Published by: Julia
Find out how Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx, turned $5K into a multi-million dollar empire. Let her show you how to do the same. Anyone who wants to succeed in business, or life, needs this masterclass.
Sara Blakely the game-changer master
When Sara Blakely started out, she had never worked in fashion or taken a business class. But, that did not stop her. When she saw a gap in the women’s underwear market she set out to fill it and succeded in doing so.
Sara started out by solving a problem that everyone knew existed, but, kind of just accepted. Her idea solved the problem so well that in her first year she took $4 million. By her 2nd year, turnover was $10 million.
That was just the beginning, the company has gone from strength-to-strength. Continuously launching new products and going global.
Let Sara Blakely show you how to turn your idea into $1m+
Every person in their life has had a million dollar idea.Sara Blakely Teaches Self-Made Entreprenuarship Masterclass
When I first heard Sara say this, I was not convinced. But, by the end of her masterclass, I knew for sure that she was right. We all have dozens of ideas every week.
They come to us in those moments when you sigh heavily and think “Oh for goodness sake, it’s not that complicated, why don’t they just.” or, “if only I could buy such and such that would solve my problem”.
Those are your $1m ideas. All you have to do is to capture and develop them, Sara shows you a surefire process that will enable you to do exactly that.
She started Spanx as a frustrated consumer. Sara just wanted to be able to wear white trousers for a party without her panty line showing.
Now, she is not saying all of your ideas will be good ones. Far from it. That is why she is careful to show you how to work out which ones are winners and which ones are not.
Hopefully, I’ve already convinced you to buy this masterclass. If you still need to know more, read on.
I’ve watched all 14 videos, several times, gone through the workbook and been active in the community forum. So, this is a truly comprehensive review of Sara Blakely’s Entrepreneurship Masterclass.
Find your purpose and develop the entrepreneurial mindset
When I started the course, I was not convinced that “finding your purpose” was a necessary step to be able to successfully build a business. So, I was tempted to skip this video. But, didn’t, partly because Sara shared the fact that, at first, she had also struggled with this part of the entrepreneurial journey.
With the help of this diagram, she clearly shows you how to identify your purpose. More importantly, she explains why you should do this.
Later, Sara talks about how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. She shows you how to maintain a positive outlook, to turn anger into useful action and develo[ a clear sense of direction.
To become successful, you have to control your own thoughts and confront your self-doubt.
You don’t have to know it all to get started as an entrepreneur
If you are looking at the diagram above and thinking “I can’t do this because I can’t answer one of the 3 questions posed there”. Stop right there.
When Sara first got started she couldn’t answer those questions either. But, that did not stop her, she just carried on. Pretty soon, she was able to answer them and find her purpose and focus on fulfilling it.
One of the most common misconceptions of entrepreneurs is that we had it all figured out before we took the leap. That’s not the case at all. We figured it out along the way and so can you.Sara Blakely – Masterclass.com
Failure demonstrates that you are taking action
However, you are going to experience highs and lows during your entrepreneurial journey. Sara does not sugar coat things. She is honest, but, makes sure you are equipped to bounce back and learn when things go wrong.
For her, failing is an important part of success. She learned this from her father. Every night, he would ask her what she had failed at, that day. When she told him, he was not disappointed. Far from it, he was pleased because failing meant she was pushing herself to learn new things.
Coming up with and developing your big idea
This part of the course was a breath of fresh air. I mentioned above that Sara believes that everyone has had a least one million dollar idea in their life.
The problem is finding the time to pick up on those ideas and develop them. Sara came up with an innovative way to create that time and space. To effectively create the right environment for that germ of an idea to see the light of day and grow. Take the course and find out why Sara takes a “fake commute” most days.
Ideas are gifts from the universe. Every time I have them I capture them right there.Sara Blakely – Masterclass.com
I was particularly pleased to hear that my wandering mind is potentially an asset. Sara opened my eyes to the fact that I could put that to good use and come up with my own millon dollar idea. In this section, Sara also covers:
- how to let your mind wander proactively
- come up with a name for your business
- why you should name your business early
- the importance of asking why
- how to filter your ideas
- finding the white space – the problem for which no solution currently exists
- when to share your ideas and double-checking there is a need for your product
- how and when to use nondisclosure agreements
- working out whether you need a patent
- the different patent options you could use
- establishing your difference
Prototyping your idea
The first step of confirming that your idea is viable is prototyping. There are two elements to this:
- find out if it can be made
- comparing its strengths and weaknesses with what is already available
I loved the Frankenstein approach Sara shares, in this part of the course. It’s a very clever way to put together a prototype. Her Steve Jobs analogy is particularly pertinent and thought-provoking.
Getting your product made
I was interested to hear that Sara had all kinds of issues finding someone to make her product. Everyone said no and put the phone down on her. In the end, she got in her car and cold-called the manufacturers. Only one of them said yes to her proposal. So, that is how she ended up choosing who made her product.
Later, she went through the process of finding another manufacturer. A process that she explains in detail. This was a fascinating video from which I learned a huge amount.
Her crutch sourcing story perfectly demonstrates how tough getting your product made can be, it is also quite funny. One of the reasons Sara is such a good teacher is that she uses humorous examples to demonstrate what she is teaching.
Getting comfortable with selling
Sara starts this section by reminding you that you need to sell the problem your product solves. Now, I know that sounds nonsensical, but you will soon understand that it is actually the logical approach.
In this section, Sara shares details of the 4 types of customers and how to sell to each of them. They are:
- The socializer
- The director
- The realtor
- The thinker
She tells you how to be a good listener. That includes recognizing and responding to non-verbal signals.
Take the course to discover why she literally took one CEO to the bathroom, to secure a sale. This is yet another example of Sara not being afraid to think outside of the box and do something different.
Build awareness and build your brand
Spanx is what Sara calls a word of mouth brand. For the first 16 years, they did not advertise. All of their growth came from people loving their products and telling others. As well as, what was effectively door-to-door, face-to-face selling to get Spanx into stores, onto QVC and other retail outlets.
She explains the importance of storytelling, of connecting to the consumer on a deeper level. Sara managed to turn her consumers into evangelists for her products and company.
Her brand grew super fast because she speaks to the consumer, not at them. Humor, the personal touch, not talking down and being open and vulnerable all contributed to her being able to grow a global brand in just a few years.
A case study with Mented’s creator KJ Miller
KJ Miller solved a problem she had, which as Sara says means that you typically solve a problem for lots of other people. Finding makeup for her skin tone was extremely difficult. So, she and her friends sat down and created some and co-founded Mented.
That was in 2017 and, since then, it has grown at a crazy rate. But, despite their phenomenal success, it is clear that KJ Miller is very much open to learning more and continuing to evolve. Her sitting down with Sara and talking through some ways to do this was a huge eye-opener.
This case study, nicely wraps up what Sara has just taught you. But, it contains so much more information. For example, their discussion about how to maintain the personal touch when you go big as Mented has was really informative.
I also found it fascinating to hear how Sara has maintained her market position despite others entering it. In particular, how she has avoided brand erosion while defending her market position.
KJ Miller asks some fantastic questions. It would be fantastic if she did a masterclass as well.
There are currently 70+ masterclasses on the platform all of which you can access for just $180. I’ve taken about half of them so far and honestly have not yet found one that sucks. If you want a way to learn about all kinds of things and improve your mindset treat yourself to a Masterclass.com all-access pass. It really is a great learning platform, just take a look at my full review and you’ll soon see what I mean.
Pricing and positioning – catching lightning in a bottle
This section is all about Sara’s 4 P’s, which are:
- Right product
- Right place
- Right placement of your product
- Right positioning
This is a super important part of the course. As Sara says if you get all of the above right you will have a winner. But, it is not easy to do this, which is why she refers to it as “catching lightning in a bottle.”
Take the masterclass to understand how to price something to make it a value-based purchase rather than a cost-based one. You’ll get why it is extremely important.
Sara’s course teaches you how to launch any product at any price point. Her’s is a premium product. But, you may want to launch a value or even a cheap product. This is also covered in her Masterclass.
She also explains how to handle discounts. Pointing out the danger of inadvertently training your customers to only buy from you when your products are on offer. She also shows her students how to move their products into different pricing tiers without eroding their brand.
The advice, she gives covers the entire evolution of a product and business. What you learn in Sara Blakeley Teaches Self-made Entrepreneurship masterclass is everything you need to know from idea, right through to going international and launching new products.
Very little is left out of her masterclass. But, she does not try to cover what she has not done personally, for example raising capital. Yet, it is still a comprehensive business course. Far more so than other courses I have taken and certainly better than the business classes I have taken and the books I have read on the subject.
Sara Blakely positioning case study: Wellround
This is another great case study, with Betsy Shilling from Wellround. Just as informative as the Mented one.
She is still at the stage of getting her product mass-produced. So, they are still working out how they will handle the logistics when they pull the trigger on marketing. Sara’s suggestion to deal with this issue was genius.
Building your business culture
This section covers what Sara sees as essential, building the right culture. She discusses how to make sure that you hire the right people. Interestingly, her first 3 hires did not even have the skills in place to fill the roles she had in mind for them. I am not sure if I would be brave enough to have done this. But, as you will see, she did this for good reasons. She hires resilient, flexible people who are willing to do any job. To role their sleeves up and do whatever is needed.
If someone is super talented and not a culture fit, we will not hire them. Culture fit trumps talent.Sara Blakely Entrepreneur masterclass
How to let someone go if they are not a good fit
This is a really hard thing to do. Annoyingly, this is a subject that most business courses either don’t cover or skim over. Sara does not do this. She explains how to hire slow and fire fast. But, how to do this in an empathetic way that gets everyone through a difficult situation in as positive a way as possible.
When and how to hire an expert
Sometimes you need an expert, sometimes you don’t, so you can save a lot of money. Here, she explains when to hire and when to do it yourself.
The way she handled putting together her patent is a great example of utilizing your skills but understanding your limits and filling the gaps with the knowledge of an expert.
Coping with the ups and downs of running your own business
Sara says that entrepreneurship is all about obstacle management and describes it as being very like raising a child. It will be challenging and things will go wrong. Sara Blakeley’s survival guide section teaches you to:
- build a support network
- take calculated risks
- start small but build quickly
- bucket your time
- how to keep burnout at bay
- get comfortable with figuring it out as you go
Sara Blakely’s workbook
I liked Sara’s masterclass immensely. But was a little disappointed by her workbook. It is not that it is bad, it definitely is not. In fact, you will find it very useful.
The workbook is a good reflection of what is in each video, the exercises are interesting and easy to complete. The problem for me is that Sara’s warmth and enthusiasm are missing from her workbook and it does not go into enough depth.
But, do not let this little thing put you off of buying Sara Blakely’s masterclass. It is a truly excellent course.
You will learn a huge amount regardless of where you are in your entrepreneurial journey.