I’ve bought a pair of Spanx. Okay I’ve bought and worn a few Spanx products in my life. And so have a lot of other women: Sara Blakely went from an $11,000 a year salary to over $350 million* a year in sales. That kind of success is enough to get most of us who dream of a million dollar business excited – but wait, there’s more …she launched her business around something she was passionate about.
I read about Sara’s story in a USA Today article (that quoted Melinda Emerson). Here are the critical components to her formula for success:
Expertise and Passion: Her day job was selling fax machines. She liked selling and was good at it, but wanted to sell something she was passionate about.
Problem: Sara didn’t just find something to sell – she found a problem to solve. She needed something – didn’t have it, couldn’t find it and so she created it: body slimming shapers and undergarments for women.
Paying Market: Like I noted above – $350 million dollars in sales. She got her biggest boost when Oprah included Spanx in one her Favorite Things shows. And supermodel Tyra Banks talked about them on her show all the time.
Top Tip: “Cure your addiction to your paycheck,” she says. “Only 3% of businesses will qualify for venture capital or angel funding. You need to start saving 20% to 40% of your check, pay off your credit cards, cars. Your ability to save will determine your success.”
Lessons Learned: “She says that her time selling fax machines to strangers taught her that “no” doesn’t mean a closed door. It just means to work harder.”
Here’s the link to the full article: How to work full-time while launching a business, Spanx
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