The good thing about life is that we all have, God-willing, over 50 years to live. In fact, you can make it 70+ years, but 50+ would do for the scenario I am building. In essence, we all have 50 years to get BSc, MBAs, PhD (if you want), job skills, certifications, experience, connections and the success we desire. One person can get the BSc, MBA and PhD by age 30 and then proceed to get the work experience afterwards. Another might get BSc, proceed to get work experience and then struggle to combine work and a part-time Masters. And maybe not go for PhD afterwards. Still another might finish his BSc and not get a job immediately nor be enrolled for a Masters. He might just go on his own and start a small business.
50 years later they might be as equally successful. But if you traced out their paths it won't look any the same. The first person would probably have an easy life after taking the time, money and huge effort to get his education to that high level. Once he gets a great job his career takes off in a smooth growing path. The second person might have to make a lot of tough decisions and combine work and study. He would have to constantly prove that he is as good as someone with the first profile. Then after sometime he rises to the top and the competition drops, and he begins to enjoy the easy life too. The last person will probably face the most troubles. He would have to build his own fortune from scratch. He will have to take a lot risks, make many tough decisions, be broke several times before finally hitting on a winning formula that will turn his small business into a flourishing and, ultimately, a big business.
The truth is with 50 years you can achieve a lot and as much as anyone if you plan well. If you realise the category you fall and make a strategy that would get you where you want you would not need speed on your side, just be prepared to go far. If you are in the third category, you should be comfortable with working like crazy and betting the whole of your money on your business. Be ready to start very slow and almost crawl in the beginning. Your secret tool should be that you've got the whole of your life to build a successful business. You are prepared to go far.