Business Quotes and Tips from Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely is the founder and creator of Spanx, the company offering body-shaping undergarments that have become a global sensation. She is one of the youngest self-made female billionaire in America. Filling the void between traditional underwear and heavy duty girdle, she cut the feet out of control-top pantyhose and made her modifications to create Spanx. For more of her story, read Sara Blakely: Success from an Ingenious Invention

Here are some quotes and tips from Sara Blakely:




What you don’t know can become your greatest asset if you’ll let it and if you have the confidence to say, I’m going to do it anyway even though I haven’t been taught or somebody hasn’t shown me the way.

— Sara Blakely, From the article “Billionaire Sara Blakely says secret to success is failure” by Robert Frank, CNBC.com, October 16, 2013

My dad growing up encouraged me and my brother to fail. The gift he was giving me is that failure is (when you are) not trying versus the outcome. It’s really allowed me to be much freer in trying things and spreading my wings in life.

— Sara Blakely, From the article “Billionaire Sara Blakely says secret to success is failure” by Robert Frank, CNBC.com, October 16, 2013

Believe in your idea, trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to fail. It took me two years from the time I had the idea for Spanx until the time I had a product in hand ready to sell into stores. I must have heard the word “no” a thousand times. If you believe in your idea 100%, don’t let anyone stop you! Not being afraid to fail is a key part of the success of Spanx.

— Sara Blakely, From “10 Lessons I Learned from Sara Blakely That You Won’t Hear in Business School”, Kathy Caprino, Forbes.com, May 23, 2012

My dad used to actually encourage me to fail. And we would, my brother and me, sit at the dinner table, and he would ask us what we’d failed at that week. He was giving me such a gift in life and that was reframing my thinking of failure. Because for me now, failure is about not trying — not the outcome.

— Sara Blakely, From the article, “The dinnertime tradition that helped create Spanx” by Caroline McMillan Portillo, BizJournals.com, Sept. 2, 2014