until

Great Boom until it reaches 2001. I felt the rest of the book CTJ was trying to convince me that he duped by others.

As it rarely came up during most of his business dealings, bringing up his spiritual beliefs at the end felt insincere

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  • Andy
  • 2019-09-17

Only So-So - A Book About the Turner Family

I love business books and devour them - especially bios from successful executives. As a business book - this one was only so-so. In a nutshell, the book is the story of the family that created Dollar General. The book should have been renamed - All About The Turner Family. Very few business bios that I read are all about just one person or one family - this one is. There are only a couple of mentions of other Dollar General executives in this book leading one to believe that Cal Turner Jr, his father, and his brother basically were solely responsible for making DG a success. Pretty amazing and sad given the thousands of employees that work for DG.

The audio book is read by the author and is painfully slow - I had to put it on 1.25 speed to even be able to listen to it. The country "aw-shucks" story telling is a bit of a stretch. The reader is left to believe that Dollar General didn't have any strategy or logistics planning until sometime in the '90's. Makes for an entertaining story, but just not very realistic since he went to Vanderbilt. Also, leads the reader to believe that only Cal Turner, Jr. could have led the company out of wilderness - again a bit of stretch considering the amount of people in their organization. All and all not a bad book, but don't expect a lot of business insights or learnings. That being said, there were a few, but they could have been distilled down to a single page of the book: Don't work with family, don't cook the books, sell what the customer wants to buy, buy cheap when you can, keep shrink to a minimum, etc.

Many books I listen to again and again. This book was a one and done for me.

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  • Kevin W.
  • 2019-01-15

My Favorite Store<br />

Loved this book. A great book that tells a wonderful story of a highly successful life. Well done.

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  • Kelli B
  • 2018-11-18

great great great

wish more family company turned billion dollar company would do books like this. great insight

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  • Jose
  • 2018-11-14

Good book

The author of the book speaks honestly about his experience. It is the fresh story of how a business started and grew for over 5 decades. It is also the personal story of the grandson that continued the legacy of the founder/grandfather. The book is easy to listen to and entertaining. I highly recommend.

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  • Brady Baker
  • 2018-07-05

Most honest business book!

Excellent, honest, and forthcoming business books. Highlights his failures that led to his accomplishments. Sometimes too preachy for me but great overall

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  • Anant Kishore
  • 2018-06-07

Awesome book

What a wonderful book. I was surprised. It’s a mixture of testimonial and confession interspersed with sound intellectual and business advice. The narrator is at times spell binding and though you would think a story about the history of Dollar General would be rather dry the book is fascinating. Highly recommended and thank you Cal Jr. You’ve made a positive difference in my own journey through the telling our your story. God Bless.

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  • Max Barbosa
  • 2019-11-11

Brilliantly written and narrated

Best biography I read this year. Thoughtful, transparent and touching. Life lessons rather than common advice.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-12-09

Lots of wisdom to share...

I really enjoyed the story. as an entrepreneur who started a business that I hope could someday be a family business, it was interesting hearing a lot of situations that were involved. I also never had any feelings one way or another about Dollar General. However, after listening to this book, I sort of want to shop there more.

It's amazing what knowing the story of a business can do.

I originally heard about this book when Cal Turner Jr was on the Entreleadership podcast. I get almost all of the books that I read about business related topics from that podcast.

Stories of Cal's grandfather reminded me of my grandmother who did not get her GED until she was 77 years old... at 15, she had to drop out of school to care for her family when her mother died from gallstones during the Great Depression. Some people give up when something that life altering happens... our grandparents did not. Also, like a Turner, she would buy anything at half price. ;)

I listen to this audiobook at 1.3 speed, and it still felt a little slow at times... but I always really wanted to know what was going to happen next and I'm glad I listen to it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful