Sara Blakely: My Confession

Sara Blakely: My Confession

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, was just named the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes Magazine. Yes, SELF-MADE BILLIONAIRE. No trust fund. No rich husband. All on her own. Unfrikkinreal.


When I see Sara Blakely, I am triggered.

Our lives are parallel – up until the Billion Dollar List part of course!

Sara Blakely, founder of a hosiery company. Me, founder of a promotional products company.

She bombed the LSAT. I bombed the GMAT.

That failure made her rethink her life. That failure made me rethink my life.

She founded her company in 2000. I founded my company in 1999.

She started her company with $5000.00. I started my company with $5000.00.

She’s inspired by Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson. I’m inspired by Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson.

She is growing her company around the world today. I sold my company in 2006 to be a mom.


And my confession?

I sometimes wonder where I’d be if I hadn’t. I don’t believe in regrets, but when I see Sara Blakely, she gets my business juices flowing and she inspires me to up my game.

She makes me wonder, WHAT IF?

WHAT IF I hadn’t traded my successful company for motherhood?

What if?

I’ll never know.

Watch this rockstar:

I’d love to know, did you ever give up a career for motherhod? Did you ever throw in the towel on something great? Have you ever had any regrets or second guessed yourself? Have you ever wondered, WHAT IF? 


  1. Great post Erica. You traded a career for MOTHERHOOD. There’s no better job than that! Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ve become a huge success so enjoy every minute of it.

  2. Loved the post. Don’t think what if. Look at what you have created since being a mother. It’s only a billion dollars. 🙂

  3. All she did was revolt against unsightely panty lines and evolve the entire hosiery industry – if you have a game changing idea it’s never too late!

  4. Jill, I love your attitude, that it’s never too late. You are right. I don’t regret my decision for a moment, because my priority was, and always will be, my children. But, I do get the itch every now and then to get hardcore in business again. It is my first love and passion. 😉

  5. Erica, you have the best of both worlds. Your loving caring family and a successful career. So what if you do not have those many 0000000 associated to your name. I am sure its not ALL wonderful on her end. What you have created goes on for many lifetimes, a product goes on until the NEXT BEST THING comes around. NO regrets .

  6. Hi Erica,

    I gave up a lot to be a mom. I have asked myself the what if question so many times! Most of the women in my profession who are making a lot of money do not have children or have 2 or 3 nannies. They do not see their children much. Me, I don’t have much money, I cannot afford luxaries but I have something very special: Two wonderful boys who love to spend time with me. I know everything about them, I know everything that goes on in ther life. I saw their first hockey goal and many other things that I would not have seen if I had pursue my career. You are doing great as a mom!

  7. Mothers guilt is hard hitting but yes, the ‘What If’ question appears often now that my children are responsible and need less of me. I have the understanding that I was just as capable then as I am now – I could have worked it all out. But there we have it: 20/20. With this in mind, I regret not trusting my instincts and appreciating my strength. Fast forward to present time – I am more driven, focused and determined to make up for betraying my passions and selling myself short. I’m definitely playing catch up and racing against some ridiculous clock. Embrace the challenges and share the lessons – especially to our daughters. You can have the best of all worlds – provided you accept that it will not look exactly as you planned. Thankfully, with these discussions and posts, our daughters will have even more choices tomorrow.

    Thanks Erica, this article reminds and motivates one to get on with it 😉

  8. Erica – I can’t even begin to tell you how much this Forbes article “triggered” me as well. I’ve had a lot of “what if” scenarios racing through my mind in the last month or so, the most recent literally just 2 hours ago. I’ve been thinking about “what if” so much lately that earlier this month I actually registered the domain “” and I am soon embarking on a new journey instead of looking back in a few years and find myself asking “what if” yet again. You just might be my perfect first feature! Your post today is great and unbelievable timing for me. I’m taking it as a sign that I’m on the right track with my project. Stay tuned!

    1. Erin, how cool is that? Congrats to you and your new venture!! I look forward to seeing what’s next for you. 🙂 No more what ifs! (For the record, this was my first ever, what if. I’m not one to look back), 😉

  9. “WHAT IF” tomorrow was your last day on Earth? I think it is normal at times to question the path not taken but in the end you have to look at it like, ” If this were my last day on Earth, would I be happy with my decision?” I have no doubt that your answer is YES!! By the way, you are amazing as a business woman and a mom…at least in my book:)

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