SPANX founder Sara Blakely

When she was on stage with me at 10X Growth Conference, SPANX founder Sara Blakely shared how she sold fax machines door-to-door for seven years. 

The “why” that has been told throughout the years of how SPANX came to be was only half of Sara Blakely’s story. She laid the groundwork for what would eventually become a $1.2 billion company after a really bad day.

This is how Sara used bad circumstances as motivation instead of letting them defeat her. 

When one door slams in your face, another opens

People were sometimes unkind to Sara Blakely during the seven years she sold fax machines door-to-door.

Doors were slammed in her face. Prospective customers ripped up her business cards in her face as they pointed to “no soliciting” signs. One day, these rejections hit her especially hard. 

Sara pulled her car over to the side of the road and she started crying. She just couldn’t believe this was her life. That’s when she made the decision to change it. The first thing she did when she got home was write down everything that she was good at. 

Turns out, selling was the only thing Sara Blakely was truly good at! And the reason was she enjoyed providing something to others they needed and would improve their lives. 

Fax machines weren’t exactly it. 

Then, she had a wild idea. What if she sold her own product? 

Dear Diary

After that terrible, awful, no-good day, Sara wrote something down in her journal. It was her way of putting what she wanted into existence. She wrote: 

“I will invent a product that I can sell to millions of people and that will make them feel good.”

— Sara Blakely long before founding SPANX

The legendary night she pulled off the feet of her control top pantyhose so she could wear white pants to a party happened two years later.

Blakely knew that this could be the idea she had hoped for. The rest, as they say, is history. Sara Blakely became a billionaire and we benefit from her line of SPANX shapewear products. 

I am glad she gave up fax machines to build her empire. 

Next up at 10X Growth Conference, we have a superstar speaker lineup in store.

Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from billionaires just like SPANX founder Sara Blakely and secure your ticket right now.

Featured image source: Fortune Live Media, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr

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