Chris Rock is Smart, Very Smart

I’m not a big television watcher. However, I was looking for some mindless entertainment recently and I came across an extended interview with Chris Rock. It was an extended, two-hour interview with Rock.

I’m not a big fan of his, but I’m always interesting in hearing about successful people and how they achieved their success.

I’m glad I stayed tuned to the Rock interview, because I learned some important things.

First off, Rock is a master of language, more so than most comedians. He has a very good grasp of analogies, metaphors, but more importantly, words and phrases that create vivid mental images.

Secondly, he knows the history of his business, having sought out successful people and gotten good information from all of them.

But those are not the only reasons he’s successful, not by a long shot. He worked very hard and very diligently to hone his craft understanding that success is in the details. (A skill and dedication level not shared my very many regardless of their profession.)

For example, he was asked why he moves around so much during his shows instead of standing still. His answer was very revealing:

“If you stand in one place during your show, people in the audience will tune you out and start talking amongst themselves. If you move around, they know you could suddenly appear right in front of them, catching them talking to each other instead of paying attention. So, the reason I move around is to keep the audience focused.”

That’s a man who understands the tiny details of his business.

It’s also a man who is very, very prepared. As you may or may not remember Rock hosted the Academy Awards last year. They aired Feb. 28. He had his monologue for that event down perfectly on Oct. 30, months before the show happened. That’s preparedness, that’s work.

But Rock also is a very strategic thinker. During the interview he said, “I decided I was going to have a big year. So I asked myself, what’s everything I have to do in order to have a big year?” That’s a man who understands success is created, it doesn’t just happen.

Rock had his big year, and there’s one final reason he did—he demands to be compensated for his value. That’s one key ingredient a lot of people miss — they don’t demand and expect compensation for the value they bring. Successful people, however, do understand this, ask for it, and expect it. You cannot be successful without compensation for delivering value, and if you don’t ask for it, you don’t get it.

Rock is successful because he follows a tried and true success formula. There’s nothing he’s done that is different from other successful people in all walks of life. But he was willing to do the hard work to do all those things, and as a result he’s a very successful man. Like attraction, success is created – it doesn’t “just happen”.