How the famous see their work
50 Cent

Superstar rapper

  • Fame & Fortune Q&A

    Bankrate: Do you think the fact that you were successful on the street plays a large part in why you’re now successful in a more traditional business environment?

    50 Cent: Absolutely. There’s a type of aggressiveness that’s necessary for you to be successful on the street that translates (to a corporate environment). But in actual deals, it’s almost the opposite because I already have that aura around me. So a lot of times, I disarm people by being extremely friendly. I’ve convinced the general public of one portion of my past. The music typecasts you even stronger than a good film would because in music, you become the song … you are the song.

    I think it’s the reason that a person who’s a fan of a music artist has a stronger passion for that artist than he does for a great actor because the musician is that person all the way through. The actor does a great job of creating a presentation of someone you like, and then they sit on couches on “The Tonight Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel” and all these shows, and they’re so artistic that they lose the audience. People aren’t sure they like this guy as much as they liked him as a character. (When the actor) talks about the process, the depth he has during that actual conversation confuses the average person.

  • Lesson learned: You can use street smarts on the stage and in a business meeting.
How the famous see their work
Scott Hamilton

Olympic figure skater

  • Fame & Fortune Q&A

    Bankrate: You’re 50 years old now and returning to skating. Do you ever sit back and think you are financially stable and don’t have to go out there and prove yourself anymore?

    Scott Hamilton: I could do that. It just depends on lifestyle. We all choose how we’re going to live, and I think you can always do more. But I feel I need to set an example for my kids. I need to work. I need to show them a work ethic. I need to be healthy for them. I’m at an age now where I could be building my finances and investments toward retirement, but I kind of retired for five years. Skating and the industry have changed and the whole business model has gone completely upside down. But I’ve realized that throughout my life when my health has been challenged, skating has given me that health. So I need to be on the ice.

  • Lesson learned: You can choose to work for many reasons.
How the famous see their work
Diahann Carroll

Tony Award winner for “No Strings”

  • Fame & Fortune Q&A

    Bankrate: You were ahead of your time in developing your own corporation and brand. How did a star-struck kid become a savvy businesswoman?

    Diahann Carroll: I don’t know that I did, a fair businesswoman, maybe. I think the early days of someone trying to direct me in a more mature direction so that I could be aware of my own company and how to manage my company (were with) Harry Belafonte. I think he was the first person to ask those questions and give me some of the answers.

  • Lesson learned: Give credit to those who helped you along the way.
How the famous see their work
Talia Shire

Actress in “The Godfather”

  • Fame & Fortune Q&A

    Bankrate: You had a successful career, and your entire family has had show business success. When you accept a project now, do commercial concerns enter into it at all?

    Talia Shire: I get scared, because how does one go back in? You’re always scared that you passed that moment in time. A lot of movies today are demographically organized. I’m amazed that the regular guy on the street knows the grosses for a movie. In the old days, you had at least a weekend to marinate it. You had the opportunity to build your audience. Now, not only is it instantly done, but they’re gathering all the information — what age you are, what you like. I believe filmmaking is intuitive, not demographic, but that seems to be dominating movies because they’re such high risk.

  • Lesson learned: Today the emphasis is on the bottom line more than anything else.
How the famous see their work
Melora Hardin

Actress in “The Office”

  • Fame & Fortune Q&A

    Bankrate: Do you feel somewhat financially secure now and you’ve come into your own?

    Melora Hardin: It’s funny, I’ve never worried about money in my life, even when I wasn’t particularly working (laughs). First of all, I’ve actually worked quite consistently and have been very fortunate to transition from a child actor to a teenage actor to being an adult actor, but in my mind, I guess I’ve always known I was going to be fine, financially. And I don’t have to be the richest person in the world to be happy; I just need to feel I can do the things that I want to do. And I feel that I can. When I’m making more money, I think about doing other things and when I’m making less money, I think about collecting pods (laughs).

  • Lesson learned: Have faith in yourself. Worry doesn’t help.
How the famous see their work
Sarah Ferguson

Duchess of York

  • Fame & Fortune Q&A

    Bankrate: Your career is on a really grand level right now, so do you feel financially stable at this point in your life?

    Sarah Ferguson: The trouble is I give it all away to charity (laughs), and I guess that’s why I’m going to go on being commercial and work as hard as I can. So the more I work, the more I give. I just gave some money to Romania … I find these children in institutions there and I don’t want mothers to have to abandon their children. I want to start a community center there for mothers to be able to stay there, so they can manage to get through the winter. I want to help the women of the Congo who are fleeing from these wars there. I want to help them so they can bring up their children. So I’m just going to keep on working.

  • Lesson learned: Work enables you to help others less fortunate than you.

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