This Billionaire CEO Distilled Her Best Career Advice into 7 Words

Updated 09/29/17
Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

In her late 20s, Sara Blakely founded Spanx, an intimate apparel and hosiery company that quickly blossomed into a billion-dollar business. After earning $4 million her first year and $10 million her second, Forbes bestowed the title of "youngest-self-made woman billionaire in the world" on the Florida native.

When reflecting on her instrumental success, Blakely always comes back to a relatively simple lesson her father taught her as a young girl: the value of failure. As Inc. reports, her dad would sit her down at the dining room table and ask the same question: "What did you fail at this week?" Whatever her answer was, he would give her a high-five.

"I didn't realize at the time how much this advice would define not only my future, but my definition of failure," Blakely told Fortune. "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."

Unsurprisingly, this sentiment echoes some of the most prolific and inspiring career quotes of our time, such as "success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm," "only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly," and "to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." Viewing failure as a learning opportunity rather than a roadblock is one of the most invaluable lessons you can learn as an entrepreneur.

Next up: This CEO distilled his best career advice into two sentences.

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