The Race to Greatness in 30 Years or Less

I read an article in last month's "Inc." magazine exploiting the successes of numerous now-wealthy individuals under the age of 30. It was called "Cool, Determined, Under 30". There was a picture of the inventor of Etsy.com, Rob Kalin, looking smug and childlike in his 27 years of age. And laughing alongside him was Una Kim, a thick sun-kissed 29 year old with jet black hair and a skate shoe company marketed towards women called "Keep" that's reaching 2.5 million in sales this year. The cocksure and suavely dressed Brendan Ciecko, a string bean of a 20 year old, who's creating websites for everyone you can imagine (Mick Jagger, Sony BMG, Universal). And then, there is Sumi Krishnan, CEO of an 80 employee company named K4, a federal contractor specializing in IT work (that's federal as in the government, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and FireArms). SHE has a sultry looking picture in the upper right hand corner of the article's last page. And she shared a quote, a shuddering combination of words that commanded a serious amount of thought on my part, where she said, "My father always says, 'If you don't accomplish something great by the time you're 30, you're never going to accomplish something great.'"
The most depressing statement ever made, I thought, as I sat in my 32 year old body with this magazine in my hands. Something great by 30...guess it's too late for me. If they wrote an article about my life's accomplishments before 30, gosh, it would have to be a short one.
And quite honestly, this quote stuck with me for weeks since reading that magazine. I analyzed "what could have been" and where I went wrong, maybe I should have majored in Business. Maybe I should have pursued my other passions, taken the road less traveled along the way. I got a teaching credential and a degree in English, woohoo. I didn't foray into the budding technology world in college, I didn't follow my talents in music, I fell in love, I took the safe route and got a career job in education, I got pregnant.
And then it hit me. I DID something GREAT, I did something FANTASTIC, I did something MIRACULOUS by the time I was thirty and I did it TWICE!!!!
I gave birth to two beautiful baby girls. Who are nothing short of perfect. I don't have 80 employees, I have 2 daughters, and my gross salary for 2009 is far below projected expectations and I am just fine with that. Because I have done something that gains exponential returns in love, life and the eternal pursuit of happiness in this world, I became a mother.


NewportJaime said...

Being a parent/mother is ABSOLUTELY an underappreciated undertaking. The things we teach our children impact how they think which in turn influence the decisions they make later in life.

If I were not a full time parent, I would have been an interior decorator (or in my wildest dreams a professional golfer). I will be much more fulfilled by the impact I make on my children’s lives.

Gabrielle said...

It's funny how we, as mothers, know that there was a life before kids, there were career goals, fantasies, passions and pursuits. And we conduct our conversations as such, "What did you do before kids?" because we know there was a before and there will be an after but for now, this is the important all consuming career. And it's better than any desk job, fancy title or fat paycheck. And every mother knows that the title "HomeMaker" really does say it all, really is something to be proud of because it's the most important job in the world. Without a home, without a mother, the world would be in dire straits. And later, after the kids have grown and gone we can be rock stars and pro golfers. But for now, we're moms. And what an accomplishment that is.

NewportJaime said...

Hopefully after my children move out and I am in my late forties, I still have the same length and putting accuracy on the golf course when I hit the LPGA tour.


becky @ misspriss said...

Wow. I can't even say I became a mom before 30. I guess I'll never accomplish much of anything. ;)