For the more neurotic among us, a birthday can be a reminder of how another year has passed and our loftiest aspirations have faded further into the distance.
There are plenty of examples, however, of successful people across many industries who prove that you don’t need to have it all figured out by the time you turn 30.
We’ll take a look at some of them, from renowned fashion designer Vera Wang, who didn’t design her first dress until she was 40, to writer Harry Bernstein, who authored countless rejected books before getting his first hit at age 96.
Stan Lee created his first hit comic, “The Fantastic Four,” just shy of his 39th birthday in 1961. In the next few years, he created the legendary Marvel Universe, whose characters such as Spider-Man and the X-Men became American cultural icons.
Donald Fisher was 40 and had no experience in retail when he and his wife, Doris, opened the first Gap store in San Francisco in 1969. The Gap’s clothes quickly became fashionable, and today the company is one of the world’s largest clothing chains.
Vera Wang was a figure skater and journalist before entering the fashion industry at age 40. Today she’s one of the world’s premier women’s designers.