Kevin Hart shared a recent profile video of himself to go with his appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank Friday. In the little over two-minute talk, he mentions his early beginnings, where he was born and raised.
“I was born in Philadelphia in 1979. Grew up in the inner city. My mother raised two boys by herself. My father was in and out of my childhood.”
You then hear the voice of his mother, who captured a young Hart dancing in the kitchen where they lived, and you can see the energy he had was destined to take him someplace even he didn’t know it at the time.
“Of course, we struggled, says Hart. “But my mom did a great job of being a parent.” The comedian and actor credit his mom for giving him the understanding of hard work/dedication. “What you put into something is what you get out of it.”
Hart did his first standup show in 1998. It was a ‘Just for Laughs Comedy Festival.’ He recalls it being watched by agents, execs, and managers. His acting career got to be explosive because of an amazing producer Will Packard. “He gave me an opportunity to star in a movie, ‘Think Like a Man’, and that movie was set up for me to knock the ball out of the park, says Hart.
Hart has ten #1 films to his credit that have surpassed 4.2 billion dollars in the box office. He is now the highest-paid comedian in the world.
“Stardom is Amazing, But I Quickly Realized Stardom Only Gets You so Far,” says the True Story star.
He started HartBeat Productions because he didn’t want to be the star that was just a work for hire. “Starting a production company meant that I could actually be a part of the creative. That’s when my business mind kind of kicked into overdrive says, Hart.
His company produces television, movies, develops and sells original IP, and is a literature entity. “The goal was to have something that acts as a complete circle that services everything in it.”
Hart also has the VC world. Venture Capital, where he created Hartbeat Ventures. “It’s all about financial inclusion. These are doors that were closed for quite some time to my culture,” says Hart. His company has about 35 companies they have invested in, such as Fabletics, Beyond Meat, Therabody, and more.
“We managed to put ourselves in a position to be a real player in this space,” says Hart. Adding, “So many people feel like you have a cap of opportunity in life, I don’t look at it that way, I look at it like life presents you with so many doors, you just got the choice to turn the knobs and open them.”
He knows that little kids that looked like him growing up were not expected to make it. “We’re not expected to see the higher levels of life. It’s a fact,” says Hart.
“My story does a lot more for those kids than people may think. To show that the dream is real. To say, ‘Hey,’ I came from the same place. I put my head down. I worked. I got opportunities—I made the best out of them, but it’s possible for us all if we truly believe.”
As Heartbeat Ventures grows, Hart says, “You will see a real initiative in closing that financial gap between my culture and mainstream America.”
“My success is going to ultimately help close the gap.”
Photo Credit: Kevin Hart on ‘Shark Tank’ | Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images