Michelle Mone: From Impoverished Childhood to Becoming Scotland’s Renowned Business Ambassador


“I was naïve, I didn’t realize what I was getting into. Just remember that you need to work your socks off, there’s no shortcut.” ~Michelle Mone

Living in impoverished home, rising through underprivileged circumstances, starting out of nothing to reach to the top through hard work, determination and perseverance are the very common but inspiring chapters of a story that almost all great personalities share. Co-founder and CEO of MJM Ltd. Michelle Mone grew up penniless in East End of Glasgow’s most deprived area but never gave in to the negative circumstances and became one of incredibly inspiring rags to riches stories of Europe.

Mone was born in 1971 as Michelle Georgina Allan. She grew up aspiring to be a model and actress. She began earning at the tender age of ten by running a paper round, working at a fruit shop. At the age 15, after her father suffered an illness that caused him paralyzed, she had to leave school to support her family. While struggling for a job, she was approached by a modeling agency where she started working as a model for £20 per day. At the age of 19, she gave birth to her child Rebecca after which she left modeling and started working at a beer company, Labbats where she got the idea of inventing comfortable bras on facing uncomfortable situation herself while dancing at a party with her husband. In 1996 she founded MJM International Ltd. and launched Ultimo bra after three years of rigorous market research and working on the design. In 1999, Ultimo was launched at Selfridges department store, London and it became the biggest hit. In 2011, the Sunday Times Rich List enlisted
her business worth £20 million.

Michelle Mone has received awards and honors for her creativity – she was given the ‘Best Newcomer’ at the British Apparel Export Awards, an honorary Doctorate by Paisley University in 2002 and invited by Prince Charles to the Board of Directors for The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust and awarded an OBE for her significant contribution to business.

What’s the secret of her success that worked for her?

1. Be honest, hard working and determined. Do not settle for less than you deserve.
2. Be the master of your own fate and the boss of your dream.
3. Be vocal about your dreams. Shout and say people what you want.
4. Regardless of what you wish to achieve, you have to be genuinely passionate in making it happen.
5. Never give up! If you feel like giving up think about those who have accomplished the impossible through hardest circumstances.
6. Passion is what makes you stay and inspires you to continue. Find it anyway and anyhow.
7. Believe in team work. Alone you may achieve little but with a team you become invincible.

Find What’s stopping you?

There are outstanding men and women who turned their rough times into wealth of opportunity, discovered something interesting and stayed passionate in their most hopeless and helpless situation. They stumbled upon numerous failures, worked hard through numerous hindrances, stood up and fought back and built something big and significant. We all can achieve impossible feats with positive attitude, hard work and determination. At times, things seem difficult (sometimes impossible) but when you start walking on the rough road, you become courageous to handle the troubles arriving to you.
When you dream, your negative inner-self awakens and instructs you not to go for them and you soon you surrender. However, when your positive-self jumps up for it and echoes your soul, you find yourself to be more powerful than you ever could think of and keeps you awake and busy working towards your dreams.

Photo Courtesy: zimbio