A 32-year-old high school dropout built a business that sold to Target for $550 million

On Thursday, Target is rolling out same-day delivery at its stores in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, thanks to Shipt, the online same-day grocery delivery service the retail giant bought in December for $550 million, one of its largest deals yet. With Target already offering the service in a number of cities, including New Orleans and Phoenix, the retailer is aiming to offer same-day delivery from half its stores by early 2018.

Being acquired for hundreds of millions of dollars is the dream exit for any company. But Shipt’s story isn’t one of immediate sky rocketing success and it doesn’t take place in a start-up mecca like Silicon Valley or even Seattle, where monster competitor Amazon was born. Instead it starts in Birmingham, Alabama with Bill Smith, a high school dropout and serial entrepreneur who had perseverance — and a particularly grueling grocery-store trip.

From high school dropout to serial entrepreneur

“My father was an entrepreneur, so I grew up and saw him doing different businesses, and literally from the time I was 5 years old, I wanted to understand business and how it all worked,” Smith tells CNBC Make It, adding that his father was in the cell phone industry.

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