Inspiration from billionaire mompreneur of 4, Sara Blakely
Spanx founder is full of wisdom on being a working mum, business and life
Sometimes I struggle to stay inspired as we get swamped in the mundaneness of our routines. That’s when my energy starts to stagnate and I feel like I’m getting into a rut. Sara Blakely’s story was my most recent inspiring read, so I thought it might inspire you too!
Maybe you saw it in the news: Founder of intimate wear brand Spanx, Sara Blakely recently sold majority stake in her company to global investment firm Blackstone, that valued it at US$1.2 billion, making her a billionaire. What’s more, the deal was brokered by an all-female team. (woo hoo!)
Sara’s business idea came to life when she realized that she has no underwear to wear under her tight white pants that wouldn’t be seen; nor was there anything in the market. She saw a need and launched her hosiery company in year 2000 with US$5000 she had saved from selling fax machines door-to-door.
Twelve years later with a mission to help women feel great about themselves, Spanx was making $250 million in annual sales, netting 20% profit margins and was valued at $1 billion.
At age 41, with a 3-year old in tow, Blakely became the youngest self-made woman to join the Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list, and one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People. Within the next 4-years later, she had 3 more children (including twins!).
On being 50 and a working mum of 4
Blakely recently turned 50, with 4 children aged 5-12, a billion-dollar company and 750 employees under her belt. And the woman is still on fire! She has a brilliant masterclass on being an entrepreneur, which is where I first found out about her and have been following her since as there is so much to learn from her.
Also, Blakely has had children at the same age as me, which makes me relate to her more; when I will be 50, my kids will be the almost the same age as hers.
A huge supporter of mums being the best people to hire, she says on her instagram, (redacted)“Seriously, the job of “Mom” is the most selfless, giving act in the world. It’s also the most rewarding and beautiful. I always say, if you want a job done, hire a Mom. They’re experts at multitasking, problem-solving, negotiating and conflict-resolution. They are put in crazy situations all the time and are forced to problem-solve. They are some of my most resourceful employees!” A good reminder as we easily forget this! “The struggle is real. The juggle is real.”
As she turned 50, she shared on instagram the most simple and underrated advice: “Be yourself. Listen to your intuition, trust your gut, and stay the course even if it feels scary. Even if your friends laugh at you, even if your family questions you. You only have one life, and deep down, you know what you’re capable of, what inspires you and what will ultimately lead you to your purpose. There’s 7.8 BILLION people out there… but only one you. You hold the keys to unlocking your greatest potential and it all starts one thing: Be you.” Another important reminder. I need to write all these down on post-its and stick them on my desk :)
On alone time and mum guilt
Blakely spent 7 days alone when she turned 50, it’s all she wanted and she was gifted it. This is what she says regarding alone time and mum guilt: “My wish is that everyone takes time alone. Don’t wait until you’re 50. We have so much distraction we must be diligent about our sacred silence and time with our own inner thoughts. Put guilt aside, all you Moms especially, and do it. It makes you a better mother. Remember, oxygen mask on you first and then the kids. If mama ain’t ok, nobody is.” So SO important. Again we often forget the importance of this, or choose not to prioritize it.
I could go on and on with so many quotes from Sara Blakely. If you are looking for more, do check out Sara’s instagram; almost every post has some good advice on topics ranging from business, working, and unlocking your potential to being a mum and having a healthy relationships.
Inspiration has a huge role to play in shifting our energy towards things that are bigger and brighter. If you look for it, it’s not hard to find as there are so many brilliant people in this world and the internet brings us a huge step closer to them.
Sara Blakely’s success is so inspiring to me and her energy is incredibly motivating. When I realized she has 4 small kids, I was blown away. We really have no excuses to achieve our maximum potential. We just need to get on with it.
Happy Monday x