top of page

What Do 41, 62, 80 Years Old Have to Do with Your Success in Life?

(Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay)

I think about these numbers every time I think about how old I am.

I also think about these numbers every time I think about how successful I am.

Before I tell you what these numbers mean, allow me to share thoughts. If you want to find out the answer, scroll down the article and you will find it.

If you are like me past half-century mark in your life, still looking for success in life, then no need to worry. If you are not like me, young in your twenties, thirties, and even forties, still looking for success in life, then not to worry either.

I have achieved some success in my career and business — Nine years of running sustainable sushi class business, with many publicly traded companies as clients. They are IT companies, VC firms, financial institutes, multi-national law firms, consulting companies you hear on the news. Some of our private clients are well known public figures in their industry. You probably heard about then on the news also. I was featured on some campaigns like Survey Monkey, Adobe, Eventbrite and Grammarly YouTube ad, which got whopping 30M views. I wrote four books and became top write on Quora in 2016 & 2017. Some articles were published on Huffington Post and interviewed for a couple of podcasts and radio show, none of which I ever planned to do.

For someone who had no intention of becoming a sushi chef, someone who decided to work at a rock n roll sushi restaurant on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, someone who had over $35,000 debt, I suppose it has been a great ride. Some success and some internet fame came, as well as financial stability.

Yet, from time to time, I cannot help but think of others who are more successful than I am. Nobu Matsuhisa has 29 restaurants on five continents. Masa Katayama runs Masa in New York. The three Michelin starred sushi bar and, of course, Jiro Ono of Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo.

I know everyone’s path is unique. Not a single person can walk your life’s path. I know I will never be as skilled as Jiro. I know I will never open as many restaurants like Nobu. I know I am not destined to receive three Michelin stars.

I know my path. I know I am the only person who can walk that path.

The trick is to avoid getting into the thought of comparing myself to others. If I do, I’ll never win. I’ll only lose to my other self, telling me, “Oh why aren’t you as successful as others” My other self asks me to, “Look at you. How old are you now and how much do you have compared to those who are at the same age? You don’t have children, you don’t own a home. You only own a small business.”

But what if I cannot stop comparing myself to those who are more successful than I am?

That is when I remind myself of the three numbers: 41, 62, and 80.

Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motors at 41. Colonel Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 62. Jessica Tandy was 80 when she won the Oscar for the best actress.

Thinking of these three people reminds me of two things. One, there is never too late to start something. Second, you never know when success takes place in your life. I know this because I never knew when my media appearance took place.

As I write this article, I am starting a “startup” when I am older than Soichiro Honda when he started “Honda.” I cannot help but think I am way older than Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Patrick, and John Collison, the founders of Stripe, who became the youngest billionaires.

Then comes the ultimate question: what is success? What does success look like to me?

I am afraid I have no straight simple answer to these questions.

It’s a strange place where I am now. I own a “successful” profitable company with 9 years of reputable service with some brand recognition, and I am starting something new all over again.

I don’t know when the project will become successful, but I will know when it does.

As for me becoming successful, well, for now, that is up for another discussion.

Subscribe to my weekly summary newsletter.


bottom of page