Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, has an amazing and inspirational story. She is one of the most accomplished female billionaires in history. Here are a few things about Sara's story that I hope you enjoy:
Growing up at the dinner table her Dad would ask the kids, "What did you fail at today?"
Starting in 1998 she sold fax machines door to door for 7 years. Prior to that, she tried out to be Goofy at Disney world and failed because she was too short. So they made her one of the chipmunks.
After creating a prototype of Spanx in her apartment, she literally went to Neiman Marcus and waited until she got a meeting. When the lady came to meet with her she asked if she would follow her to the bathroom so she could show her underwear. Everyone else in the clothing industry told her "you can't just show up at Neiman Marcus, you have to wait until a trade show." Sara says some times it's better to not know "what you are supposed to do."
The underwear showing worked, and Neiman Marcus put the product in seven stores. In order to get things going, she called all of her friends and told them to go buy Spanx and she would reimburse them.
Next, she sent a gift basket with Spanx to Oprah, which you probably aren't supposed to do. A month later Oprah announced it as the product of the year. You can imagine the impact.
Sara encourages us to aim high. She says most of us don't aim high enough.
Her message to Moms out there that are entrepreneurs is to give yourself a break and stop beating yourself up. For a while she beat herself up over the time she put into her business, but now she does the best she can and is ok with it.
Go for it no matter what, despite fear, and make the most of the life you are given because it's not a dress rehearsal. There's always a lot of sweat behind luck.
When asked about three life lessons she would like to pass along, she said:
1) The more you experience the more you will have to offer others.
2) Smile and be kind.
3) Don't take it all too seriously, laugh along the way.