With all of the stories we hear about young millionaires becoming successful entrepreneurs it can be a bit overwhelming trying to get rich early in life. While there are plenty of examples of young people developing a huge net worth, there are also those that did not strike it rich until much later in life. Sometimes your first 99 business ideas don't pan out, but if you keep trying you never know what may happen. With age often comes knowledge and experience, which can be helpful in the competitive world of business. Here are seven entrepreneurs that didn't find their success until later in their lifetimes.
No, we are not talking about the "new Colonel Sanders" played by Norm Macdonald. Harland Sanders worked in many jobs including being a railroad worker, fireman, insurance salesman, farmer, filling station attendant, and even a steamboat operator. The Colonel was in his 60s before he even started to sell food. He started out serving chicken out of his own living quarters during the Great Depression, and went on to create a secret chicken recipe. He started KFC at retirement age and went on to make a very successful fast food chain.
Kroc is another fast food entrepreneur who got started later in life. He was living in California making a living by selling milkshake machines when he met the McDonald brothers. He liked their restaurant so much that he asked them if he could start a franchise. Kroc ended up buying the company and he successfully focused on world domination, or expansion. Kroc didn't even start the McDonald's project until he was 52 years old. The company would go on to post profits of over $5 billion per year! Here's a photo of Ray Krok serving Ronald McDonald and Glen Volkman, the first drive-through customer ever:
Hoffman graduated from Stanford and wanted to change the world, but didn't have any idea how to do so. He spent the next 12 years wandering around a bit aimlessly, working for technology companies like Apple, eWorld and Fujitsu before he finally decided to become an entrepreneur. Hoffman started up the social media business SocialNet.com which focused on online dating. That business was a bust, but Reid did not give up. He joined the board of directors at PayPal and ended up co-founding LinkedIn after he was 35 years old.
Weil was 45 years old when he opened up his first shop for ranchers in Denver, Colorado. His company grew slowly until it would become a major supplier of cowboy gear all over the world. Weil's company Rockmouth Ranch Wear hit its peak in 2005 when its clothing was used in the film Brokeback Mountain. Not only did Weil start at an older age, he also finished that way. He served as the company's CEO until he passed away at 107 years old!
Blume had job security in the dairy business, but decided to leave that at 57 years old. He would go on to start Denali Flavors, which became one of the most successful makers of premium ice-cream in the United States. The company's biggest money maker Moose Tracks brings in about $80 million each year by itself! Wally put his knowledge and experience he gained working in the dairy industry to good use later in life.
Heavin is another example that failure should not mean the end. The first business he started ended up going bankrupt and Heavin was so hard up that he served jail time for failing to provide child support. At 40 years old, he would go on to open up his first fitness shop and become the CEO of Curves International, which now has more than 10,000 locations. Heavin also appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the fastest growing franchise in the world.
Ford is well known for being one of the most successful businessmen of all time. His parents had designs on Henry taking over their family farm, but he decided to leave home at 16 to work as a machinist. He stayed with his company and by the time he was 30, Henry Ford became a chief engineer. Ten years later, Ford was able to create what is now known as the Ford Motor Company. Henry utilized the assembly line to mass produce his vehicles which let him sell them cheaper than his competition. All of his hard work paid off and Ford is still one of the most popular car brands today.