With little more than an idea and a drive to find her way, Sara Blakely went from selling fax machines door-to-door to becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2012. Now the inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Spanx teaches you to open doors and close deals. Learn Sara’s customer-first approach and her tactics for prototyping, branding and building awareness, and bootstrapping your way to success.
- Finding Your Purpose
- Developing Your Big Idea
- Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Make It
- Sell It
- Build Awareness
- Marketing Case Study: Mented
- Pricing & Positioning
- Positioning Case Study: Wellround
- Building a Culture
- Culture & Growth Case Study: Fellow
- Spanx Case Studies
- Sara’s Survival Guide
1. Finding Your Purpose
Meet your instructor: self-made billionaire and founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely. Sara talks about her journey as an inventor and entrepreneur, sharing that her purpose is to serve women and make products for women better.
2. Developing Your Big Idea
Sara explains the importance of dedicated thinking time for developing your idea. Learn how to filter your ideas, how to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and when to patent your ideas.
3. Entrepreneurial Mindset
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to develop the right mindset. Sara teaches you to train your brain to embrace failure, look for hidden lessons in challenging times, visualize and set your intentions, and aim high.
Sara teaches you her time-tested prototyping tactics, including how to gather consumer feedback and capitalize on your weaknesses. She also discusses the development of some of her inventions.
5. Make It
As an inventor, Sara continues to test the boundaries with manufacturers. She encourages you to think outside the box and teaches you tips for choosing a manufacturer, negotiating minimums, and diversifying for leverage.
6. Sell It
A master salesperson who started her career by selling fax machines door-to-door, Sara shares her practical advice for sales, including how to understand your consumers, turn a “no” into a “yes,” and face your fear of sales.
7. Build Awareness
Spanx became the brand it is today by creating a product women love and share by word of mouth. Sara encourages you to lead with your origin story and create buzz through creative marketing tactics.
8. Marketing Case Study: Mented
Sara sits down with KJ Miller, the founder of Mented Cosmetics, an everyday nude makeup line for all skin tones. They discuss the importance of differentiation in retail, how to cadence product releases, and leading with your origin story.
9. Pricing & Positioning
Pricing is one of the most important components of a business. Sara offers tips for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to create perceived value, develop distribution plans, and navigate discount strategies.
10. Positioning Case Study: Wellround
Sara discusses positioning with Betsy Shilling, the founder of Wellround, a health and wellness company. Learn how to price products in relation to manufacturing costs and how to think creatively about distribution partnerships.
11. Building a Culture
Company culture is a top priority for Sara, especially as Spanx continues to grow. She stresses the importance of hiring for your weaknesses, empowering employees, and creating a culture that embraces learning from failure.
12. Culture & Growth Case Study: Fellow
Sara sits down with Jake Miller, the founder of Fellow Products, a high-end coffee gear company, to discuss the importance of developing a positive company culture and scaling mindfully, especially when it comes to hiring.
13. Spanx Case Studies
Sara details the development of a few of her most successful products, providing more insight into various stages of the product-development process, including naming, innovation, iteration, and differentiation.
14. Sara’s Survival Guide
Sara shares her wisdom for surviving the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial life. Learn the grounding philosophies that were key to her success, from building a support system and bucketing time to managing self-doubt.
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