In the last few days I have spoken to two practitioners who were considering adding tax problem resolution services to their practices. They both expressed concern that they may be too old to start something new. After explaining to them that the learning curve could be reduced dramatically by attending the ASTPS boot camp, I started thinking about what is too old? This brought to mind something I had read that is worth sharing; here’s interesting facts from that book:
- Actor George Burns won his first Oscar at age 80.
- Golda Meir was 71 when she became prime minister of Israel.
- At age 96, playwright George Bernard Shaw broke his leg when he fell out of a tree he was trimming in his backyard.
- Painter Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until she was 80 years old. She completed more than 1,500 paintings after that; 25 percent of those were produced when she was past 100.
- Michelangelo was 71 when he painted the Sistine Chapel.
- Physician and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer was still performing operations in his African hospital at 89.
- Doc Counsilman, at 58, became the oldest person ever to swim the English Channel.
- S. I. Hayakawa retired as president of San Francisco State University at 70, then was elected to the U.S. Senate.
- Casey Stengel didn’t retire from managing the New York Mets until he was 75.
(Glenn Van Ekeren, The Speaker’s Sourcebook, Prentice Hall, New York, NY)
Over the last several years, I have witnessed practitioners (of all ages) start tax problem resolution as a supplement to other areas of practice. There is nothing wrong with that approach, but many learned that it is a more rewarding and satisfying endeavor that the rest of their practice. They end up expanding and finally switching to being exclusively a tax problem resolution practice. Don’t miss an opportunity because you think you are too old, new challenges will keep you young. There’s an old saying about being “a long time dead,” don’t start early.