How to Tell Your Husband You’re A Billionaire
4:15 pm, April 8th | by Meredith Lepore
Sara Blakely, founder of the miracle that is Spanx, recently spoke at the Women in the World Summit. She talked about how her failure at trying to be a lawyer led her to becoming a billionaire (at 42, she was the youngest woman to grace the cover of the Forbes‘ Billionaire list) but she also talked about how she had to tell her husband she had a bit more money then he may have thought (back before 2009). In her tale, she gave some good tips on what to do when you need to tell your husband you are a self-made billionaire. You know, should you ever be in that situation.
Then-fiancé Jesse Itzler, like most of the world, was in the dark about how much money Spanx was making. It was popular but people underestimated how many women were buying shapewear. So when shehad to tell him how much money she was worth, she admitted she was pretty nervous. Here are her tips.
1) Don’t do it while eating steak: She decided to break the news at Josie’s, a healthy New York eatery, known for its vegetarian courses.
2) Don’t say it outright, say it gently: “I just said, ‘Honey, there’s something I have to tell you.’ And he looked really nervous, and I was really nervous. And I just said, ‘I think I make more money than you think I do’ … I just shared with him the success of Spanx.”
3) Do find the right partner: “He got a little teary-eyed, and all he said was, ‘Honey, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person,’” she told the audience at WOW. As Sheryl Sandberg says, one of the most important career decisions a woman can make is choosing her partner.
Itzler, 43, a former rapper from Long Island, who has backed and co-founded a few startups, including Marquis Jet, describes his wife as “50% Lucille Ball, 50% Einstein.” Here are more examples of what a great guy she found. From Forbes:
“I keep a list of Sara-isms in my phone,” he says, referring to her goofy moments. “There’s something every day.” Recent example: wearing two different shoes, one red-soled Christian Louboutin and one plain boot, and having to hobble up the escalator at Bloomingdale’s. Legend: On the way to the Screen Actors Guild Awards one year, Blakely realized in the limo she’d forgotten her jewelry at her hotel. Instead of turning back, she had her driver stop at a candy store—and accessorized her gown with stretchable candy necklaces and bracelets.
Spanx fans recognize her on the street, in stores and in airports and want to show their allegiance. “Women flash her,” says Itzler. “Imagine that. She’s just really good. She’s the best, man.””
“I went through so many Mr. Right Nows instead of Mr. Right. I had dated several guys before him and it was very difficult for me because I was so into starting the company that I really didn’t have the time or energy to focus on a relationship.
But I also found that the success and the money inevitably became an issue between us, even though we worked really hard for it not to be. My husband’s a really successful entrepreneur in his own right, so I think he’s just a super confident man. I’m glad I waited for him.”
4) Do celebrate being a billionaire: When her interviewer Felicia Taylor, a CNN International business correspondent,
really awkwardly asked her how it felt to be a billionaire, Blakely paused. ‘That’s an interesting question,’ she said. “It’s awesome.”