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Make It

Sara Blakely

Lesson time 17:38 min

As an inventor, Sara continues to test the boundaries with manufacturers. She encourages you to think outside the box and teaches you tips for choosing a manufacturer, negotiating minimums, and diversifying for leverage.

Sara Blakely
Teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
Spanx founder Sara Blakely teaches you bootstrapping tactics and her approach to inventing, selling, and marketing products that consumers love.


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Do you need a business plan once you have the idea, you have your prototype, or you have your business service idea and how you're going to differentiate yourself out in the world? No. I've seen it done with people who have very buttoned-up business plans, and then I did it without a business plan at all. I can tell you the things that I focused on very early on. I focused on three things. Make it, sell it, build awareness. Make it, sell it, build awareness. That's where all of my energy and attention went to in the beginning stages of the business. Those were the aspects of the business that if I focused on would bring in the money that would help me continue to build the business. It's very easy to focus on all these other little details that distract you from what you need the most coming in, which is the funds to keep going. So it's just like life. A lot of times, you'll have a list of things to do. And we gravitate towards the five to 10 things that we're either most comfortable with or take the least amount of effort, and we keep avoiding kind of the bigger picture. When you're an entrepreneur, take a step back and go, what do I need to do? What do I need to focus on to bring in the income to sustain this at this time? [MUSIC PLAYING] After the idea came to me and I cut the feet out of pantyhose one night so I could wear these white pants to a party, I thought, this is a solution to a problem, and that's a great start. This is an idea. But then over the next two years of me trying to get it made, there was so many obstacles. There was the obstacle of trying to get people to help me make it. There was the obstacle of, how am I going to fund this? There was the obstacle of, what does a package look like? How do I put this in a package even if I do get it made? Where am I going to sell it? I mean, all of these thoughts are flooding me. And at the same time for the two years that I'm working at night and on the weekends to make this product, because I didn't quit my day job selling fax machines until I'd already landed Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, the entire time, everyone told me no and said, this is not a great idea. Well, let me tell you one thing. That means you've come up with something brand new, because if it's out there, everyone's going to be more accepting of it. It's the people that are willing to hear the word no, or hear, this is the craziest idea and do it anyway that break real ground. So if you hear no and if you hear this is a crazy idea, take it as a compliment. I mean, you've got three things going for you. Your enthusiasm, you, and your persistence, okay? Because showing up at a manufacturing plant, I mean, when I showed up, I had a lucky red backpack. I was 29 years old. I went in person and said, hi, I'm Sara Blakely, and I've invented something, and I'd love for you guys to help me make it. I mean, I always heard the same three questions, which were, oh really, and you are? An...

About the Instructor

With little more than an idea and a drive to find her way, Sara Blakely went from selling fax machines door-to-door to becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2012. Now the inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Spanx teaches you to open doors and close deals. Learn Sara’s customer-first approach and her tactics for prototyping, branding and building awareness, and bootstrapping your way to success.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

This was phenomenal. Sara- you are inspirational, authentic, professional and kind. Wow- I am so inspired

Sara is unbelievably inspiring. I didn't know her before the class, but now I'm amazed by her talent. This class gave me someone to look up to.

By a country mile, the most inspirational thing I have had the chance of doing.

I love how neat and clear and frank she taught all the classes, I love her way of teaching and talking, I love how confident she is. I've learnt a lot


A fellow student

awesome... i was overwhelmed with so many things involved in sourcing and manufacturing. Heraring to this, it seems everyone has to go through this. I feel better.

A fellow student

I'm very impressed by Sara and these valuable lessons. I've learned many fantastic tips from her. I felt her energy and passion for this course. Thank you very much to all who create this Master Classes.

Jennifer B.

Such great insights revealed here that I would never ever have found in such a straightforward, no holding back, honesty way. Thanks Sara! Even though I am in services and online teaching products - I can definitely use this information and translate it to my own business.

A fellow student

What do u guys think of these Invention Help companies? I signed up for two of them and didnt get too far...Any positive experiences?

A fellow student

Great lesson with golden advice - some of the key take-aways for me are the importance of diversification and to question the way things have always been done. Thank you for this great lesson, Sara!

Gloria S.

Amazing class! What an inspiring class. She gives eye-opening suggestions that are easy to implement.

A fellow student

Sara is very practical, creative, but also realistic! She is very helpful in figuring out how to build your company, start from scratch. Her lessons are very approachable. I admire her.

Kristin W.

Sara is so honest and open and positive; fearlessness is such a virtue. I loved the workbook additive. So helpful! Great!

Dayana R.

Amazing ! she is the best ! Great great great ! she inspires me. How amazing way for share and teaching

Terry T.

Good thing that she didn't take her idea to China. They will help you come up with the prototype, but you will see you idea in the stores of China before you board your plane back home.