5 Inspiring Career Lessons From Spanx CEO Sarah Blakely

There is nothing more inspiring than reading the stories of women who proved the world wrong, built their business from scratch and went through hell and back to achieve where they are nowadays!

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Sarah Blakely is one of these women. With just 5.000 dollars in savings, a lot of failing and getting back up and loads of hard work, she managed to build her business Spanx into a multi-billion business.

How did she do that and how did she manage to stand out from other brands because, let’s be honest, there are 1000 of tights and underwear brands out there.

 

She founded the company at age 27 in her Atlanta apartment after her ideas were turned down by several companies. She didn’t have money for advertising so she had to be creative with promoting her brand and stimulating sales.

Oprah picked up on her wonderful products and sales went through the roof. Nowadays Sarah belongs to one of the world’s most influential women and we can learn a whole lot from here. Here are 5 inspiring life lessons from Power Woman Sarah Blakely:

#1 – Fail big

At the CGD team, we often talk about the fact that failure is an essential part on the road to success and Sarah confirms that. She believes that failure is not an outcome, but a lack of trying, not going that extra mile out of your comfort zone and trying to be more and better than the day before. Failing big is a good thing!

#2 – Visualize it

We love visualizing our goals and Sarah is also a  big fan it! She saw herself being interviewed at the Oprah Show 15 years before it happened. She knew it was going to happen, how or when she did not know, that were the blanks she had to fill in herself.

#3 – Don’t take no for an answer

“Believe in your idea, trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to fail. It took me two years from the time I had the idea for Spanx until the time I had a product in hand ready to sell into stores. I must have heard the word “no” a thousand times. If you believe in your idea 100%, don’t let anyone stop you! Not being afraid to fail is a key part of the success of Spanx.”

#4 – You can build a billion dollar business starting from scratch

You don’t have to be rich to develop your amazing dreams and goals into a super successful business. Sarah just had 5.000 dollars in savings and managed to secure a manufacturer, design her product, legally protect her product, market it and find buyers to sell it to.

#5 – You CAN figure it out

You can! Sarah knew absolutely nothing about women’s underwear, setting up a business, product development, marketing or other disciplines that come with running a company, but that did not stop her and she managed to figure it out. She did research on what she did not know and hired out the disciplines she couldn’t do. Never stop yourself from working on your dreams because you think you don’t have what it takes.