O.D. to O.D.


Vision can become clearer with failure, if we allow it

Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

By now you probably have begun, if not completed, your business and marketing plans for 2020. It will be a fabulous year. After all, 2020 is the year of awesome vision. As you read Optometric Management each month (and I thank you for doing so and sending me your comments), I hope you are inspired to try something new and amazing in your practice or, at least, to stay motivated to work on strategies you have begun. Along the way, it is normal to have moments of discouragement. To keep your plans moving forward, let me share some inspiration.


Sara Blakely’s story inspires me. No. 23 on Forbes 2019 list of “America’s Richest Self-Made Women,” Ms. Blakely is the founder of Spanx, a shape-wear brand sold in 65 countries. In 2012, Forbes named Sara the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. She is also the co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, the city’s NBA team.

Sara wasn’t always so successful. She gave up her dream of law school after twice failing to achieve the minimum LSAT score. Additionally, she took jobs that didn’t interest her, including working at Epcot, and soon after, selling fax machines door-to-door. It was at this time, in her late 20s, that she had her “big idea.”

On , Ms. Blakely tells of how she was getting ready for a party and realized she didn’t have an undergarment that would create the right look under white pants. Her solution: She decided to cut the feet off a pair of control-top pantyhose. . . and the Spanx revolution began. She worked diligently to take her idea to market. Hard work and a few failures brought her the success she enjoys today.


Ms. Blakely says she credits her success to weekly talks with her father. As they reviewed each week, her father always asked: “Sara, what have you failed at this week?” When she told him her failure, they celebrated. If Sara answered “nothing,” he told her to fail at something.


Over the course of history, those who have succeeded have taken risks, and those who haven’t succeeded often haven’t continued to try. It is impossible to create something wonderful without effort. As you move into 2020, dive in to that “big thing” you always wanted. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is simply an event that gets you moving in another direction. Keep going, and remember the words of Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

And, consider this quote by Abraham Lincoln: “I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me, and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”

I hope you know I am that friend. I believe in you. Don’t have the heart to let me down.

When facing a challenge, regroup and take a new direction. Looking ahead, here’s to an amazing 2020! OM


Twitter: @drapriljasper

Facebook: @OptometricManagementmagazine