Posts Tagged With: inspiration

#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 – 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

Here are her current stats from

  • 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, 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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#12. The power of imagination: Caine’s Arcade

The power of imagination is one of the biggest drivers of our dreams. We’ve often heard “you have to see it to achieve it”. I watched an 11 minute video posted on a friend’s facebook that is now making the rounds on social media and was so touched by this amazing little boy who built an arcade from…get this: cardboard! I won’t even taint the video with my views and will just post it so you can watch it yourself.

More than just marvelling about the video though, is being involved in this young boy’s life. By donating a dollar – yes $1 (or more) you could contribute towards his college fund. Imagine where this incredible imagination could go with an education to back up an already amazing talent. Visit to donate/find out more

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

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#8. Life is a gift

I had no part in my birth. I didn’t supervise, I didn’t direct, I didn’t call “Action!”

In fact, my earliest memory was when I was about 3 years old. I have flashbacks of moving house, or are they stories that I have heard my parents retell over the years that have now become memories, even though I wasn’t really conscious in the moment? I am not sure. All I know is that my earliest memory dates back to when I was around 3 or 4 years old. Before that, I was unaware. Most of us are like that though about life. We go about it unaware. Unconscious of the fact that each day is a gift. Each moment is a gift. It often takes a jarring moment, a near-death-experience, the loss of a loved one to come to grips with the fact that life is a gift, not to be taken for granted, not to be assumed.

We often forget that life is a gift. Continue reading

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#7. Inspiring success stories – Tyler Perry

I absolutely LOVE biographies – there’s nothing like the stories of the journey to success to inspire you as you go along your own journey. They reveal so much character and help you appreciate all that a person has gone through to get to the final product including the good, the bad and the ugly.

Tyler Perry mixes it up with the media on the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Tyler Perry’s story is one of those inspirational ones. One of the ways in which I relate to Tyler is that he was watching the Oprah show and heard about the therapeutic effect of writing, so he began to write, and write and write. His faith also played a key role in healing and overcoming past pains and hurts. It was from writing and writing and writing, that his plays were birthed. Using his savings of $12,000, he put out his first play, I know I’ve been Changed. 

Tyler has been criticized for his Madea character, I put that in the category of ‘haters are gon’ hate’ and he does the same too. He’s ignored this and gone ahead to be a role mode, philanthropist and a game changer in the film industry.

Tyler Perry,  born Emmitt Perry Jr., September 13, 1969

Occupation: Actor,  Author, Screen and playwright, Producer, Director, Song writter

Best Known for: Diary of a Mad Black Woman (his big break); Madea’s Family Reunion and other Madea films

Net worth: Last estimated to be $646 million but he has declined to be on the Forbes richest list

Education: GED

Interesting Box Office Trivia: Only film maker to have 5 films open at #1 at the box office in the last 5 years. His 8 films grossed less than $418 million and cost less than $10 million to make.

Tyler Perry identifies himself as a devout Christian and attributes his success to the grace of God. Is it just me, or are you surprised the he has  GED for his education? That just makes his story that much richer. He put out this video on how to be successful and he talks about working hard, believing in yourself and never giving up (in his own words of course!) Ok go on and watch it!

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#6. Work hard, believe in yourself, never give up!

A couple of weeks ago, I was in my valley phase. Feeling down, unmotivated. Just couldn’t seem to get inspired to write, or do, or think about anything really. Those dry spells are usually hard to get over – you’re there trying to visualize a better future but you just can’t seem to get over the now.

And then these three short phrases popped in my head: Work hard. Believe in yourself. Never give up.

So I wrote them down, and for the rest of the day they kept on reverberating at the back of my mind. It got me thinking about the journey of success, the process and how we get to there. Grad school can be so dry sometimes, and you find yourself either having a mental block or just in a state of unmotivation. The difference with undergrad or a course based-masters is that you often will have a mid-term or a paper to jar you out of your catatonic state of inactivity. But on the long road to the PhD, some days just go by. Unproductive. unaccounted for. The main thing I have to look forward to with dread is my annual review that goes to the faculty. Its like a performance review only for a job you are not really being paid to do. Now that is a post for another day.

Back to my three phrases: work hard. believe in yourself. never give up.

As I mulled over the words, I went further into what each phrase signified. Continue reading

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