10 Success lessons from JK Rowling – “Billionaire Author” for entrepreneurs
British author JK Rowling wrote the first Potter books while a single mother living on welfare. Written on a manual typewriter, the manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel was rejected by 12 publishers and paid her just £1,500 as an advance when finally accepted.
Consist of eight series, Harry Potter is the highest-grossing film series of all-time in inflation unadjusted dollars, with $7.7 billion in at the global box office. Rowling, has a net worth of $1 billion and world’s richest author. J. K. Rowling says, “I believe in hard work and luck, and that the first often leads to the second.”
Here are 10 success lessons from JK Rowling – “Billionaire Author” for entrepreneurs,
1. Don’t be afraid to fail
Rowling said in her commencement address at Harvard: “I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. . . . I was the biggest failure I knew.”
I recognize that bet-the-company strategies are imprudent risk management, I’m not advocating management by gigantic risk taking. But whatever new product, service or plan you’ve devised, follow it as if you have nothing to lose.
Rowling started writing the Harry Potter series during a delay on the train from Manchester to London King’s Cross. As she later described the moment: “All of a sudden the idea for Harry just appeared in my mind’s eye. I can’t tell you why or what triggered it. But I saw the idea of Harry and the wizard school very plainly. I suddenly had this basic idea of a boy who didn’t know who he was, who didn’t know he was a wizard until he got his invitation to wizard school. I have never been so excited by an idea.”
During the next five years, she outlined the plots for each book, eventually there would be seven. From the time she first came up with the idea, Rowling stayed focused on producing a fantastically entertaining, well-written series of novels that transformed the reading habits of British and American kids (and huge numbers of adults, too).
3. Do what you are passionate about
J.K Rowling said: “I am an extraordinary lucky person, doing what I love best in the world. I’m sure that I will always be a writer.”
Doing something you love will make you work harder. Besides, if you aren’t working on something that is align with your passion, it is very likely that you will feel unfulfilled and become truly happy in your life.
4. Have faith
Publishers kept turning down the Harry potter book mainly because “It was too long”. However, J.K. Rowling had enough faith in her creation to persist until it was published.
How much faith do you have in yourself? How can you be in a state of complete faith when challenges arise? Difficult situation is not new to anyone of us, but faith is like a fuel tank that has to be pump in with motivation and inspiration.
5. Deal with criticism
The Harry Potter series, which some groups have attacked because of its themes of witchcraft and wizardry, was removed from a public school in Bridgeport Township, Michigan.
If you do not encounter any criticism before, most probably you will not be successful. The fact is, whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something negative to say.
6. Having nothing to lose can be a source of great strength
“I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
The curious thing about human spirit is that just when it seems as though everything bad that could possibly happen to you has already occurred, you suddenly realise that you are no longer afraid of failure, you have nothing more to lose. You too can spring back from the lowest point in your life once you begin to realise that you have already come down in life and experienced the very fears that you were running away from.
7. You are responsible for your own life
“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”
Our parents form the backbone of our lives when we are children. We are totally dependent on them for our needs and expect their advice and guidance when faced with problems while growing up. However, it is important to understand that after a certain age we should learn to steer the wheel of our own life and consider ourselves responsible for whatever happens in our life.
8. Stop blaming
If you’re blaming someone else for you not finding your own dream and bringing it to life, grab the wheel; you’re old enough to drive.
“I do not blame my parents…there is an expiry date for blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction. I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected.”
You have what it takes, so take it. The minute you stop blaming, you can start steering.
9. Go ahead and daydream
Did you think imagination is to be left for the kids? Maybe you’re just a big kid after all.
“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not and therefore the fount of all invention…we have the power to imagine better.”
“It is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we never shared.”
Go ahead and daydream. Let your imagination run where it may and imagine a better life, a better world.
10. Material achievements ≠ personal happiness
“Personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications are not your life.”
This is a great tip from JK Rowling and so true when you consider the number of people who have everything in life and yet find themselves unhappy. It is really important to recognize the distinction between momentary happiness that comes from material success and true personal happiness, which is much deeper and more long lasting.