When to be cautiously optimistic, and when not to

To embrace risk, you must embrace an almost-sickening amount of optimism

In the ongoing saga of the global economy, FedEx – the world’s second largest package-delivery company – has made some policy changes, suggesting that the economy and in particular, the U.S. economy, isn’t on the road to complete recovery. Although profits for FedEx this quarter exceeded expectations, the optimism is cautious at best. Due to “global challenges,” the company will continue to implement measures in an effort to reduce costs.

Since FedEx is, after all, a package-delivery company, much of its success is largely contingent on how other countries and companies. Times are tough for consumers in many countries. For a shipping company, this can (and does) create problems. It isn’t cost-effective working in such countries. In FedEx’s eyes, the risk is far too high; it has turned its focus to cheaper shipping options. FedEx is hardly demonstrating a profound sense of optimism, but it can afford to caution its optimism.

Reduced spending isn’t a crazy notion for companies; it may not even be a problem. Over the past few years, retailers such as Wal-Mart have reduced spending. It’s a sign of the times. Such cuts, however, have not affected the way these companies do business. Clearly, they’re still very successful. What reduced spending does suggest, however, is we should not drown in optimism. We must remain vigilant and cautious when it comes to the global economy.

Not all is cautious optimism; FedEx will mostly increase prices later this year. While many of you may shake your head in annoyance, it’s a vote of confidence in your spending power. In other words, you will pay more for shipping, which can mean only one thing: you actually have money to spend. That’s a good thing, right? Perhaps not all is gloom and doom at FedEx.

Always keep in mind that companies like FedEx can AFFORD to be cautiously optimistic, but as a burgeoning business owner or entrepreneur, you must take risk in the global marketplace. You have to make your mark. To embrace risk, you must embrace an almost-sickening amount of optimism. Take heed of what the “bigger” companies do, but don’t treat it as gospel.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2013/09/18/fedex-delivers-a-warning-about-the-global-economy/

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