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9 Inspiring Quotes From Self-Made Billionaire and Spanx Founder Sara Blakely

Seeking inspiration? Sara Blakely's entrepreneurial story will motivate you.

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Before launching the billion-dollar company Spanx, its founder Sara Blakely wanted to become a lawyer. However, after scoring too low on the law school admissions test, she switched gears and went into sales. Selling fax machines door to door for the company, Danka, Blakely realized her knack for business, and quickly rose up the corporate ladder. It was also during her time at Danka that Blakely came up with her billion-dollar idea for Spanx.

Related: 50 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You

Disliking the way the feet of her pantyhose looked in open-toed shoes but loving the way pantyhose provided a firm top, Blakely not only decided to cut off the bottoms but came up with a bigger idea. What if there were pantyhose with a control-top but without the annoying feet? From there, Blakely saved up to research and eventually launch her hosiery idea.

Related: 8 Inspirational Quotes From Movie Mogul Steven Spielberg

For more inspiration from Blakely and her entrepreneurial journey, here are nine quotes from the self-made billionaire.

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On mistakes

"It's important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable." -- Sara Blakely
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On failure

“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." -- Sara Blakely
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On being different

"Differentiate yourself! Why are you different? What's important about you? Why does the customer need you?" -- Sara Blakely

Related: 17 Inspirational Quotes from Oscar-Winning Movies

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On the future

"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." -- Sara Blakely
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On resilience

“In business, you’re going to hear the word ‘no’ a lot. The importance of trusting yourself and your own rear end is what’s going to keep you going. Recognize that failure or the word ‘no’ is not the end.” -- Sara Blakely
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On trust

“Trusting your gut is like a muscle. The more you do it, the stronger it gets.” -- Sara Blakely

Related: 11 Inspirational Quotes from Gary Vaynerchuk to Help You Become the Best Version of Yourself

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On purpose

“Always be kind. Along the way, some people liked me; some people didn’t. As long as I’m in check with my ‘why’ and my purpose, and I know that I have a good intention and I’m being kind, I’ve got to let go of all of that other worry.” -- Sara Blakely
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On growth

“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.” -- Sara Blakely
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On risk

“The biggest risk in life is not risking.” -- Sara Blakely
Rose Leadem

Written By

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com.