Oh, The Places You Will Go (The Finale): Celebrities who got it wrong before they got it right.

Oh, The Places You Will Go (The Finale):  Celebrities who got it wrong before they got it right.

Purpose.  Passion.  Crackheads.

Fried Chicken and Courage.

Infinite Possibilities.

We’ve covered a lot of ground during the course of the past few days.  It is my ultimate hope that this series, “Oh, the Places You Will Go”, will inspire you to take the first step in exploring your passions and living your dreams.

Yet, I know there are some who are still skeptical, believing that time has passed them by and that their opportunity to live their best life was left in the 90s, 80s, or 70s.  For you, I leave this list of celebrities who achieved success only after they missed the mark a few times.

1. Sylvester Stallone

As a struggling actor, Sylvester Stallone worked at a deli counter throughout most of his twenties.  At one point in his life, Stallone was so broke that we sold his dog for $25 along with his wife’s jewelry.   Reportedly, he was so sad about parting with his pooch that we walked away crying.  Yet, two weeks later, he saw a match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner.   It inspired him to write a little movie named, “Rocky” in 20 hours.

To his surprise, studios were immediately interested in the film, offering him up to $325,000 for the script.  But they didn’t want him as the star.  He looked funny and talked weird.  Because he didn’t relent, he negotiated to sell the script for $35,000 and for the starring role.  “Rocky” eventually won an Oscar for best picture.  Sylvester was in his thirties.

Eventually, he was even able to buy his dog back…for $15,000.

2. Martha Stewart

Ironically enough, Martha Stewart was previously a stock broker.  In her mid-thirties, she brought and began to restore an old farmhouse – sparking her love of decorating and restoration.  From there, she and a friend started a catering business in her basement which eventually led to her cook books and appearances on Oprah.

She became a billionaire when her company, Martha Stewart Living went public.  She was in her 50s.

3. Harrison Ford

Harrison was a self-taught carpenter well into his thirties, taking small acting roles as they became available. After years of taking miniscule roles in obscure movies, he got the role to play Hans Solo in Star Wars.  He was 35.

4. Julia Child

Believe it or not, the world-renowned chef worked as a copywriter and then as a spy for the United States before she found her calling.  It wasn’t until she moved to Paris with her husband that she realized her love for cooking fine cuisine (when she enrolled at Le Cordon Blue).  She was in her late thirties.

5. Roger Ebert

Known as the most prominent film critic of our time, Roger Ebert always recognized his love for movies and tried his hand at writing screen plays.   Before becoming a Pulitzer award-winning writer, Ebert wrote soft-core porn in his late twenties.   His movies include, “Up” and “Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixen”.  Very poetic!

Lucky for us, he went from writing movies to critiquing movies, being syndicated in over 200 newspapers across the globe by the time he was forty.

6. Jesus

Like Harrison Ford, Jesus tried his hand at carpentry in his twenties.   From what I read, he also had a gig or two as a bartender.  A late-bloomer, it wasn’t until he was thirty that he got the call to be “the only begotten son” and Savior to mankind, animals, and reality-TV stars.






Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Filed under: Purposeful Living

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    Kay S

    Kay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer and blogger who focuses on race, politics and urban culture. Having worked on public policy at the state, regional, city and community level, her opinions have been featured in the Chicago SunTimes and a host of news websites (under very mysterious sounding pseudonyms). Follow her on Twitter @kaywillsmith or contact her at kaywilliamsmith@gmail.com.

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