Want to Start a New Thing? Look At These Famous Entrepreneurs!

Many of us who are… shall we say, no longer in college… can certainly relate: “The current lot of 20-something CEOs are ruining it for people like us who’re facing a mid-life crisis.” Anna Vital and the good folks at Funders & Founders do us fogeys the invaluable service of illustrating, through four inspiring and informative info-graphics, that you’re never too old to start something big.

In the first of the four images, she showcases several late starters who got something significant off the ground somewhere between the age of 35 (okay, I guess) and 65 (impressive indeed! That would be Colonel Sanders). Among these geriatric wonders we discover the founders of Pandora, CraigsList, Intel, Coca-Cola, and Wikipedia. She then appends to this graphic a list of additional senior prodigies, including Niklas Zennstromm, who created Skype at 37; Harrison Ford, who in his 30s was working as a carpenter; McDonald’s magnate Ray Croc, who was still selling paper cups and milkshake machines at 52; and Arianna Huffington, who established her eponymous Post at 54.

The second of the four graphics displays the unlikely employments in which several future household names were engaged before they hit it big: J.K Rowling the welfare mom, Andrea Bocelli, piano player in bars, and Mary Kay Ash, door-to-door sales(wo)man. (Of cosmetics, you ask? Nice try. Books.)

The third and fourth graphics illustrate, by precept and biographical tidbits, how the road to success ne’er did run smooth. Richard Branson and Bill Gates, for instance, both had their share of false starts before hitting the magic formula, and Mark Zuckerberg floated several facepalm ventures before settling on Facebook.

The takeaway? If you’re passing the time between hot flashes wistfully fantasizing about opportunities lost, your despair is without excuse. Apparently it’s never too late to earn.