Willard Carroll Smith, Jr. aka Will Smith or if you like, the “Fresh Prince” has certainly earned his place among Hollywood’s greatest. Over a career spanning almost 30 years, this 45 year old American actor and musician has won 4 Grammys and 5 MTV awards among other accolades.
Furthermore, his movies have been unparalleled money makers; most notable among them being Bad Boys that brought in $141 million after costing only $23 million to produce.
With a net worth of $215 Million, its no surprise he is smiling all the way
And let’s not forget Men in Black that cost $115 million but was worth every penny having had worldwide sales of $589 million. So, it’s clear that Will knows how to pick winners and make good money out of them.
As such, with his fame has come fortune and he has made as much as $28 million for just one picture: I, Robot. Indeed, with such earnings it is no surprise that he is worth in excess of $215 million.
Will was born into a middleclass Baptist family and from an early age, he knew he could rap. So at 16 he teamed up with DJ Jazzy Jeff and formed the rap group DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Amazingly, even at this early age Smith had identified his gift: he was charming.
And as such, instead of venturing into hard-core Gangsta Rap which was the norm in those days, the duo endeared themselves to the masses by producing clean rap.
It was the perfect choice, and they struck gold when their single Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble, which was their first, raked in millions. What’s more, their first album Rock the House also improved young Will’s bottom-line so by 18 he was a millionaire and with no intention of going to college, he set his eyes on the big screen.
Will Smith is also making his son into a superstar. Well, with a dad like that, life in Hollywood is certainly made easier.
As his music career was flourishing, Smith did not put all his eggs in one basket, instead, he began his acting career. Having already created a persona for himself as the Fresh Prince, Smith now became the star of the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
The show was a major hit and was on air for six years. Notably, while Will was on television, he did not give up on his music, no, he multi-tasked and made the world dance to such hits as Summertime and Boom! Shake the Room.
In The Movies
Once Smith had proven to the world that he was a spectacular actor, he then showed us that he was not one to remain in his comfort zone. So, off he went to the movies and not to watch them but to be in them.
He began with baby steps in 1992’s Where The Day Takes You and three years later he caught his big break in Bad Boys. Once again Will showed us that he was not just an entertainer but also a smart businessman. You see, although Bad Boys brought in $141 million, Smith’s take-home was a mere $5 million only.
Why, you ask. Because he sought to market himself as an actor worth his salt before demanding the big bucks. And sure enough, his strategy paid off. By 2004, Will was smiling all the way to the bank as he made $28 million in the movie I, Robot.
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith with son, Jaden and daughter, Willow
Moreover, he has continued to produce award-winning music including a single that played in Men in Black’s closing credits (and bore the same title) that went on to win a Grammy.
And it doesn’t end there for Will; he keeps growing himself and has actually produced several block-buster movies including The Karate Kid in 2010 and The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006.
Although Will Smith has had his fair share of successful movies, he has also had some that didn’t do too well. Some of his worst performing movies include Wild Wild West and After Earth. All the same, Will hasn’t given up on his career and continues to act and produce movies.
So, what can we borrow from Will Smith’s life and apply to our own? Here are a few ideas: