Sara’s dad was a lawyer. After she finished college, she wanted to go law school, but her Legal SAT scores weren’t good enough. So she tried stand-up comedy, but that didn’t catch fire.
So, she became a billionaire instead. The youngest woman billionaire ever, according to Forbes magazine in 2009.
A few weeks ago, I saw that Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, had a class on entrepreneurship up on MasterClass.com. I was curious and so I watched a few sessions.
Not only was it the best program on business I’ve seen on MasterClass, but it’s also the best program for copywriters and entrepreneurs I’ve ever seen by a “big name” in business. Sara Blakely is a gifted teacher as well as a standout entrepreneur.
I picked three lessons from the treasure trove of suggestions and ideas that make up the class. The reason I picked each one is that it would help copywriters as well business owners, and two of the three are things we haven’t talked about nearly enough on this podcast.
But everything she had to say was unique, valuable and interesting.
So here’s something really ironic about Sara Blakely. She said right on her Masterclass that for the first 16 years of her business, she didn’t do any advertising. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.
So why are we devoting an entire show to her?
What she DID do, to get the business up and running -- and what she continues to do on a daily basis -- are so valuable that they really transcend copywriting and spending money on ads. They are at the core essence of what we do as copywriters and business owners, which is to GET and KEEP customers.
It’s also nice to get advice from someone who is actually running a huge business, rather than making their living running around sharing their theories about how the world might work and making their living doing seminars. In contrast, Sara’s making her living serving customers and innovating new products for her business.
We cover three tips. You’ve probably heard them before, but Sara has a unique take on them… and, she’s made them work to literally build a business from scratch. Which gives them extra weight.
Her first tip: Protect Your Mindset.
Sara shared a very personal story about how she protected her idea from the criticism of others until she was ready to share it… and how she knew she was ready.
We talk about how to protect your mindset so your ideas don’t die abornin’.
Second Tip from Sara: Create Big Ideas
Sara admits she takes idea-creation very seriously, and she devotes time every day to doing it.
We’ll share her method and talk about what everyone has in common when you need to create big ideas, as well as what’s unique to each person.
Third Tip from Sara: Connect… Really Connect
Probably the most underrated asset in business is the act of deeply connecting with your customers. Sara turned her ability to do that into a net worth of more than one billion dollars in less than 10 years.
We explore how copywriters - as well as business owners - can leverage this underrated asset themselves.