Would you start a business at 59 years old? Bob Chinn did! His seafood restaurant is the highest grossing restaurant in the United States. It is not in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles! It is in Wheeling, Illinois. It is just thirty (30) miles from Chicago. It grossed $24 million in annual revenue (without alcohol sales)! Not bad for an old guy.
What is remarkable is he started this restaurant in 1982 when he was 59 years old. Thirty (30) years later, he is on top of the heap and has no intention of quitting or retiring! He spends six (6) months out of the year in Hawaii, probably the winter. At eighty-nine (89) years old, he is slowing down a little. There is something in finding your passion in life. “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” (Confucius).
Everyone talks about finding your passion in your career, but it is actually tough to do! What are you good at? What are your skills? What makes you special? These are just a few of the questions to help you figure out what you should do with your career or life. Passion usually follows skills and what you enjoy doing. Maybe, it is time to take inventory of your skills?
What do you like to do well enough that you would not mind spending twenty (20) hours a day doing? Twenty hours may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea. It could be a product; you have been tinkering with or thinking about for years or a service. What is it about it that excites you? The product or service may be revolutionary or very ordinary, but it solves a problem. It doesn’t matter, but you have to believe in it and willing to work to make it happen.
Sometimes, it was a side job or hobby that turns into a business. Some people find careers in sports because they just love the game even if they can mot play the sport. I know a few people who made a career of performing business activities for professional sports or coaching or selling professional sports products. Think about why you like something and why it excites you. For some, just selling hot dogs at the baseball stadium may be a choice.
What do you spend your time doing? Do you read the sports section every day? Can you imagine spending your life or career doing something in sports, entertainment or some other industry doing something? There may be only eighteen (18) thousand people in professional sports, but there are literally more like a hundred (100) thousand people who support the professional athletes. So you can find something you would love to do.
What have you been dreaming, fantasizing or working on all these years? I always thought that writing for a living would be a cool career. There are no limitations, you can do it anywhere and it would be fun. I never thought it was possible until I tried doing it. What ridiculous idea do you have and never tried? Maybe you should try it and see if you can make it successful!
What are you waiting for? You don’t have to quit your day job to try it out. Too many of us never even try to find our passion or when they do, talk themselves out of experimenting with it. Could you fail? Of course, you can fail, but you will never know unless you try. Most, if not all successful people fail before they succeed. They even fail along the way, but they pick themselves up and keep trying. This is what distinguishes successful people from unsuccessful people.
Finding your passion is difficult, but worthwhile. Look at the things you enjoy and want to spend you time doing. You need to try things out and you may even make a mistake or two, but don’t let that defer you. Everyone who is successful makes mistakes, but they find what works for them. Bob Chinn started, ran and even owned a lot of businesses before he started his current restaurant. I love the idea that he started it at fifty-nine (59) years old and is still involved thirty (30) years later. It shows his passion for the business and it is paying off handsomely. Would you start a business at 59 years old?
Photo by: Pierre-Olivier