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Lesson #1: It Is Never To Late To Get Your Start
Walker was an ambitious entrepreneur – once she got started, that is. Once business started to boom, Walker found it impossible to give in to her husband’s demands that she settle. He wanted her to be happy with her business as it was and opposed any plans for growth. It was making $10 a day and he did not see much more potential for growth. He believed that taking such big risks and expanding nationally would be an unwise move.
Walker, however, wanted to grow her business and realize what she saw as its fullest potential. The company had been growing at a rapid rate and she believed it would only continue to do so. She was so adamant about proceeding with her business plans that her marriage began to suffer and in 1912, she decided to ask for a divorce. Nothing was going to deter her from achieving her goals. Although divorced, her husband continued to work as a salesman for the company.
That ambition, however, took some time to germinate in Walker. For 18 years before her business was formed, Walker washed other people’s laundry for a living. Her goal was a noble one – to save up enough money to be able to send her only daughter to school – but she had little time or money to focus on anything else, especially starting up her own business. She did not like her job as laundress, but saw little alternative. It was, after all, better than life on the cotton fields.
It was not until Walker was 39 years old that she decided to go into business for herself. She had no formal education, no business experience, and a daughter to support, but Walker decided that this would be her second start in life.
Walker was not worried about the fact there were already several companies that would considered her competition – manufacturing and selling similar hair care products as hers. She did not care that she had little savings to fall back on and would have to risk everything on her start up. And, she did not change her course once her then husband told her that he thought it was too risky.
Walker decided that it is never too late to chase your dreams and pursue success. She was determined to turn her invention into a marketable success and no matter what age she was, she knew she was going to make it happen. By the time Walker passed away at 51 years old – due to hypertension no less – her net worth was an estimated $600,000. She took the plunge and made it work.
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