Congratulations Sara Blakely! One Billion Dollars! Her Inspirational Story.

Sara Blakely-Forbes Billionaire 2012Mar 13, 2012 – ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer recently reported on the release of Forbe’s 2012 Billionaires list. Out of the 128 new billionaires this year, two out of three are self-made. Some note worthy ABC mentions were Kevin Plank, $1.1 billion, for his “Under Armour”, a moisture absorbing sports apparel line. And Elon Musk, $2 billion for “Tesla”,  his electric car company. But ABC seemed to think Sara Blakely had a special message for us all in her Billion Dollar Journey that made the Forbes cut for her “Spanx” underwear garment that is helping millions of women look slimmer!

“Spanx will help you look smoother and slimmer in all the right places!” was inspired when Sara Blakely heard Oprah Winfrey say she made her own version of a tummy flatner, as Sara told ABC. It seems she got “the balls” to invest her life savings of $5000 in her idea from her Father.

She shares with ABC that as kids, her and her brother would sit around the dinner table and her Dad would ask “Okay kids, what did you failed at today?”.  And she would say “I tried out for this sport and I was horrible!” and her Dad would say “Way to go!” and he would high-five her. It completely reset her definition of failure.  For her brother and her it meant failure was not trying.

Then, as ABC reports, when early in life people close to her had died and her parents separated, her Dad gave his heart broken daughter some motivational cassette tapes to listen to, the Dr. Wayne Dyer series of  “How to Be a No Limit Person”.  An excerpt from the series said  “you have to understand that you are not going to get healed if you are asking for someone else to heal you”.

Even at 16 years old, Sarah said she listened to them so much she actually memorize all 10 tapes.  “I became a joke because in high school …my friends used to fight over who had to go in my car after partying all night because “she is going to make us listen to that motivational stuff!” I had them on all the time!”

She remained undaunted even when she tried to get into law school and failed the entrance exam… twice.  Even when she had to spend seven years going door to door selling fax machines.  Even when she had an idea to turn cut up panty hose into specialty underwear and lots of stores rejected her.

But her best friend and roommate, Laura Pooley, cheered her on.  She was a school teacher and she would come home from work and say “Blakely, you know you’re going to change the world” And even though Sara was selling fax machines at the time her friend Laura knew it was Sara’s destiny to achieve greatness.  But then just as “Spanx” was taking off, Laura died, hit by a car.  She says there is always these monumental things that happened to her throughout her Spanx journey on the anniversary of her friend’s passing.  Sara says it brings her so much comfort to feel like her friend is winking at her to say she is watching her and reminding her to look for the gift in everything and head for the horizon!

Sara says “People have million-dollar and billion-dollar ideas daily. You have to trust your gut and go for it. And if you fail at it, That’s Great!  I wish I was there to high-five you! Because it just means nudge, nudge, change something, do something a little different.” Every failure is definitely a gift and should not stop us in our tracks.”

Diane Sawyer leaves her report with …”Even in failure there is a gift. Find the gift and believe in yourself.”

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