Sara Blakely, the CEO of Spanx, began her entrepreneurial success story through many accidents. Blakely graduated from Yale University, unsure of where she wanted to go with her career. She described feeling stuck–she worked a short stint at Disney Land and sold fax machines door to door. “One day, I pulled off the side of the road I remember thinking, ‘Call the director, call the writer, call the producer, I’m out, this is not my life,'” Blakely narrated.
While trying to figure out what to do with her career, Blakely began to notice how unflattering and useless a lot of undergarments for women were. During her free time, Blakely spent two years developing her first prototype undergarment.
Although Blakely’s story looks like it was a success overnight, she feels it began much earlier in her teenage years. Her father lent her Wayne Dyer’s tape set called “How to be a no-limit person,” which gave her a lot of new ideas about life, which ultimately translated into the world of business.
Having been in a mindset to receive Dyer’s message, Blakely now feels blessed. “I have just spent the last 16 years of my life in school and everyone had been teaching me what to think, but no-one had taught me how to think,” Blakely recalled. For Blakely, this is the moment Spanx truly began.
But having a great idea is not enough, you have to be willing to push the boundaries and do things your way. Blakely provides really useful advice on how to push your next great business idea to the next level. To find out how she advised the audience to find ideas, go take a look at our Executive Summary for more about Blakely’s story and how to find your idea for growth!