I’ve always been very driven and knew that to get where I wanted to go; I could never give up. —– Diane Hendricks
Such a bold statement from a woman as an entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry shows how much dedication and courage women can have. And that every woman is none other than Diane Hendricks.
Diane Hendricks, a bold businesswoman from Wisconsin, the USA, was single-heartedly a Billionaire and a Film producer. Her net worth is around $10.7 billion as of 2022. As America’s richest self-made billionaire woman, Diane Hendricks followed an unconventional path from growing up on a dairy farm to chairing a billion-dollar company.
Diane Hendricks was born in 1947 and raised in Wisconsin, USA. She was the daughter of dairy farmers. Even though she was one of Eight daughters, she never had the opportunity to do men’s work or get engaged in various work as her father was well respected in town. He never had such opportunities.
Her family moved on to Osseo, Wisconsin, when she was nine years old, and those were the time when she went to school. She added that schoolboys were her favorite subject. And those are the days when she had her first love at her 17th, got her pregnant in the same year, and turned her into a teen mom. Her parents did what they felt better to get her married to her first love. She made a true struggle those days to earn her diploma by sitting for tests and studying at home.
The month before she turned 18th, she gave birth to her first child in Jonesville, Wisconsin, when she and her husband moved on for life. Her struggle began in a much broader way from then. Though he wasn’t a big fan of the factory lifestyle, she got into a similar job then. Though the favorable agreement was still seen in her regarding her early pregnancy and motherhood, her dedication couldn’t stop her from reaching her vision; in fact, her focus and efforts were boosted twice after that.
“I had a beautiful life, living on the farm. Nice house, a big square white house. But I always wanted to go to the city and wear a suit.” — Diane Hendricks
In her early days, to support herself and her son, she got herself involved with selling new constructions and got herself engaged with the study of getting a license. “I don’t have heros exactly, but I do have people I hold with high respect.” —-– Diane Hendricks
In her 21st, she got her 1st husband divorced as she was confident that she could run her and her son’s livelihood all alone. After divorce with her first High School sweetheart Diane suddenly met a guy called Ken Hendricks, who turned out to be her husband in the latter days.
Ken was a man who doesn’t want things to go to waste and so is this opportunity. Ken and Diane not only became lovers, soulmate, husband but also a business partner. And onwards they started working on different projects together. Ken was such a boy who exchanged his textbooks for a hammer and nails in his high schools and started a roofing business which was able to grow to 500 workers by 1970.
Diane and Ken Hendricks started and 3 years of their work they bought about 100 houses in the Beloit area. “At the time, we could buy a three-bedroom home for $10,000 and fix it up. We did most of the work on the homes ourselves, with the help of Ken’s father. I painted about 200 units myself,” says Diane.
Ken’s boundless work ethic as a roofer had taken him to job sites at military bases, Kmarts, and other properties throughout the country. Everywhere he went he noticed two things, a patchy and wasteful industry supply chain and when he finally did find a place that sold the products he needed, store owners often treated contractors like second-rate trash.
When Ken and I started ABC, we worked on [our plan] for two years, and we threw away a lot of paper. We had a map, we decided here’s the distribution where it’s needed, this is where they got manufacturers today.” said Diane Hendricks.