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Kevin Hart Success Story

Kevin Hart is a household name these days, but this wasn’t always the case. Before he became the highly successful comedian, actor, and producer that we all love to be entertained by these days, he experienced his fair share of struggle, challenges and failure. And now that he’s broken into Hollywood, won countless awards, and built up an impressive fortune himself, we aim to unravel exactly how he managed to do so in this Kevin Hart Success Story special.

“Everybody That’s Successful Lays A Blueprint Out.”

– kevin hart –

Before we dive into his story, know this, we agree with Kevin Hart. Success lays a blueprint, which is why we investigate the inspiring success stories of icons like Kevin Hart.  We know every story has something to teach, and if you want to learn about success, then success stories such as this one will do the trick. That said, if you’re ready to learn how Kevin Hart went from being a shoe salesmen to one of the highest paid entertainers in the world, let’s jump right into his inspiring story.


Kevin Hart Success Story

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Early Days | The Kevin Hart Success Story

Kevin Hart was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 6th, 1979, and into what many would consider a challenging home life. Hart’s mother essentially raised him, as his father was rarely around due to alcoholism, drug addiction, and consistent jailtime. Thus, Hart’s father did not actively participate in raising him.

After Hart’s mother limited his and his one sibling’s (an older brother) time with their father, due to his negative influence (i.e. stealing money from the family, coming around the kids high, being reckless, etc..) they would ultimately have to make due in without their father in one of the toughest neighborhoods, with just one committed parent at the helm.

Fortunately, Kevin Hart’s mother was a strong religious woman with a good head on her shoulders. She was a mother who always encouraged her kids to better themselves, and to set big goals and strive to achieve them.

She not only gave great advice to her kids, but she lived out what she preached, and set a good example by continually seeking to better herself, educate herself and grow in her career.

To cope with his troubled upbringing, and the negative cloud over his home life, Hart would turn to comedy. In fact, he would leverage much of the trauma he experienced in his younger years, into much of his early comedic material.

As a fan of stand-up comedy from a young age, Kevin Hart would eventually give his dream a shot once he graduated high school.

The Struggle

Kevin Hart’s debut into the world of stand-up was not walk in the park. In fact, it was an uphill battle for him. He gave the stage a shot initially in Philadelphia after some his co-workers informed of the opportunity, and encouraged him to give it a shot, but bombed the show.

He then moved to shows in New York, and sought out gigs in Massachusetts as well. Hart would commute nearly 2 hours daily to New York from Philadelphia to try and get noticed in the big New York comedy clubs.

Hart was making moves, but he struggled initially. From getting booed off the stage, to having chicken thrown at him, his act wasn’t an instant winner.

Despite his best efforts and even working a side gig as a shoe salesmen, Hart eventually fell behind on his rent and faced the threat of eviction.

Kevin Hart Story of Success Quote

Fortunately, his mom believed in him, and helped him get back on his feet. She supported Hart by paying for his rent for a whole year while he strived to make a name for himself, under the condition that if things didn’t work out after this trial period he’d go college.[1] Fortunately for Hart, and all of us (current and future fans) he was determined to make a name for himself.

Despite the awkward silences, the boos, and the bombed shows, Kevin remained fearless, and kept doing shows. And with every bad joke, and every failed show, he slowly and methodically improved his craft. Things especially changed for Hart when he realized his strategy of trying to be like every other big name comedian wasn’t working.

Thus, once Kevin stepped into his own authentic act, people really started to take notice and that’s when his career began to take off.

Rising To The Top

People started to take note of Kevin Hart’s brilliant comedy. Oddly, Kevin Hart’s fame in the world of comedy really took off, but only after others began stealing his acts.

But Hart’s ambition was to be more than just a stand-up comedian. He also wanted to make his way into Hollywood and become an comedic actor. So, he took action and went for it.

Eventually, Hart landed his first movie role in the movie “Paper Soldiers”. He then made it on the air for a short lived pilot in 2001, which never got picked up. Then, just three years later, Hart landed his own sitcom known as “The Big House.”

However, the show would last for only six episodes, marking a very short-lived run.

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

But, Hart didn’t lose heart. Even though the plug was pulled on his sitcom, he didn’t quit. He kept on pursuing his comedy career, waiting for his next big Hollywood opportunity to arise while he did stand-up around the country and took on smaller roles in various movies like Scary Movie” 3 & 4, “The 40 Year-Old Virgin”, “Barbershop”, and “Little Fockers”.

After awhile though, all those small roles started turning into medium-sized roles, and as he racked up more and more roles, the bigger opportunities started coming in, like major multi-million dollar comedy tours and landing serious roles in major blockbuster hits like “Ride Along”, “Get Hard”, “Central Intelligence”, “Jumanji”, “Jumanji: Next Level”, and many more.[2]

And he’s been going strong ever since. With 96 and growing acting credits under his belt, Hart has managed to successfully build for himself a decent-sized multi-million dollar fortune.

On top of this, he’s also the founder of the fast growing multi-million dollar media company known as Hartbeat.[3] Needless to say, Hart has this “success thing” figured out.

Related: Kevin Hart’s Net Worth

Kevin Hart’s Success Ethos

Kevin Hart followed his passion to become a world-class entertainer. But it took more than just passion for him to achieve the massive success he now enjoys. In fact, it could be said that Kevin Hart’s success is a biproduct of his work-ethic, grit, and comedic genius.

However, he has his own take on exactly what allowed him to be so successful. So, in his Kevin Hart’s own words, this is why he succeeded:

Kevin Hart persisted in the face of failure and rejection, and if you want success, he believes you should too…

1. “If you give up at the first sign of struggle, you’re really not ready to be successful.” – Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart didn’t just dream about success, he took action to make it a reality. There’s no denying that he encourages you to do the same…

2. “The best tip I could give you is to be ACTIVE. So many people TALK about what they want to do and they just love words. Don’t be a talker, BE A DOER.” – Kevin Hart

Hart believes that hard work and determination are critical components to success, and that without these two ingredients, success is impossible. So pay he to his success wisdom when he says…

3. “Hard work and determination equals success. Nothing comes easy. Put your mind to something.” – Kevin Hart

Lastly, Kevin Hart doesn’t just work to work. He believes that if you’re going to be putting in the effort, it should at least be towards getting better. So, don’t just work to work, work to improve, to grow, and to add value. In other words, commit to continuous improvement, a.k.a. kaizen

4. “It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being better.” – Kevin Hart

Related: Kevin Hard Quotes On Success

More Success Insights

Hopefully these four Kevin Hart insights paint a clear picture of his success ethos. However, if you’re looking for a bit more, you can now learn Hart’s blueprint for success directly from the legend himself.

Masterclass has partnered with Kevin Hart, giving him a powerful platform to actually teach people how to use humor to make their mark. You can learn more about it below:

Final Thoughts

There you have it, Kevin Hart’s story. We covered his journey of growing up with an absent father in a troubled household, to then struggling to make rent as he pursued his dream. To then reaching the heights of achievement after many years of persisting in the face of rejection, long commutes, and even longer days.

We also covered the success ethos that we believed helped Kevin Hart find success. And we provided the success wisdom that he’s laid out for all to learn from. Here are those combined success insights once again as a quick recap:

Work Ethic | Grit | Taking Action | Kaizen

You now have some of Kevin’s secrets to success, but it’s up to you to apply them to your life. Wishing you all the best on your journey to success.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed our Kevin Hart Story on success, then you’ll likely enjoy reading about these equally inspiring stories of struggle and success.

The STRIVE is on a mission to inspire and uplift 1 billion people by 2032. Our primary aim is to help as many people as possible believe in the uncommon thought, that they can be more than they are, do more than they've done, and achieve more prosperity than they've ever dreamed possible. Let's achieve the impossible together.