by Sunil Bali, 18-01-15

You may not have heard of 43 year old Sara Blakely.

Blakely launched a start-up with $5000 in savings to becoming the youngest self-made female billionaire in history.

She grew her bottom line by quite literally removing her customer’s bottom line. You see, Blakely gave the world Spanx: the world’s first invisible pants.

Given her notable first in the Global Rich List, you might think that Blakely is a completely driven alpha female. Interviewers have remarked on her incredible energy and passion for helping women look and feel their best, but also on a vulnerability, empathy and honesty, which they have found most endearing.

These qualities are reflected in Blakely’s answer to the question, “What advice would you give entrepreneurs?"

  1. Pay it forward. Solve people’s problems, make their lives easier, make them happier and the money will follow.
  2. Go with your gut. It seems to know things your head doesn’t.
  3. Push through your fear. Blakely says she was terrified when she started her business and still pushes herself through her fears every day, which include flying all over the world, despite a chronic fear of flying.
  4. Spend time each day on your own: ideally at least half an hour in silence. Blakely says that the best ideas always come to her while she is having her evening soak in the bath or whilst driving. The drive to her office only takes six minutes, but Blakely often takes a longer, scenic route which takes over forty minutes.
    In a similar vein, the one thing that you’ll find in billionaire Warren Buffet’s diary on any given day is a white space: "I make sure that I have a Me-ting booked with myself every day," says Buffet. "I usually go for a long walk and find that all sorts of wonderful ideas pop into my head."
  5. Believe in your work and treat failure as a key part of the process. Blakely said she heard the word "No" over a thousand times before someone first said, "Yes" to her idea.

If it’s good enough for the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire …..


The distinction between having guts and having balls:

Having guts – is arriving home late after a night out with the boys, being met by your wife with a broom, and having the guts to ask, "Are you still cleaning or flying somewhere?"

Having balls – is arriving home late after a night out with the boys, smelling of perfume and beer, with lipstick on your collar, and slapping your wife on the bottom and having the balls to say, "You’re next chubby."

Medically speaking, there is no difference. Both of the above are extremely hazardous to health and can result in death.