When you think of the Forbes World Billionaires list it usually features some well-known names like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, but for the most part there are hundreds of names that you have never heard of, but this year a name may sound very familiar to you or at least her company and product. Spanx!
At 41, Sara Blakely is the youngest woman and self-made billionaire on the list. But what makes her story even more interesting is how she started and her drive. With $5,000 of her life savings at 27 she turned it into 1 billion. She invented the product in her apartment working on it for two years at night and on the weekends while working selling fax machines. She wrote her own patent and sent a gift basket to Oprah, which chose Spanx as the best product of the year. So an endorsement from Oprah doesn’t hurt, but it’s not just that, she continued to promote her product and never gave up. Even until this day Spanx has never formally advertised relying more on pr and word of mouth and only has about 125 employees.
In a recent interview with MSNBC her advice to other women trying to start their own business:
“Go for it, trust your gut and separate yourself, if there’s one thing, why are you different and how does your customer know quickly why you are different and what you’re offering them that is unique.”
Makes me want to go invent something right now, or hey I’ve always wanted to but you have to remember that nothing happens overnight, but it can happen so go for it Zenspirational Women.
My belief is that whatever you do you have to believe in it, believe in yourself, work your a** off and don’t let setbacks derail you!
You can read the full Forbes cover article here.