So you’ve hit 23 – you’ve been watching the match and you’ve just seen Raheem Sterling bang in a goal from 30 yards out of the penalty area.

A sublime goal from the 21-year old hits you with the realisation that you’re not going to be a professional sportsman. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ve missed out on your chance of global fame and worldwide recognition.

Take those negative feelings of insecurity and doubt and bury them deep down. You’re never too old to take a crack at something new and just because you’re a few steps behind the pack doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to catch up. Hard work, determination and a positive mindset are the three ingredients that will help you push through your quarter or mid-life crisis and have you keeping your dreams (no matter how unrealistic) alive for years to come.

Here’s 4 famous faces that rock their respective industries, but had a late break:

Jon Hamm

jon-hamm-008Although everyone’s favourite Mad Man started his acting career nearly 20 years ago, playing a bit role in an episode of Ally McBeal, it took him another 10 years to hit the big time with his role as Don Draper in the hit AMC series. Half way through his 30s, Hamm found his big break late but has plenty of time to roll with his star power.

 

“We’re flawed, because we want so much more. We’re ruined, because we get these things, and wish for what we had.”

Sixto Rodriguez

rodriguez-18The subject of a 2012 Oscar Winning documentary, Rodriguez found a certain kind of fame during the 70s with two albums recorded within a couple of years. However, his fame was most felt in South Africa and he failed to gain celebrity in the US. It took 40 years for a couple of documentary makers to finish their movie on their search for their music idol for Rodriguez to finally step back into the spotlight at the age of 70.

“That late success has happened is OK. I’m grounded. I use my seniority to my advantage. That’s helped me out. Who’d have thought? So, yeah. I’m a lucky guy.”

Toni Morrison

morrisonA Pulitzer Prize Winning author and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, at the age of 40 Toni Morrison was an unpublished struggling writer and mother of one. Her hard graft and perseverance paid off when her first novel was published in 1970,  17 years later she finished Beloved and won the Pulitzer Prize.

 

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Ang Lee

ang-leBefore winning  a spate of awards in 00s, Ang Lee was down on his luck movie director who was struggling to get a break. In fact, he didn’t get the opportunity to direct a major motion picture until he was at the grand age of 38. Since then he’s made good use of his time, with his movies garnering 38 Academy Award Nominations  and winning 12.

“Sometimes, you have to get angry to get things done.”