For the past few weeks I’ve been on a much needed no carbs, no sugar cleanse. I have even taken up running again. Yesterday I looked at my plate of not-so-pleasant-but-healthy salad and was immediately overcome with self-pride. I then decided to use the time which I would usually spend on eating dessert to scan over my Facebook newsfeed. Big mistake!

One look at the updates from my social media peers, and suddenly my small daily wins look bleak in comparison to the gigantic strides made by my acquaintances. If life was a race, then my attempt at healthy eating won the consolation prize at a nursery school fun run while almost everyone on my timeline are busy winning gold at the Life Olympics.

Comparing yourself to someone else is never a good idea. We are all different and have different stories to tell. This is, however, easier said than done. To cheer myself up I did some reading in hopes of finding someone to give me inspiration. Someone who probably also felt at 30 like they were a step behind with this whole “adult” thing. Guess what? I found a lot!

Here is a list of people who had a rough start but turned out pretty okay in the end – even if the journey to success did take longer than the lifespan of the average boyband.

Stan Lee

Claim to fame: Stan Lee is the mastermind behind classic superhero comics like Spider-Man, The Hulk, Thor, X-Men and more.
Breakthrough age: Stan Lee was 43 years old when he began drawing his superheroes – the first of these comics being The Fantastic Four.

Stan Lee

Stan Lee

Samuel L. Jackson

Claim to fame: Oscar-nominated actor (Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, A Time to Kill and many more).
Breakthrough age: Although Jackson played minor roles from the early nineties, his real breakthrough only came at the age of 46.

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Vera Wang

Claim to fame: World-renowned bridal and fashion designer.
Breakthrough age: Vera decided to switch careers and become a fashion designer at the age of 40.

Vera Wang

Vera Wang

J. K. Rowling

Claim to fame: Author of the Harry Potter series.
Breakthrough age: The first Harry Potter book was published when Rowling was 32 years old.

Ray Kroc

Claim to fame: Founder of McDonald’s.
Breakthrough age: Ray Kroc sold paper cups and milkshake mixers before founding McDonald’s at the age of 52.

Julia Child

Claim to fame: World-famous TV chef. She introduced French cooking to the masses in America.
Breakthrough age: Julia only learned to cook at age 40, and only published her first cookbook at age 50.

Jane Lynch

Claim to fame: Actress (Glee, Hollywood Game Night).
Breakthrough age: Jane only started receiving roles when she was in her 40s, and her big break only came when she was already 50.

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

Harland Sanders

Claim to fame: Founder of KFC.
Breakthrough age: Colonel Sanders founded KFC at the age of 65.

Connie Britton

Claim to fame: Actress (Nashville, American Horror Story, Friday Night Lights).
Breakthrough age: Britton only received her breakthrough role in Friday Night Lights when she was 39 years old.

Connie Britton

Connie Britton

Momofuku Ando

Claim to fame: Inventor of instant ramen (Two-minute noodles / cup noodles).
Breakthrough age: Invented the successful food product at age 48.

Fauja Singh

Claim to fame: UK marathon runner.
Breakthrough age: Took up running at the age of 89.

Fauja Singh

Fauja Singh

Alan Rickman

Claim to fame: Actor (Harry Potter, Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility).
Breakthrough age: Only started acting at age 28, and received his first breakthrough role at the age of 40.

Tim and Nina Zagat

Claim to fame: Founders of Zagat.
Breakthrough age: Tim and Nina only found the popular restaurant survey service in their 50s.

About The Author

Enrique Grobbelaar

Enrique is the eternal entrepreneur: his first venture was selling off his parents’ household goods at bargain prices to their neighbours at age seven. All other endeavours thus far have been entirely above board.

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