Sarah Blakely is my hero. She has literally covered my a$$ for the last 15 years. She is the founder of Spanx and the youngest self-made female billionaire. I think we should all just stop and clap for Sarah for a moment as a way of showing gratitude for the CYA… (cover your a$$)
Are you clapping?
I am. Slowly. Because this woman makes all our butts look better. I haven’t had a panty line since 2000.
As I was surfing facebook I found this excellent little Business Insider video with Sara’s interview. And since she discusses her relationship with her father and the ways he taught her to look at failure…and since his mindset obviously helped shape an incredibly successful young entrepreneur, I thought we could all use these tips in training.
“My father would actually be disappointed if I didn’t have something I failed at each week…”
Sara talks about how her father would ask her at the dinner table once a week what she had failed at. This tells us several things:
1- They had dinner together. Seems obvious but trust me, I know how hard it can be to get a family to all sit down to dinner at the same time.
2- He expected and even encouraged his daughter to try new things and also understood that there would be plenty of failure associated with trying.
As parents we can accidentally fall into the trap of thinking our little darlings should be excellent at anything and everything — I mean, they are OUR children, that alone by default makes them INCREDIBLE right? Sara’s father knew that the secret was not always in being successful or even good at many things, the secret was in trying and even failing. Brilliant man.
Sara said she would tell him, “Dad, I tried out at this and I was horrible…And he would actually HIGH FIVE me and say way to go!” Wow. What an incredible father.
“He reframed my definition of failure. Failure for me became NOT TRYING.”
That is an absolutely brilliant thing to teach a child. Failure doesn't mean not doing well, failure means not trying. Click To TweetJust stop and think about that as a mother or a father for a minute. How different would the internal tapes that play in our heads sound about our parenting if we didn’t define everything in our relationship with our children into a win or a lose, but instead we could just recognize that we only fail as a parent when we DON’T TRY.
Sara shared another piece of perfection during the interview. When things didn’t go as planned, when things weren’t smooth sailing or if she had an embarrassing “oops,” Sara’s father encouraged her to look for and write down the hidden gifts.
How much different would we look at the mistakes, unfortunate events, or flat out fails in our lives if we searched for and journaled the hidden gifts in our failures? We would even learn to become grateful for our failures and we would be able to quickly recover knowing that even the tough stuff is meant for our good.
I know I am going to be implementing these practices in our house…now the only trouble is rounding everybody up to eat together. xoxoxo
Try as I might, I couldn’t get this video to import. I hope you’ll take the moment to watch the minute and a half of brilliance.