3 Business Traits to Learn from Spanx Creator Sara Blakely
In 12 years, Sara Blakely, founder of the women's undergarments, Spanx, made famous by Oprah, has learned much about being a successful business woman. Now a mother to 3 year old son, Lazer, and owner of her privately held company worth $1 billion according to Forbes (CNN), business women can learn much from Blakely's meteoric rise to fame.
1. Find the weakness in your business and work to make it a strength. In an interview with CNN, Blakely says that when she finally got her undergarments in some stores, she "learned very quickly that [her] biggest challenge was location of the store--(Spanx were) put in the sleepiest corner." She quickly realized if she did nothing about the situation, her company would die before it even had a chance to grow and become successful.
She went to the store and started selling the products herself, just to make sure people were aware of her product. The technique worked; two years later Spanx became one of Oprah's favorite things.
2. Never give up. Blakely has faced her fair share of rejection from not passing her bar exam to working as a saleswoman selling fax machines to trying to promote Spanx. What is important is that she didn't give up, and she didn't take rejection personally. This trait allowed her to grow her business when others might have given up.
3. Don't take yourself too seriously. Blakely makes sure to delegate so she has time to spend with her son, even though she's a busy woman. She also reminds herself to have fun and relax. "Her motto is 'What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?' It's painted on a wall in all her homes and she says it reminds her to take life less seriously" (CNN).
Many businesses fail in their first five years, but thanks to her determination (and an endorsement from Oprah), Sara Blakely's business is going strong.
*Photo by pr_ip via Flickr.