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Fedex, An Inspiration



‘Find yourself something you’re good at and do it to perfection’.

Frederick W. Smith is the founder, chairman, and CEO of FedEx. In 2014, Fortune Magazine ranked him 26th among the list of “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”.

He has an estimated net worth of US$3.6 billion.

Have you ever had a vision?

Did you have enough audacity to achieve your dream?

How often have you relinquished your dream, just because you didn’t believe in yourself?

Working hard is important. But there is something that matters more: Believing in yourself. Everyone is capable of success. There are countless entrepreneurs and business leaders who have successfully put themselves through the ringer, learned things the hard way, and made it out alive to teach us what they learned. One such entrepreneur is Frederick Smith.

He was an undergraduate at Yale University in 1965. One night he was writing an economics paper exploring the process of transportation of goods in the United States. He realised that the shippers relied on transporting large packages across the United States by means of truck or passenger airlines. That night, he came up with a revolutionary idea: delivering packages reliably overnight. He wrote a last minute paper on how a company carrying small, essential items by plane could be a much better business.

Smith launched the company in 1971. He not only offered an alternative to the mail and more traditional and slower delivery services, but he also created an industry that almost single-handedly changed the way business was conducted. By 2004 FedEx was delivering to 210 countries using over six hundred aircraft, 46,000 vehicles, and 141,000 employees.

Within three years of the founding of the company, Federal Express was on the verge of bankruptcy. Investors put $91 million in venture capital into his business. But Smith lost $29 million in his first 26 months. Smith never gave up. He went to Vegas and won $27,000 which he invested into his company. Today FedEx is a global giant with operations in more than 220 countries and territories and annual revenue of US $45 billion.

Smith always believed in one philosophy: people, service, profit (P-S-P). The idea was that the three concepts work in a circle, each supported by the others.

Things happen slowly. They happen so slowly, that the main reason people give up on almost any endeavour in almost every aspect of life is because of the sluggish pace of dreams.

Smith’s success was anything but an overnight success.


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