Sara Blakely makes a mean pancake. Sure, she’s been on the cover of Forbes, is a top-tier philanthropist, changed the way women get dressed and has coined one of the world’s most well known words, but it’s her latest role, that of Instagram super-user, that shows a different side of the Spanx founder. Here you can catch Blakely learning the latest lingo; “someone told me I had a good ratio. I said, ‘what the heck does that mean!?,’” follow her on her never-ending quest to find the best lighting and get the inside scoop on her weekend ritual, making pancakes for her family, including four kids under seven years old.
In addition to her hilarious musings in the doctor’s office, behind-the-scenes moments at SPANX HQ and her funky finds at NYC spots like Kirna Zabete, Sara sheds light onto the creative inner workings of an entrepreneur, inspiring many of those around her (including me!) to turn their ideas into reality.
1. Have you had any memorable mentors? If so, how did you meet? What advice have they shared that’s stuck with you?
I like to think that Oprah was my mentor from afar! Seriously though, I listened to Wayne Dyer on old school cassette tapes. He helped me learn the pre-work skills that I needed to pave the way for starting Spanx. I also love the advice and gift my Dad gave me. He reframed my perspective on failure. Around the dinner table, he would ask my brother and I what we failed at and failure became about not trying versus not succeeding.
2. You were ahead of the “female entrepreneur” trend, and as a result many female entrepreneurs look up to you. What advice can you share for entrepreneurs in today’s changing, more digital environment.
I’m always honored that people look up to me (really!) since half the time I don’t know what I’m doing…but what I have going for me is that I’m not afraid to think differently.
It’s important to differentiate yourself and I always find that if I can make someone laugh, I have their attention for a few more minutes.
I love that podcasts have become such a popular source of inspiration! I was recently interviewed by Lewis Howes for his podcast, School of Greatness. He’s gotten some great entrepreneurial minds to share their stories!
3. Last thing you do before bed?
I take a bath with one cup of Dr. Teals Lavender Epsom Salt every single night. I’ve also been experimenting with face masks lately…the other night one got stuck on my face though, so that wasn’t exactly the relaxation I was looking for before bed.
4. Heels or flats?
Flats. I really haven’t found comfortable high heels that I can stand…much less stand in for a long time. When I wear heels I end up walking around barefoot at inopportune moments (like when I had to take my shoes off at the White House).
5. Parting words:
The Bridge is better than Backspin (follow me @sarablakely and you’ll understand what I’m saying!).
See more women we’ve spent 5 Minutes With here.
Sara Blakely's Favorite Things