article_sara-blakely.jpgIt's amazing what nerves of steel and utter determination can do to one's life. Although she still remembers a time when she had to literally beg mill owners to help her transform her dream into reality, Sara Blakely, founder and inventor of Spanx body shapers, is, at 41, now Forbes' Youngest Self-Made Woman Billionaire.

A true inspiration for budding femtrepreneurs, Blakely, who started her company with just a $5,000 investment, urges others out there to always try to get out of their comfort zones. "I think fear prevents so many people from pursuing their ideas. Failure to me is in not trying rather than in not succeeding," she tells Anderson Cooper in his daytime talk show Anderson.

Blakely adds, "I really am just like anybody else out there. I found myself in a place where I think many people can relate to but I made the decision and I committed to that decision to figure it out for myself. It took a ton of hard work. It was a roller-coaster but I feel amazingly blessed to be doing what I do, and I love every minute of it.”

Her ultimate advice for women who want to start their own businesses? "You've got to trust your gut," Blakely shares. "I didn’t have any background in what I was doing. Trust your gut—it’s a really good compass. The other thing is to differentiate yourself. You’ve got to know why you’re different, why you’re better—and your customer needs to know why you’re different and better and they need to get it in 30 seconds or less."

Trust your gut? Sounds like women's intuition to us.

(Photo courtesy of Visions Expressions)

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