JK. Rowling Magical Journey: From Broke to First Billionaire Author

JK Rowling was a struggling, single mother with nothing to lose when she sat down at her kitchen table and started writing the story of boy wizard. The rest is a magical journey.


JK Rowling was a clinically depressed single parent. But her troubles began during adolescence. Young Joanne was bullied in high school, rejected from Oxford University and her mother diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite the hurdles, Joanne had a dream of becoming a novelist. While stuck on a train, she came up with a story idea about a young boy who attends wizard school. As she began to write what would become Harry Potter, her mother passed away. Devastated, Joann’s life went into a tailspin. She moved to Portugal where she taught English during the day and worked on Harry Potter at night. Joanne married and gave birth to a daughter but her husband was becoming more and more abusive, forcing Joanne to flee with her infant daughter and a few chapters of her book. Now broke and depressed, she was forced to live in social housing with her baby.

jk rowling quote

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

Determined to get better, she went to therapy to deal with her depression. She also got a restraining order and filed for devorce from her husband. Joanne convinced a small literary agent to try and get her bool deal but 12 different publishers rejected her manuscript. Eventually, Harry Potter got a limited book run. To help its chances with young boys, Joanne re-named herself JK Rowling. Harry Potter began to win awards, which lead to a bidding war for the American publishing rights.

jk rowling quote

“You control your own life. You own will is extremly powerful.”

The next Harry Potter novel would win even more awards and lead to a successful franchise. Each successive book broke records set by the previous one. A few short years after her lowest point, JK became the world’s first billionaire author. Today the Harry Potter franchise is worth over $15 billion. Joanne remarried and gave birth to a son and continue to writes bestselling novels.

JK’s story reminds us that: “Anything is possible if you got enough nerve!”