However, because of her hard work and extreme dedication, Devey sets an exceptional example for us career girls and offers many valuable lessons that can help us follow her down a similar road to success.
“Failure was not an option. It just wasn’t in my vocabulary.”
Devey developed Bell’s palsy at the age the three, which left one side of her face paralyzed until she was eight years old. She later watched her father’s heating company go bankrupt after a main client went into liquidation. As a result, she spent much of her time stocking shelves and surveying inventory at her family’s string of pubs and hotels. Watching her parents struggle to stay financially afloat, Devey decided to drop out of school at 16 years old in order to make her own way in the world.
In such adverse circumstances it’s pretty amazing that Hilary stayed on track and knew exactly what she wanted to do!
“I realized early on that you have to be adaptable, bend to whatever direction life takes you, which is a quality you need to succeed in business…”
Devey took a risk at a young age to strike out on her own journey, risk of failure is the business of being an entrepreneur. Be flexible and let your ideas and intuition lead the way.
Devey’s fame and fortune are credited to her entrepreneurial skills. In 1996, she launched her first venture by developing a palletized freight network, Pall-Ex. However, her ingenuity did not come to fruition overnight. In order to get her company started, Devey made many sacrifices along the way, including selling her home and her car.
“If you don’t have faith in yourself, then nobody else will have faith in you.”
Be your own biggest supporter and number one fan. Your “crazy idea” could make a big impact. Thomas Edison’s crazy idea turned into the invention of the lightbulb, Alexander Graham Bell’s crazy idea turned into the invention of the telephone, and most recently, Meredith Perry’s crazy idea of a wireless cellphone charger will soon become a modern day reality. This list could go on!
Now back to Devey. If running a million dollar company wasn’t enough, she created a name for herself after a two-year role on the popular BBC program, Dragon’s Den. Since then she has also made numerous television appearances including a six-part business documentary series entitled The Intern. Devey’s versatility demonstrates that you should never limit yourself life.
“You can go as far and as fast as you want to go…You just have to be tenacious and focused and very disciplined.”
So get creative, develop and expand your own personal brand. As the saying goes, “Keep your eye on the prize.”
Although Devey has had much professional success, she has been quite candid about her only son’s battle with heroin addiction. She has said, “The hardest work I’ve ever done is pulling my son back from the grip of heroin.” Devey presents herself not just as a businesswoman, but also as a caring mother. Adding this humanistic quality to her appearance is a reminder that nobody is perfect. All we can do is try our best and help others along the way.
Although Devey has an estimated net worth of $75 million, she has said, “Money is irrelevant to people’s happiness – if you chase money, it will run away.” Perhaps the most valuable lesson we can learn from her is not just her business savvy, but the underlying truth is that you should do what you love and love what you do.