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  • Writer's pictureHassan Younes

5 Ways J. K. Rowling Shuns Complacency and Keeps Herself Relevant

Life dealt JK Rowling a difficult hand. But she didn’t wallow in self-pity and become complacent. Instead, she followed her passion and became a celebrated author.

It would be surprising to find someone who hasn’t read or heard about Harry Potter. Originally written for children, the Harry Potter series is also embraced by teenagers and adults. Everyone seems to enjoy the adventures of Harry as he battles Voldermort, his eternal foe.

As a result, Harry Potter is the highest-grossing book series written in the 21st century. Between June 2019 and June 2020, nearly 2.6 million Harry Potter books were sold. Its sale continues even to this day.

The success of the Harry Potter series even transcends the books. All seven books have been adapted into several movies, enjoying tremendous success both in the cinemas and on television.

In essence, Harry Potter is a household name with fans from every corner of the world. And by extension, this makes the writer of the series, J. K. Rowling, a celebrated author.

Rowling is almost as popular as the series itself. And she also has several awards to her name because of her books.

In 2000, she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her contribution to children’s literature. Upon completing the Harry Potter series in 2008, she received the Outstanding Achievement prize at the British Book Awards. And in 2010, leading editors named her “The Most Influential Woman in the UK”.

Without a shred of doubt, J.K. Rowling is one of the most successful writers in the world today. But do you know why she’s a star?

She defeats complacency on a consistent basis. That’s key to making her relevant and successful over the years.

And in this article, we’ll discuss five ways she does this. Learn from her ways and you’ll also overcome complacency and embrace success.

The 5 Ways

Way #1 - She Stuck to Her Passion

Rowling’s success did not happen overnight. In fact, she’d conceived the idea for Harry Potter a full year before her mother’s death prompted her to start writing the story. And it took her several decades before the book was eventually published.

After completing her university studies, she moved to Portugal to teach English. She also met a man, got married to him, and soon gave birth to a baby girl. But a year later, things went sour for her.

She lost her job, filed for divorce, and became a single parent. After this, she returned home. Rowling then struggled to put food on the table for herself and her child. She waited tables and did odd jobs just to feed herself and her child and have a roof over their heads.

Despite the hardship, Rowling stuck to her passion.

She kept writing the Harry Potter story and never gave up on her dreams. And she didn’t allow her harrowing circumstances to get to her nor lose faith in her passion.

By sticking to her passion, she didn’t become lazy or complacent. That was why she was able to complete the book that turned her life around.

Passion is the fire that keeps your dreams alive. When you stick to your passion, complacency will have no room in your life or business. It will give you energy and enable you to take action towards achieving your dreams.

Way #2 - She Never Gave Up

In 1995, Rowling finished the manuscript for the first book in the Harry Potter series. Since she could hardly feed herself and her child, she had no money to publish it on her own. So, she approached a publishing house to help her put the book in print.

They rejected her.

She then approached another publishing house, and they also refused to publish the first Harry Potter book.

From 1995 to 1997, Rowling approached 12 major publishing houses and they all rejected her. However, she didn’t give up on her dream and kept reaching out to other publications.

On her 13th try, her efforts bore fruit.

Bloomsbury, a small publication, accepted to publish a thousand copies of her book–and the result was phenomenal. Children loved it. Adults loved it. And the book won many accolades, including the British Book Award.

The first Harry Potter book paved the way for Rowling’s future success and stardom.

It’s proof that when you work towards your goals and refuse to give up, you will eventually achieve them. And in doing so, complacency will never be able to ruin your success.

Way #3 - She Didn’t Let Success Get to Her Head

People are more vulnerable to complacency after they’ve tasted some success. At that point, they revel in their accomplishments and stop trying to be better. This makes them lazy and soon enough, they’ll lose those accomplishments.

This didn’t happen to Rowling.

After achieving major success with the first Harry Potter book, she did not let her success get to her head. She wrote a sequel to the story – which was also successful. She didn’t rest on her laurels after that either. Rowling continued writing Harry’s story for the next two decades.

That’s why more than half a billion copies of Harry Potter had been sold worldwide. The book was also translated into 73 languages. She also wrote several successful books after the Harry Potter series and became one of the highest-earning authors in the world.

Had she allowed her success to get to her head, she would’ve become complacent. This would’ve prevented her from becoming as influential as she is now. If you focus on the future and refuse to revel in past glories, you’ll have a greater chance at perennial success.

Way #4 - She Uses Her Voice

Apart from writing best-selling fantasy books, Rowling is also a human rights activist. She has a standard that she adheres to, that’s why she isn’t afraid to speak against injustice,

She constantly speaks about issues affecting society. And she is relentless in standing up for oppressed women and children, even in the face of strong opposition.

Rowling’s unwavering support for what she deems right keeps her relevant and in the spotlight. And by using her voice and staying true to her principles, she keeps complacency at bay.

Way #5 - She’s a Philanthropist

Apart from her books, this is perhaps the quality that keeps Rowling relevant to this day. She is known to provide support for the need on countless occasions over the years.

In fact, Rowling has built several orphanages in different locations across the globe. She also constantly finds ways to make life less drab and miserable for the helpless. That’s the reason she’s as influential as she is today.

Taking other people’s needs seriously makes you want to be a better version of yourself. This keeps you on your toes, enabling you to push past your limits. This, in turn, helps you keep complacency at bay.

Don’t Give Complacency a Chance to Thrive in Your Life

One major reason behind J. K. Rowling’s success is her constant victory over complacency. Although fate dealt her a tough hand, she didn’t wallow in despair and laziness. Instead, she got up and tirelessly pursued her dreams and goals.

That was why she was able to publish Harry Potter, a feat that lifted her onto a platform where she can achieve more victories. And today, she is relevant and successful because of it.

Just like Rowling, don’t give complacency a chance in your life or business. Defeat it consistently every day, week, and month of the year. This will position you for the type of success you desire.

Would you like to learn more about overcoming complacency and growing a successful organization?

Get in touch and find out how my speaking services can help you out.


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