Think Like

Sara Blakely - Aaron Sansoni

Think Like Spotlight: Sara Blakely

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This month’s entrepreneur spotlight is perhaps slightly less well-known than some of the other entrepreneurs we’ve featured, and yet she has the made the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world (2012) and named the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes (2014). She is Florida-native and Georgia-famous— Sara Blakely.

Claim to Fame: Spanx

Entrepreneur Spotlight:

Sara Blakely originally set out to pursue a career in law, but decided early on that it wasn’t the right fit for her. Instead, she found that she excelled in sales after gaining employment at a door-to-door company that sold fax machines. It was in this career that she came up with her billion dollar idea: women’s undergarments, like hosiery, that would hide lines and firm up the appearance of the upper legs and torso without an unsightly toe seam or rolling.

Blakely was just 27 years old when she set out to develop and sell her product. Over the course of two years, she met with several executives in the hosiery industry. Nearly all were male and nearly all of them rejected her product. Except one. A mill operator offered to support Sara and her product thanks to encouragement from his three daughters.

The prototype took a year to create. Sara spent $750 on a patent and $150 on a trademark for the product. They would be called Spanx.

Once the product was complete and packaging was created, Sara Blakely pitched Spanx to Neiman Marcus. The company took on the product, initially selling them in just seven stores. Several other major department stores took notice and added Spanx to their inventory not long after. Throughout all of this, Blakely maintained her job with the fax machine company. In fact, she would remain with the company until 2000 when Oprah Winfrey named Spanx a “favorite thing.” Sales soared and Blakely left the fax machine company to focus on her own business.

Not one to shy away from work, Sara managed all aspects of her business by herself until it was no longer possible for a single human to do so. Spanx netted a cool $4million in year one sales, and doubled revenue to $10 million in year two.

In 2005, Blakely met Richard Branson during her time on a then-popular reality tv show for billionaires. In 2013, she expressed interest in designing “the world’s most comfortable high-heeled show.” In 2015, she was a part of a group that successfully purchased the Atlanta Hawks – a professional basketball team based in Georgia.

As of November 2017, Sara Blakely was worth $1.14 billion…all because she was no good at law.

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Where To Find Think Like On The Web

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We’ve been talking a lot recently about the benefits of reading Think Like, but one thing we haven’t covered is where to find out more. Fortunately, there are several places across the web where potential readers can learn more about the book and author Aaron Sansoni.

BuyThinkLike

The best resource for Think Like is its very own website: www.buythinklike.com. The website features a dynamic, scrolling homepage that provides insight into both the book and the author. You will find rave reviews, projected learning points, and even download and read a chapter before purchasing the book. When you’re done exploring, you can purchase Think Like using the “Buy Now” button located in the menu header!

GoodReads

GoodReads is an excellent platform to learn more about Aaron Sansoni. His author page features a small biography, syndicated blog posts related to Think Like, and all of Aaron’s favorite quotes from other authors. You can check out the events list if you’d like to see Aaron live, and there’s even a Q&A section where you can submit questions that you’d like for the author to answer.  

Reedsy

Reedsy is similar to GoodReads in that it is, essentially, an author profile. You can read a bit about Aaron Sansoni as you check out syndicated blog posts. The profile features prominent links to Aaron’s social pages, as well as the option to follow the author and receive updates when new information is posted. You are also able to see which of your friends are following Aaron on Reedsy and GoodReads!

Scribd

Scribd is more of a book profile than an author profile. It features book facts like the number of book pages and average time to complete this book. You can assign the book a rating, write a review, and read a detailed preview of a chapter right out of the book. Readers with Scribd profiles may choose to save Think Like to book lists, share the book page with friends, or save the page for reference later on.

Amazon

Those looking to avoid the fluff and get straight down to business will be happy to know that Aaron Sansoni’s Think Like can be found on Amazon. It is available in paperback and Kindle editions. Purchasers have the option to review the book, see recommended purchase pairings, and view critical product details in an easy-to-read format. An author biography and product reviews are also available.

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Think Like Spotlight: Steve Jobs

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This month’s Think Like Spotlight covers the entrepreneurial basics of one of the greatest tech entrepreneurs of our time: Steve Jobs. The California native successfully leveraged relationships, technology, and business to create an empire that is a relevant part of the modern world to this day.

Claim To Fame: Apple Inc., Pixar

Entrepreneurial History:

Many recognize Steve Jobs as co-founder of Apple Inc., but few actually realize how long the company has been in business. Prior to iPhones and modern MacBooks, Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak joined forces to sell the first Apple I computer. The year was 1976.

Unlike many of the entrepreneurial success stories featured in Think Like, Steve Jobs did not begin his career as an entrepreneur very early on. In fact, he spent most of his earlier years traveling the globe and experimenting with various cultural beliefs and practices. It wasn’t until 1974, when Steve Jobs returned from his travels, that he began to leverage his friendship with Wozniak for employable reasons.

The two intellects worked together behind-the-scenes while Jobs maintained a position at Atari, utilizing Wozniak’s expertise in exchange for compensation when necessary. When Wozniak invented the Apple I computer in 1976, it was Jobs’ idea to sell it— his first real entrepreneurial pursuit at the age of 21. With innovation, technology, and a lot of investment solicitation on Jobs’ part, the entrepreneur was worth roughly $1 million dollars by the time he was 23. Apple would continue to grow and expand, as would the entrepreneurial ventures of Steve Jobs.

In 1985, Steve set out to establish NeXT Inc., a technology-based computer/software company. NeXT would struggle on and off for several years before the release of NeXTSTEP/Intel in 1993. Eventually, the software company would create enough innovative waves to solicit the attention of none other than Apple Inc. Apple acquired NeXT in 1997, a move that returned Jobs to Apple Inc. where he would remain until 2011.  

During his time at NeXT, Steve also spent a good deal of time nurturing the artistic side he had developed during his early years. He provided a computer graphics division of Lucasfilm $10 million in funding to initiate a “spinout” in 1986— half for capital and half for technology rights. The group would eventually partner with Disney to create their very first film. The film was released in 1995. It credited Steve Jobs as the executive producer and became an instant classic in the industry. The film’s name? Toy Story.

Steve Jobs would continue to nurture the relationship with Disney over the next decade until a contract expiration served as the catalyst for a falling-out in 2004. Jobs took Pixar elsewhere for a brief span of time but rekindled the partnership when the Disney chief executive was replaced. In 2006, Jobs struck a deal that would give him control of 7% of Disney shares in an “all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion.” The transaction would result in Disney’s purchase of Pixar.

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What You’ll Learn From Reading Think Like

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I’ve mentioned once or twice now that reading Think Like is not like reading your everyday self-help book. It’s meant to motivate, inspire, and advise on a very real, very professional level. You won’t hear wishy-washy words or vague bits of generic instructions. Instead, you’ll be exposed to the true success stories of some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time in hopes that understanding their mindset helps to condition your own.

When you read Think Like, you should expect to walk away with a better understanding of the following concepts:

How To Think Like A Leader

It is true that leaders are required to think and behave differently. Great leaders are working for their team and not the other way around. And, while leadership goals are usually similar in nature, there are countless different ways to approach achieving them.

Best Practices

Theories are great, but examples are better. Think Like features sample best practices that you can implement on your own as you create your personal entrepreneurial journey.

Obtaining Insights From Various Backgrounds 

 There’s more than one path to successful leadership. Each of the 21 entrepreneurs featured in Think Like took their own path. They all came from different backgrounds, had different life experiences, and mastered different fields, meaning you are benefitting from a comprehensive and diverse range of experience.

Building and Nurturing Business For A Lifetime

Once you’ve decided to commit to yourself and your business, you’ll want to make sure that you are working in ways that ensure long-term success as opposed to short-term satisfaction.

Inspiration and Motivation To Create A Bigger Life For Yourself 

 Motivation is contagious. When you read about the work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit of the world’s top 21st-century business leaders, you can’t help but be inspired to make changes in your own life.

Thinking and Acting For A More Lucrative and Rewarding Professional Life

Think Like guides you in creating a mindset and behavioral patterns that are in line with crushing your goals and obtaining personal and professional satisfaction.

Reading Think Like is a great first step towards creating your own path to entrepreneurial success. Learn what worked for household names like Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffet. Choose recommended best practices that fit your goals and capabilities. And then? Get out there and create your future.

For additional advice on leadership and business best practices, check out AaronSansoniTraining.com.au.

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Elon Musk

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When you read Think Like you are not just reading another self-help book. You are reading over 20 different roadmaps to success. Not all entrepreneurs travel the same path to success. Each one leverages their unique skills and circumstances to carve out their own path. This business drive is never more apparent than it is with Elon Musk.

Claim to Fame: PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla

Entrepreneurial History

Musk sold his first application, the result of teaching himself programming just out of primary school, at age 12. He later dropped out of a graduate program at Stanford University to capitalize on the rise of the internet with the creation of his first company: Zip2 Corporation. Zip2 was an online version of a city guide. It was purchased by Compaq Computer Corporation in 1999 for $341 million in cash and stock options.

That same year, Elon Musk co-founded X.com and broke into the online payment sector. The company was acquired less than one year later, and PayPal was born. eBay eventually purchased PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion in stock, directly benefiting Musk who owned a casual 11% at the time.

SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is Elon Musk’s third company. It was founded in 2002 for the purpose of constructing vehicles suitable for commercial space travel and still exists today. Although they’ve had a hand in various projects, SpaceX gained celebrity status in 2008 when NASA awarded them a “contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station.”

In 2012, Musk and his company launched the very first unmanned craft into space. Falcon 9, as the rocket was called, carried 1000 lbs of supplies to astronauts already at the Space Station. Three additional Falcon 9s would also make history with the successful transport of a satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit in 2013, the mission to observe extreme solar emissions affecting power grids and communication systems in 2015, and the noteworthy test flight (and landing) of a version of the rocket made from reusable parts.

Concurrent with the foundation and operation of SpaceX, Elon Musk co-founded Tesla in 2003. He serves as the CEO and product architect for the company, which is most known for its advances in the field of electric vehicles.

Present Day Elon Musk

Today Elon Musk is consistently bringing new ideas and technology to the world of space travel and exploration. His current projects include the creation of a rocket that can carry at least 100 people. Long-term plans include cargo mission to Mars in 2022 and the eventual colonization of Mars. Musk is also returning to his entrepreneurial roots with recent permissions from the U.S. government to launch a series of internet-providing satellites into low orbit. Most recently, Musk announced plans to take Tesla private with funding already secured.

Learn more about the thought processes and success strategies of Elon Musk and other entrepreneurs in Think Like.