Spanx-Chef fährt 'Fake Commute', damit sie besser nachdenken kann


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Sara Blakely is a billionaire businesswoman, author and designer — and she may just owe it all to one quirky habit.

Speaking with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman on his podcast Masters of Scale earlier this year, the 47-year-old, who founded Spanx shapewear in 2000, said she tended to think most clearly while driving in her car.

There was just one problem — the mother of four lives near her office, meaning she faces a very short commute.

But Ms Blakely has come up with a novel solution.

She told Mr Hoffman she carved out time in her morning routine for a “fake commute” in order to get her creative juices flowing.

“I’ve identified where my best thinking happens and it’s in the car and I live really close to Spanx so I’ve created what my friends call my ‘fake commute’ and I get up an hour early before I’m supposed to go to Spanx and I drive around aimlessly in Atlanta with my commute so that I can have my thoughts come to me,” she said.

Spanx CEO Sara Blakely founded the shapewear giant in 2000. Picture: Instagram @sarablakely

Spanx CEO Sara Blakely founded the shapewear giant in 2000. Picture: Instagram @sarablakelySource:Instagram

In fact, Ms Blakely even came up with the famous Spanx brand name while behind the wheel.

Mr Hoffman said while Ms Blakely’s “fake commute” might seem odd, it actually provided fascinating insight into her creative process.

“Sara knows that she does her best thinking in the car. So she intentionally creates the time and space — first thing every day — to open herself up to new ideas,” he said.

“This may seem like an interesting bit of trivia. But it’s more important than it seems.”

Ms Blakely also revealed a clever way of generating “big ideas” and gaining inspiration from everyday life.

“I get my ideas all over the place. I mean in a magazine I’ll see an image or see a colour in nature. I’ll see someone wearing something that just sparks something, I’ll overhear a conversation,” she said.

“Anybody could do this exercise: Go home and look at 15 things in your life and write them down on a piece of paper and then write down how and why they could be better.

“You’ll have probably a big idea right there on that sheet.”

Spanx founder Sara Blakely is worth $US1.14 billion. Picture: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Spanx founder Sara Blakely is worth $US1.14 billion. Picture: AP Photo/Evan AgostiniSource:Supplied

Today, Ms Blakely has an estimated net worth of $US1.14 billion which she owes largely to the shapewear empire she’s been building since 2000.

The former stand-up comedian and saleswoman came up with her winning business idea in her 20s when she realised she didn’t have the right underwear to provide a “smooth look” under white pants



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OMG! @ReeseWitherspoon came to @Spanx Headquarters and of course I double dog dared her to put her @Spanx bra on outside her shirt, and of course she accepted! 💪🏻 Reese chose 12 women she admires (pinch me I’m one of them) along with @dollyparton @Pink and @CleoWade to name a few, to feature in her new series on @DIRECTVNOW called #ShineOnWithReese. Reese is a powerhouse that I admire too, so the feeling is mutual. Oscar winner, mother of three, founder of her own production company @HelloSunshine are the obvious reasons to respect and admire Reese, but it’s her fierce support of women why we love and adore her. We share a love for all things women. I’m so happy to know someone like Reese is out there championing what women are made of, and encouraging everyone, both men and women, to support the possibilities of women. Tap the link in my bio to watch your first episode for free, or start your free 7 day trial! Congratulations to the other women Reese highlights this season: @candacenelson @glennondoyle @simoneeaskew @ava @abbywambach @elainewelteroth @americaferrera @spaceykacey #SheShines #WomenSupportingWomen #HelloSunshine #reesewitherspoon #Spanx #Bras #Brallelujah #Entrepreneur #BusinessAsUsual #IDoubleDogDareYou

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She began selling her products at department store chain Neiman Marcus, but it wasn’t until talk show queen Oprah Winfrey named Spanx as one of her “favourite things” in November 2000 that the brand really took off.

In its first year Spanx made $US4 million in sales, which skyrocketed to $US10 million the following year.

In March 2012, Forbes named Ms Blakely as the world’s youngest, self-made female billionaire and two years later in 2014 it ranked her as the 93rd most powerful woman on the planet.

Over the years, the entrepreneur has also appeared on a range of television programs including Shark Tank, has published a book and has also been involved in a range of charity projects and she has also been named as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People.

Spanx products include bras, lingerie, leggings and “shapewear” items that are designed to be invisible under clothing.

The brand is sold in more than 50 countries around the world.


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