It’s Never Too Late…

By Daniel Scocco

The tech revolution brought along its changes a feeling that one must be young, really young, to become successful. You either hit it big before you reach the age of 30, or you must accept that you are destined for a modest life of modest achievements.

The argument is straight forward: younger people tend to think outside the box and challenge the status quo, so it’s easier for them to come up with revolutionary ideas. Second, younger people have more energy and stamina, so it’s easier for them to achieve high performance levels, be it intellectually or physically.

Backing up this argument we also have plenty of famous examples:

  • Steve Jobs was 21 and Steve Wozniak was 26 when they founded Apple. Within four years Apple went public and made both millionaires (along with 300 other employees and investors…).
  • Bill Gates and Paul Allen were respectively 21 and 23 when they founded Microsoft and started writing software for hardware makers like MITS and IBM.
  • Both Larry Page and Sergey Brin were 23 when they started working on the research project that would later become Google. By their 30th birthday they were already billionaires.
  • Mark Zuckerberg was 20 when he launched Facebook out of his dorm room in Harvard, becoming a billionaire at age 28.

That’s pretty much all the evidence we need to conclude that you either hit your home-run while you are young or you won’t hit one at all. Or is it?

I was not quite convinced, and I started reading more on the topic. Here are some of the stories I found.

Asa Griggs Candler was born in 1851 in Georgia, USA. He was a drugstore owner, and while his business was going well, he wasn’t rich by any means. At age 37 he came across a medicine that was sold for five cents a glass and that was supposed to help with several diseases. He purchased the formula for $500, and decide that he would sell it as a soft drink at stores, restaurants and vending machines. The name of the drink? Coca-Cola.

Harland Sanders lost his father at a young age, and since his mother had to work he was assigned the task of cooking for his whole family. Over the years he had several jobs, including salesman and car driver, but he always kept his passion for cooking alive. At age 40 he opened a gas station, and there he also served meals for customers. The business wasn’t that good, however, and at the age of 65 he was forced to close it down. He took $105 from his first social security check and decided to use it to launch a franchise, offering his special recipes. The franchise was called Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC. Today KFC serves more than 12 million customers daily…

Raymond Albert “Ray” Kroc was born in 1902, and until his 50s he held a myriad of jobs. Those ranged from radio DJ to and paper cup salesman and jazz musician. The last one was milkshake machine salesman. That’s when he started traveling around and getting to know the restaurant business. On one of those travels he discovered a restaurant owned by two brothers that had a really interesting concept: to serve customers as fast as possible using a carefully crafted production line. Ray became a partner and transformed the restaurant into a franchise. As you probably guessed, it was called McDonald’s.

There are several other examples in pretty much every area. Harrison Ford didn’t have much success as an actor early on, and he decided to work as a carpenter to support his family. He got hired to build some cabinets for director George Lucas, and that’s how he got his first big role, as Han Solo in Star Wars, at the age of 35.

Willian Shockley was 38 when he helped to invent the transistor, one of the biggest inventions of our time. Gandhi was 61 when he started the nationwide protests in India against the British government. Grandma Moses began her painting career in her 70s after abandoning a career in embroidery because of arthritis.

In other words, it’s never too late to go after your dreams, to become successful and to change the world. What’s your excuse now?




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23 Responses to “It’s Never Too Late…”

  • Liam

    That was a really good read, very much enjoyed the coca cola part.

  • Avik

    That’s a pretty inspiring post. I agree with you completely that age is not the factor. If one strongly wants to become successful he will sure find the way sooner or later

  • Yecruzsulla

    its true daniel… very inspiration article
    i am 22 and not start anything yet.
    hope i will get some luck soon 🙂

  • Ehsan Ullah

    The another example is the members of the Paun Starts. All 4 members are above 40 years old and started just few years ago.

    Great read Daniel

  • Slavko Desik

    Great post Daniel. I can only imagine how interesting it was discovering all of these examples.
    Writing in the personal development niche i’m partially inclined to retell these stories more and more as for people to start listening. But it is interesting how at the very beginning I was only regurgitating what was vague even for me. As time goes by I get more and more convinced that it is never too late.
    Not only that we may discover some interesting method of doing things, but we might as well surprise ourselves over how diverse and incredible our potential is.

    Great read indeed!

  • beth

    Daniel…I LOVE this post. I have been contemplating whether I should work on a new project or not for the new year. I have felt that I’m happy financially, while not super wealthy, comfortable. I’ve thought that it may just be late enough in my life (45 yrs) that I should not consider this new endeavor. My husband is 10 years older than I and maybe we should just be enjoying our comfortable place and comfortable life. But your post has reminded me that people meet new challenges every day, at every stage of their lives. And new endeavors are challenges that we set for ourselves. I am going to set my goals high this year because I know I can reach them. If not for huge financial gain, at least for personal gratification. Thank you for the reminder that it’s never too late!

  • Richard Ng

    That’s very true, age is only a number. What’s important is keep our dream alive!

    Cheers!

  • Vikas

    I have not any excuses after reading this article. Very inspiring.

  • Rahul

    I think age is just a number. What happens when you are young is that you are constantly interacting with like minded people looking to experiment new things. But when you get older you have other things to worry about like Family, kids etc. There is no margin for experimentation when you are above 35. Yet those who believe in their dream will succeed.

  • AlexG

    Great post Daniel,

    Honestly, the party is just getting started and any person (no matter the age) has the resources to change their lives. It’s just a matter of getting through the learning curve and doing some work

  • Samantha Gluck

    What an inspiring post and a great reminder to us all! My second to oldest brother (5 kids and i’m the baby) messed around in high school, didn’t do well in college and finally dropped out. At age 37 he went back, went to medical school & residency, and is now a well-known orthopedic surgeon making in the six figures annually with the first figure beginning with a 6.

    Geena Davis (star of Thelma and Louise) became an Olympic archer in her 40s. She had never picked up a bow and arrow prior to starting to train in her 40s.

  • Eric

    Hey Bro,

    This was an very inspiring post! I will admit starting to read through the first list of the 20 something that turned out to be the top gurus started to depress me a little because I am over the 20 somethings age.

    Though, I continued to read further down to see the stories of like Mr. Kroc and the founder of Coca-Cola!

    Great post,

    Eric

  • Ellie

    I wrote my first book at age 50 in response to watching my peers making all the same mistakes I had already learned from in raising dairy goats. Now in it’s 6th edition, “Making Money With Goats” has been around for about 20 years.

    At age 58 I saw more problems in my peer group and wrote my first marketing book for farmers. And from that first book (Marketing Farm Products) came a whole ‘nother career of teaching marketing seminars to small farmers and homesteaders.

    And at nearly 70, I just moved to my own homestead again and am learning all about sustainability and self-sufficiency and enjoying the heck out of it!

    I’ll say! It’s never too late!!

  • Greg Roberts

    Thinking “outside of the box” I believe is the most important phrase. We get jammed up with niches and certain thinking IMO. We may do ourselves better help by gathering the information, taking some time to ponder what we have learned, then move into action. Thanks for the post.

  • Earnest

    I hear that a major trend in Australia is to retire after a 25 year career around age 50, go back to school, and start up a second career (often times in medicine). My grandfather kept working outside on the farm, putting up fences while developing a real estate business through his 80s. My grandma became one of the first “elderly computer gurus” a while back. From my perspective, age means nothing 😉

  • Carol Weeks

    My dad died when he was 100 years old. If I live to 100, I still have 40 years ahead of me! And if I live to my mother’s present age, I still have 30 years ahead of me. I’ve got to do something with my remaining years. Busy work has no interest for me. Writing and speaking are two life-long interests that I am now involved in. No, it’s never too late. And that’s exciting…

  • Harry

    Daniel,
    a great and inspiring post, thank you.

    cheers,

    Harry

  • Siya Mava

    I always wanted to hit it big before my 30th birthday. I am 25 now and it seems 30 too soon. This has been worrying me because I don’t want to be “rich” at an old age. But this post made me see things the other way round. Thank Scosso.

  • Ravi @Technology Blog

    Loved “Coca Cola!!” Awesome Post BTW. And i really Don’t thin that Age really Matters. All that matters is Confidence,Experience and Knowledge

  • Claude Nougat

    Great post Daniel and just what I needed to hear…or be reminded of (I knew about Coca Cola – I worked there eons ago!) Now I’ve just started a Group on Goodreads to discuss Baby Boomer novels, from there I moved to the concept of Boomer Lit as a new genre (destined to be as big as YA as it addresses boomers as they are today, entering in the Third Act in their lives) and you know what? It’s going big! I’ve got nearly 200 members in my Group that have joined in just 9 weeks…Yes, we can make it in our twilight years, and how!

    Thanks of reminding us that it’s NEVER TOO LATE!

    ps. anyone interested in the Goodreads Group? Here’s the link: http://goodreads.com/group/show/81261-baby-boomer-novels-a-new-genre

    And by the way, I’m not doing it for myself…I really believe boomer lit is going to be The Next Big Genre! You want a good read? Come and choose it on our Goodreads Group bookshelf (over 50 titles)

  • Amartya

    I think innovation in information technology is still driven by young people. And the early innovators that you have stated all fall under IT.

  • Taswir Haider

    Time never stands for anyone. Our young guns are highly creatives minded with potential.But they should realize what are they made of. And in which sphere they feel more comfort,they should do something for taking that sphere as work.

  • Maruf Abdullah

    This post made me happy! Thanks for writing such a interesting article. Mostly I like “There are several other examples in pretty ………………. her 70s after abandoning a career in embroidery because of arthritis.” It is based on our history. 🙂

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