Business, Politics & Society

Sara’s Survival Guide

Sara Blakely

Lesson time 14:40 min

Sara shares her wisdom for surviving the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial life. Learn the grounding philosophies that were key to her success, from building a support system and bucketing time to managing self-doubt.

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.
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- How do I cope with the ups and downs? Tequila. [KIDS CRYING AND SCREAMING] JESSE: Lazer. [KIDS CRYING AND SCREAMING] [MUSIC PLAYING] SARA BLAKELY: Cue the Cheez-Its! [MUSIC PLAYING] As an entrepreneur, there's going to be so many ups and downs. That's just the name of the game. It is literally obstacle management and turning obstacles into opportunities. Don't expect that there's going to be days, even weeks, without major stuff coming at you. That's normal. Everybody's been in your shoes and, and had to navigate the same kind of onslaught of unbelievable ups and downs. And it's just how you handle them. And that's what takes you back to mindset, and being prepared mentally for this challenge, and not letting yourself get defeated too quickly. [MUSIC PLAYING] When you become an entrepreneur, you become the boss. I mean, I went from selling fax machines door to door-- I'd never been anybody's boss in my life-- to suddenly, oh, wait, I'm an inventor. And I came up with this idea. But now I'm a business owner. And now I'm the boss. I'm somebody else's boss. So where else are you going to go for support? Family, I have lifetime friends that I've always kept close to me. I put in inspirational, motivational messaging and content that I know can turn my psyche and my mind around. I joined a entrepreneur group very early on of like-minded people because I didn't know anyone like myself at that time. And they happened to be all men. But I joined this forum, and I'm in the group with them. And they were sharing their business problems. And I was able to share my business problems in a safe environment. So I would say find anybody else that's going through what you're going through. And then it's really important when you're starting out as an entrepreneur to create a board of advisors that's your support system. I'm talking about the people that make you feel good, that can give you the energy and the pep talks that you need, and know who they are. Write them on a piece of paper. I wrote down the four or five people in my life that make me feel the most confident, make me feel the best. And they didn't even really know they were on my board of advisors, but they were. And they were the people when I was hitting the valleys, which happened often as an entrepreneur, the times I wanted to give up or the times that I thought I cannot do this anymore, I would pick up the phone and call them. Surround yourself with that kind of content and support during the ups and downs, and you'll make it through it. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's important to take calculated risks. Yes, we're entrepreneurs. We're starting our own business. We are risk-takers by nature, but we are smart risk-takers. We are calculated risk-takers. For example, I didn't quit my day job until I had already landed Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. So I was literally selling fax machines during the day, coming home, and packing and sh...

Find your big idea

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.

Loved it! A story generously shared. Thank you Sara X

Wow, your story and advice is exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve received so much from this class in reference to confirmation. Thank you for your transparency.

I love Sara and her story. She continues to be so grounded and humble even with all her success. I took away great tips on how to grow a company.

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


A fellow student

Sarah was inspiring, encouraging, and honest. I feel empowered and positive by watching this series and would watch it gain. Thank you for sharing your journey!

A fellow student

Thank you, Sara, for the inspiration. Being an entrepreneur is no joke. I love the tips on managing the valleys of the journey. Great class! I wished I had this training at the start of my business 10 years ago.

Akash S.

Best Masterclass ever! Thank you Sara for giving this class and I am crying too as I type this review.


Every down makes me stronger as after a down, a up will come. Thanks for sharing your passion with us and be so inspiring. We have the chance to be born at the right time in the right place. Let's share our chance to live and create intensively.

sofia L.

Thank you so much Sara. I cried as well. I knew I had courage and strength, but thank you for helping me find out where they all came from. It's important because you just made me stronger at this very weak moment of my life. Your shine on me.

A fellow student

She is adorable, inspiring and someone who gets people! Loved this class. Would love to see more from her.

A fellow student

She is amazing!! I loved to hear Sara because she's honest, objective, modest and yet brilliant and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your path.

Fayez A.

You are Awsome Sara! It's first time I saw you and you are doing great. I am working starting my own business and I will meet you one day. I do no promise but definitely I will.

Christine H.

Amazing insight and you can clearly see that Sara has an amazing passion for her business!

Monika B.

Thanks Sara for a enjoyable masterclass! Your passion for what you do shines through brightly!