Tag Archives: Good luck

Sometimes It Pays To Be Lucky, by Jack Raines

There’s probably not a successful entrepreneur out there who can’t point to a time when fate mysteriously came to his or her aid. From Jack Raines at Young Money via zerohedge.com:

In 1962, Yale economics student Fred Smith wrote an undergraduate research paper about the automation of society and the transportation of goods. Nine years later, after a stint in the Marine Corps, Smith took the ideas first outlined in this research paper to found Federal Express.

Initially funded by a $4M inheritance and $80M in debt and equity investments, FedEx quickly grew from an eight-plane operation to a logistics network spanning the continental US.

While business was booming, the company struggled to keep pace with rising fuel costs. Suffocating in debt, FedEx resorted to extreme measures such as pilots using personal credit cards for fuel and uncashed paychecks to stay afloat.

It didn’t matter, nothing could stop the bleeding. In 1973, FedEx had just $5,000 left in the bank. Fred Smith pitched one of their investors, General Dynamics, for additional funding, but his appeal was rejected. FedEx wasn’t going to have enough cash to fuel their planes for another week, and the business would soon shut down.

What does one do when they need to create thousands of dollars out of thin air?

 Take a trip to Sin City and roll the dice.

Instead of flying home after his meeting with General Dynamics, Smith withdrew the company’s remaining cash and headed to Las Vegas for a night.

His game of choice?


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