Billion-Dollar Inventor Joy Mangano Rebuilt Her Life Thanks to This Simple Idea -- And You Can, Too

After selling more than $3 billion in goods, Joy Mangano says people need to realize everything is a product.

learn more about Linda Lacina

By Linda Lacina

Ida Mae Astute | ABC | Getty Images

How Success Happens is a podcast featuring polar explorers, authors, ultra marathoners, artists and more to better understand what connects dreaming and doing. Linda Lacina,'s managing editor, guides these chats so anyone can understand the traits that underpin achievement and what fuels the decisions to push us forward. Listen below or click here to read more shownotes. For Joy Mangano, everything is product -- but not in the way you might think.

Sure, she's one of the most well-known inventors of our time, selling more than $3 billion in product and bringing us simple solutions like the Huggable Hanger or The Miracle Mop. Sure, the rocky journey to building her entrepreneurial empire inspired a Hollywood movie starring big names like Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.

Related: The Entrepreneur Who Inspired 'Joy' Talks Movie-Making and Retail

But for Mangano, a product is more than just the things she'd invent and sell on QVC and later on HSN. For her, your house is a product. Your job and relationships are products. Your life is a product.

Says Mangano, a consumer would not think twice if a waiter brought the wrong order or if a shipment arrived broken. But in our personal lives, we hesitate. If your teenager is lippy or you're lost in your career, you might not think to consider what you need, or what you even expect.

Related: Inventor, Entrepreneur and Inspiration for the Movie 'Joy' Joy Mangano Shares How to Be Successful

And if you're stuck, a consumer mindset can transform you. Mangano herself reinvented her own life in many ways, changing from a young mom of three needing a better way to support her family to an inventor and entrepreneur.

"As the consumer, you are entitled to decide whether or not each product in your life works to your satisfaction," Mangano writes in her new book, Inventing Joy. "If it does, great. But if it doesn't, you have the right -- and the power -- to fix it."

Related: Conversation is the Most Underused Innovation Tool

Adds Mangano in this week's How Success Happens podcast. "No matter how old you are you can rediscover your life," she says. "We forget we have the right to have a voice. You have the right to get what you ask for. And if you say nothing, you're going to have zero percent chance to fix it."

That attitude can be contagious. "If you're passionate about your life it just infiltrates into everybody around you," she says. "If you're passionate about what you do as an entrepreneur, in business or your career, everybody feeds off of that."

In this week's podcast, Mangano will share little-known details about her life, like how she turned down Harvard and how loyalty factored into one of the hardest decisions she ever made. She'll also explain what anyone can learn from her story and share advice that will move you forward.

Listen below. To subscribe to this podcast, find us on the following platforms: SoundCloud, Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play.

Linda Lacina

Entrepreneur Staff

Linda Lacina is the former managing editor at Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Family Circle. Email her at Follow her at @lindalacina on Twitter. 

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