James Michener story really is amazing and a testament that it’s never too late to start your business.
In 1944 he was nearly 40, he was serving in the U.S. Navy on a remote island in the South Pacific.
To kill time, he decided to write a book. He knew that the chances of anyone publishing it were practically nil.
But, he did it anyway.
He decided the book would be a collection of short stories. A friend told him that nobody publishes short stories anymore.
Even so, he took the risk and kept writing
The book was published and it got few reviews. But…
Orville Prescott, the book reviewer for The New York Times, reported that he liked the stories. Others decided they liked the book too.
Kenneth McKenna, whose job it was to evaluate books for a Hollywood film company, tried to persuade his company to make a movie out of it, but…
The company decided the book “had no dramatic possibilities”.
So McKenna stuck this neck out and brought the book to the attention of composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
When Broadway cynics heard that Rodgers and Hammerstein were planning a musical called South Pacific, they laughed and said…
“Have you heard about this screwy idea? The romantic lead is gonna be a guy past 50. An opera singer named Ezio Pinza!”
So what happened?
South Pacific Musical opened in 1949 and became an immediate hit, running for 1,925 performances.
Pinza, the old guy in his second career, received a Tony Award in 1950 for best lead actor in a musical.
James Michener first book, South Pacific was published when he was 40 years old and won a Pulitzer Prize on top of becoming a musical hit.
He went on to have a wildly successful career as a writer with over 40 books. Yes, 40 books!
And that friend is James Michener’s story.
Take chances and…no matter your age, it’s never too late reinvent yourself!
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