Named the youngest female self-made billionaire in America, 41-year-old Sara Blakely has credited her philosophy on failure with her success.
Experts say people who fail big typically succeed big, partially because we can only succeed if we’re actually acting on something. Named the youngest female self-made billionaire in America, 41-year-old Sara Blakely has credited her philosophy on failure with her success.
In a recent interview, she said, “'My dad encouraged us to fail…Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn't have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying.”
In her 20s, Sara’s career failures included not passing preliminary tests to become a lawyer. Instead of accepting an offer from Disney to be a chipmunk character, she chose to sell fax machines door-to-door for several years, which taught her a lot about persistence as she continued to hear “no.”
After identifying a gap between regular underwear and sometimes painful girdles, she developed the idea for Spanx: comfortable body-shaping undergarments that give a “blemish-free look” and started with some pantyhose that she cut the feet off of and modified.
And after many manufacturers and lawyers saying “no,” she finally heard “yes.” The rest is history.