Connect with us


Why Sara Blakely Is So Successful



sara blakely spanx

Sara Blakely is an American businesswoman and the founder of multi-million dollar underwear company, Spanx.

Blakely has been recognised in both the Top one hundred influential people, and Top one hundred powerful women in the World.


Sara Blakely’s Early Years

sara blakely billionaireSara Blakely’s original plan was to become an attorney, however, when she failed an entrance exam into law school she was forced to change paths. She accepted a job at Orlando, Florida’s Walt Disney World where she worked for three months. Blakely supplemented her Disney income with work as a stand-up comedian.

After the short period with Walt Disney World, Blakely took a job selling fax machines door to door for office supply company, Danka. By the age of just twenty five Blakely had proven quite the salesperson and was promoted to sales trainer.

Part of Blakely’s ‘uniform’ was to wear pantyhose which she disliked. She didn’t like having to wear them in Florida’s hot climate and didn’t like the look of the seamed foot when wearing open-toed shoes. However, she did like the way they eliminated panty lines and made her body look firmer.


“It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.” – Sara Blakely

The Birth of ‘Spanx’

sara blakely billionaireWhen Blakely was going to a private party she cut off the feet of her pantyhose whilst wearing them under a new pair of slacks as an experiement. They consistently rolled up her legs but she did achieve the look she desired.

When Blakely was twenty seven she moved to Atlanta, Georgia and whilst continuing to work at Danka she spent two years and $5,000 on the research and development of her idea. Rather than spending another $5,000 on legal fees she wrote her own patent for her product after buying a textbook on the topic. Blakely then went to North Carolina, home of the most Hosiery mills in the USA to pitch her idea but she was rejected by every representative. They were all used to dealing with big companies and didn’t see any potential in her idea.


Sara Blakely’s estimated net worth is $1 Billion.


sara blakely billionaireTwo weeks later Blakely received a call from a male mill operator who wanted to support her concept after being persuaded by his two daughters.  As she went on to develop her idea, Blakely realized that the hoisiery manufacturing agency was run by males who weren’t using the products that they were creating.

The prototype product was finished within one year with Blakely and her female family and friends testing the product. This was a big step for the industry as testing on people had never happened up to that point. Whilst making progress on refining her product, Blakely noticed that the industry was using the same sized waistband for all hosiery products. For the development of her product, Blakely had variable sized waistbands to account for different sized customers.


“I think failure is nothing more than life’s way of nudging you that you are off course.” – Sara Blakely

sara blakely billionaireBlakely’s vision was gathering momentum, she proceeded to revolutionize the packaging of hosiery products. She realised that all of the current packaging was beige, white or grey, featuring the same type of model. Blakely opted for bold, red packaging with animated images of different looking women.

The next stop was to find a name for her product and she grew increasingly frustrated after not arriving at a decision after eighteen months of thinking. When she was in the final stages of deciding on a name she wanted to model the ‘k’ sound in companies like Coca-Cola and Kodak and this was further compounded by her knowledge of the ‘k’ sound getting the best reaction from a comedy crowd. Originally, Blakely was going to call her product ‘Spanks’, however she switched it to ‘Spanx‘ when her research revealed that constructed names were more successful and easier to trademark.


The Growth of Spanx

sara blakely billionaireBlakely managed to secure a meeting with a buyer for the Neiman Marcus Group, in which she changed into her innovative product in the ladies restroom to prove its worth. As a result of the meeting, Spanx was sold in seven of Neiman Marcus’ stores, with Bloomingdales, Saks and Bergdorf Goodman quickly following suit. Not resting there, Blakely sent a basket of products to the office of Oprah Winfrey with a card explaining her vision.

Blakely was handling all aspects of the business: marketing, logistics, product positioning and more. In the latter part of the year 2000, Oprah named Spanx one of her ‘Favourite Products’ which caused a boom in popularity and sales. Spanx achieved $4 Million of sales in it’s first year and $10 Million in its second year. Blakely signed a contract with QVC, the shopping channel around this time and sold 8,000 pairs of Spanx in six minutes!


Sara Blakely’s Billion Dollar Empire



Sara Blakely has built a net worth in excess of $1 Billion by using failure as a stepping stone, always innovating and believing in her vision. Her ability to find a solution has always been incredible, all the while enjoying her life and keeping a smile on her face.

Had Blakely passed herLaw exam, Spanx would not exist and she would most likely not be a billionaire. Rather than allow failure to get her down she used it as a springboard for success.

What have you failed at that could be the reason you are now pushing towards your ultimate success and happiness?

Jermaine Harris is a Coach, Trader, Author and Speaker. He is passionate about human potential and empowering others to change their lives in the same way he did. Jermaine believes that the opposite of being 'stuck in a rut' is possible and explains how in his book, The Rut Buster. Get to know Jermaine better at:

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Why Entrepreneurial Innovation Matters More Than Ever

Innovation and disruption are a key part of thought leadership online. But most online business owners today are blinded by tactics



Image Credit: Unsplash

Innovation is a topic often discussed in software applications, app development, and the world of tech. However; you don’t hear it as much in the online business space, particularly among service providers. But innovation is the lifeblood of market leadership.  (more…)

Continue Reading


How to Lose a Team in 10 Days: Are You a True Leader?

The dichotomy between good leadership and poor leadership is that you are either showing up for your people or expecting your people to show up for you.



Image Credit: Unsplash

“If you don’t like working here, I’m not going to force any of you to stay. Put in your transfer or resignation papers and I will sign them today and you can go work someplace else.” (more…)

Continue Reading


How You Can Start Networking in Style in 2023

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make



Image Credit: Unsplash

Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

Grow your business

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.

Continue Reading


5 Keys to Building a Valuable Business

There are so many reasons to start a business. The freedom, the flexibility, and the control may be appealing.



Image Credit: Unsplash

There are so many reasons to start a business. The freedom, the flexibility, and the control may be appealing. Or the chance to make money doing something you truly love and the ability to be your own boss and set your own hours.  (more…)

Continue Reading