Mumsnet founder, Justine Roberts, was told she “didn’t look the part” when she was looking for investors for her business.
“I remember going on the trawl of trying to raise money from venture capitalists and people like that, and I met one guy who said to me: ‘What a great idea, Mumsnet yes, but I don’t think you’re the person to run it, you don’t look the part to me, you haven’t run a business before.’
“And I went away from that and I doubted myself,” Roberts told the BBC’s Dougal Shaw.
“I thought, well maybe he’s right, and I almost almost took him seriously and then I thought to myself, OK, no I am not ready to give up just yet,” she said.
Roberts’ idea, conceived 16 years ago following a bad holiday experience, has become the UK’s biggest online network for parents and attracts over 19 million visits per month.
Despite not initially making it through the real-life Shark Tank, Roberts had some confidence in her idea.
“You’ve got to believe in yourself, because after all you’re the one with the passion, you’re the one with the idea, you’re the one who knows the audience and you’re the one who’s going to have the resilience to get up when the going gets tough and keep at it – because you believe in what you are doing.”
The 48-year-old admits running a successful business is difficult.
“I don’t know any entrepreneurs who haven’t worked bloody hard,” she told The Guardian.
“Also, you need to be resilient. Do I ever switch off on holiday? Sod’s law is that I’m always on holiday when a major crisis happens. I was on holiday when the last hacking took place and someone was trying to sue me when I was on another holiday.”
The chief executive is now one of the most powerful people in the UK’s media.
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