In a recent interview I watched featuring Sara Blakely, she stated, “I believe every single person has had at least one million dollar idea during their life.” If you don’t know who Blakely is, she is an inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. In 2012, she had become the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire. She went from being a door-to-door salesperson selling fax machines to coming up with her own billion dollar idea. She became the founder of Spanx after being frustrated with women’s hosiery.
Sara Blakely had a problem and came up with an idea on how to solve it. I’m sure most of you can think of a moment when you saw a problem and came up with a really great idea on how to make it better. However, many people often come up with excuses and don’t follow through with that idea. The excuses you might hear include, ‘I don’t have the money’, ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I don’t know the right people’, or ‘I’m just not that lucky’. All of these are limiting beliefs you place on yourself.
Sara Blakely did not have special connections to get her product out in the market. She was working a full time job and working on her idea in her spare time. In fact, she planned on going to law school and following in her father’s footsteps but changed her mind after not doing well on the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test). Her first prototype was created with the purchase of $5 hosiery and a pair of scissors. Today, Sara Blakely has not only had great success with Spanx, she is part owner of the Atlanta Hawk’s, and takes part in Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s ‘Giving Pledge’, which encourages the world’s wealthiest people to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes.
Coming up with big ideas is easy. Every single one of you can dream big. The main difference between the Sara Blakely’s of the world and most others is execution. She saw a problem, came up with an idea of how to solve it, and worked on it for two years until she had something she could market to the world. This really pertains to all facets of life. It’s not enough to want to get good grades, it requires that you actually separate time to study and work on it. You can’t just say you want to get in shape, you need to get up and start exercising. Good grades, getting in shape or achieving success with a crazy idea are great accomplishments. “Accomplishment is what happens when Execution meets Idea.”
Something I do, and how YTeach came about, is I write down my ideas in a notebook. In the case of YTeach, we saw students having a problem of trying to get help quickly with simple questions and not knowing who to ask. I thought of the idea of creating an app so that students would have access to all the resources around them, namely each other. We then pushed through doubt and fear, and wrote down steps on how to execute the idea and make it happen. For this week’s #MakeItHappen Monday, start writing down all your crazy ideas. The idea’s you really can’t stop thinking about, take steps towards executing them, and who knows what could happen. Let us know how you plan to follow through with your ideas and email us at email@example.com or share your story and tag us on social.
Go make it happen,
Luly & the YTeach Team
“Average people have great ideas. Legends have great execution.”