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What is the best “I was broke and almost 30” autobiography you can think of?
21 points by razzmc on Feb 7, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
Basically, a "rags-to-riches" type of story where someone decided to leave their career behind in their late 20's/30's to start something. Interested in ANY suggestions you may have.

99% of "rags-to-riches" stories start past 40.

The selfmade millionaires under 40 are statistical outliers ;)

(Not strictly "auto"biographies, but most of them have ghostwriters anyway)

"Virgin Rebel" (Richard Branson) "Return to the little Kingdom" (Steve Jobs) "Enter the Dragon" (Theo Paphitis)

(There are lots more, but they are in my bookshelf at home...)

Not really what you're looking for but it's what sprung to mind:

George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London. He gives up his bourgeois lifestyle to live among the poor. I'm not sure he started anything at the end though. Besides himself, with a wider perspective of the world.

This is a really interesting book. Made me realize I have never known what it is like to be truly hungry.

Isn't PG's life story along these lines? IIRC, he'd program for a while, quit to paint for a bit, then go back to programming when he ran out of money. I think he started Viaweb in his early thirties, which he sold to Yahoo and became financially independent after the sale.

He went to art school in Italy and attended elite schools that cost a literal fortune. It's safe to say he was at least comfortably middle class and money was always a phone call away.

Lots of well off kids bum around being "poor" while their parents pay their expenses. Actual poverty is an entirely different thing and involves going hungry and having your electricity turned off.

In https://www.amazon.com/Scratch-Beginnings/dp/0061714275/ the author leaves everything behind and builds everything up again. There's no riches though (unless his book sold really well).

Thomas Petterfy started his firm around 40.


Derek Sivers was 27 when he stared CD Baby. You can check his new book, as well generally his writings.

Buckminster Fuller

edit: I don't know about "to-riches" but this is the turnaround I often think about. I guess it depends on your objectives.

Not sure if this quite fits the bill and/or if there is a book to go with it, but William Shatner has a story like this.

American Splendor.

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