Will Smith is one of the most prolific entertainers on the planet today. Dubbed as ‘the most powerful actor in Hollywood’ by Newsweek, he has a net worth of USD 260 million. Having won over 30 prestigious awards, the African-American has gone on to become a household name, proving himself as a successful rapper, producer, writer, director, investor and entrepreneur. Albeit the journey up was undoubtedly never easy, but this legend knew how to bend the universe to his will. His trade could be indeed very different, but he sure knows how to build brands, make smart business decisions and work his way up the ladder beating all odds. Aren’t all these the abilities required by entrepreneurs to find success.
Here are 5 lessons from Will Smith that all entrepreneurs should learn.
Focus on one thing at a time:
“I realize that to have the level of success that I want to have is difficult to do many things. It takes such a desperate, obsessive focus, you really gotta focus with all of your heart, all of your fiber and all of your creativity.”
Entrepreneurs are a busy bunch and very often found to be juggling between a whole host of tasks. But productivity isn’t about how busy we and how fast we work ─ it’s about how much we accomplish. Doing one thing at a time, with all your focus, is a surprisingly powerful way of boosting productivity. Put out all your heart and soul at that one thing you were doing and see the magic.
Sans a Plan B.
“Having a plan B only distracts you from plan A.”
Having the arrangement to fall back upon always gives you comfort, but this comfort shall distract you from doing all that it takes to work plan A out. Not having a plan B means plan A has to work. And anyway, if all of your efforts are concentrated on plan A, then failure is not an option.
Impossible is not even a thing.
“What’s the point in being realistic? Edison wasn’t realistic.”
When was the last time a realist accomplished something significant? Who believed we could fly in 1900? No one but the Wright Brothers. The world today has been created by the ideas of unrealistic people who believed in the power of possibilities and dared to see beyond realism. They all had a certain delusional quality. So believe in your heart the next time it told you something unimaginable. Go out, and pursue it.
Hard work beats talent
“There’s no easy way around it. No matter how talented you are, your talent is going to fail you if you’re not skilled. If you don’t study, work really hard and dedicate yourself to getting better every single day. You’ll never be able to communicate your artistry to people the way that you want”.
Talent can take you only so far. The level of success you achieve is dependent on how hard you are willing to work. You must be dedicated to the mastery of your craft using honing your craft day in and day out. Surprisingly, Smith never considered himself to be very talented. He just believed in outworking his competitors and said all that he had ‘is a ridiculous, insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.
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Build up people around you
“I want to do good; I want the world to be better because I was here. I want my life, my work, and my family to mean something. If you’re not making someone else’s life better then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”
In your journey of building a business that radically changes how the world functions, when you take the time to help others and lift them towards their goals, your efforts are rewarded with a network of loyal connections which always have your back. Smith has also always made it a point to surround himself with the right people from a young age. Because you are the average of the five people, you stay around.
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