JUST THE FACTS
Money In The Arts
Here is a look at some celebrities and their earnings from 2006. No, I am not trying to depress you or make you resent the richest of the rich. Instead, I want to see what lessons can be learned from our fellow creative types who have hit it big.
Oprah Winfrey / $260 Million
Who would have thought a black woman could become one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the entertainment industry? Did she grow up privileged? Did she inherit her wealth? Did she have it handed to her? The answers to these questions are: Nobody believed in her like her; No; No; No. She overcame a lot of obstacles that many of us don’t have to face, so . . .
Jerry Seinfeld / $60 Million
For creative people residuals and royalties act like a retirement fund. What can you create that will continue to sell long after you’ve put the work in? What can you create that will have mass appeal and payoff in a big way? Pursue those.
Ben Stiller / $38 Million
Ben Stiller made $38 million dollars? Jeez. Night at The Museum (a film that was panned by critics in the states) made over $350 million overseas. It’s time for the rest of us to think global with our goods and services.
J.K. Rowling / $32 Million
I have two words for you: Harry Potter. This single mother came up with the concept of Harry Potter and wrote the first book (longhand) on trains and in cafes between teaching gigs. It took her agent over a year (and lots of rejections) before it sold. The lesson here is don’t make excuses and don’t give up.
Adam Sandler / $30 Million
The monetary success of Sandler proves that owning what you create can be more lucrative than creating something for someone else. Much of Adam Sandler’s wealth comes from not just starring in feature films, but producing them as well.
Matt Damon / $24 Million
By playing Jason Bourne in the successful “Bourne” series of movies, Matt Damon is locked in for not only consistent work, but well-paying work as well. Building your brand can lead to long-term success and recognition. The more you are branded as the best at something the easier it gets to pick up work and a large payday.
Larry “The Cable Guy” / $20 Million
Everyone knows that promotion is the key to success, right? Well, Larry “the Cable Guy” is a master marketer. The comic created his persona and took it on the road. He has been one of the most relentless touring acts of the past few years, winning fans along the way. Are you doing all you can to get the word out about who you are and what you do?
Ryan Seacrest / $14 Million
Sometimes success comes to those who are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Los Angeles disc jockey Ryan Seacrest was tapped to co-host American Idol before anyone knew how big it would become. Was he lucky? Sure. But he also took a risk and was rewarded handsomely. He was also smart. When an opportunity presented itself, he took action. He also paid his dues honing the skills he needed to succeed so that when his big break came, he was ready.
Hillary Duff / $12 Million
There are so many excuses people have for not making their millions. Some that are heard include, “I’m too old” or “I’m too young.” Hillary Duff is 19 years-old and has already seen success as an actress, singer, songwriter, producer, fashion designer and entrepreneur. You are never too old (or too young) to become a millionaire. Another lesson that can be learned from Duff is to diversify and create as many multiple streams of income as possible.
Mitch Albom / $6 Million
Don’t quit your day job. In addition to being the author of Tuesdays With Morrie and other best selling books, Albom has also held onto his job as a columnist (now syndicated) with the Detroit Free Press.
Lee Silber is from San Diego, is a motivational speaker, and has written a number of books, and heads up a brainstorming club. You may want to check out Lee Silber’s Free stuff.