IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND. That is me quoting lyrics from my song, Times Are Trying. Copyright, Mercedes Hawkins. It’s also the subtitle, and the chorus. And I do believe in what I am saying in this lyric. I would like to inspire people who are vacillating between starting a venture while thinking they are too old.
For those who think you are too old to start a venture, let me say this; a great deal of people do their best work in the latter stage of their life. Let us take the case of Louise Hay, for instance. Louise Hay, an abused child, could have given up, thinking she was too old. Yet winded up a multimillionaire and happy. She did not set out to become a multimillionaire. That was a by-product. She set out to be happy, by using positive affirmations. At 40 she turned her life around. I believe that is when she went public with her affirmations. Her book was written in the latter part of her life. In her seventies she took up art. People loved it. She was determined to do everything she didn’t get to do as a child. At seventy-plus years (approximately 76), she took up ballroom dancing. Her publishing company which was created in the latter years of her life became a smash hit. In other words, no one should give up and say, “it is too late, I am too old to start this venture.” I mean, you can, but you won’t be justified. Giving up is a choice, just as self determination is a choice. The reality is that as long as there is breath, there is hope.
Here is what one study found. There are just as many successful old heads as there are young heads. That is to say, that at 70 or 60 or 50, you have just as much chance to succeed as a teenager does, or a twenty year old.
Let us take a look for a brief moment, at the life of Albert Einstein. Einstein was hitting forty when he published his paper on photon. This same individual spent two years looking for a teaching post before he became famous. Can you imagine spending two entire years looking for a job? He was born in 1879 and most of his achievements took place in 1917, 1921, 1905, 1919, 1921 and so you do the math.
All of this means, life does not always run smooth for successful people. There will be struggle. Whether he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics or recognized for his theory of relativity – it all happened at the age of forty and beyond.
LinkedIn’s founder was forty three when he went public with LinkedIn. Another successful entrepreneur after turning forty is Robin Chase. Today she is best known for starting the company called Zipcar. She was a mother, and could have hung to that excuse. But she chose success instead. Harlan Sanders was sixty two when he launched Kentucky Fried Chicken. Pearl Bailey got her degree when she was in her 50’s. I was there when it happened. She was the oldest student at sixty seven.
Today, the shift of entrepreneurial success is changing. While some folks look at the Facebook founder and the silicon valley notables as young people having all the new ideas, that is not always the case. A Census report shows the following:
…”the average age of U.S. entrepreneur is actually rising, with the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity shifting to the 55 -64 age group.
Not convinced yet? Here are some names of entrepreneurs who bloomed after forty. Ray Kroc, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Alfred Hitchcock, Steve Jobs and the list is quite exhaustive. Some of these people were in their 70’s, others in their 60’s, while still others in their 50’s. It is not uncommon for innovators to reach their apex at 40. True that Vice presidents don’t like to hire older people. This is ironic because older people do not let money slip by as young people do. The reasoning is that young people can be controlled or easily molded. That is even more reason to start your own company when you have reached the societal plateau. Being your own boss will enable you to use your divine creativity without being hindered by old societal norms.
There are many more examples, but I will stop here. Many people who have succeeded are not famous. One such is founder of CISCO. Everyone cannot be famous. But many old people are successful and not necessarily famous. Think about these folks as you ponder starting a venture. And never say I am too old for anything.
The next time you think about giving up, just think of the words to my song; ...It’s never too late, to turn your life around. Also think about all the people who reached their highest achievement when they were in their 40’s 50’s 60’s and 70’s.