Sara Blakely is the entrepreneur who invented and marketed the enormously successful Spanx undergarment, which spawned a multi-million-dollar clothing empire, and launched Sara to billionaire status. But getting there took a lot of hard work and vision for this former door-to-door fax salesperson.

Consider these powerful words that can lead you to success.

1. "It's important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable."

2. "My dad encouraged us to fail growing up. He would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn't have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome--failure is not trying. Don't be afraid to fail."

3. "Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else."

4. "What I most identify with is effortless fashion, looking as if someone's not put a lot of effort into their look."

5. "Embrace what you don't know, especially in the beginning, because what you don't know can become your greatest asset."

6. "I made a conscious decision not to tell anyone in my life. Now I tell people--don't tell anyone your idea until you have invested enough of yourself in it that you are not going to turn back. When a person has an idea at that conception moment, it is the most vulnerable--one negative comment could knock you off course."

7. "Differentiate yourself! Why are you different? What's important about you? Why does the customer need you?"

8. "You've got to visualize where you're headed and be very clear about it. Take a Polaroid picture of where you're going to be in a few years."

9. "If somebody can do something 80 percent as good as you think you would have done it yourself, then you've got to let it go."

10. "There is a hidden blessing in the most traumatic things we go through in our lives. My brain always goes to, 'Where is the hidden blessing? What is my gift?"

11. "Don't solicit feedback on your product, idea or your business just for validation purposes. You want to tell the people who can help move your idea forward, but if you're just looking to your friend, co-worker, husband or wife for validation, be careful. It can stop a lot of multimillion-dollar ideas in their tracks in the beginning."

12. "I feel like money makes you more of who you already are."

13. "I started thinking about joy. Everything in our society is so purposeful. Let's bring joy back to the experience."

14. "Failures are life's way of nudging you and letting you know you are off course. Trying new things and not being afraid to fail along the way are more important than what you learn in school."

15. "Everything about my journey to get Spanx off the ground entailed me having to be a salesperson--from going to the hosiery mills to get a prototype made to calling Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. I had to position myself to get five minutes in the door with buyers."

16. "With every obstacle that has happened to me in my life, my brain immediately says, 'Where is the hidden blessing?' In starting a business and growing a business, every day is learning how to manage obstacles."

17. "Most of the reason we don't do things is because we're afraid to fail. I just made a decision one day that I was not going to do things in my life because of fear."

18. "Failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying. This way, it is about answering to yourself."

19. "Failure to me became not trying versus not succeeding."

Published on: Mar 20, 2015
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