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Sara Blakely: 7 Life Lessons from the Founder of SPANX

sara blakely

1. Stay Motivated, Even in the Face of Loss

Sara Blakely lost 11 individuals by her early 30s as a result of discrete incidences. She witnessed her companion get struck by a car when she was 16 years old. She also lost two other prom dates while she was a high school student, which added to her misery.

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The young entrepreneur learned how to enjoy life to the fullest after suffering so much loss at an early age. She claims that one of her biggest motivators is death in an article for Forbes. “I believe that there is a sense of urgency about life when you encounter death at the age of sixteen. I am always considering my mortality.

It inspires me, I think. Your number may be up at any time.

This kind of thinking caused Blakely to leave Florida and travel to Atlanta in order to realize her 1998 ambition of founding SPANX. Then 27 years old, she started taking steps toward starting her business with $5,000 in life savings.

She ran her business out of the home she lived with her best friend and roommate, Laura Walker, during the first several years of her operation. Sadly, a horseback riding accident claimed Laura’s life not long after that. Blakely relates the tale of how the memories of her buddy inspired her to accomplish her destiny and purpose in a touching Facebook post.

2. Embrace Failure

Sara Blakely’s optimism is one of her most charming traits. Blakely discovered from an early age that failure is nothing to be scared of. She claims that her father gave her a weekly lesson on how to handle failure in an interview with Times of Startups.

He used to quiz us on our weekly failures as kids. He would be upset if we didn’t have something. It shaped my mentality at a young age, teaching me that failure is not the result of failing to attempt. Be brave and try again,” she advises.

She claims that she learnt to unearth her hidden gifts in times of disappointment or error, rather than focused on what she terms “oops.”

When things go wrong, she advises people to look for the beautiful rather than hide themselves up in terror. “I began to see that everything had some wonderful gem that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. I frequently bring up my failures in front of the staff at SPANX to encourage people to fail.

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I always discuss things in an open manner. In a video made for Business Insider, she discusses failure and how it may be worth it if you can learn from it and laugh about it.

3. Solve a Real-Life Problem

Sara Blakely says she “launched SPANX as a disappointed consumer. I just wanted to wear white trousers to a party and have nothing show below them” in a MasterClass video. She chopped the feet off a pair of pantyhose and realized she had the beginnings of a billion dollar business. On the basis of this idea, she was launching a firm.

Women struggled with how to create a flawless illusion beneath their garments before SPANX. Blakely was well aware of the difficulties of finding uncomfortable answers to the issue of showing underwear.

Although the idea of shapewear is not new, Blakely discovered when studying her market how disconnected the whole sector was from its intended customers. It was the ideal chance to both generate money and assist her target audience with a practical problem.

Even though her answer to this issue was straightforward, it was nonetheless a unique, creative thought that addressed a genuine issue.

4. Learn How to Work on a Shoestring Budget

Entrepreneur millionaire Sara Blakley is the epitome of grit. With no money set out for marketing or promotion, she launched SPANX. The business only relied on social ties, networking, and word-of-mouth from clients.

Before there was affiliate marketing, advertising, and sponsored content, Blakely paid her friends to appear in different places and promote her product. She would really pay individuals to come up and appear thrilled when she scheduled a live demonstration at a store.

Most significantly, Blakely developed a laser-like concentration on garnering media exposure for her goods. She was aware that Oprah Winfrey, an entertainer, shared her target market. She mailed a prototype and a handwritten message to her show.

The worker who was dressing the celebrity saw the pair of SPANX. Oprah bought the product after using it. Blakely was even highlighted on her iconic “Favorite Things” show because she liked SPANX so much.

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Blakely claims that she didn’t plan on being rich overnight with her sales and marketing technique. She said, “Make it. Selling it Increase awareness

5. Keep Going, No Matter What

The world was introduced to Sara Blakely and SPANX in 2000 thanks to The Oprah Winfrey Show. She admitted to the talk show presenter during her interview that she nearly gave up after a year of product development. In a desperate attempt to keep going, she prayed to the cosmos for another sign.

On that particular day, Oprah was on television, informing her viewers that she always rips the feet off of her pantyhose, especially while wearing sandals. After then, she claimed, there was no going back. Even though she was constantly being rejected, she was still making SPANX happen.

Blakely’s tenacity and determination were the only assets needed to begin the firm because she had no prior expertise in fashion, retail, or business ownership. One patent lawyer believed he was being played on Candid Camera because her company plan was so terrible.

She learnt how to submit her own patent applications without any help from anyone. The claims section was ultimately completed by the same lawyer so Blakely would have legal protection as a business owner.

Blakely had faith in her abilities and in the worth and advantages her goods offered consumers. She said that the buyer from Neiman Marcus on her first significant sale just wasn’t getting it. She couldn’t fathom why SPANX would decide to sell. Sara Blakely is vivacious, friendly, and humorous.

In typical fashion, she interrupted the business discussion and asked the customer to join her into the restroom. The businesswoman entered the restroom, put on her SPANX, and waited for the customer’s response. It goes without saying that her sales strategy worked.

The buyer was astounded by the impact SPANX had. She suddenly realized the effectiveness of Blakely’s product.

6. Innovate the Industry

As they go through product creation, entrepreneurs should thoroughly research their industry, as Sara Blakely is a great illustration of. She investigated the shortcomings of the shapewear market before creating SPANX and identified areas for development.

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Blakely visited the North Carolina plants in person after making fruitless cold calls to producers. She discovered that the majority of hosiery businesses were run and controlled by males. She also learned that none of the goods had undergone any human testing.

Only mannequins were used for the manufacturers’ hosiery testing. She states, “And then it kind of became plain to me why they’d probably been so uncomfortable for so long,” in an interview with NPR about her novel concept.

With this knowledge, she discovered a market with opportunities for creativity. Blakely also started to change the way people talked about underwear. The SPANX movement promotes empowerment.

To make women “feel fantastic about themselves and their potential” is really their stated purpose. Although it might sound like a reach, women who deal with these issues and cultural expectations understand that it isn’t—and that’s exactly who SPANX helps.

Blakely pledged to empower women as part of the expansion of the Blakely Foundation’s goal. “I commit to invest in women because I believe it gives one of the biggest returns on investment,” says Sara Blakely in her own words.

7. Visualize Success

Sara Blakely attributes a significant portion of SPANX’s effectiveness to her visualizing routine. She started to form a very clear vision of the life she desired while selling copiers. Blakely was able to start establishing objectives for her future by picturing it. “I had a pretty distinct idea of how my life would turn out.

In a speech, she states, “My hasty decision was to be self-employed, build a product that I could sell to a large audience, and establish a business for myself that would continue to pay itself even if I wasn’t there.

According to Blakely, specificity is the key to visualization. She didn’t spare any details as she saw her future life and career.

For example : She also saw herself being on Oprah’s show, which, as was already indicated, would completely alter her career. Blakely is undeniably evidence that using visualization techniques may be successful.

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