Advice to Entrepreneurs: Fedex’s Fred Smith on Having a Sustainable Business Proposition

In America, we venerate entrepreneurs: we celebrate their assertiveness and esteem the ability of entrepreneurs to take risks and aim for anything they want—an ability that most of us do not possess or cannot exercise. Here is advice from Fred Smith on having a sustainable business proposition. Fred Smith is the founder, chairman, and CEO of FedEx, the global courier delivery and logistics company.

  • Fred Smith, founder, chairman, and CEO of FedEx What to look for in the right people: first of all, you have to have technical expertise in what you’re doing. The second thing you have to do is have somebody who can be very objective. At the end of the day, if you can’t be objective about things, particularly the facts as they have been presented to you, that includes objectivity about one’s own strengths and weaknesses, it’s impossible to be an effective manager at any substantial level.
  • Make sure you have a viable and sustainable business proposition. Make sure you’re fulfilling some need that has been unmet and make sure its differentiated from everything else out there and that it is the sensible.

'World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It' by John A. Byrne (ISBN 1591844509) Source: “World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It” by John A. Byrne. John A. Byrne is the former executive editor of BusinessWeek, former editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and former associate editor at Forbes, and co-author with Jack Welch of Jack: Straight from the Gut In “World Changers,” John Byrne presents potent advice on entrepreneurism and fascinating insights into what it takes to succeed as entrepreneurs from successful business luminaries such as Apple’s Steve Jobs to HARPO’s Oprah, from India’s Ratan Tata to Brazil’s Eike Batista. John Byrne argues that the greatest common denominators amongst great world changers are the centrality of purpose in their organizations, their willingness to seek advice through mentorship and peer counseling, and the ability to maintain focus and direction over long periods.

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