What I learned from Sarah Blakely

I went to a conference for women entrepreneurs in New York today and had the privilege of meeting so many women entrepreneurs who had built successful business they had turned into million and billion dollar ventures. It could have been intimidating, but instead it was inspiring.

One of those people in the room was Sarah Blakely (for those who do not know, she is the youngest woman self-made billionaire). She spoke informally from the heart, as if for our own good and she said something that truly struck me. It hurt because I knew that I was one of the people she was talking about. She said that when she works with women entrepreneurs within three seconds of speaking to them she identifies that, first and foremost they have a problem with money. It can be briefly summarized as an unease at the idea of making a lot of money.

She said that she was always clear that once she had her idea, she would make it big. She wanted to make a lot of money. That is probably why she did. She said that nothing helps more than being clear with that from the start and what she says is true. There is no reason to send mixed signals to your brain.

The problem: we all know evil people with money and do not want to become like them.

Take it from the words of a billionaire. Sarah said that money does not change you, but rather it makes you more of who you already are. The keyword in the sentence is already. Money will not change what you are, it will simply enhance it. Money is only a means. You are an evil scrooge and you will use it incorrectly, you are a good person you will use it to carry out more purpose and bring happiness around you. And to be fair the very rich people around us, hosting us, were very much an example of that.

So ever since, instead of thinking about all the unhappy people I know with money, I think about all the things I could do if I had more money. Personally, I would travel to see the world and meet more people that inspire me, my work and my creativity. My organization could have more events, we could help more women entrepreneurs achieve their purpose. I would personally help more dog shelters because I find it shameful the way our society fails to treat animals who cannot protect their own rights. The same for children and orphanages. I would give a bit to all the people I see struggling in the streets. Sarah gave us all $100 gift certificates for Spanx. She also started a Foundation for women entrepreneurs.

Maybe if we all authorized ourselves to think about all the things we could do, we would actually do them.

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