OXFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom — “Age is irrelevant: it doesn’t matter, it’s a myth we’re told and we tell ourselves,” said Strauss Zelnick on Thursday at VOICES, BoF’s annual gathering for big thinkers hosted in partnership with QIC Global Real Estate, kicking off the last session of speakers who each took to the stage to share their advice on how to "live your best life." The fitness guru, entrepreneur and chief executive of Take-Two Interactive Software, a publisher and distributor of video games, Zelnick’s best life didn’t begin until his mid-40s despite achieving outward success at a young age. Now, at age 60, he reflects on the lessons he’s learned in work and health.
“In a world that often defines and limits people by age, I believe that anything is possible at any time," he said. "It’s never too late to start as long as you are kind to yourself, gentle and you’re willing to start slowly."
Know what you want, be focused and yet open-minded, start small but start today and don’t judge yourself. At any age, anything is possible.
Zelnick began his illustrious entertainment career in his twenties, but it wasn’t until his mid-30s that the former president and chief operating officer of 20th Century Fox and former chairman and chief executive of Columbia Music Entertainment realised he wasn’t an effective leader. And after nearly a decade of running major entertainment companies, he determined that the best way to find success in business was to pursue his true passion. So in 2001, in his mid-40s, he took a risk and started his own media company, ZMC. “It’s not been a linear upward-sloping path and I’ve had numerous missteps along the way and some massive failures,” he said. “But over time its worked out pretty well.”
The same can be said for Zelnick’s approach to fitness. As a child, he was awkward and intimidated by athletics. Over the years, however, he discovered that he is actually a “pretty good athlete,” embracing everything from yoga to boxing and squash, starting slowly and letting go of lifelong inhibitions. Now, he maintains an impressive level of physical fitness by any age’s standards.
“So today what do I wish for you? Know what you want, be focused and yet open-minded, try to let go of the fears that hold you back, start small but start today and don’t judge yourself," he concluded. "And remember at any age, anything is possible.”