Leaders with Influence: J.K Rowling

10 years ago, I wrote a best-selling book on Millionaires and Billionaires, and that book revealed the secret to their success! I am currently doing a re-write of that book – here is what we published about J.K Rowling… 

Many of the stories that we have heard outline people who have made it big, or were clearly on the road to success, starting at a very young age. Such is not quite the case with Joanne Rowling. Privately, she did know that she wanted to be a writer and began working at the age of six. This is very young indeed, comparable to the first noticeable activity of Richard Branson or Warren Buffett. However, she was not able to be successful very early in life. Becoming a successful writer is a difficult and uncertain game, like other careers in arts and entertainment fields.

J.K Rowlings says “create what you want to see in the world”

She had actually reached the toughest point in her life just before her so-called instant success, and she did not succeed until her 30th year. However, she had been working hard at her passion her whole life. When the rewards finally came, they came on a huge scale, and Rowling was able to enjoy the fruits of her labour.

Her example certainly reveals that persistence and hard work pay off in the end. Writing is extremely difficult, gruelling work. Authors are driven to despair time and again over major works, and when writing a novel, especially, there is no reasonable chance of earning large rewards. So, self-motivation is crucial in Rowling’s field, which goes hand in hand with persistence.

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve”

“You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good. That’s just how it is. ”The principle that underlies this statement applies to far more than just writing, or even creative fields. It can be applied to any type of ambition. The idea is that one must set out to learn, practice and make mistakes, and to keep going until one becomes skilful at the job. Many people think of a talent like Rowling’s as an inborn gift that people either have or don’t have. On the contrary, Rowling had been practicing her craft for over two decades before she produced Harry Potter. The perseverance here is obvious.

She also says that “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Successful people have the courage of their convictions. They also set about achieving their goals, without being stopped by obstacles. These obstacles might be time, money, motivation, or other people. There are always doors that need to be opened, and this cannot be done without risking rejection and even embarrassment. However, success is made by simply trying and keeping at it until the doors open. This does take nerve.

“You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good. That’s just how it is. ”

“Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.” Looking in at a successful person’s story from the outside, it is tempting to see everything as the result of some urge, talent, or nudge from fate. However, successful people, just like anyone, have made decisions their whole lives. Just a few of these decisions end up really changing things for them. What they leave behind are many choices which either did not work out, or only produced small results. The point is that they keep trying until they do find something that pays off.

It is perhaps not surprising that many people ask Rowling for the secret formula to her success. She is reluctant to answer this question, saying, “I’ve never analysed it that way and I think it would be dangerous for me to start
analysing it or thinking that way. I don’t want it to stop being fun, and – number two – I’m not sure I know. After all,” she adds, “the correct people to ask are the readers.” While Rowling does not come out and say so, by reading between the lines we can actually see a formula for her success in this statement. “I don’t want it to stop being fun….” She says. We can infer from this a basic idea that leads people to their goals, and that is the idea of pursuing one’s passion, whatever one is interested in and finds joy or satisfaction in.

“Successful people have the courage of their convictions.”

Rowling’s story is one of working through difficulties and challenges and not stopping despite discouragement and outside pressures. As far as the public could see, she did not start early. Harry Potter may have come to the attention of the public as he came to Joanne Rowling, fully formed and developed, ready to spring to life.

However, for the author of bestsellers, if not for the public, that moment of inspiration was not magic. It came only after years of patient effort, practice and hard work. Rowling wrote two other novels before she wrote the Harry Potter books. She did not even attempt to publish them. She was simply honing her skills, working hard at the things that she loved to do.

The central lesson to be learned from Rowling’s story is one of perseverance. In Rowling’s case, success did not come in bits and pieces, keeping pace with the effort that was put forth over the years. Her story shows the true hard work that must precede success, whether it comes slowly or suddenly.

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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