Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook when he was only 19-years-old and a student at Harvard. He is now estimated to be worth 61.7 billion USD.
David Carp founded Tumblr when he was 21-years-old. He is now estimated to be worth $200 million.
Cameron Johnson used his creative talent to create greeting cards, earning him thousands of dollars which leveraged him to start his own business, SurfingPrizes.com before reaching his 20s. He is now estimated to be worth $3.2 million.
With examples such as these, it’s no wonder the bar to succeed young has been raised. When it comes to success, most people believe that the sooner it happens, the better. This can lead to an enormous amount of stress. By the time most kids enter high school, the pressure to succeed has overtaken the fun of being young, and as the years pass, the idea that success might be farther than previously thought becomes kind of depressing.
Although success at a young age is exciting, it’s not nearly as valuable as it is later in life. Imagine perfecting your craft and working year after year and finally, success comes. How amazing would that feel?
These five entrepreneurs are a great example of that. Take a look at these five entrepreneurs who succeeded later in life and are doing better than ever.
1. Bryan Cranston
When hearing the name Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad might be the next thing that follows. However, it wasn’t until Cranston was 44-years-old that he received his breakout role, starring in the comedy sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. Today, he is estimated to be worth $30 million.
2. J.K Rowling
One of the most infamous stories of later in life success comes from author J.K. Rowling. She was only in her mid to late thirties when she managed to sell the first book of the Harry Potter series. Today, she is estimated to be worth $1 billion.
3. Vera Wang
Before becoming a world-renowned bridal gown designer, Wang was a competitive figure skater turned journalist. She spent many years as a senior fashion editor before deciding to design wedding gowns at the age of 40. Today, she is estimated to be worth $420 million.
4. Ana Wintour
Ana Wintour, synonymous with the word Vogue, began her career in her late 20s after landing a senior fashion editor role at an erotic women’s magazine called Viva. After moving between a variety of magazines, Wintour finally landed her role at Vogue at the age of 39. Today, she is estimated to be worth $35 million.
5. Alan Rickman
Rickman, most notably recognized for his role as Snape in the Harry Potter series, didn’t begin acting until the age of 42. His first role was Hans Gruber in the movie Die Hard, a role which propelled him into the world of acting. Before his death, Rickman’s estimated net worth was $16 million.
Age is just a number. These entrepreneurs didn’t let age hold them back. Why should you?
Fall often feels like more of a fresh start than the New Year. For those working in academia or attending graduate programs, whose fiscal calendars begin again in October, or folks with kids that recently started their school year, the fall is a time of new beginnings. In many places, the weather shifts and there’s a certain crispness to the air that puts a pep in the step and increases focus and motivation.
Now is a great time to refresh your leadership as well. To add to the excitement of fall, here are three new book releases that will help you rejuvenate your leadership.
1. Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You by Heidi Grant
Somehow, asking for help is the hardest thing in the world, especially for Type-A leaders. In her new book, author Heidi Grant, Ph.D., explores that while we hate to ask for help, most people would like to be helpers. She uses storytelling to deliver an extremely practical take on how to manage your team so they are contributing in the most helpful ways that feel meaningful to them, and effective for you.
2. Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most by Steven Johnson
Oh, decision-making. This can be either a natural skill for one leader, or a fear-inspiring one for another. In his latest work, Steven Johnson dives into what tools are needed to conquer the complexities of decision-making, particularly for creatives. The key piece that Johnson explains and explores is that impactful decision-makers don’t just go with their gut all the time—they have a future-focused mindset that informs their decision-making process that will transform their organization.
3. Why The Best Are The Best: 25 Powerful Words That Impact, Inspire, And Define Champions by Kevin Eastman
After nearly 40 years in basketball, 13 of which in the NBA, Kevin Eastman has seen teams and leaders rise and fall. In his newest book, he details what has made these champions and championship teams effective, and translates that to everyday leaders. Through up-close-and-personal stories and practical strategies, Kevin will inspire you to give your team and personal leadership a jumpstart.
If you were to ask yourself who were your best mentors in your life, I’m sure several people would come to mind from your childhood to even a person you currently see on a daily basis. Perhaps they were a great school teacher, a coach, an academic program advisor, or a supervisor from your first summer job. When you think about those mentors, can you truly remember what exactly they said to you that made you feel ...Supported? Inspired? Captivated? Chances are you don’t remember what they said, or what their hairstyle was, what they were wearing or their overall mannerisms. Often what shines though and has us thinking and reflecting about our time with them is how they made us FEEL. They encouraged, inspired, motivated, and enabled us to see a part of the world that we had not yet been exposed.
Now I’m going to ask you to reflect on another mentoring note – who were your WORST mentors in your life? Who were the tedious teachers, the exhausting coaches, the leaders with lack of patience or who showed favoritism to team members and did not foster teamwork? Those are unfortunately the people who had a large effect on your life in terms of your goals and your career choices. They may be a current co-worker or employer who doesn’t like to your ideas, micro manages you, and frustrates you to the point that you can’t focus on your actual work tasks. Fortunately, there is a silver lining to these negative individuals whom you have crossed paths in your life. It is the negative influence leaders who you should remember, and strongly take note of the choices they make since their role in your life demonstrates an exact OPPOSITE model of who you want to be when you are a leader, a mentor and a role model. Harness the energy, emotions and time you have had for these individuals and in turn, know that you will make choices as a leader to promote the passion of life-long learning, engage in new ideas and be patient as everyone cultivates into professionals and agents of change at a different rate.
I share these thoughts on positive and negative influence leaders in our lives because it is a great responsibility to be a mentor to others. It’s also a privilege. I have had the opportunity to not only mentor fellow colleagues but also be linked with a post-graduate school to be a preceptor to a specific student for 4, 6, and 8 week placements at a time. These weeks can feel more exhausting than a normal work week because all of your moves are being watched by a young professional starving to grow and make a contribution to the real world. Being a professional leader is often focused on the student in training yet what happens in a positive mentor/protégé relationship is that the mentor is the one who learns just as much as the student. I love when students/young colleagues ask me questions such as “Can you tell me why you decided to complete that task first?” or “How did you come to make that decision?” because these are the questions that we often forget to ask ourselves on a daily basis in the midst of our busy lifestyles and careers.
So the next time you are asked to take on a student or a new colleague in training, please don’t hesitate to help as you will benefit in your career as well. Mentorship is a beautiful experience full of reflection and engagement of both parties, bringing everyone to a level of asking more questions and deeper understanding of their careers – and quite possible themselves. Remember, you could be that positive, influential role model that this young professional needs.
Being a leader may come natural to some, being a successful leader is an entirely different story. Orrin Woodward once said, "Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar." Below, I will share what I believe to be the secrets of successful leadership:
Lead by example – a successful leader is a person of authenticity, a role model, an influencer, someone that others follow because they want to, not because they have to. So, make an example out of yourself and demonstrate the energy and passion that you have for the work you want your team to do.
Communicate – a successful leader never assumes, instead they paint a really clear picture for the team to ensure that they are up to speed and in the know. Keep the momentum going, by re-visiting goals and encourage your team to share their successes and their challenges with each other, giving them every opportunity for growth.
Anticipate obstacles – a successful leader is ready for any road bump along the way, because there will always be road bumps! Be prepared to conquer obstacles and keep the team moving in the forward direction; a successful leader will not allow the team to lose momentum when a crisis occurs.
Keep your team engaged – ROLE PLAY if and when possible, and have some fun! If your team is not a close knit team, allow them to get to know each other. Trainings and team meetings are perfect opportunities for team building activities; present them with a challenge and allow them to work through it, and be excited about what they have just accomplished… together!
Acknowledge - John Maxwell says, "A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit." Successful leaders always acknowledge their team and give credit whenever possible. A little ‘thanks’ and ‘great job’ goes a long way! Say it often.
Becoming a successful leader is not easy, being mindful of the attributes and actions listed above will definitely get you on the path to becoming one. For anyone still doubting that they can go from being an average leader to a great one, I will leave you with one last thought from Donald McGannon, "Leadership is an action, not a position." So what are you waiting for? It’s time to take action!