Monday, April 18, 2005

Perseverance Pays

Let’s face it, victory goes to the most resilient. Almost nothing, small or large, was ever accomplished without setback after setback after setback. A lot of people cut and run, and sometimes that makes sense. But others take their lumps, fall down, bounce back, get knocked down again—and come back for more.
You might be in that same situation now. If so, don’t give up too easily. Ignore the naysayers and put a hand in the face of the doubters. Use Fred Smith as your role model. No one exemplifies this “I’ll Show ’Em” attitude more than Smith.
As a graduate student at Harvard University, Smith was excited to discover one of his class assignments was to develop a business plan. The students would develop the plans and the professor would grade the work on the viability of a fictitious business.
Smith came up with the idea for a one-of-a-kind, overnight package delivery business. The more and more he became involved in the project, the more passionate he became. He really felt the business could work. He spent day and night fine-tuning the business plan and finally submitted his dream to the Ivy League professor.
His grade: C. The professor said the business would never work.
Smith decided to prove the professor wrong. When he graduated, he began turning that plan into the American dream. Today, Smith’s dream is Federal Express, a multibillion dollar company. And when you walk in the Memphis, Tenn., headquarters of Federal Express, you’ll find Smith’s original college paper framed for all to see. Complete with a red “C” slashed through the top.
The paper sits in the front lobby to remind Smith and his employees of a simple lesson: Persevere and never give up on your dreams.


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