Is business the secret to a long life?

Many studies are carried out on the number of people starting businesses and the success of those ventures but few researchers have investigated whether business is the secret to a long and healthy life. Emma Jones offers a few examples that point to a connection.

Celebrating a centenary

It was two recent insertions in the Obituaries column that got me thinking about this idea of business leading to a long life. The insertions marked the passing away of two great businessmen; Daniel Carasso, founder of Danone, the world’s leading yoghurt maker, and Wall Street veteran Albert Hamilton Gordon who rebuilt investment banking firm Kidder Peabody after the crash. Mr Carsso was 103. Al Hamilton Gordon was 107.

What I’m suggesting is that their business was very much responsible for keeping them going until a ripe old age. It gave a reason to get up each morning, with both men still very much involved in the running of the business until literally the day they died.

Saying that, when questioned at the age of 103, Al Hamilton Gordon said:

“My longevity I attribute to, number one, excessive exercise!”

The feature reports:

‘On business trips to Los Angeles, he would carry his own bags — from the airport to downtown, walking all 18 miles. At 82, he ran the London Marathon — and finished in a little more than six hours.’

The young kid on the block

Looking almost youthful in comparison, and still very much alive, Gerald Ronson was recently profiled and praised for his stamina and ongoing business success:

“The 70 year old has no plans to moderate his workload, which still consists of six and a half days a week, more than 12 hours a day, and with regular travel across the nine countries in his £1.5bn development programme’

In his own words, Ronson said:

“I have more energy at 70 than two 35 year olds. I have no intention of slowing down or retiring. I don’t do what I do for the money. I do it because I enjoy it.”

And I guess, at the end of the day, this is the crux. It’s doing something you enjoy that gives the energy to stay alive. That, plus a little exercise on the side!


About the Author:  Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’

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Emma Jones

Emma Jones is Founder and Editor of Enterprise Nation, the home business website. She has successfully started two businesses from home offices in London, Manchester and rural Shropshire. Following a career with an international accountancy firm, Emma started her first home based business at the age of 27 and successfully sold it just 15 months after launch. Redbrick Enterprises Ltd was founded in 2002 to advise the public sector on effective homeworking. Spotting a gap in the market to provide information and inspiration to homeworkers, Emma launched Enterprise Nation [], the home business website, in January 2006. The website is a free resource for people starting and growing a business at home and has a readership of more than 390,000 people. As well as site content, there is also a free fortnightly e-newsletter and podcast. Emma’s first book on how to start a business from home Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home will be published by Harriman House in May 2008.

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