Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of shapewear company Spanx, has made a lot of mistakes along the way, but she’s learned even more.
Last week at the Forbes Women’s Summit in New York, Blakely shared her best advice for entrepreneurs.
“As soon as you can afford to, hire your weaknesses,” she said. “What you’re not good at is usually what you don’t like.”
Blakely hired a CEO to run the business when Spanx was just two years old, she said. It allowed her to focus on the things she was particularly good at, such as marketing, selling on QVC, and inventing new products.
“Hiring a CEO was very critical for me to stay on my strengths,” she said.
This echoes the advice of other successful entrepreneurs, like media CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, who advises forgetting about your weaknesses and betting on your strengths, and “The 4-Hour Workweek” author Tim Ferriss, who says 80% of results come from 20% of your efforts.
No matter what your personality or skills may be, understanding how you can add the most value is the surest path to success.