Sara Blakely was recently featured on the cover of Forbes magazine. The 41-year-old founder of Spanx launched the hosiery company with $5,000 in savings and went on to become the youngest self-made female billionaire.
Blakely is a true inspiration for entrepreneurs everywhere. She started Spanx while working her day job, keeping her side business top-secret, and fulfilling orders from home.
Below is a summary I put together of Blakely’s top five tips for entrepreneurs:
1. ” Don’t let the first “no” (or five) stop you.”
Rejection is a part of the process. Believe in yourself and your product, accept constructive criticism but do not let a closed door deter you. Rejections should be viewed as stepping stones to success.
2. “Don’t quit your day job just yet.”
Be patient. Don’t resign until you are absolutely sure your business idea is feasible and producing enough revenues to cover your living expenses.
3. “Don’t seek validation from others.”
There is a critical difference between seeking out advice and feedback on your product/business plan and merely seeking validation. If you believe in your idea there is no need for further validation. As Blakley puts it “you want to tell the people who can help move your idea forward, but if you’re just looking to your friend, co-worker, husband or wife for validation, be careful. It can stop a lot of multimillion-dollar ideas in their tracks in the beginning.”
4. “Hire your weaknesses.”
No one person possesses every skill needed to successfully launch, operate and expand a business. Objectively assess your skill set and consider seeking out individuals who can fill in existing voids in order to add value to your company.
5. “Never stop evolving.”
Don’t rest on your laurels. Continually strive to improve and refine your product.