Sara Blakely
best advice sara blakely

Founder of Spanx

I used to sit at the dining room table as a kid and my dad would ask me what I failed at that week. If I tried out for a school play and didn't get it, he would high-five me. He always encouraged me to fail. I didn't realize at the time how much this advice would define not only my future, but my definition of failure. I have realized as an entrepreneur that so many people don't pursue their idea because they were scared or afraid of what could happen. My dad taught me that failing simply just leads you to the next great thing. It was pretty unconventional parenting, but I realize now that if I hadn't failed, I wouldn't be where I am today. I tried to be a lawyer and failed the LSATs twice. It was one of many tests that showed me how some of the biggest failures in our lives just nudge us into another path.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated October 25 2012 07:21 AM ET
Join the Conversation
More best advice
The best of our best advice

We went through our archives for nearly a decade of collected wisdom that still holds up.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.