This Female Entrepreneur Inspired me the most. This is why.
Where it all started
I remember watching this female entrepreneur back in the day when I had DSTV and was prepared to pay the exorbitant subscription fee for the drivel bestowed upon us. This lady featured in a doccie entitled ‘The Secret Millionaire’ and from the moment the opening credits began, I just knew this was one tough, go getter woman. I was most pleased to watch her in action on another BBC show ‘Dragons Den’ a few years later.
The female entrepreneur I am referring to is none other than the interminable Ms Hilary Devey. So intrigued was I, I purchased her biography ‘Bold as Brass, My Story’.
The life of Hilary Devey
Ms Devey certainly didn’t start life with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth. In fact, she didn’t even have a plastic one. She was born into a regular English family and her folks earned their living working in and managing pubs in her home town of Bolton in the UK. There were times when her folks were successful in what they were doing and at other times, not so much. Her folks faced bankruptcy on several occasions and thus moved around the UK extensively in search of employment opportunities. None of this stopped the young Hilary in her pursuit of success though. These obstacles toughened her up and she vowed at the age of seven she would never sit on a cold floor again. Ever.
Ms Devey was a bright child at school and had a flair for the numbers game from an early age. Having to pull her weight at the various pubs her folks managed and lived in, she quickly became adept at pulling pints and learnt how to haggle. These traits would put her in good stead later in life. Upon completing school aged sixteen, Hilary served for a short while in the Women’s Royal Air Force, in air traffic control and the supply accounts department. Her accounting skills were honed, and the lessons learnt in the WRAF ensured she would never be blindsided in business.
How she become an inspiration
Fast forward to 1996 when Pall-Ex, a palletized freight network was launched. Ms Devey chose a testosterone dominated industry to make her mark. And mark it she did! Pall-Ex has annual revenues of £59.947 million. The splendours of success had their foibles though and there were many sacrifices made. According to Ms Devey’s biography, the hardest work she’s ever done is pull her son from the grips of heroin addiction. Marriage has also not been her forté as she is twice divorced and suffered a stroke that almost killed her.
Ms Devey is tough as nails and one of a kind. She is famous for her straight-talking but genuinely warm force of nature. Ultimately though, she is a survivor and her story, told with complete honesty, is as inspirational as the woman herself.
Good on you Hils!