Duchess Digest: Never, Never, Never Give Up

By Jill Brown

womanracingWe have all had those days, those weeks, maybe even those years where we’ve felt tested and stretched to our limits. Sometimes the challenges you face seem like an exhilarating opportunity to persevere, to think critically and to triumph over all odds. The days and hours border on excitement as you push forward in the confidence that you will overcome. Life feels like it is testing you and you feel incredibly up to the task.

Other times the sky is cloudy, the rain is falling, you’re going to bed alone for the sixteenth straight night in a row and your phone isn’t ringing on a Friday night; which feels less than awesome. You seem to notice the bills piling up on the kitchen table, the pay cuts going on at
work, the sleep loss of your nights and the inches adding up around your hips.

What oh what is a girl to do?

We all face times when we feel we are capable of rising to adversity and seeing the silver lining and usually in equal (or lesser) measure those times when we wonder if we can go on. When will you break through? When will your savings balance be greater than your credit card balance? When is that sun shining day of an easy, beautiful vacation going to arrive?

You have read every book, written down all things you feel grateful for and done your honest best to do right by others. So when is it your turn?

I understand! Believe me. So this week I want to share with you a few darkest hour stories of ordinary folks, just like you, who were wondering when their time would come before they artistically, financially and spiritually BROKE FREE!

The only advice I can give you is to keep seeing the good, keep on keeping on and remember what Churchill said, “If you are going through hell; keep going.”

1)  J.K. Rowling. In December of 1990, Rowling’s mother died, and she moved to Porto, Portugal. Soon after she got married, but then separated in 1993 and she moved herself and her daughter to Edinburgh, Scotland. Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and was unemployed and living on welfare. She had already done some work on her famous fiction; but during this time was able to finish the book and get it published. Today, J.K. Rowling is worth about $1.1 billion and has sold over 400 million books. Honestly, if a single-mom on welfare diagnosed with depression can keep carrying on – you can too; I’m certain of it!

2) Andrew Carnegie. Okay, I snuck a boy into the line-up but Carnegie led an amazing (and at the end, incredibly philanthropic) life. Born into poverty in Scotland, his father was a hand loom weaver, but once the industrial revolution began his father was out of work as his skills were now made obsolete (don’t ever let a recession get you down!). The family
was struggling to make ends meet, so they decided to move to America. At thirteen he began a twelve-hour per day, six-day a week job at a cotton mill to help his family. Because of his great work ethic, he was eventually promoted to a telegraph messenger and caught the eye of someone from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, who offered him a job. He soon started investing in railroad companies, and then hit the jackpot by investing in the steel industry. His investments would allow him to have his own steel company, which he sold in 1901 for 480 million dollars. Yes, you read that correct; 480 million. That’s 10.3 billion dollars (based on conversion in 2003). Amazing what you can do with a little hard work!

3) Oprah. We all know her, we all love her and one of the reasons why is this modern day Midas has allowed us all to hope and believe in the American dream! Not just her money, but her spirit, her purpose, her charitable work and her power. Oprah’s rag to riches story is probably one that you have heard or know about fairly well. Oprah was born to unwed
teenage parents in Mississippi. She was raised by her grandmother in love but extreme poverty. When Oprah turned six she relocated to the city of Milwaukee to live with her mother. Oprah became rebellious and ran away from home, so her mother sent her to live with her father in Tennessee. She learned work ethic and worker hard to go from a radio host to a news anchor to a television host and the beloved maverick and maven we know and
love today! What Oprah knew for sure is that she was could make a difference; you can know, live and be the difference in your own life too!

–Jill Brown


Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com

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