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Monthly Archives: December 2011

People often develop their interests as children. The places, activities, and people they were exposed to at a young age influence some of their major decisions in life, like their choice of career. Such is the history of entrepreneur John Edson.

Edson got his sea legs when he was still a young boy growing up near Lake Washington. He loved the water and particularly loved boats; he even built his first boat when he was still a child. He never lost interest in the hobby, even when he attended college at the University of Washington, got married and had two children. During his spare time, he built a lot of sailboats in his garage. With so many boats completed, he decided to turn his hobby into a business.

bayliner logoAn ordinary guy, Edson decided to build boats that any other guy like him can afford. He made many men’s dreams of owning a sailboat come true with Advanced Outboard Marine, established in 1955. The company initially sold common engines, hardware, and other gears for boaters. Ten years later, he decided to expand his business by building bigger and better things. With two new moulds, Edson built bigger boats. He also changed the name of the company to Bayliner Marine Corporation.

From then on, Edson was known for selling all kinds of boats in different sizes and amenities. He catered to the wants of his market by building simple boats as well as luxury boats. The company’s revenue doubled every three years and his customer base expanded as well.

After almost thirty years in the boating business, Edson decided to sell his company to Brunswick for $425 million. He entered a new industry and invested in stocks and real estate for the remainder of his career as an entrepreneur.

As one of the world’s billionaires according to Forbes, Edson now spends his days enjoying the rewards of his lucrative career.

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Thousands of aspiring authors want to be like her. But with all the acclaim and success that J.K. Rowling has achieved, rising to her level of fame and fortune is a difficult feat. As the author of the bestselling fantasy Harry Potter series , Rowling’s story is definitely one for the books.

But can an author qualify as an entrepreneur? Not many of them can, but Rowling can.

Rowling’s journey to the top started during one of the lowest points in her life. Seven years after graduating from the university, she found herself jobless, divorced, and with one dependent child. Looking back, she describes herself as the biggest failure she ever knew. But instead of wallowing in despair, Rowling took failure as a challenge.

Armed with an old typewriter and an idea, Rowling finished her first novel while depending on state welfare support. Like many unknown writers, she faced rejection — until a publisher’s daughter read her manuscript and demanded the next one. In less than a year, Harry Potter was auctioned for publication rights, giving Rowling a nice check worth $105,000. So began her journey to international acclaim.

Today, over a decade after Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone first saw print, Rowling is regarded by many as the most inspiring entrepreneur. Only very few authors can build a lucrative empire based on their books, and she is one of them. Part of her success is credited to the way she was able to turn the stories into such a successful product. Under her direction, Harry Potter became more than just a fictional character; he became a brand with a huge following.

Rowling serves as an inspiration to people who have lost hope of ever being successful in life. Dubbed as the magical entrepreneur, Rowling continues to reap the rewards of her hard work, creativity, and endless pursuit for passion.