This case study may brighten your day.
Sara Blakely is the youngest selfmade woman to join this year’s billionaire’s club-turning $5,000 in savings into a new retail category: shapewear, according to Forbes, March 26, 2012.
Ms. Blakely once had her heart set on going to law school, but according to the Forbes article, she performed poorly on the LSAT exam for law school admission. So what if she lacked high analytic intellect? Only 9% of decamillionaires, both men and women, indicated that their choice of career was based upon aptitude test results [The Millionaire Mind]. Like most people who are destined to succeed, she took another route. Before Ms. Blakely started her own business, she spent 7 years as a cold calling fax machine sales professional.
. . .found herself being escorted out of buildings. ‘I’d get business cards ripped up in my face because I was so soliciting.’
According to my data base, the profession of selling is the most often mentioned first job of selfmade millionaires (14%). Selling is a great way to both enhance and test your self discipline and tenacity.
As a salesperson, Ms. Blakely understood that her appearance was a very important part of her profession. As such, she wanted to look her best at all times. She realized however that some of the foundation products on the market were lacking both in style and in function. After much trial and error, she invented Spanx, a slimming undergarment. This product along with her high creative intellect and enormous drive has made her a billionaire!
After reading the full article, I noted many similarities between Ms Blakely and other successful people. As part of my research for Millionaire Women Next Door, 313 women nationwide who own and operate successful businesses wrote an essay, at my request. The title of the essay was: “Suggestions about How Young People Might Become Successful Adults.”
In essence, they actually wrote “How I Became a Successful Business Owner Myself.” After completing an exhaustive content analysis of the central themes and components of these essays, I determined that perseverance was the factor most often attributed to success [51% of these women stated as such].
Most respondents reported success only after initial failure and after strong discouragement from family and friends. There is a sense in which these individuals seem driven to overcome obstacles and to prove their critics wrong. Most felt that a key subcomponent of perseverance was having strong aspirations, a strong desire of ambition as for advancement, honor, etc. Respondents stressed that staying focused on the desired result (persevering) over extended periods of time is the key to success. Millionaire Women Next Door