What I Learned from the Youngest Self-Made Female Billionaire
Sara Blakely, founder of women’s slimming undergarments company, Spanx was the guest speaker at this year’s Inc Woman’s Summit.
As the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, I was excited to hear her journey.
Wisdom from the Youngest Self-Made Female Billionaire
Focus on the problem. People don’t buy products, they buy the problem you solve.
Being underestimated gives you a competitive edge and advantage. Initially it was hard, because no-one believed in my product. But If you don’t feel worthy of achieving success or money, you’re going to self sabotage.
I think very positively about money. Money simply holds a magnifying glass to who you are.
What you don’t know can be your biggest enemy if you let it, but it ensures I go about things differently.
The only way you can affect change is if you do things differently. I fumbled my way through the whole process using gut and intuition.
When I was 16, a series of tragedies impacted my life. My best friend was killed in front of me, which was devastating.
Then my parents split up a few months later. When my dad moved out, he handed me a cassette tape called, ‘How to be a no limit person,’ by Wayne Dyer.
Through listening to those tapes, I did so much pre-work on myself to prepare to live an entrepreneurial life. I got all that from those tapes.
My friends would laugh at me, but fast forward 15 years later I ended up on the front cover of Forbes.
A few of my friends telephoned saying: “Damn, I should have listened to those tapes!”
On Building a Team
Hire your weakness as soon as you can afford to. I learned very quickly what I was good at and what I needed support in. My greatest talents are in inventing and doing marketing - so that’s where I like to play.
I still have crippling self doubt, but try not to let that hinder me.
When feeling stuck, I still listen to Wayne Dyer tapes to help center myself. I have key people in my life who help to build me up. I’ve had self doubt the whole entire journey. It’s very normal.
My real mentors are my mum and grandmother. As well as the women that came before me that didn’t have the same opportunities as me. I get inspiration from them and stay connected to that.