woman building her profitable business by following the example of Nike and Spanx

Unlock Nike, Spanx, and Starbucks’ Secrets to Greatness – Right Now!

What does your new (or not yet) business have in common with Nike, Spanx, Amazon, and Stonewall kitchen?

A lot actually. 😊

Each of those businesses started with someone having a crazy idea and chasing their vision.

(BTW: readi to the end to find out one more amazing fact about each business)

Spanx: From Fax machines to an underwear empire

When her LSAT law exam score came back too low to gain admission to law school, she gave up on her dream of becoming a lawyer.

She sold fax machines door-to-door to make ends meet while she was figuring out her next move.

Blakely lived in hot, humid Florida. And while she loved how pantyhose smoothed out her panty lines, she didn’t like wearing them in sticky weather.

Determined to fix the problem, she tried many. Frustrated, she cut the legs off a pair of control-top pantyhose and liked the result—but it was not perfect.

Not yet.

Blakely kept tinkering until she came up with a design. Then she took $5000 of her savings, developed prototypes, and tried to get pantyhose manufacturers interested.

No one would take a chance until the owner of one of the mills, impressed by his own daughter’s enthusiasm for the product, decided to take a chance.

That company is called Spanx.

From a waffle maker to one of the biggest athletic brands in the world.

Nike started with one guy building shoes at his kitchen table.

Phil Knight went out to athletic events and talked to runners.

He kept refining and rebuilding until runners were demanding his shoe.

His commitment to making the best shoe meant burning through a couple of his wife’s waffle irons because he was bootstrapping at his kitchen table.

Today, that waffle-maker shoe company sells about $50 billion a year.


woman growing her profitable business while using the examples of nike and spanx

From a crappy website with a single product to the world’s largest retailer.

Amazon started with a crappy website selling books.

Jeff Bezos envisioned a one-stop “everything” shop but he knew he had to start with a market that he could conquer. He chose books.

Bezos went all in on the venture, leaving his Wall Street gig to get Amazon up and running.

He envisioned selling everything, but he started with books because it seemed the easiest category for him to break into.

Amazon kept expanding as Jeff Bezos added products and refined the system until it became the Amazon we know today.

From farmer’s markets to international gourmet brand.

Stonewall Kitchen's founders, Jim Stott and Jonathan King, started selling jams at a farmer’s market in 1991 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Their jams met with success as Scott and King kept expanding their offerings.

Jim’s 90-year-old grandmother stuck their signature burlap on top to keep up with demand.

Now, they sell in 42 countries with lines of food, cookbooks, and home goods.

Oh, they have a cooking school and café at their “mother ship” in York, Maine. (Well worth the visit, BTW)

Each of these businesses were started by someone using their talents and skills – their superpower.

Each of these businesses chased a vision that their founders had.

–Phil Knight wanted to create the premier running shoe in the world

–Sara Blakely wanted to create undergarments that gave women confidence in how they looked

–Jeff Bezos wanted to make an “everything store”

–Jim Stott and Jonathan King wanted to build a gourmet food empire that started with a family blueberry jam recipe.

So...what is your superpower?

Don’t you DARE tell me you don’t have a superpower.

I will wait right here until you can tell me just one thing – even if you think it’s a very small thing – that you do better than anyone.

Got something in mind?


You can start a business around your one superpower.

The other stuff—getting in front of your customers and figuring out if what you’re selling is what your audience wants to buy—is all part of the process. Every business goes through this.

I can see you in the back, shaking your head and saying, “Nope, I can’t do that because _(fill in your own excuse here)”

I am telling you, you can.

I am on a mission to help women recognize that their skills, knowledge, and life experiences have value—as a business, in their lives, and in their community.

Incredible value.

Monetary value.

Leadership value.

I am tired of the world telling women that they are “just (something)”

Just a mom

Just a big fat failure

Just getting too big for their britches

Just not good enough / smart enough / ambitious enough to chase their dreams.

I want women to be strong enough to grab onto the power and skills they have right now.

Because YOU truly are enough

Right here. Right now. This instant.

YOU are enough to

Start a business. Start changing your life. Start changing the lives of your families and your community.

All with the simple vision of yourself as

Important. Powerful. And it does not require that you follow someone else’s idea of what is perfect.


You get to (in fact, you must) do this for yourself if you will be successful. Work from what you are already good at and make money doing it.

And it doesn’t take buying into someone else’s business model.

You don't need to try something weird you don’t understand or some “get rich” thing that all the cool kids are doing.

Maybe some of these ideas could be a great fit for you.

But probably not.

So, how do you figure out your greatness?

Take inventory of the marketable skills you already have.

Yes. You do have marketable skills. Ask your friends, coworkers, and family what they think you're great at.

You just may need some help from family and friends pulling the weeds away to see them

Because (as my very wise friend Seth says….)

  • Nobody makes your choices but you
  • Nobody gets to choose who you are but you
  • Nobody gets to choose who you are NOT but you

Want to figure out how to get started?

It’s actually a pretty simple process.

Step One: What is your superpower that people will pay for?

Don’t tell me you have no superpower – because EVERYONE has a superpower.

(But sometimes you need a little help to see how amazing you are. So ask your friends, coworkers, and family.)

Step Two: Who will pay for your superpower?

Someone out there needs exactly what you can do for them. You might need some help finding them – but that’s part of the process.

The other stuff, getting in front of your clients, figuring out if what you’re selling is what your audience wants to buy – all part of the process.

And EVERY business goes through this.

We can figure this out. All of it.

Let’s go on this journey to become your version of Jeff, Sara, Phil, Jim, or Jonathan.

PS Here are the other “amazing things” I promised at the beginning…

Spanx was a side gig for Blakely for the first nine years. She kept her office supplies sales job until Oprah picked Spanx as “her favorite thing,” and sales exploded.

Knight worked as an accountant and sold Japanese-brand Tiger shoes out of the trunk of his car at track meets while he worked to build Nike.

Bezos’s parents were not thrilled when he decided to leave Wall Street and advised him to do Amazon as a side gig. Bezos refused and went all in.

Stonewall Kitchen’s first big order for 2500 jars from Crate & Barrel in 1993 took a month to fulfill. One. Jar. At. A. Time. The success of this helped them with their first expansion.

PPS…Your journey is right here, right now.

Nothing is stopping you but you.

Patricia Browne

Patricia Browne

Patricia Browne is the author of seven books that help businesses grow and profit.

Read about The Profit-ize system and what it can do for your business

Leave a Comment