Episode 239: Reading Will Smith’s “Will” During the Holidays

Do you spend holidays or do you just work, work, work? Do you go on trips to relax and eat delicious foods? For Adam Stott, holidays are important and they must also include reading books because it helps him reset and re-inspire. There’s one book that stuck with him that might be a little controversial because apparently, the author has a viral “slapping moment.” Despite that, the focus of this episode isn’t the controversy of Will Smith, but the impact of the book on its readers.

In this episode, Adam shares what he learned from reading Will Smith’s self-titled memoir/autobiography. This book left the biggest impact on Adam during his holiday in the Maldives and he wants to share it with you to inspire and give valuable information. Adam highlights the book’s honesty and discusses some of the valuable lessons from the book that you can relate to in business.

Show Highlights:

  • Why you need to understand that nobody is successful by accident
  • How Will Smith’s resilience helped him achieve his goals
  • The impressive way of telling a story through an honest autobiography
  • What are the basic principles of success; and
  • The importance of building relationships in business and life

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Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Adam Stott:

Hey, everybody, Adams thought here, welcome back to the podcast. Super excited to be with you today. I have just returned from a two week holiday, which is absolutely amazing in the morning. So, I’m sure that not everybody wants to hear that. But I’m actually going to share some valuable information on one of the books I read, actually, while I was away. And one of the things that I like to do when I go on holidays, always to read a business book, a book that resets and inspires.

I took quite a few books with me actually. And I’ve read a few books as well. But there was one, which you wouldn’t expect. That probably left the biggest impact. So I want to share some of the lessons that I read in that book. Now it might be a little bit controversial, because this person that I read about, has actually been in the news getting some real stick lately for a famous slapping moment. And you might know who I’m talking about, of course it was Will Smith. And as I was in [00:01:56-00:01:58] at the airport, I already had my business books ready to go and I saw Will Smith’s new autobiography on the shelf and I couldn’t resist it. 

So, I bought the book. And I settled down to read it by the pool. So, if you can imagine from another side note, the Maldives is the best place in the world to have a holiday. Absolute fact of it all over the world. I’ve never been anywhere like that, where the bathtub is hot. You’ve got turtles and sharks swimming underneath your feet, your beautiful fishes all around you and beautiful anyhow, as a side note, anyhow, so what did I learn from this book in particular, so I was reading Will Smith’s book.

The first thing that I want to mention, which I think it’s really important for those of you looking to become more successful, to grow your businesses, you know, to go on out there and be more successful in any pursuit your life is to understand that nobody that is successful, we’re successful by accident.

That’s the first thing we need to understand. But that is something that I’ve 100% noticed. And where I’ve noticed that the most is actually by interviewing people on the podcast. As I’ve interviewed all these different successful people on the podcast, I often see the same traits, I see the same traits in the story, which is good, because if I’m seeing them traits, it means that it can be replicated, it means that you can replicate it.

So and what I saw from Will Smith’ book very early, was about resilience, persistence, going through the ups and downs, taking the knocks, and there were a few stories that in particular stood out. But it started off with him talking about his dad, having a very hard line with him, you know, being very tough with him and him resorting to comedy to try and defuse the tension and making a show of himself. But he learned a few valuable things from his dad. And one of the things that he learned that stayed with him throughout the book and throughout his life.

Right near the end of the book, he really addresses this lesson. And this lesson was 99%. You are either in and you’re either all in. You’re absolutely committed, you have that perseverance and that decisiveness to go for what you want. 99% is not enough.

You have to be all in 100%, 100 times and arbitrators aren’t giving it your all. And it was instilled in him from a very early age, where his dad asked him to build a brick wall for him. And he did it sluggishly he wasn’t really interested in that was barking and barking and he’s thinking while my friends are all out by and while I’m building this brick wall, and it was dad teaching him a lesson that, hey, when you’re doing something you give the thing that you’re doing your absolute oh, and that kind of stood out to me as one of the first lessons and it repeated itself.

That lesson repeated itself through the book. Now why is this important? The reason this is important is as human beings we’re conditioned and we have stories and beliefs. They decide our actions. And if you have stories and beliefs in your mind and things that you’ve been taught when you were younger, that stay with you, like, you know, this, take an example of some of the ones that limit people, you know, a limiting belief is, hey, you know, money goes to money. If you don’t come from money, you can’t make money. 

Well, that’s absolutely false, but a lot of people and I noticed that from my life, or my friends, when I started to get success. And I had another success, they always used to say, Adam, money goes to money. And what that is, that’s an excuse for somebody that can’t create money or make money is a laziness to not go out and learn how to do it. That phrase, that’s how I see it. But other people see it as that’s a belief that they have. And that belief stops them from ever attempting to take the skill on, we’ll look at a couple of others, people saying, you know, things like, watch the pennies and the pounds look after themselves, you’ve got to save yourself to wealth, you know, and that is absolute nonsense.

The only way that you can create wealth is by investing in the right things, investing in your market, and investing in your business, you know, and working on yourself. That’s really, really important. All these different things. These different phrases influence how we behave, and they influence our behavior. And it was really interesting that I noticed that every single chapter in the book, he would repeat this phrase, it was like, Hey, we you know, 99% is zero. Will Smith made this absolute clarity of everything that he did, he gave it his all 100%. 

Now the really interesting thing about the Will Smith story, there was lots of stuff in it like this. And I will say I’m a big reader of autobiographies, I actually much prefer to read an autobiography than I do to read a business book. Because I feel that an autobiography captures more, I can kind of decipher what’s happening. And really, I’m able to get myself involved in the story and understand exactly how people went out. And we’re able to accomplish things.

One thing I’ll say about Will Smith’ book was very honest. He talked about his flaws, he talked about his issues he talked about, there was an entire entire chapter dedicated to how he sees himself as a coward. He was really weird. I was like, I wasn’t shocked at some of these things, about how brutally honest the book was, I was really impressed with it. And how that turned him seeing himself as a coward and turned it around. It was really interesting how he did that.

Now, there were a few more stories that really stuck with me. But the basic premise of the book was when he was very young, he was very determined, very hard working. And also from this original story, he decided that he wanted to get into music, and he was relentless. And a lot of people don’t know this about Will Smith, they feel like the beginning of Will Smith’ journey. 

A lot of the time people feel the beginning of his journey. He’s actually the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. But that’s not true. He was a platinum selling rap artist before the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. So he had made millions and millions of pounds. By the time he was 18. And he was uber successful prior to going on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Now what happened with that is he lost absolutely everything from letting it go to his head, hanging out with the wrong people, being around the wrong people doing the wrong things, buying stupid stuff, making all the mistakes. And he goes through how he basically wasted millions upon millions of pounds being an idiot, which I thought was awesome, right? Because that’s what happens a lot. 

When somebody creates success, and it’s above their expectations, or they’re not really ready to handle it. Then all of a sudden, it all disappears. And I’ve been there myself, I’ve been there myself where I’ve had crazy, crazy success, you end up doing stupid stuff, right? It’s only after you’ve had a few bumps in the road, you’ve had a few ups and downs that you become a little bit more level headed. And Will Smith talks all about that phase of his life from there.

What happened was he basically didn’t pay one of his tax bills that turned out to be 30 million in tax by the age of 20 years old. And he was about to go bankrupt. He was in a very bad position. And he moves over to LA and he’d met a new girl and a split of his girlfriend moved over to LA. And he was sitting in this girl’s flat moping around, I’m going bankrupt. I’m losing everything. You know, my life’s a complete mess.

It was really interesting because the new lady in his life, kind of sat there. And Will Smith said for two weeks, we talked about it and she agreed with me and one day she just snapped and said right. Get your stuff back up. Fucking start acting like a man and go out there and turn it around. He said I was shocked. It’s really been supportive and all of a sudden it was like bang. I’m with you. 

If you’re going to be moaning and being a loser your whole life you need to snap out of it. And is it really resonant? To me, because I’ve actually had those kinds of situations myself as well, you know, and you can’t feel sorry for yourself if things are not going well, you got to dust yourself off, you got to pick yourself up. And you’ve got to go back to the basic principles of success.

Now I’m about to tell you, one of the basic principles of success, which I feel is incredibly important that nobody spends enough time on. And this is something that was drilled into me, from my coaches as something that’s really been drilled into me over my lifetime. I think it’s really important. The business is about relationships, one person, one opportunity, one chance, one meeting, one deal, you know, one little relationship that you create can change. A

bsolutely. Everything has happened to me many, many times, when I’ve been at a crossroads where things have not been working out. I’ve gone and I’ve built that one relationship. And literally, everything has changed because of it.

So Will Smith says back to this girl, what do you want me to do? I know no one in her life. My music career has gone off the rails, nobody’s interested in me with millions and millions of dollars in debt. And she said, go out. You got interviewed by the LA Times and these Hollywood clubs, you know, and they liked you, you got on well, them, go and hang out there and spend every day there to meet someone influential, and get a shot. So he said, I didn’t have anything else to do. 

So, I got up. I went back down to this, this, this live live show, or hang out there every day. I was there every day for mumps and mumps and mumps, just talking to people, introducing myself to people. And eventually one day, and this is the kind of story that stuck with me.

So I bumped into this guy. And he said, Hey, yeah, I know you. You’re the you’re the right guy. Your Will Smith, right that you know, fresh. The Fresh Prince because that’s what his name was before he was on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air as a rap ice. And he says, Yeah, that’s what I did. I said, You know what? My background is a lot like yours. And I listened to your music. I really enjoyed it, I love the comedy of it. I love the fact it wasn’t gangsta rap. And I think you’re really cool.

He said, I might have something for you. And he said it was a very Hollywood conversation. Because people say this kind of stuff all the time. And nothing comes of it. He said, “Can I get your number because I might have something for you. And I might want to have a chat with you”. She said he gives the guy’s number.

It doesn’t know who Will Smith is. He’s an [00:12:31-00:12:33] guy. And he said he keeps on going about his work, goes back and does some little concerts to virtually no people grind away, grinds away. And out of the blue, this guy phones him and says, hey, you remember I said I had something for you. I want to introduce you to somebody. We’ve been talking about you. We’ve looked at your stuff, and we think you could be a fit. And he said I’m gonna pass you to my friend [00:12:58-00:13:03] of course, he’s massive.

He says, look, you know, we think you could be the star of a TV show that we’re developing. You know, we’ve looked at what you do, and it’s your videos. And he said, can you act? Now at this point? Will Smith of course can’t act. He’s never acting and has never had any acting class. Isn’t there anything? So in this moment, and we all have pivotal moments, what you’re going to say you’re going to say well, no, I’m not really an actor. You know, you’ve got something very powerful on the phone. Are you going to say? Yeah, of course, I can act.

So, Smith turns around, of course, it says, of course I can act, say great. We thought you could from looking at your videos and everything else like that. They came over to my house. I’m having a party. There’s some people I want to introduce to you. We’ve got a show we’re thinking of you for. So when is it? It’s like tomorrow night. So he said all of a sudden he has to cancel everything. He runs off to go to this party. Smith goes up to Bel Air, which is where the party’s base goes to the villa mansion that [00:14:02-00:14:03] says. He walks in and you’ve got everybody there like all powerful paper, Oprah Winfrey’s there are many, many other people at this party. 

And when we’re walking in, who’s a young lad 21 years old, nobody says hey, everybody’s here. I was like, hey, how are you doing? He says, right? We want you to do an audition. He tells about 100 people this pie. And I made him do an audition there and then and this guy never acted a cave in some notes and said do it. They said he stepped up to it. He did it. And everybody in the room they offered in the park.

Now there’s some extra depth to the story. But in the interest of time, I’ll leave the story there. And then Will Smith gets the part of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Now that of course changes his life. He works off his debt and then becomes a recognized actor. He gets the chance to star in a movie called The Seven Degrees of Separation. Then moves on to styling and bad boys. And then what a lot of people don’t know is he was the highest, is the only Hollywood actor to do 10 movies in a row that grossed over $100 million, obviously became the most successful actor in Hollywood history. And it’s pretty crazy, right? It’s a crazy story. There’s a lot in depth, a lot of different things there.

But the things that you should pick out and learn from are one, you know, 99%, the same as 0%. You got to be all in everybody, you’ve got to be all in, in order to get what you want out of life, you’ve got to be all in on your targets, you’ve got to be all in and your goals. Number two, never ever forget relationship building. You need to spend your time building relationships, networking people, finding people to plan a higher level than you building relationships with them, spending time with them. That is where opportunities come from.

I absolutely promise you. And it’s been a big, big, big part of my life. The second and the third thing is when you get an opportunity, you take the opportunity, even if you’re not sure how to do it, you can figure that out later. But if you say no, the opportunities are gone. 

So make sure you take the opportunities when they come. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast on Will Smith. And you can see some value in that. I had a beautiful time in the Maldives. And this is one of the books I read. I read another great book that was actually really entertaining. It’s more of an entertaining one, which was the Motley Crue book, written by a writer I really like called Neil Strauss.

That was really interesting as well as a really gripping book actually, as well as another book on how to start 100 million and how to grow your business to over $100 million in revenue, which is pretty cool as well. Had a great time, came back refreshed, came back energized, came back ready to make a big splash in 2020. So, make sure that 99% is the same as zero. Okay, everybody see, gotta be all in. Let’s give that 100% And look forward to seeing you soon.

Hi, everybody, Adam here. And I hope you love today’s episode. Hope you thought it was fabulous. And if you did, I’d like to ask you a small favor. Could you jump over and go and give the podcast a review? Of course, I’ll be super grateful if that is a five star review with putting our all into this podcast for you, delivering you the content, giving you the secrets.

If you’ve enjoyed it, please go and give us a review and talk about what your favorite episode is perhaps every single month, I select someone from that review list to come to one of my exclusive Academy days and have lunch with me on the day meeting hundreds of my clients so you want that to be yo then you’re going to be in with a shout if you go and give us a review on iTunes. Please of course do remember to subscribe so you can get all the up to date episodes. Peace and love and I’ll see you very very soon. Thank you.

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