It’s humbling knowing that your famous heroes in the world of cinema, writing and music didn’t always have it figured out. Do you think Tina Fey knew she was to become one of the most talented people in Hollywood? Probably not.
What I’m not saying is that you should just lay back and wait for Lady Fate to break you into fame, but take this as a slice of inspiration.
Hard work and perseverance leads (most) ‘now famous’ people to the position that they’re in. I often wonder: “Why don’t they pack it in and retire to their own island?” and then I realise that they worked hard to get where they are. That kind of drive doesn’t fade easily.
Whether you’re 22 or 30, here are six of the world’s famous heroes and what they were up to at your age.
Age 22 – Tina Fey: working at the YMCA
After moving to Chicago for the first time, the modernist Queen of Comedy took 5.30am shifts at the front desk of a YMCA so she could afford night classes and become the Tina Fey we know and love.
Age 23 – Oprah: just fired from her first reporting job
Not so much of a household name in the UK but Oprah’s impact extends beyond memes of her yelling at her audience. Before the $3 billion net worth, Oprah was fired from her reporting job for being too stiff but that didn’t stop her!
Age 24 – Stephen King: working as a cleaner and living in a trailer
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The master of contemporary horror wasn’t always the living brand for frightening books. Well into his 20s, King was cleaning floors.
He wrote his first novel Carrie two years later after throwing the first draft in the bin which was then recovered by his wife. The rest is history!
Age 27 – Vincent Van Gogh: failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school
Not someone you would have ever known personally but Van Gogh’s story is one of overcoming weakness and perseverance. An inspiring tale if you excuse all the ear business.
Age 28 – J.K. Rowling: a single parent living on welfare ready to give up
A classic rags-to-riches story and yet, even with the overwhelming income, Rowling stays humble. In 2012, Rowling became the first person to fall off the Forbes list of billionaires for giving away $160 million to charity.
Age 30 – Ricky Gervais
The English-originating now American-dominating comedian and creator didn’t have the most successful starting career. In fact, Gervais wasn’t on TV until 1998 where he was in his mid-30s. Until then he had middling success as a musician and then a radio producer.