Entrepreneur Mantra: is there a better way?
As an entrepreneur
I’m such an advocate for everyone
to think like an entrepreneur.
你是否想要着手创业 不管怎么说 这对你都是有极大帮助的
Whether you want to start your own business or not,
it’s incredibly helpful,
no matter what.
And so thinking like an entrepreneur
inside of organizations
or if you are starting your own business.
I always say—I love to tell the people around me to do this:
Close your eyes and take a minute
and think about how you would be doing your job
if nobody shows you how to do it.
Because if you think about it we’re all on autopilot.
We’re doing things the way either someone else
showed us how to do it or we saw and
learned from watching.
real change only happens when you do it different than everybody else.
So all the time I put myself through mental exercises
where I’m like, “Wait a minute,
I know everybody has been doing it this way for a long time,
but is that the best way?”
And I just want to see what comes up.
I also come across ideas and inventions
by going throughout my day looking at objects
and saying, “Now how could that be better?”
And why did the person who first created gum-
Gum to me is so fascinating.
As someone who started a brand with $5000,
had to get an idea out there that didn’t already
exist (the footless pantyhose).
I love to think about people
who first introduced things to soceity,
and I think about the guy who did gum.
I am like…you will talk about like
Can you imagine
I thought I had it tough, this guy is like walking around going,
“You just chew it, you just
put this wad in your mouth…”
and people are probably like, “And then what?”
“Don’t swallow it, you just chew it.”
Like that’s a pretty hard sell you know at first.
And I think that gum had no flavor in it
when it first came out, so that’s even crazier to me.
But everything from the pencil to the fork
to the chair we sit in to the car that we drive:
somebody originally had a thought and
brought it forward it to society.
So get off autopilot,
look at everything every object in your life,
the way that you do things;
You know, like,
When you get up and brush your teeth,
is there a better way to brush your teeth?
Is it the right way to be doing it?
And see what comes.
I started Spanx with $5000 in savings from
selling fax machines door to door in Clearwater
Florida for seven years.
And I started it out of the back of my apartment.
I had never taken a business class.
I had never worked in fashion or retail,
but I was determined to make this one particular
undergarment for myself and women
that filled a much needed void in fashion.
And it was the most challenging the first two years to get it made,
because no one took me seriously.
I heard the word “No” for two solid years.
I actually was calling all the hosiery manufacturing plants
and I ended up taking a week off of work
and drove around North Carolina in person
begging these people to help make my prototype
and my idea.
And so there were many, many times in those first two years:
When I wrote my own patent,
I went to Barnes & Noble and bought a book on patent and trademarks.
I created the packaging on my friend’s computer after work.
Uh, you know,
I thought of the name Spanx sitting in traffic in Atlanta
and went home and trademarked it
with my credit card for $150.
But all of this time I was doing it
I wasn’t sharing it with anybody.
None of my friends or family knew what my idea was,
and that was really important to my journey
because I didn’t want to share the idea just for validation,
because I wanted to make sure that I spent anytime I had
pursuing it instead of defending it and explaining it.
And I think so often, so many times, people have an amazing idea,
I mean you have a million dollar or a billion dollar idea in your life,
and the first thing you want to do
is turn to your right or left at work and tell a coworker,
tell your friend, tell your husband, your wife…
and out of love and concern you get a lot of feedback
that stops that idea right in
its moment that it happened.
But for me because I wasn’t using a support system
on those times that I had doubt,
I ended up really—
I listened to a lot of inspirational and motivational
And so I would second-guess myself, I’d put those tapes in,
I’d drive around,
I have to give myself pep talks.
I mean it was a real back and forth
for me to keep believing in myself when no one else was.