I was driving down the road with Sharon, our Director of Accountability, when she received a text message. “If you’re near Bastrop then you have to go into the Buc-ee’s store there. And, please get me some Beaver Nuggets.”
Buc-ee’s, we were told, is an incredibly large convenience store with a great beef jerky bar. We had no idea what we were in for as we drove down the highway. As we approached, you could immediately see that the parking lot was huge. With about 100 gas pumps they could fill up an army battalion’s worth of vehicles in a few minutes. Walking in the store doors was breathtaking.
Someone behind one of the cash registers at the door immediately greeted us. There are three entrances into the building and they have cash registers at each entrance. The average large convenience store has about 3,600 square feet; the average large grocery store has about 45,000 square feet. The largest Buc-ee’s has 68,000 square feet!
They sell everything from the typical packaged food, to clothing, prepared food, BBQ grills, hats and yes, their famous jerky. The jerky bar was longer than most meat counters in a grocery store. They had so many different types of seasoned beef jerky and also turkey jerky. They had a fudge bar that looked fantastic. This place was insane with product offerings.
We drove 20 miles out of our way, based on a recommendation to go there, just to see this place. I’m sure that we aren’t the only people who followed someone’s positive input and went to see Buc-ee’s.
As we walked through the store I thought out loud, “It doesn’t have to start like this to get like this.” Buc-ee’s started with one, much smaller, location and has grown into 27 locations around the state of Texas. Many times we see a successful business or organization and think that we could never build that type of organization. They have their act together, they have this incredibly clean facility, the staff is so well organized, they operate as a cohesive unit and they seemingly own their market.
Most incredibly successful businesses start out small. They do one thing really well and build on that. They know what they believe, what they value and they consistently make decisions based on those values. They build a strong base and as opportunities and ideas present themselves they make the decisions that allow them to grow. Then one day we walk in and go, “Wow, this place is amazing.”
Evaluate where you are today. Do not let someone else’s achievements determine what you are willing to work towards. Create a solid foundation of values and systems and build on that to create your future. You have what you need to be successful if you only allow yourself to proceed step-by-step to the future you create. And remember, it doesn’t have to start like this to get like this.
By the way, the beef jerky and the Beaver Nuggets (sweet, buttery corn puffs) are considered the best two items to try there. Enjoy!