I got a call from the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah had chosen Spanx as one of her favorite products in 2000. I had boxes of product in my apartment and I had two weeks notice that she was going to say she loved it on TV and I had no shipping department.
I think failure is nothing more than life's way of nudging you that you are off course. My attitude to failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying. It is liberating. Most people attach failure to something not working out or how people perceive you. This way, it is about answering to yourself.
When I was 7, I came up with the idea of 'charm socks.' My mom would take me to buy bags of plastic charms, we would sew them on frilly white socks, and I sold them at school.
I failed the LSAT. Basically, if I had not failed, I'd have been a lawyer and there would be no Spanx. I think failure is nothing more than life's way of nudging you that you are off course. My attitude to failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying. It is liberating.
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.
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.
I'll mix a lot of things. I'll wear a Temperley dress with flip flops, or I might be in head-to-toe Gucci and have on a ring that I got from a gumball machine for 50 cents.
When I'm bored or tired of being blonde, I'll throw on a wig. It's a lot less of a permanent way to change your look, and I have about 10 - all different colors, shapes, bobs, long hair, short, feathered.
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.
I'd get kicked out of buildings all day long, people would rip up my business card in my face. It's a humbling business to be in. But I knew I could sell and I knew I wanted to sell something I had created. I cut the feet out of those pantyhose and I knew I was on to something. This was it.
My husband is such a healthy eater. Except when it comes to sweets. He never consumes anything except fruit until noon. And then from noon on he might have some brown rice and some tofu, and then, come eight or nine at night, he orders three mud-pie double-chocolate pieces of cake and eats all three of them.
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.
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.
I have this system where if I buy three or four new things, I give away three or four things. Sometimes, it's a very painful system, but shopping is even better when you know that someone else who needs it will be getting. Keep the clothing karma going, I say.
Don't let what you don't know scare you, because it can become your greatest asset. And if you do things without knowing how they have always been done, you're guaranteed to do them differently.
I was trying to convince all these men to try to make a product that they didn't even wear! Or if they did wear them, they were not admitting it! There was the problem right there. No wonder their hosiery was so uncomfortable.
I cut the feet out of control top pantyhose one night, threw them on under my white pants and realized that the toning and shaping was perfect and that the hosiery material is thin enough that I could make shape wear out of it.
I'm just like so many women - I was frustrated, I had these white pants that I had spent a lot of money on, and you get home and you think, 'What am I really supposed to wear under this?' So it was a frustrated consumer moment.
I've always had that gratitude that I had the opportunity to pursue my potential. So I think my story says that, when women are given the chance and the opportunity, that we can achieve a lot. We deliver. We can make the world a better place, one butt at a time.
Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' is my go-to song to pump myself up if I'm having a tough time or if I get really nervous right before a speech.