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Never Too Late to Be Great

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Never Too Late to Be Great

The Power of Thinking Long

Virgin Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Success takes a lot more time than you think, but you have time to follow your dreams.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


When you read about the latest billionaire wunderkind from Silicon Valley, you might conclude that success belongs to the young and strikes like lightning. Not so, says author Tom Butler-Bowdon. He argues that real achievement is actually a “slow-cooked” long haul that can take a decade – or more. And he explains why this isn’t bad news for the middle-aged. Success takes a long-term commitment, but people now live longer, healthier lives, and their working years can stretch into their 80s. Butler-Bowdon contends that middle age is the optimum time to launch a quest for success, and he spends most of the book relating inspiring stories of people who embarked on their lives’ work in well past their youth, including Colonel Sanders, Mother Teresa, Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch and author Dan Brown. The book falls short of giving advice on the best ways to use a long “lead time,” and a few tips feel like throwaways – notions the author doesn’t explain or explore. But the book is not about practical advice; its heart resides in stories of midlife renaissance, persistence and the realization of dreams. Therefore, getAbstract recommends Butler-Bowden’s stories to all who wonder if they’re too old to start a career – he may prove to you that the best is still ahead.

About the Author

At age 30, Tom Butler-Bowdon left his career as a political adviser to write 50 Self-Help Classics, a best-selling guide to motivational and self-improvement books. Butler-Bowdon’s 50 Classics series covering the key writings in personal development, psychology and philosophy has sold over 300,000 copies and is available in 23 languages.

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