Apple, Galvin and Buffett – Why You Are Never Too Old to Consider Starting a Business of Your Own
The names above may not be instantly recognizable, but in the world of business and entrepreneurship they belong to three individuals who put paid to the notion that to be successful in business you must be both young and money driven. Phyllis Apple, Bob Galvin and Warren Buffett all continue to head up their respective businesses – and they have a combined age of 252 years. A fact that should be an inspiration to anyone who doubts they can start up their own business.
Phyllis Apple enjoys golf and needlepoint – pastimes that one would normally associate a woman of 86 – but its her public relations firm, Apple Organization that really keeps her going. After having worked as a reporter at The Charlotte Observer, at the age of 57 Apple decided to start a business in which she could focus some of her favourite things – ‘organizing events and cultivating relationships’. Today Apple boasts not only an impressive client roster from their base in Miami Beach, Florida, but it also prides itself on being a great springboard for many leading PR experts in the US.
Bob Galvin is perhaps a little more famous, being the son of Paul Galvin – the founder of Motorola. Since stepping down from being CEO at Motorola in 1986 at the age of 64 (after helping grow their revenue from $216 million to $6.7 billion), Galvin has begun two research and development ventures which aim to improve major US networks including the power grid and traffic problems in large cities. The former was begun in just 2005 when Galvin was 83.
Warren Buffett’s story is a little different. Due to his investment partnership established in the 50s, Buffett was a millionaire by the time he was 33 years old in 1960. His relatively early millionaire status stimulated quite uniquely philanthropic leanings in Buffett’s life – which he still upholds today. Yet, he still maintains strong business interests despite his age and the ongoing and difficult recession, being the largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway (owners of General Re and Fruit of the Loom, and many more), and buying General Electric as recently as 2008.
At a time when many are considering career changes, embarking on business studies online and breaking out on their own, Apple, Galvin and Buffett are inspirational to anyone who may have doubts because they are too old. With age, often comes wisdom, and transferable skills which are often not fully realised until they are given the opportunity to flourish – and it seems that older entrepreneurs are going to be far more common over the next few years than they have been in the past.