The Harry Potter franchise was plenty successful by the time Forbes listed Rowling as a billionaire (claims she later disputed; current estimates put her at $800M), but it wasn't an easy road to riches for the British author. Before the world knew of Hogwarts of other figments of her writing, Rowling was raising a daughter on her own, living on welfare, and saw the original manuscript for Harry Potter rejected 12 times before the franchise caught on. Persistence is key, kids.