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Video: SPANX Founder Sara Blakely on the Today Show Round Table!

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SPANX Founder Sara Blakely on the Today Show Round Table!

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SPANX Founder Sara Blakely on the Today Show Round Table!: watch this video featuring products available on SPANX.

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SPANX Founder Sara Blakely on the Today Show Round Table!: watch this video featuring products available on SPANX.

We're back here at 7:39 with some words of wisdom for the new year from some great minds. WARREN BUFFET, TONY ROBBINS, San Antonio Mayor JULIAN CASTRO and SARA BLAKELY, the founder of SPANX. We recently talked to them about economy, success and optimism. It began by asking the group after so many economic starts and stops did they see positive things ahead in 2013. / I'm hugely optimistic about America. I mean, it's just, you're in the right place. I mean, if you're born in this country, you know you're one of luckiest individuals in the world and, ah, go back to 1776 and what we have works. / All of you also optimistic? / I would say so, ah, you know, if you look at 2013 I'm optimistic because there is a force that we've been part of a couple hundred years and that's the force of technology going geometric and fractionalizing at cost. And what's it's done is it's changed our access to resources. You know the phone most people have in their pocket today this is something the president of the United States didn't have 20 years ago. And then you've got guys like this gentlemen or BILL GATES that are spending their life's fortune on how to solve for hunger, what to do about disease, what do we do about education, it's the best time to be alive. / So this is like one big Woodstock event here, everybody is so optimistic. Are you as optimistic? / Well I am. You can just feel the mood of the country I think brightening. I think we're ready to sort of let out a collective breath and get on with prospering. / What about uncertainty? I mean, you're a great businesswoman. You tell me, Matt, it's going to be bad for the next three years, I can plan for that. But if you say I'm not sure how long this is going to last I think uncertainty can be paralyzing. / As an entrepreneur, I'm not uncertain about myself and my team. And I spent so little time focused on is the economy up, is the economy down. I mean, when I started SPANX right before 9/11 I mean a lot of people would say it's a horrible time. I didn't know it was a horrible time. I had never taken a business class. So the way I approach the economy is sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down, you know, you tread your course and for me, I just made a product that was good and the public wanted it. / Tomorrow is always uncertain but the future, the longer future, is always very certain. I mean, and that's what you need to keep your eye on. / We've gone through a very contentious election. And a lot of people, I think, just my opinion, came out of it wondering whether the government whether can do it's job. Whether there's so much disfunction at the federal, and even at local levels, that we can count on government. In the coming year what would you tell people about that? / The fact is that Washington is only one facet of government. Most of what effects people's daily lives actually goes on at the local level. The police that protect you, the firefighters that protect you, people that pick up your garbage. The quality of life of the neighborhoods that you live in are impacted by local governments where everyday individuals actually have a chance to impact what happens there. So, ah, you know it's easy to create a cardboard of what government is but really it's functioning very well in a lot of these local communities. / In this upcoming year of 2013 how would you say it is in terms of starting your own business. Is it a good idea? / That depends on the individual. I mean, some people have natural entrepreneurial abilities and tendencies and there's a course called 10,000 Small Business which we've been sponsoring in various cities. We've got it in New York, New Orleans, Chicago and so on. That would be a terrific thing to join and do if you think you have that sort of talent. Not everybody does. / But if you don't have the certainty, you shouldn't be doing it. Because the things you're going to have to face, as you said, if you don't have that certainty, if you don't have the ability to say I'm going to find a way to add more value to other people's lives than any anybody else does, you're not going to make it. / This young lady is a good example. She came up with an idea and a product that a percentage of half the population would clamor for, alright. / And now men, Matt. / Exactly. But if you don't have that great idea, if you just have what you think is a good idea, should you resist the urge to start a business? / I think starting a business during a tough time is actually beneficial. And the reason why is because talent is easier to find, um, you know other corporations, the big guys that you're competing against get much more conservative and then buyers at stores want to take, you know, they're looking for something more inventive, more interesting. And so, for me with Spanx, I mean it came at a time when everybody else was sort becoming so conservative that the buyers at NEIMANS and BLOOMIES said alright, we'll give this idea a chance, so.. / When you look at the FORTUNE 1000, more than half of them were started in a recession or depression. MICROSOFT, in a recession, APPLE is a recession, PIZZA HUT, FEDERAL EXPRESS, DISNEY in a depression. Right. All those companies that start in the toughest times get so strong that when the good times come, when spring comes after winter, they're able to dominate for many, many decades. / What were the times like when you started BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY? / Well, I bought control of it in 1965. They were reasonable times. But I actually bought my first stock in 1942 and it was in the spring, after Pearl Harbor, we were getting clobbered everyplace. We had Equador and the death march of Bataan. / You took a chance? / It was a great time to buy a stock / And we're going to have more with them in a little while. Up next, good by sexy ladies. Why Psy is ready to retire...

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