The Gamble that Saved FedEx
FedEx is a globally known brand and a highly successful company but did you know that its founder once saved it from failure by turning its last $5,000 into a whopping $32,000 at the Blackjack tables in Las Vegas?
True story...in 1971 Fredrick W. Smith, the founder and current CEO of FedEx invested his own fortune of $4 million and raised an additional $90 million in capital to start a delivery company that would allow people to send overnight deliveries to anywhere in the world – a truly unique service that no other company was offering at the time.
Three years into business, fuel costs rose rapidly and the company faced imminent bankruptcy with losses in excess of $1 million a month. At its lowest point, the company had just $5,000 in its account with no way to fuel their planes the following Monday. So instead of taking his usual flight home to Memphis, Smith withdrew the $5,000 and headed to Las Vegas where he played blackjack with the last of the company's funds.
To the shock of the company's management, the following Monday, they discovered $32,000 in the FedEx bank account which was just what they needed to fuel the planes and keep operations going for a few more days which was all they needed to raise additional funds to keep the company afloat and by 1976, the company showed its first profit of $3.6 million. Another 4 years later the company was up to $40 million in profits with gross revenues totalling almost half a billion dollars. Today the company is reported to be worth a massive $25 to $35 billion.
When asked what he was thinking taking a massive risk with company funds by playing blackjack at a casino, Smith replied that it didn't make a difference because without the money for fuel for the planes the company couldn't have flown anyway.
That's one small risk that really paid off big...AMAZING!