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Great to see the similarities in the experiences! I’ve done a number of posts covering alot of what is mentioned here – great points!

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Video: Sara Blakely failed her LSAT, and success thereafter

Today, I posted on dealing with failure and yesterday I posted on Sara Blakely’s success story. So how fitting that I should stumble upon her interview with Forbes magazine where she talks about her success and the fact that she failed the LSAT – twice! Here’s the video, hope it encourages someone today!

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#17. Dealing with failure

One of the inevitable hurdles that we all have to overcome on the road to success is failure. Failure is something rarely talked about and yet it is a part of the journey to success. A friend once said ‘everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die’. I’ve been musing over this one for a while now and I thought I would put a different spin on it: everyone wants to be a success, but no one wants to fail in the process. We all want that straight perfect trajectory, yet the reality is a bunch of ups and downs, a jagged edged zigzag of a journey. Alot of what differentiates  success stories is not the lack of failure, but success in spite of failure. To put it another way

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall – Nelson Mandela

So how do we deal with failure?

1. Acknowledge your role in the failure – no blame game

The easiest thing to do when we fail is to blame others. And while someone else probably had some role to play in the process, ultimately our way of overcoming is to acknowledge our own personal role in it. You could blame the system, racism, sexism and any other -ism on the planet but in reality, you dis-empower yourself by doing that. If you keep holding on to the fact that the ‘system’ did it or your boss did it, or your parents or whomever, then you’ll never learn the invaluable lesson that that failure was there to teach you. A lot of the times we are just too proud to admit that we messed up. But remember pride comes before a fall. This is the yuckiest part but once you’re do so it gets better.

2. The 5 minute maximum pity party – 5MMPP Continue reading

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#16. Inspiring success stories – Sara Blakely of Spanx

The name is Sara Blakely, her company, Spanx. For those who don’t know her, Sara Blakely brought to women footless pantihose and many other amazing hosiery inventions. Her turning point: endorsement from Oprah which sent her company off the charts. What I didn’t know was her success story.

Deep down inside of all of us there is an entrepreneur, our challenge is often to figure out what product or service we are to sell. I do have a great deal of admiration for people who are able to get me to buy things that I don’t want by convincing me that I actually NEED them and even more than that, those who are able to make me a repeated buyer. Sara’s story is touching because she started out like ‘us’.

A few days ago I stumbled upon a website – Inc.com and began to watch and read various inspirational stories of entrepreneurs. Sara’s story caught my attention because I had actually watched the moment on the Oprah show back in 2002 when the got the golden endorsement – way to know you are a vintage fan.

One of the many spanx products

Sara was 27 working for a company selling fax machines door-to-door, and then one day she had her ‘a-ha’ moment. She was going to a party and needed footless pantyhose to go with her outfit, so she cut the ‘feet’ off her pantyhose and bam: problem solved. Somewhere in there, she’d been praying to ‘the universe’ to give her an idea that will help her make millions and touch people’s lives. She’d abandoned the idea, but when she was watching the Oprah show and heard our dear O say that she too cut off the feet of her pantyhose, the spark was rekindled, almost as a confirmation that she should go ahead with her idea. At 29, Sara built her business from her 2 bedroom apartment by investing her entire savings of $5,000 into the company. She convinced Nordstrom to put her products in 7 of their stores. Knowing nothing about the hoisery industry, she embarked on a journey that eventually revolutionized the male-dominated industry. She currently owns 100% of the company, has never advertised and has never accepted outside investment.

Net worth: drum rollll…..ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

Sara Blakely - courtesy Forbes.com

Here are her current stats from Forbes.com

  • Age: 41
  • Source of Wealth: Spanx, self-made
  • Residence: Atlanta, GA
  • Country of Citizenship: United States
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Florida State University
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 1
She is the youngest to get on the Forbes list.  Once I began to watch her speak on how to did it on Inc.com, I couldn’t stop. There are about 4 videos and I watched them all.
Is there a hidden entrepreneur in you that has been dying to come out? You could be the next Sara Blakely? What’s holding you back? Time to jump in and get that dream fulfilled!
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30 things every woman should have and know by 30?

In 1997, Glamour magazine in 1997 published a 30 things every woman should have and know by 30 list. I must have gotten that list in my email at least 5 times. Apparently a book will be coming out soon with chapters dedicated to each of the themes at least according to HuffPo.

Given that PhD years/career years really peak right around the 30 mark (give or take a few years) I thought the list  was worth sharing. For me the point I loved most is that life begins at 30. Each decade I get through leaves me thinking, wow, so glad I don’t have to do that again. I wouldn’t redo my teenage years and I certainly would gladly skip over the early twenties.

Without further ado, here is the list:

By 30, you should have …

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.

4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.

5. A youth you’re content to move beyond. Continue reading

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