Christopher Paul Gardner went from a homeless man with a son to a multi-millionaire Investor, an American Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Sailor, Stockbroker, Philanthropist, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Philanthropist with a net worth of 70 Million Dollars.
All was not as glittery for Gardner; he struggled though who struggled with homelessness during the early 1980s while raising his toddler son, Christopher Gardner, Jr. Gardner’s book of memoirs, The Pursuit of Happyness, was published in May 2006.
The 2006 motion picture The Pursuit of Happyness, directed by Gabriele Muccino and starring Will Smith, is based on the book. He was CEO of his own stock brokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co, founded in 1987, based in Chicago, Illinois until he sold his share in 2006 to found Christopher Gardner International Holdings.
Then in 2012, just before his wife’s death, she challenged him to find true happiness and fulfillment in the remainder of his life. He now travels all over the world 200 days a year as a motivational speaker. Gardner has spoken in over 50 countries.
Gardner credits his tenacity and success to the “spiritual genetics” handed down to him by his mother, Bettye Jean Triplett, née Gardner, and to the high expectations placed on him by his children, son Chris Jr. (born 1981) and daughter Jacintha (born 1985).
Here are 5 Chris Gardner Lessons Going From Homeless to Rich
“There is no plan B for passion.”Chris Gardner
The life of Gardner is proof that, indeed, entrepreneurship without ambition is as good as nothing. You have to have a drive and a burning desire to see through your goal to the end. Gardner usually says that he was lucky to find a job he really loved, and he couldn’t wait for the sun to rise for him to get to work the next day.
Passion is what keeps you going when your reality doesn’t look like your dreams yet. It is what would make you try again after a wrong move that crashes your progress. It is what would make you keep going when nobody believes in your dream and thinks you are ridiculous. And when you succeed, you will have the passion for thanking because it is the fuel that drives you to your final destination.
#2. Do Not Be Afraid to Fail
Did you know that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before perfecting the incandescent electric light bulb? Chris Gardner, as mentioned in his book, had his portion of failures and disappointments. The truth is, you will fail at some things, and that’s totally fine.
No one ever has all the answers, so testing waters to get reactions is permitted if you want to be successful. Gardner recounts that for one to discover one’s purpose and live a happy life, one must have to overcome the crises that come with uncertainties.
It is important that you accommodate mistakes, and be open-minded. Should you fail, learn from it, and apply your learning to be better.
#3. Be Particular About Timing.
Being a very influential man and having such a story that inspires a book and a movie, Chris Gardner advocates getting the timing right. Not in the discipline that should result in punctuality (this is also very necessary), but being strategic enough to understand the working of times and seasons and utilizing it to your favor.
In simple terms, being in the right place at the right time. Just like he was when he saw the Ferrari and dared to ask the owner a question that changed his life forever, or beating bad timing, like when he had to attend the interview at Dean Witter in the same clothes he’d spent his night in jail yet proved his desperation and turned the situation to his favor. As much as possible, you should be strategic with your timing and avoid procrastination or perfection, which could delay.
#4. Be Willing To Take Risks.
There is no success without risk-taking. Chris Garner was a young man who had lost his wife and also had a son yet it didn’t deter him from taking a bold step. For someone who lacked so many necessities, he understood that an internship may not necessarily be the best option for meeting up with bills.
Being a top strategist and risk-taker, he understood what he needed wasn’t a fat-paying job, but something that added value to the future he envisioned. So he accepted an internship at a stoke broker firm and the rest is history. The lesson of this is pretty simple. Sometimes, when making decisions, we may have to sacrifice some necessities for our goal.
#5. Pursue Happiness
“Do something that makes you happy and makes you feel good about yourself.”Chris Gardner
As seen in his book Pursuit Of Happyness, Chris Gardner proved how important the theme of happiness is. He kept emphasizing how no matter the situation, the first choice to consider is happiness. Self-fulfillment to Chris features happiness effortlessly. To him, happiness was a great drive to want to reach his goals.
He says if you are working and do not enjoy what you do, you are a slave to both money and your talent. Ideally, your talent should channel money to work for you and influence your happiness.