11 Things About Sara Blakely That Goal-Oriented Women Should Know

Jannine Myers

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I heard a podcast interview last week, between School of Greatness host, Lewis Howes, and his guest, Sara Blakely. For those of you who do not know who Sara Blakely is, she is the very successful founder and owner of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company. Named in 2012, by Forbes Magazine, as the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, Blakely talked about her life prior to and during her business expansion of Spanx. Listed below are what I believe were some of her most influential and must-read statements, as well as things she revealed about her success – which began with setting a firm vision and intentionally setting out to achieve it:

  • Blakely sold fax machines door-to-door for seven years before deciding to “re-script” her life. She wrote in her journal, “I’m going to invent a product and sell it to millions of people!” And then she asked the universe to give her a good idea! It took two years for the concept of Spanx to enter her mind, but when it did she ran with it.

 

  • Initially there were a string of “No’s,” as one buyer after another rejected her idea, but instead of giving up, Blakely said she found the strength to persevere because she never gave herself any other options.

 

  • Blakely’s first major buyer was Neiman Marcus, and she landed that contract by taking the initiative to call and ask for just 10 minutes of their time. Later, when her product was in the stores and she became acquainted with some of the other vendors, she learned that her direct calling approach was the better one; the other vendors had taken a reactive approach that involved waiting and hoping for a Neiman Marcus buyer to view their products at a trade show.

 

  • Blakely stumbled through her first couple of years of business, but she’s grateful for the bumps along the way because she believes they helped her to do things more efficiently. She tells all new business owners that what they don’t know can be their greatest asset because it ensures that things will be done differently.

 

  • When Spanx undergarments first went on sale in several Neiman Marcus stores, Blakely paid friends and family members to go and buy her product; it was a strategic move that was extreme but effective. Blakely said, “You have to take extreme measures! You have to ensure your success!”

 

  • As a child, Blakely said her father encouraged her to fail. Each week at the dinner table, he would ask her to share one thing she had failed at that week. If she had nothing to report, her father would express disappointment, but if she said for example, “I tried out for an acting role but I didn’t get it,” her father would praise her and say, “Great job!” She says that he taught her to reframe what failure meant; failure meant trying, versus not succeeding.

 

  • Once at a party, two guy friends told Blakely that owning a business meant going to war; they asked her if she was ready for that. Their question – and perspective of business ownership – disturbed Blakely, and in a deliberate act of rebellion she made a choice to take a totally feminine approach to how she conducted her business. She said she prefers to project a “feminine” energy that relies largely on the trusting of her instincts. She also prefers to employ mostly women, because she believes that they are gifted at multi-tasking, and it’s also a personal goal of hers to use her status and financial gain to empower as many women as possible.

 

  • When asked how she feels about being a multi-billionaire, Blakely said she believes that “money just makes you more of who you are.” If you were kind before making money, you’ll be kinder. Alternatively, the opposite is also true.

 

  • Experiencing the loss of several loved ones has made Blakely realize that we only get one short life and that it isn’t a dress rehearsal; consequently it’s important that we try things even when we’re afraid to.

 

  • Several years ago, Blakely appeared on a reality TV show called The Rebel Billionaire, hosted by Richard Branson. In order to move on to subsequent episodes, the participants were required to take on some pretty daring challenges. One such challenge involved a bungy jump from the edge of a cliff into the arms of a “catcher.” If the jump was too short, the contestant would fall a few hundred feet before dangling in the air on the end of the bungy cord. Blakely says that most of the contestants fell short of the catcher, but she managed to land safely in his arms. What she later learned is something she now professes to be a major life lesson; she said that unlike her rivals, who aimed for the catcher’s arms, she set her eyes above the catcher’s headthinking that if she aimed higher she’d have a greater chance of succeeding.

 

  • These days Blakely is a mother of four children, all under the age of seven; she described how she used to waste a lot of mental energy on beating herself up whenever she felt like she wasn’t doing a good job at balancing her business and parental roles. Obviously her work and home responsibilities require equal and careful amounts of attention (that anyone in her position would find incredibly challenging), but she realized that a better way to address any personal shortcomings was to offer up kindness to herself and to cultivate a self-nurturing and accepting mindset.

 

Lewis Howes described Blakely as a legend among entrepreneurs, and I have to agree. She is exceptionally talented, brave, authentic, and inspirational! To hear the full podcast, and get an even greater sense of her character and influence, click this link.

No-Bake Seasonal Cranberry-Chocolate-Chia Slice

Jannine Myers

I thought this week I’d take the opportunity to share a recipe that some of you might like to make in place of other traditional Thanksgiving desserts such as pumpkin and pecan pie. In one of the social media groups that I belong to, we were asked earlier this week to share a “revamped” fall recipe; revamped in the sense that it contains less sugar, calories, and fat, and more wholesome ingredients. So I took a recipe that I shared some time ago, and tweaked it a little to make it more fall-appropriate (by using as the main ingredient cranberries). I hope you will try my No-Bake Cranberry-Chocolate-Chia Slice:

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Ingredients

for the base:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons IsaLean Chocolate Powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

for the berry layer:

  • 1 cup organic dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoons water, plus additional if needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

for the chocolate topping:

  • 1/4 cup Hersheys Special Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted

Directions

  1. Grease a small square baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. Process the oatmeal and shredded coconut in a food processor, then transfer to a small bowl. Add the IsaLean powder and salt, and stir to combine. Melt the coconut oil and whisk together with the agave syrup and vanilla extract, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Press the mixture into the baking pan and set aside in the freezer.
  3. To make the berry layer, place the cranberries, frozen blackberries, and coconut oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. As the mixture starts to warm, add the chia seeds and water, and stir everything together. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer, continuing to stir regularly and adding more water if necessary. The mixture should thicken as the chia seeds absorb the liquid. Once the mixture has thickened into a paste-like consistency, take it off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the baking pan from the freezer and pour the berry mixture over the base; return pan back to freezer.
  4. To make the chocolate topping, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring to combine. Remove the slice from the freezer and pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the berries; spread evenly. Place the baking pan in the fridge to set for an hour or so. Once set, leave the slice at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting into squares. [I recommend storing in the freezer, and letting it sit at room temperature for several minutes before eating].

[Nutrition Info – per slice: Calories 110; Carbohydrates 16g; Sugars 9g; Protein 2.25g; Fat 4.5g; Saturated Fat 2.25g; Fiber 2.8g]

Runners With Recurrent Injuries Should Try Active Release Technique (ART)

Jannine Myers

A new form of injury treatment that I have been trying lately is ART (Active Release Technique); it’s actually been around for a while (and you can read about it’s inception here), but up until recently I had never met a local practitioner. In this post I’ll attempt to explain, as briefly as possible, what ART is and how it may help you if you are a runner with a history of recurrent injuries.

Unlike acute injuries, which are the result of a single event, recurrent injuries are the result of putting the same muscle groups through the same motion, over and over. Runners are particularly prone to these types of over-use injuries because the nature of the sport is a high-impact one, and additionally, most runners fail to practice complimentary exercises that help to maintain healthy levels of mobility, as well as adequate strength, balance, and endurance of the leg muscles.

The injury process begins with overuse, repetitive forces eventually straining the ligaments, muscles, and joints. If poor form – in the way of limited mobility and stride compensations – is also added to the mix, the damage is worse. The injured runner may at first experience mild aches or tightness in the muscles and joints – which the body will try to fix by laying down scar tissue – but as exercise continues, the same muscles are repeatedly strained and healed until adhesions result. It’s when adhesions result that normal muscle function declines and symptoms such as pain, tightness, limited mobility, and diminished blood flow begin to become the norm.

Worse still, if the injuries are never really treated properly – as with traditional treatment methods that generally provide slow and temporary relief – and if running continues, multiple scar tissue adhesions eventually produce significant strains down the entire length of the kinetic chain. Hence a repetitive injury cycle is set up, with muscle functionality, range of movement, and greater levels of pain being the end result.

Traditional forms of treatment by the way, include such measures as anti-inflammatory medications, ice, rest, muscle stimulation, steroid injections, and physical therapy stretches and exercises; they generally don’t work because they don’t target the scar tissue adhesions. ART on the other hand, is a treatment that attempts to go directly to the source of injury and treat it accordingly, thereby producing faster and more effective results.

As a patient visiting an ART practitioner for the first time, here is a little of what you can expect during a session:

  1. the practitioner will attempt to locate scar tissue adhesions;
  2. once adhesions have been located, the tendon, muscle, or ligament will be moved in such a way as to shorten it;
  3. and then firm pressure while be applied while the tissues are actively stretched and lengthened. As the tissue is lengthened, the practitioner can then determine if the texture and tension is healthy, or if scar tissue is still present and therefore more treatment required.

There are other aspects of treatment that you’ll likely experience when you visit an ART practitioner, but the thing I really love about it – besides the fact that it enables practitioners to identify other problem areas in the kinetic chain – is that it delivers quick results. Most running injuries seem to respond well to ART treatment, and combined with at-home stretching and exercises, significant improvement is often experienced after just 4 to 6 visits.

[The following before and after pictures show significant adhesions to the left of my spine, and the amazing results after just one treatment with ART Practitioner, Kathleen Bridget. Treatment involved engaging the intra-abdominal muscles and applying pressure, and then separating the adhesions to increase strength, range of motion and blood flow.]

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A few weeks after first treatment, and feeling much better!

If you are here in Okinawa, and would like to book an appointment with Kathleen Bridget, you can go directly to her online appointment schedule, or contact her via email at Kathleenburke1776@gmail.com, or by phone at 080-6480-3110.

For State-side residents, you can search here for an ART provider.

For Auckland, NZ residents, Calder Chiropractic Centre in Browns Bay uses a range of treatment techniques, including ART.