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#YourMotivation 1: FedEx – from being bankrupt to reaching the stars..

fedex tempo on the road

“Believing in yourself is the first step to success!”

One student is given a project topic. He sees a problem. He thinks of how to solve it. The teacher gives a “just pass” grade him, citing its non-viability. What will the student do? Quit, or ‘make it happen’? What would you do?

Here’s what Fred Smith did..

Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx (which specializes in delivering parcels of every size and shape), was an undergraduate at Yale University in 1965. As part of the coursework, he wrote an economics paper exploring the process of transportation of goods in USA. He found that the shippers relied on transporting large packages across USA by means of truck or passenger airplanes. Smith thought of a more efficient transportation idea.

He wrote a last minute paper on how a company carrying small, essential items by plane could be a much better business. This made him highlight the need for a system which would improve the current delivery system and make logistics simpler for both the supplier and the customer. He, however, did not go into details about how to actually run such a company. His paper was graded “C”. But Smith did not give up on the idea and launched the company in 1971 –  with the simple idea of a single company looking after the delivery of a product from Point A to Point B.

But within three years of the founding of the company, Federal Express was on the verge of bankruptcy.

It was losing over USD 1 million a month, due to the rising fuel costs. At its zenith, the company had just USD 5,000 to its name. Smith made a final pitch to General Dynamics for more funding. The request was turned down.

Most ordinary people would have quit at this point and shut down the company. Not Fred Smith.

What he did next is easily the boldest move by the founder of a company.

Smith flew to Las Vegas and played Black Jack that weekend with the remaining company funds. Yes, all of the USD 5000. On Monday, the management of the company had a pleasant surprise lined up. FedEx had USD 32,000 in its bank account, which was just enough to cover the fuel for their planes and to continue operating a few days more.

Soon after, the company was able to raise significant amounts in funding. Today FedEx is a global giant with operations in more than 220 countries and territories and an annual revenue of USD 45 billion. Today, it is the world’s largest airline cargo carrier.

All because – one person refused to give up on his idea – he never let his obstacles become bigger than his belief!

What’s #YourMotivation today?

NOTE: We are running a series on “success stories” to inspire people to believe in their idea and make it big. If you have an inspiring story, or know one, we request you to share it with us at [email protected] so that we can bring it to the world..

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