From Rags to Riches- J.K. Rowling’s road to success

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

J.K. RowlingBest known for her mega-best-selling book series of Harry Potter, Joanne Kathleen Rowling is one of those people who managed to make millions of dollars from their creative minds.

Even if you were not one of those who spent hours behind the books, imagining how it would be to live in a magical world, you probably at least watched movies. It’s a story of generations and for all generations.

Her stories have inspired thousands of people to believe in themselves and to believe that everyone has a magic inside them. But there is much more to it, a ‘behind the scenes’ story: J.K.’s story!

In case you didn’t know, she went from being a single mom struggling to pay the bills, and became the acclaimed writer we all know today.

How? That’s what we want to tell you.

Here are some of J.K. Rowling’s life philosophies, which helped her overcome all the challenges she faced and get where she’s now.

1. Ability to see the silver lining and turn ‘lemon into lemonade’

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In 1990, when her mother died, J.K. used the feeling of loss to complete the real-life elements of Harry Potter. That pain was the fuel for her to write about the miserable life of Harry as an orphan.

A few years later, her marriage also fell apart. She was jobless at the time, and raising her first child came to her responsibility, so she started living on state benefits. No wonder she ended up in a big depression.

During this dark time, she changed these miserable feelings to her benefit and made up the Dementor (a creature in her books that suck away any joy when he shows up).

So yes, there are many moments in our life when everything seems hopeless, but just as J.K. did, we can use these moments in our favor.

Channelize the pain and turn it into something good.

2. The crucial significance of imagination.

Is imagination only for the kids? Maybe then we’re all just big kids! 😀

J.K. Rowling believes that imagination is the most powerful weapon on earth. And when you think about it, everything created resulted of our daydreams.

There wouldn’t have been something called ‘pizza’ if, someone never dreamt about the taste of combining sauces with some cheese and vegetables, or would it?

“Imagination is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we never shared.”

J.K.. Rowling

So, go ahead and daydream. Let your imagination run where it may and imagine a better life, a better world. Imagine magic.

And, If someone complains, tell them that you have Jo’s permission 😉

3. Your qualifications are not your life.

“You are more than the things you do or did not do.”

J.K. Rowling

No matter how many degrees you have, or how many lessons you did not finish, your qualifications (and grades) are not you or your life!

She says:  “Failure gave me an inner security that I have never had by passing examinations.”

Jo believes that failures are all about stripping away the inessential. That’s why we become better with each failure and improvise when we try again.

Does inner security comes from a job, money or getting an A+? The perfect spouse or a relationship?

Jo says that success is, luckily, not measured by the number of qualifications we have.

4. Focus on what work matters the most to you

“I began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.”

J.K. Rowling

After she finished her degree in 1986, J.K. landed on a job at Amnesty International, as a researcher and secretary. While working there, she kept on carrying her passion: writing.

At that time, her articles were published in a journal of Exeter University.

After a while, she moved to Manchester to work for the Chamber of Commerce. That’s when she began writing her sensational Harry Potter story.

Think about it, wasn’t it pretty cool that she came up with the multi-million dollar idea while working as a regular employee?

While delivering a speech at Harvard, she said that “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

By rock bottom, she meant that she had failed on an epic scale. Having an exceptionally short-lived marriage, being a jobless, alone parent and “as poor as it was possible to be in Britain, without being homeless”.

Even we can rise up from our own rock bottom, lay a foundation for our dreams and goals, no matter where we are at this very moment.

All it takes is to have resilience, faith, and to believe in yourself. We all have power inside, we just need to find the best way to channel it!

Share this post with someone who needs some magic in their life right now 🙂

Did you like this post? You may also take a look at: “3 Leadership concepts from Jeff Bezos”


Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.

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