Sitting in Atlanta, GA at Spanx Headquarters in awe as Soledad O’Brien interviewed one of the most transformative business women I’ve ever met, I discovered 4 profound truths. Sara Blakely’s journey began in the most unlikely way and well before she founded Spanx. At 16, Sara’s best friend was killed by a car right in front of her while they were riding their bikes. Compounding the loss of her best friend, her parents divorced as well. To help her cope through the loss and the divorce, her father gave her a set of cassettes that completely changed the trajectory of her life. The tapes, “How to be a No-Limit Person” by Dr. Wayne Dyer transformed what was dark and tragic to one of the greatest gifts she’s ever received – a renewed mindset. Her fundamental truth is, “Your mindset is the most important gift you can give to yourself.”
There will always be something we go through in life. Things will happen, people may leave, and plans will fall though. Sara emphasized “We all have stuff that will happen to us. The difference is how you handle it. How you choose to handle it will be the sole difference in you soaring or not.”
Sara conveyed, “There’s a hidden gift and blessing in every single thing we go through in life.” From parties, games, and everywhere in between. Sara absorbed Dr. Dyer’s words and decided in a counseling session that surviving simply wasn’t enough. She made the conscious choice to thrive and soar. Her belief is, “There’s so much power in aiming high!”
After selling fax machines door-to-door for 7 years, Sara had enough and started to focus on her undergarment design. She took a weeklong vacation and instead of hitting up a beach, she drove to the manufacturing plants that kept refusing to make her product. Realizing the men who were making our undergarments weren’t spending all day in them, her passion was reignited as they yet again told her no. Taking breaks through discouragement, but never stopping, she kept going back. Eventually, one of the manufacturing plant owners who had 3 daughters as well, agreed to “help make her crazy idea” and the rest is now history.
Her unwavering conviction was the catalyst that she has used throughout her lifetime. She began with $5,000, no business background and zero contacts in the industry. However, she did have a strong mindset and belief that her idea was revolutionary and would change the lives of millions.
Her principle is “Everybody in their lifetime, at least once, has a million dollar idea. The difference is what you will do with it.” The vital lessons learned from Dr. Dyer that have now become my profound truths:
- Don’t care so much what other people think of you, don’t be consumed by that
- Visualize what you want in life, and take a mental snapshot of what that is so you always know where you’re going
- Manifest what you want by never giving up
- Let go of your fear of failure as you’ll need it in order to succeed
In all you do, live your life despite your fears. They don’t own or control you!
Alechia Reese is a strategic marketing director and domestic violence thriver who finds her greatest joy on the stage, in the kitchen, and on a plane. Transforming lives and equipping all people to succeed is her lifelong mission and she’s doing so with a little sass, lots of laughs, and quick wit to keep life fun. Stay connected with her on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter: @alechiareese