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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Do The Tedious Work To Target

Horse owners spend millions to enjoy their hobby and many look for bargains.  Scott spent years finding the names and addresses of these potential customers.  More...

Key Question:


Many people dream of having thousands of customers but only a few do the work that must be done to find and win them. In the book, Good to Great, Jim Collins writes that great companies pay attention to details and no task is too tedious. Scott and Marthalee used the good-to-great strategy and didn't even realize it. They wanted to build a list and no task was too small.

Q: Do you think Scott is naive?

A:  Hearing him say that he and Marthalee hand-copied the names and phone numbers of people who were selling horses or equipment from newspapers' classified ads sounds very naive. However, he was only 22 years old when he started the process of building a mailing list.

Scott did what made sense to him at the time. He did what he could afford. Eventually he thought of buying lists from magazines and over time he learned how to find qualified names with less effort. Of course he was naive in 1984 -- but not now. Scott is a perfect example of a person who eventually learns by trial and error and he is perfectly happy with this technique. In fact, he would probably argue it is the only real way to learn.

Think about it

What tedious task needs to be done for you to move your business forward? We guarantee, it is something that no one wants to do.

Clip from: Country Supply

Ottumwa, Iowa: Meet Scott Mooney, the founder of Country Supply.  Scott has over 450,000 customers throughout the USA and in several countries generating over $17 million in annual sales.  Since the taping of this episode of the show, Scott sold his company to a global business.  He got that unexpected knock on the door and an offer he simply could not refuse. 

Country Supply

Scott Mooney, founder

PO Box 369
Louisiana, Missouri 63353

Visit our web site:

Toll Free: 800-637-6721

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1984

Do The Tedious Work To Target

HATTIE:  When did you decide that this town was not big enough for you?

SCOTT:  Well, I figured I couldn't ship people in so the next natural thought was we'd just go into the catalog business.  That way we could expose our products to tens of thousands and then hundreds of thousands of people.

Voiceover:  Stan and Diane McIntyre enjoy riding with their daughter.

HATTIE:  Do you have to make a sacrifice to have horses?  Do you give us a second car?  A vacation?

DIANE:  We gave up dune buggies.

STAN:  We gave up the desert and we enjoy this more natural mode of transportation instead of dune buggies and stuff.  It is a high interest that our daughter had so we decided as a family to go ahead and get involved with it. And it has been nothing but good.

HATTIE:  How long did it take you to learn how to ride?  BOTH:  We're still learning.

HATTIE: In about 1984, you had zero names. So how'd you get your first one?

SCOTT: We just stopped to think where can we find their names? The telephone book. So we got out the Des Moines telephone book, ads that they'd run, classified ads in the Des Moines Register, and the newspapers around.

In fact, at the library, they had newspapers from all over the country. And they all had classified ads with people that'd be selling used horses or saddles.  With those people's names, we started addresses, whatever we could get. Different magazines that go out to horse organizations all had ads in the back. So that's really how we developed our first mailing list.

HATTIE: So you're running your retail shop during the day, then you're going to the library at night --


HATTIE: -- and you're hand copying?

SCOTT: They had a copy machine so I could copy them. A really, really nice list was when we could possibly find a list of names and addresses that were somewhat laid out like an address label and we could blow them up on a copy machine and cut them out and glue them on.

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