Over the past 11 hours, spanning one and one half weeks I listened to Kevin Hart’s memoir/autobiography. I am always interested in learning how massively successful people go their breaks which is why this book attracted me. After reading it, I give this book two thumbs up, and this post will give you the reasons why.
Read by the author
First, the book was read by Kevin Hart. I think that all books should be read by the author because it gives the audio-book 10X the effect. The author emphasizes things they want emphasized, the author can go on a tangent to further explain what they didn’t explain well enough and the author can add different voices or sounds to enhance the book. If you have read the 10X rule as opposed to listening to it you know what I am talking about.
Kevin read this book and it seemed more like a movie. He explained everything he was doing, thinking and used different voices and tones to add shape and depth to the story. This was done well because he is also a great performer. The counter example to Kevin’s book are the books written by Damon John. He has great stories and books but the audio-books read by Sway, in his monotone book, are probably some of the worst things I have ever heard. You can feel the energy change when Damon adds his two cents in between chapters. Imagine if Damon John read the entire book, that is what it was like listening to Kevin’s.
The book shows how hard he worked not just how talented he is
I think that the fact that Kevin read his book speaks to the grind of Kevin Hart. Kevin is successful because Kevin is a hustler. One point that stood out to me is when Kevin did a convention and from that convention all the colleges wanted to book him to perform at their schools. Kevin took every single show. I was shocked because he literally turns down nothing. This is the same hustle seen in Samuel Jackson, this is the hustle you too have to adapt. The say yes to everything hustle because you never know what will pop.
This was seen even in my own life. I reached out to a podcast guest and the podcast guest had told me that he was already aware of me because of an LLC talk I did. I didn’t even know he was watching let alone learning from anything I had to say. The take away from this section is never turn down any opportunities, ever.
He was a 16 year overnight success
Kevin Hart had a lot of failure, a ton of it. Most of the things that he failed at were things that he thought would set him up for total success. While they didn’t set him up for total success they did take him steps forward. Kevin Hart did a movie with Dame called Paper Soldiers that gave him an edge in auditions because he then had actual footage in a movie not just an in person audition. That low budget success then allowed him to get other low budget movies which eventually let him get to the main stage even if he did so indirectly after years of frustration because he thought those failures would eventually make him the household name.
When Kevin finally won, after Shaq’s Comedy Special, all the people then circled back to the content he had created and he had a full catalog to share and to sell. Thus what he though were failures were actually failures at all.
The take away is to create content and do the work. Don’t just do work hoping it is going to be your silver bullet, create things and keep stacking wood. Too many of us want the short cut, including I think Kevin. The key is that there is no such thing as wasted effort and wasted work. All of those earlier projects polished him, refined him and put him in place for the big stuff. It all ended up working to his benefit in the end.
Kevin Chose himself
A while back there was the argument from Monique about how she felt she was being mistreated or whatever and she deserved a ton of money. It was interesting that in the Kevin book he filmed his own special, as was done with every other comedian before him. Kevin booked the venue, GAVE AWAY TICKETS, performed and then sold his performance to Comedy Central for $50,000. As Kevin continued to do this he was then able to start selling his performances as feature films and that is what we see today. Instead of going to them looking for a movie deal he created his own movie deal. As you can see his production has improved every time he releases a film, so does his earnings.
See when you choose yourself you get to choose when you want to level up. He didn’t work for Comedy Central, he worked for himself and he had to build his own brand. He built it on social media, email and engaging his fans and followers. Kevin chose himself and put himself on and soon people started coming to him.
If he had sat around waiting for his break he would have been like, as he says, a person that’s not at the bus stop waiting for a bus to stop for them on the side of a road. Sure a bus might feel sorry for you and stop but more than likely they will just ride past you while you stand there looking like an idiot.
I took so much from this book. Its easy to look at Kevin now and say man you made it. It’s tough to see how he just kept taking action and more action and more action and more action. Its tough to see how he had to float bad checks just to fly out to his first recorded performance. Those are the parts we don’t see.
Its easy to get impatient and expect to walk into Hollywood making number one films but that didn’t’ happen for Kevin. If it didn’t happen for Kevin who are you to think that it will happen for you?
What matters is that you keep taking action, keep producing, keep building, keep stacking the wood and eventually you will look back at what you thought was failure and be amazed.
You are going to have to produce some low budget stuff but that low budget stuff will get you seen. Its better to suck and be seen. Don’t sit there complaining about your low budget, produce something on that budget then use the earnings, experience and exposure to level up.
We look at the new stuff Kevin is doing but don’t realize that the low producing things we circle back to were what he was expecting to break him. He had no idea his life would end up how we see it today. But he kept pushing for his goal.
Just like when you go to a concert and leave with a new appreciation for the artist, this book gave me a new appreciation for Kevin Hart.
If you are interested in joining any of our clubs and making a difference in your community, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you haven’t yet done your taxes and haven’t created an LLC to organize your hustle, do so now! Email email@example.com today!
Be great and invest well!