How Sara Blakely became a self-made billionaire by her 40th birthday

Sara BlakelyAlthough she intended to become a lawyer, Sara Blakely created a simple product and disrupted a whole industry, going onto become one of the youngest, self-made female billionaires in the world.

In this Forbes video, Sarah takes us through her journey starting from when she failed her law school entrance exams and getting a job selling fax machines door-to-door, all the way through to the moment she discovered an untapped niche and how she tapped this to create the highly successful international brand – Spanx.

Like many entrepreneurs, Sara displayed remarkable persistence in overcoming the obstacles to her business success. Her limited funds at the beginning prevented her from employing a patent lawyer, so instead she borrowed a specialist law book and produced her own patent; and she continued her epic uphill struggle spending two years finding a manufacturer willing to take her and her product on.

Sara also says ‘not knowing’ is the secret behind disruption. People lack confidence in trying new ideas because they are scared that they will not know what to do. However not knowing how to do something enables you to provide a fresh perspective that could potentially change the whole industry, so the key message is to embrace not knowing.

Watch the video Sara Blakely: Billionaire By 40 (opens in a new window)

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