When you see or read about very successful people, you hardly could imagine some of the serious financial hurdles and setbacks they had struggled with at the onset.
It’s even harder to think about women slipping into bankruptcy and then surviving it to become inspirational millionaire entrepreneurs. In fact, statistics show that self-made women who started out from very basic or disadvantaged backgrounds are the fastest-growing set of millionaires in the UK.
Here are 3 inspirational female entrepreneurs who turned the toughest periods of their life into springboards for business successes.
J.K. Rowling was an unemployed and divorced single parent living on welfare when she came up with the idea for Harry Potter. She wrote most of the Harry Potter book in cafés, as she had to keep walking around to get her daughter, Jessica sleep in her pushchair. In spite of that sacrificial effort, her book was rejected the first time by 12 publishers. But Rowling was unrelenting and Harry Potter went on to become a global success, selling over 400 million copies. The film adaptations hold the record as the highest grossing films series in history; and J.K. Rowling is now worth an estimated $1 billion.
Hillary had a difficult childhood, with the father declared bankrupt and the family losing all they ever worked for or owned. She left school at the age of 16 and worked for many years in sales and logistics. That was when she hatched the idea that eventually gave birth to PAll-Ex, a revolutionary freight business that now turns in £100 million annually.
But despite coming up with a brilliant business model that would help party organizers save on time, money, with extra environmental benefits, she couldn’t convince any banks to give her a loan and she was forced to sell her home to raise start-up fund. Still, it was a tough being a single parent and running a new business that struggled to pay staff. Now, the successful female entrepreneur who is a regular face on tv business shows like the Dragon’s Den tells aspiring entrepreneurs to stay focused, understand the market, the competition and opportunities.
Michelle grew up poor living with her parents in a Glasgow apartment. The situation became even dire when her father, at the age of 38, became paralysed, forcing 15-year-old Michele to look for a job to support her family. It was in this valley of despair and hopelessness that a bright business idea hit Michelle. One day at a dinner dance, she noticed her bra became uncomfortable and thought she could invent something better. After a couple of years, she came up with the gel-filled Ultimo bra. But she didn’t just sit back and watch her intelligent idea further revolutionised by someone else. While holidaying in Florida, she read about a new silicon product and realised that rather than stuffing it in bodies, it could be inserted into bras and still achieve the same effect without a surgery.
If you’re in a similar position to what they were, it is advisable to sort out any debt problems you have. Using things such as an online personal loan calculator you can work out interest rates and what you have to pay off etc. Gaining control is what they did, and it’s prudent to follow in their footsteps.