Our first influencer for Motivational Monday is a personal favorite: JK Rowling. Born Joanne Rowling in Bristol, little Jo loved reading and writing books. She first created the idea of “Harry Potter” in 1990 on her famed train ride Manchester to King’s Cross Station (you know, platform 9 ¾).
From there she began to map her way through the wizarding world. Even 10 years later, she’s still giving her fans new information.
In the early 1990’s, she moved to Portugal to teach English where she married Jorge Arantes and had her first stepdaughter, Jessica.
After a year of marriage and abuse from Jorge, Rowling moved to Edinburgh, Scotland. She struggled as a single mother, living off government assistance. She trained as a teacher and wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the first book in the series) on the side. Sometimes, she wrote in coffee shops when she couldn’t afford power at home.
Once she finished the manuscript, she sent the first three chapters off to several publishers.
Twelve said no.
One asked to see more.
Since then, JK Rowling has been THE influencer in the publishing world and pop culture. The $15 billion brand has spanned seven books, eight movies, a spin-off series expected to span five more films, two theme parks, two plays, and three fan-made musicals. (If you are a Harry Potter fan and haven’t tried watching A Very Potter Musical, you need to.)
Rowling herself has an estimated worth of a little less than $1 billion. She could have been worth more. Instead, she donated much of her wealth to various charities. She remarried in 2001 and has had two more children.
JK Rowling is a perfect example of taking something you are passionate about to create an inspirational brand. Her determination to correctly portray her vision during the original filming process created a brand that persisted in every branch of the franchise.
However, what makes her a true influencer is the fact that she created a brand that inspires. It inspired millions of people to read and write. It inspired people to think about how they treat others. It inspired magic.
Her books influenced readers by inspiring something in them that will endure through generations and that is what makes JK Rowling as a perfect example of an inspirational influencer.