The Weird Habit Of Spanx’s CEO

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Everyone has some form of commute whether you work from home or afar. But while so many of us dread the long commutes, that’s not the case with a lot of us. Some of us use that time to think and prepare ourselves for the day.

But what happens when your office is close to your home?

For Spanx’s CEO Sara Blakely, she’s in that situation, however she fixes it by simply making the commute longer.

Blakely revealed early this year that she wakes up one hour early and embarks on a “fake commute.” This activity comprises of her driving around Atlanta “aimlessly” in order to give her some space to think.

“I’ve identified where my best thinking happens and it’s in the car,” Blakely told LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman on his podcast “Masters of Scale”. “I live really close to Spanx, so I’ve created what my friends call my ‘fake commute,’ and I get up an hour early before I’m supposed to go to Spanx..”

Blakely said she even came up with the name “Spanx” on one of these long commutes.

“I… said I want my invention to have the ‘k’ sound in it and literally, almost spontaneously, I’m sitting in traffic in Atlanta, the word ‘spanks’ came to me across my dashboard in traffic,” Blakely said at the Inc. Women’s Summit in 2011. “I pulled up to the side of the road.  Wrote it on a scrap piece of paper and I thought, ‘That’s it.’”

On the podcast, Hoffman did praise Blakely for this unconventional morning routine.

“As an entrepreneur, you have to put yourself in situations where your great ideas are likely to strike,” remarked Hoffman and he’s right. Many entrepreneurs have some weird tactics for how they deal with certain things. And a lot of those come down to great ideas or mindsets that help them in dealing with specific situations.

Hoffman also continues to praise Blakely by stating “Sara knows that she does her best thinking in the car. So, she intentionally creates the time and space – first thing every day – to open herself up to new ideas.”

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