Ever feel like a failure because you’re 32 years old and not yet a gazillionaire? NO wonder. It seems that everywhere we turn these days, we’re seeing/hearing/reading that every one who’s any one has become rich by the time they’re in their late 20’s.
Well…guess what…some of the most influential and, incidentally, wealthy people in our worlds “made it” well into their 30’s and 40’s. Some even “hit it’ in their 60’s and 70’s.
Finding success in 30’s:
Oprah Winfrey was 32 when her first talk show aired nationwide. Growing up in poverty in rural Mississippi, Winfrey is one of the few people in the world known by her first name.
Jeff Bezos founded an online bookstore called Amazon at 31 years old. Today, Amazon is the go-to seller of most everything and Bezos, now 54, is the richest person in the world.
Doris Fisher co-founded The Gap with her husband Don at ages 37 and 41 respectively. The Gap now includes Banana Republic and Old Navy. She is one of Forbes Magazine’s top 100 most powerful women.
William Lever at 35 co-founded a soap manufacturing company with his brother. What was once known as Lever Brothers is now a multinational consumer goods company called Unilever.
Reid Hoffman joined PayPal as a founding board member at 31. Four years later, Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn. In 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2B.
Masaru Ibuka founded Sony when he was 38 years old. He remained at this multi-billion dollar company as an adviser until his death in 1997.
Gordon Moore co-founded NM Electronics, now known as Intel Corp., at age 39. Today, he and his wife Betty focus on philanthropy through their family foundation.
Vivienne Westwood quit teaching school at 30 to focus on fashion design after making jewelry and clothing as side jobs. Today, her clients include the British royal family and Pharrell, rapper turned produces.
Finding success in 40’s
Stan Lee started the Marvel Universe at 40 years old.
Vera Wang, after being a figure skater, dancer and journalist, opened her flagship bridal salon in NYC’s Carlyle Hotel at 40. She told Forbes Magazine, “All those years of skating and dancing have carried over. I can’t design anything without thinking of how a woman’s body will look and move when she wearing it.”
Henry Ford introduced his Model T to the public when he was 45. His design, labor practices, and marketing techniques defined and continues to define the auto industry as well as many other industries.
Jack Weil sold garters until he founded and ran Rockmount Ranch Wear in his mid 40’s. He continued doing those two things as CEO until his death at age 107.
Momofuku Ando invented instant ramen noodles at age 48.
Lynda Weinman co-founded Lynda.com, an online education company, at 40 years old. LinkedIn bought the company for $1.5B. Weinman, a former graphic arts professor and self-taught computer expert, told Forbes Magazine that her best business advice is to “…follow your heart.”
Chip Wilson founded Lululemon at 42 years old while conceiving the idea of it during a yoga class.
Sam Walton founded WalMart at age 44.
50’s, 60’s, 70’s
Julia Childs wrote her first cookbook at age 50 after working in media and advertising. Her advice…”Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Charles Darwin wrote “On the Origin of Species” at 50, all the while a naturalist. Talk about someone making an impact on society.
Ray Kroc started working for McDonald’s as a franchise agent at 52. At 57, he bought out the owners.
Seaside Steve, a blues musician, “hit it” at 60; today, at 76 years old, he earns approximately $3M/year.