Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely – the founder of Spanx and youngest self-made billionaire.

Sara’s father taught his children how important it was to be willing to fail.

Be Willing to Fail

If your parents had asked you at the end of every day ‘What did you fail at today?”  do you think your attitude to failure would be different or less critical?  I think so. Usually when we are not willing to fail, we criticise ourselves, we worry if others will think less of us and we don’t want to look stupid to the outside world. This self criticism often stops us from trying something new next time.

When I started the business centre. It had large glass windows – everyone could see it wasn’t full of tenants when we started. During the early days while we were building reputation, the yawning empty office spaces spelled failure to me. That lasted until, with time and recommendations, the business centre offices filled up. Eventually, clients needed to reserve spaces in advance. So all that worrying was a waste of energy. I had not been willing to fail. It was my mindset.

Instead I could have seen things differently – I could have been grateful that I’d had the courage to start something new. I wish I’d read Sara’s story back then.

Get Started

In the article attached below, she gives 10 recommendations to people inspired to start a new business:

  • Fail Big – stretch yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • Visualise your goal (in N.L.P. consultations we would encourage your to use sound, colour, movement and personal involvement to really get into the visualising process and make it REAL).
  • Keep your ideas to yourself. This is something I strongly agree with. If I’d listened to friends and advisers, having no experience or capital, I would never have started my Hong Kong business. Friends are well-meaning, but they shoot down your ideas in the process of helping you not take risks.
  • Don’t take “no” for an answer. Banks and investors like to back people who are already successful. As every salesperson knows, you have to go through a number of refusals before you get the answer  you want.
  • Hire people you like and trust. Enthusiasm and belief in the product or service creates a good working environment.
  • You don’t have to follow any specific order of doing things. Even in the world of websites, experts advise to put the website up now, before you are ready. Let the process be refined from there.
  • Don’t stop yourself from pursuing an idea because you think you don’t have the ability – you can hire people with ability.
  • You CAN start with a small budget – don’t believe you need to float a company just to get started.
  • Control your setting up costs. Do what’s needed only when it’s needed. Concentrate on what’s top priority to move forward.
  • Break the mould. You can always do things differently to the way everyone has done them before.
Sara Blakely – Lessons you won’t learn in business school Video

Photo credit: Spanx.com

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