How Sara Blakely lost her way to a billion dollars: 8 years ago Sara lost in the finale of Richard Branson’s reality TV show “Rebel Billionaire”. The loss was one of many that turned Sara into the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire…
Sara’s entire life has been about failure. She says “My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
In the 1990s Sara became an expert in failure by selling fax machines (remember those?) and was often so terrified of meeting prospects she would burst into tears and drive around the block to calm down before her sales calls.
Overheating from the stress of it, she decided to cut the feet off her pantyhose to cool down. That was her ‘aha’ moment. As she says “When I cut the feet out of my pantyhose that one time, I saw it as my sign.” She decided to start a business to sell the footless pantyhose in 1998 with just $5,000 – all of her savings – and called the company “Spanx”.
Did the failure stop then? No – “When I invented Spanx I heard ‘no’ for two years. It didn’t faze me. I didn’t have a special ability, it was sheer drive and telling myself to keep going.”
Working from her kitchen, she made a push for publicity, which simply means your failure becomes more public. For example, her experience with the English: “On the BBC, I was asked what Spanx could do for women in the U.K. I said, ‘It smoothes and separates your fanny.’ The interviewer looked mortified. I had no idea what was going on, so I kept rambling on about fannies until he stopped me and said, ‘I think you mean bum.’ The word fanny means vagina in England.”
Her publicity led her to Oprah and Richard Branson’s “Rebel Billionaire” in 2005. She ended up losing that too, but the show gave her a chance to realise what she really wanted to do with her future success – Start a charity for women. Branson gave her $750,000 to start her charity, the Sarah Blakely Foundation, to support women leaders.
What happens when your failure rate goes up? Your luck rate goes up too.
To face her failures, Sara had luck on her back – literally!
“I found my lucky red backpack from college in my mom’s attic and became determined that it was going to change my path for Spanx because I kept hearing no, no, no. It went with me every step of the way, to the point of being made fun of because I went to Neiman Marcus headquarters with this old backpack as my presentation bag. Now, with the Sarah Blakely Foundation, every woman we send to college or help start a business receives a lucky red backpack. They’re usually more excited about that than the money, which I totally get. The backpack is a symbol of their potential.”
THE BIGGEST RISK
This year Sara Blakely became the youngest female Billionaire in the world, with Spanx generating over $250 million in annual revenue. Sara puts this down to her sheer determination:
“The biggest risk in life is not risking. Every risk you take in life is in direct proportion to the reward. If I’m afraid of something, it’s the next thing I have to go do. That’s just the way I’ve been.”
What are your big dreams? Where are your greatest risks?
Get your own lucky charm on your back, cut off the feet of whatever is holding you back, turn on the music and take the path that Sara took.
Today, 41 year-old Sara makes many speeches to inspire other entrepreneurs, and even the song she uses to get in her zone is the anthem to failure. As she says – “Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ is my go-to song to pump myself up if I’m having a tough time or if I get really nervous right before a speech.”
Now that she’s a billionare, her mission is “World Butt Domination” through Spanx and supporting women through her foundation, which has donated $17.5 million to charities supporting girls and women in South Africa.
Her failure has meant her wealth has come with humility, which is a different kind of wealth: “I feel like money makes you more of who you already are. If you’re an a**hole, you become a bigger a**hole. If you’re nice, you become nicer. Money is fun to make, fun to spend and fun to give away.”
Use Sara’s story to inspire your day: Lose yourself and win the game.
Keep Making Magic,
Fast Forward your Business
This march i am running 4 events in Australia. Over 3000 people have attended the Fast Forward your Business events that spanned across 5 countries last year and now you can get the best and all the updates on the 10 Waves in business
At this event you will learn:
- What the TOP 10 Trends for 2013 will be.
- Which of the trends in 2012 have already been surpassed by more effective technology.
- Where you should be focusing your attention to achieve maximum return in 2013, based on your specific business and industry.
- The most effective business models that are working today and are different to the ones even just 12 months ago.
- The very latest innovations at the cutting edge (Roger has just returned from Silicon Valley with some amazing updates).
- A clear plan on what to do, what not to do, and what to change to get a 10x increase in results in your business.
- What you can do today to build your GLOBAL business simpler than it may even be to continue growing your current local business.
You’ll be connecting with some really influential people from all areas of industry in your area who are on similar path to you, people who are focused on making one heck of a difference in their business, the people they work with and the community around them.
Make sure you book yourself in now and secure your place
Click here to see what people have to say about FFyB
Vision Villas, Bali’s Personal Enrichment Resort
As a valued customer you get to know first about great deals at our resort in Bali. Vision Villas is a boutique resort tailored to travelers and groups who seek to retreat, reflect, revive and renew. Located away from Bali’s tourist belt, Vision Villas offers a seventeen room retreat tailored to learning and discovery, with luxurious rooms, water gardens, gorgeous outdoor pavilions and Bali’s most comprehensive library of books and DVDs – covering all subjects from health, wealth and leadership to relationships and personal growth. Vision Villas creates the perfect opportunity and environment for a life changing experience. A haven of tranquil seclusion; it is the perfect location for relaxation, introspection and transformation.
Vision Villas – Rejuvenating Deal
7 nights 8 days accommodation with daily breakfast for two.
Transfer in/out from and to airport.
Welcome drink and cool towel.
Welcome tropical fruits.
Free wi-fi usage across the resort.
One time 1 hour Balinese massage for two.
One time 30 minutes Foot Massage for two.
One afternoon tea with Balinese sweets for two.
One packaged Balinese dinner for two.
One free shuttle to Ubud or Sanur Beach
Late check out.
For ONLY US$669
To book please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren Buffett Revealed
Bloomberg Game Changers” profiles Warren Buffett. Now in his eighties, Buffett has – for decades – held an unparalleled position in American finance. He is not only a legendary investor with an astounding success rate, and a billionaire forty times over; he is also – by far – the most respected businessman in America.
This program includes interviews with Buffett, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, his Berkshire Hathaway partner Charlie Munger, his daughter Susie Buffett, early investor Chuck Peterson, newspaper publisher Stan Lipsey, former Salomon CEO John Guttfreund and Vice Chairman Deryck Maughan, and Buffett biographers Roger Lowenstein and Alice Schroeder.