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Kevin Hart: The Secrets Behind Funny Money

Uncle Richer Junior the certified thug, Cousin All the Christian, The literal step dad and last but not least the crazy ex-wife we´ve all heard about. This all sounds too good to be true and would make the ultimate story, if you added all the right ingredients to it. Sugar-code the drug problems, over- exaggerate your women’s craziness and overdo your level of honesty and you got yourself one hell of a cocktail! Now all you would need is a crazy little man to pull the stunt off, but who? A man who’s unbelievably relaxed but yet has the confident attitude to satisfy the public? An individual who does killer facial expressions along side of the habitual poignant “story telling”? Or someone with a complete open honesty who lets everyone have a taste of his life craze, giving them a close and upfront insight of what it’s like to be… Kevin Hart!

This guy was born and raised in Philly, with a “whollahopping” father who spent most of his time in and out of jail during Kevin’s childhood – not really your “typical” upbringing that first comes to mind. But he kept on pushing it dealing with small local stand-ups while working as a shoe salesman in Philadelphia. A rough start to what was going to be an amazing career, because it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine’s: at the start of his career he got booed on several stages and even had chicken thrown at him once! Imagine being so bad you get chicken thrown at you. But this shoe-salesman busted his ass off, fighting through every comedy club, proving to himself and the public that he is, in fact, a living legend. Now long story short, I still keep on asking myself “how did a shoe-salesman become one of the most iconic brands in show-business today?” How did a kid, who did stand-ups at amateur nightclubs during his late teens, get a BET Platinum Mic Viewers Choice Award, Star in Hollywood blockbusters together with Ice Cube, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kelly Rowland AND make millions of dollars by being the face of the most historically prestigious brands in the world? Well I’ll tell you this; it sure as hell wasn’t easy.

Childhood Triggered Desire

Kev grew up watching comedy that came from the best of both worlds, embracing his fathers’ “dirty” comedians such as Eddy Murphy and Richard Pryor while listening to the more “clean” comedy his mother used to watch like Bill Cosby and Jerry Seinfeld. Two different contrasted comedy genres that really set the tone for Harts astonishing career, allowing him to mix and combine the “dirty” together with the “clean”, which has really propelled him into unimaginable skies, presenting us with a whole new type of comedy. But what really drove him to go after what he has achieved today? Could it really be as simple as watching comedians growing up, or is there something a little closer to the chest?

As mentioned before, Kevin grew up with a coke-head as a father who was barley present during his childhood (unless his was supporting him during his Spelling Bees, wearing no draws) leaving him with Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby as his main heroes, someone he looked up to and could identify with.  These were his father figures who triggered his immense passion and drive to reach the level of success they had and that he knew he was capable of achieving. A level of success that was going to put him on a whole new pedestal, making him a legend amongst legends.

The point here is that how and what you embrace and learn from your childhood experiences really establishes the foundation for your future success, no matter how you define it. If your childhood was tough and you didn’t have access to the same “privileges” as the other kids did, good! Use those memories to motivate you and to push you into reaching the unachievable. Use those experiences and tell yourself “I won’t let my children go through the same life as I had and deprive them from the childhood experiences they deserve”, because that exactly what Hart did, and boy did he make it!

Originality At Its Finest

There are thousands if not millions of comedian out there who are trying to climb up the ladder of success, but fail. Year after year there are only a handful of individuals who actually manage to get into the spotlight and ride the wave of success, yet there has not been anyone like Kevin Hart who reached this type of global achievements and recognition. So what makes this comedy so much more entertaining, so much better than anyone else at this point of time?

Kevin seems to have some kind of natural ability to open up about the craziest stories, explaining how he once caught his ex-wife in the back of his trunk or the way he exploits his “short” characteristics in order to make fun of himself – making something out of everything. But that´s exactly it, there are very few comedians out there who are willing to open up and sacrifice personal stories that are close to the chest, in order to achieve that momentum and that climax of entertainment. I mean if I told you that I had a dumb baby that kept on getting in the damn oven every time he felt like it, you´ll be cold not to laugh.

Kevin Hart uses weird, unusual and personal stories that most people would almost find offensive and uncool, and turns them into something out of the unusual. All of a sudden people where laughing at his drug-addicted father and even at him dropping the casket at his moms funeral, it might not have been for real, but you would think that laughing at dropping a casket wouldn’t be funny. He does what most comedians have not managed to do! Learn from it! Use your weaknesses and your drawbacks as advantages in anyway possible. Don’t let other people exploit your shortcomings for you, exploit them yourself because it sends out a vibe of confidence that you actually managed to gain something positive out of your setbacks.

Personal Branding

When was the last time you saw a picture or a video of Kevin Hart? That’s right, you can’t remember, because he’s been all over the freaking place! From the big screen to Manchester City’s Etihad Arena. From Madison square garden to TV commercials. From NBA games to billboard pictures – he´s literally all over the place! Now some people might be saying that “he’s blurring out his sacred identity as a comedian when dealing with different “areas of business”” – shoot yourself! Hart has created a name for himself by hosting and representing huge international brands, and that’s been putting him on the map. A strategy that gives him that celebrity outshine that he will forever maintain, even if everything goes wrong. A backup that he can use to lean on whenever it all crashes. Why you ask? Well because there is something more valuable than money that comes with fame, a renewable resource. Connections. Do you have any idea how connected he must be if he´s been in the “celebrity industry” for at least a year? The people you know, the individuals you´ve met are so much more important in the long run, than all of the money in the world. It’s your connections; it’s your network that allows you to branch out into greater ventures. It’s the people you know that lend you a helping hand when you’re heading vertically down.

I guess the lesson to be learnt here is, don’t just focus all of your energy and ambitions on one particular place, and don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Try getting your brand all over the place, branching out into every industry and injecting your trademark into every corner of the world, because you would be sure that, if one thing screws up, you have nine more to go. Spread the focus of your drive on multiple activities to ensure that you will be seen and remembered!

A Multitasking Little Man

If we would take a look at Kevins’ CV, we would probably see “Stand up Comedian” at the top followed by: TV/Film Producer, Actor, Screenwriter and last but not least “a good public speaker”. Get it? No only is his brand all over the place, but he is too. As mentioned before, he used his incredible talent in different spectrums of the industry in order to flourish as a businessman. A man who definitely knows how to multitask and has proven the biological myth wrong, that it’s not only women who know how to do it. Let me hit you up with an example; Hart was performing in London not so long ago, at the same time, he got his ass on a couple of interviews, movie promotions and to prove everyone he´s not to be messed with, he scored a glorious goal against Manchester City’s superstar goalie, Joe Hart  – now if that’s not multitasking, then I don’t know what is.

Multitask! Forget the BS articles you read online or the physiological “factual” experiments that were pulled off, once you get used to it, once you know how to multitask efficiently, you’ll be killing it! This doesn’t only save you time, but just as Kevin Hart did, it enables you to work within several fields at the same time, and you WILL benefit from it.

Lets end this piece by confirming that this guy is so much more than just an everyday comedian. He´s a global brand that has gained international recognition through a unique and upfront way of preforming.  A performance that is unlike anything else because of Harts’ transparent character that has the ability to literally fire up a stage and an audience. We´re talking about a character who grew up with nothing but the love for comedy, having the desire to make people laugh and enjoy the present as it is. Kevin Hart is the ultimate definition of success, working his way up, dominating his chosen field of business. A maestro showing the world how it’s done.