If At First You Don’t Succeed: How Some of the UK’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs Bounced Back From Failure

Many of the wealthiest, most successful people in Britain today, from superstar Harry Potter author JK Rowling to entrepreneur Richard Branson, weren’t always wealthy and famous like they are today.

If At First You Don't Succeed: How Some of the UK's Most Successful Entrepreneurs Bounced Back From Failure

In fact, many of the most powerful and successful people in the country have gone through significantly hard times, from single parenthood and poverty to filing for bankruptcy. The key to their success is not that they have done everything right, or had things handed to them that made it easier for them to get ahead.

No, indeed what many of the most successful people in the UK have in common is that they have all experienced failure or hardship in one form or another, and have bounced back from it and not let it get the better of them.

Take JK Rowling for example. Unemployed, she received rejection letter after rejection letter for her story, until she was finally given a chance by an insightful publisher who saw the merit in the story of Harry Potter. Thanks to Rowling’s persistence, she’s now a billionaire, philanthropist, successful author and national treasure.

Or Richard Branson. His first business failed, despite strong potential, and he has at times been forced to shut down businesses in order to survive. Despite taking risks that have not always turned out in his favour, his optimism, determination and sense of fun has today made him a billionaire and the leader of a business empire.

Rachel Lowe is another successful English entrepreneur, a board games developer and fashion magnate, who experienced significant challenges early in her career but never gave up. Featured on the first series of Dragons’ Den, she had hit rock bottom and lacked funding for her projects. However, Lowe persevered. Though humiliated by the Dragons, she was determined to follow her dreams and believed in her products.

Through faith in her goals, Lowe found the self-confidence to bounce back. Compared to a phoenix emerging from the flames, she connected with an angel investor and today is the successful developer of statement perfumes, jewellery and accessories, as well as her games.

Tenor and Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts is another Brit who, despite enjoying recent success and financial security, hasn’t always been that way. He worked a number of dead-end and low-paying jobs after leaving school and racked up £30,000 in debt, which he was struggling to pay off at the time he won BGT in 2007. Of course, since then his family’s financial future has improved significantly.

Potts, like Rowling and Branson, never gave up on his dream and in the end it paid off. That is the key to the success of many of the wealthiest people in the country, who have battled against all odds and achieved their goals. With what they wanted clearly in sight, they have exercised faith, optimism and persistence in order to become who they are today.

Music mogul Bob Geldof is another success story in the UK who wasn’t always that way. From humble origins, he had to fight for years to get where he is today. Furthermore, despite several significant personal tragedies over the years he has remained successful and dedicated to helping the less fortunate. Geldof largely credits his drive for success to the fact that he’s terrified of losing everything he’s worked so hard to build.

Of course, it’s one thing to become wealthy and successful and another to stay that way. In the current economy, even the richest and most powerful figures in the country can’t afford to take their success for granted. In many cases, they still have to compete in their chosen professions and market themselves, not resting on their laurels. That is how successful British entrepreneurs stay that way.

Another trait uniting those entrepreneurs who have struggled, and in many case lost it all, before becoming a success, is fear of failing again. They know what it’s like to have hit the bottom. To be discouraged and dismissed by others. To feel powerless or poor. Nothing was handed to them on a silver platter. And now that they’ve made it, they are all equally determined to never be in that position again.

If you have big dreams for your career, don’t be deterred by pessimists or challenges. And don’t let your roots determine where you will end up in life. Despite your background or your current situation, if you have the determination to achieve your dreams, you can make it happen!

On the path towards success, there will always be roadblocks. The trick is to navigate around them, not just turn around and give up. Take a queue from people like Richard Branson or Bob Geldof to learn how their outlook on life has made them who they are today, and apply it to your own situation.