Take a Deep Dive In Your Industry
One prime example of an inspiring entrepreneur is Sara Blakely. Most of you may know of her as the one who launched SPANX. In order for Sara to earn herself the success she has she knew she had to take a deep dive into the industry and study not only the features and benefits of the current products on the market, but she had to specifically study the faults of the shapewear industry.
Beyond The Cold Calls
In order for Sara to get her products in production, she made cold call after cold call to manufacturers nationwide. After she wasn’t getting anywhere, she took it a step further and simply showed up for in-person visits – to catch them in the moment. It was during these visits Sara got most of her data, such as most of the hosiery companies were actually owned and operated by men. More importantly, Sara discovered that none of the products were actually tested on real people. This made it evident on why existing products on the market were so uncomfortable.
Sara found so much room for innovation with the data she collected from her in-person visits with factories. In addition, she started reworking the narrative around undergarments, which is when the powerful message around SPANX was born. The whole mission around SPANX is to “help women feel great about themselves and their potential.” Since then, Blakely has made an expansion on her mission and has launched a Foundation with a pledge to empower women.
In her own words, “I pledge to invest in women because I believe it offers one of the greatest returns on investment.”
One of the top determining factors of SPANX’s success Sara gives credit to the practice of visualization. Back in the day, she was selling copiers. During this time she developed a very clear picture of the life she wanted for herself. “I had a very clear vision of what my life was going to be like…My snap photo was to: be self-employed, invent a product that I could sell to lots of people… and create a business for myself that would continue to fund itself if I wasn’t present,” she says during a speaking engagement.
The key to visualization is to be specific. When imagining your future business and the life you want, spare no details. Take the time to do this for yourself! You will thank yourself later.
Key Takeaways from Sara’s Story
- Research your industry in and out
- Find places where you can innovate
- Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back
- Avoid debt, get creative and work with what you’ve got
- Visualize your success and set goals around that vision