Recently on NPR’s "How I Built This," Sara Blakely, a notoriously hard-working mom and founder of Spanx, spoke candidly about her shapewear invention and becoming the youngest female billionaire in America.
“I would feel very defeated,” Blakely told NPR when recalling her early days as a fax-machine salesperson before she came up with her big idea. “Many times I would get in my car and drive around the block … just trying to convince myself to walk through the door.” When she finally did, “sometimes they were small offices where all of them would turn around and look … sometimes I’d say, ‘Oh sorry, I’m in the wrong place.’”
After completing a prototype for Spanx and locating the hosiery buyer for Neiman Marcus via the yellow pages, Sara flew to the Neiman Marcus headquarters in Dallas for a ten-minute pitch where she said, “In the middle of the meeting I could feel I was losing her (the buyer), so I said, ‘You know what … will you come with me to the bathroom? … I want to show you my own product before and after.”
It was that kind of tenacity and unwavering belief in her idea that launched an empire.