5 Successful People Who Didn't Have It Together At 25


At times, it feels as though millennials can't catch a break as people say the generation is ill-prepared, over-entitled and underwhelming as a whole — especially when you factor in that by your mid-20s people expect you to have your whole life plan mapped out.

If you are a twenty something who feels like you don't have it all figured out just yet fear not. You aren't the first and you won't be the last. There are a few famed late bloomers like Stan Lee, who didn't create his famed superhero sketches until he was in his 40s, and J.K. Rowling, who went through death, poverty and divorce all throughout her 20s before publishing the first Harry Potter in 1997, that we all know.

So here's a look at some other artists, entertainers, fashion moguls, entrepreneurs who bloomed a little later but are success stories now.

1. Vivienne Westwood: 

A designer noted for mixing English fabrics and establishment designs with irreverence and punk inspiration, Westwood didn't have her first big runway show until she was 40. She dropped out of the Harrow School of Art in London after just one term of studying fashion, thinking, "I didn't know how a working-class girl like me could possibly make a living in the art world." After becoming a schoolteacher, and staying one through the end of her first marriage, it was her slamming headfirst into the English punk scene of the 1970s that transformed Westwood into the designer she is today.

2. Ricky Gervais:

English funnyman Ricky Gervais, the brilliant mind behind The Office and Extras, didn't get his big break on the BBC until he was 40. After a streak as one-half of a New Wave pop duo known as Seona Dancing, and time as an events manager for the University of London Union, Gervais met writing partner Stephen Merchant and did radio until the show he's most famous for started in mid 2001. Now, after another BBC show Extras, several award show hosting gigs, and the plethora of The Office remakes in Europe, South America and the U.S., Gervais is now a household name.

3. John Paul DeJoria:

John Paul DeJoria might not be a name that rings a bell, but travel to any drug or grocery store hair care aisle and you'll see his claim to fame — the Paul Mitchell hair product line. In fact in 2009, Forbes ranked DeJoria as one of top 100 richest Americans, with a net worth in the billions. After being in a street gang throughout much of his school days, a stint in the Navy, and a series of odd jobs, he started Paul Mitchell with a business partner and a $700 loan. That was in his mid 30s. Now the company draws in hundreds of millions annually.

4. David Sedaris:

Now a famed novelist, Sedaris was a relative unknown until famed radio host Ira Glass brought him into the pop culture consciousness. Before all that Sedaris went to and dropped out of a few colleges before working odd jobs in Raleigh, North Carolina, New York City and Chicago, where he graduated from a local art institute and ran into Glass.

After National Public Radio broadcast SantaLand Diaries in 1992 — when Sedaris was already in his mid-30s — and his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, hit in 1994, he went on a hot streak and his next five releases became New York Times best sellers.

5. Terry Gilliam

The only American-born founder (and now naturalized British citizen) in one of the most famous British comedy troupes of all time, Monty Python, Gilliam has spent his life on an unconventional road to success. He was voted Most Likely to Succeed at his L.A.-area high school, but the actor-writer-director was already in his 40s, after several years as a cartoonist and animator, before he'd have his hands in lauded films like BrazilThe Fisher King12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and having film stars like Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt under his tutelage.