Financial Success Late In Life Is Nothing To Lament

I love this chart that Anna Vital made that is going viral across the United States. If anything, though, it’s incomplete because it ignores so many people who didn’t start becoming successful in a business endeavor until their 40s, 50s, 60s, and so on.

indirectpath

This list doesn’t even include Sam Walton, who was running a five-and-dime Benjamin Franklin store and then learned that his landlord was going to charge him extortionist rent in an effort to get him off the land. If Sam Walton didn’t encounter a greedy son-of-a-gun landlord that had his eye on Walton’s franchised business, he might have spent the rest of his life owning a dozen or so small stores before calling it a life and hanging it up (as an aside: this alternative would have been no grave hardship. Adjusted for inflation, he could have easily been bringing in $2-$4 million in annual profits if he had chosen to build a collection of branded franchise stores, and he would have spent his time on earth delivering basic necessities to people in a way that would put him in the top 0.1% of wealth in the most advanced society that the world had ever seen).

The variables for business success have always been about combining two things successfully: capital + the ability to sell something for more than it costs you. You know what’s not an element? Your age. You know what else isn’t an element? Your failures in the past.