You know what you’re supposed to do. Deep down inside, I think everybody does, and a lot of people just don’t go after it.
“I think everybody has talents, and all you have to do is find what your talents are, and put focus into it.” – Eddie Murphy
I want to get … I’ll say famous by the time I’m 21, I’m 19 now. I give myself two years.
Evan: He’s an American comedian, actor, writer, singer, and producer.
He was ranked number 10 on Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Stand-up Comedians of all time.
In 2015, his films made him the sixth highest-grossing actor in the United States.
He’s Eddie Murphy, and here’s my take on his top 10 rules for success.
Rule number one is my personal favorite, and make sure to stick around all the way to the end for some special bonus clips.
Also as Eddie’s talking, if he says something that really resonates with you, please leave it in the comments below, and put quotes around it, so other people can be inspired as well. Enjoy.
Rule #1: Do What You Love
Showtime. I’m a very spiritual person, and I follow my spirit, and I do what my spirit tells me to do. You know, and I don’t have a set … Like “Oh, I want to play this type of character, “and I won’t play that type of character.”
I’m receptive to anything. And when the right thing comes along, if it’s serious, if it’s funny, if it’s silly, if it’s … But see I’m, put it this way, I just do whatever makes me … I get the most … Gratification from, as an artist, you know.
“I’m a very spiritual person, and I follow my spirit, and I do what my spirit tells me to do.” – Eddie Murphy
I do music albums, and nobody buys my records, I do them because I love making music, you know, and that’s the same way I’m about movies. I don’t make movies because … I don’t go into it thinking, “Let me do this, “because then people will come,” or “How much will a movie make,” and “I’m trying to make the audience do that.” I do what feels right for me.
Rule #2: Go After It
I knew I wanted to be in show business, and I just happened to luck out and things happened. I think you know … You know what you’re supposed to do.
Deep down inside, I think everybody does, and a lot of people just don’t go after it. You know, like most people start out, they say “I want to be a this, but I’m going to get that “to make sure I have something to fall back on.”
“I knew I wanted to be in show business, and I just happened to luck out and things happened.” – Eddie Murphy
And what you’re doing is you’re setting yourself to fail, ’cause you’re going, “There’s a possibility that I’m ‘a fall back.” And when you put that out there, then you fall back, but if you just say, “Hey, this is what I want to do,” and you go do it, you usually get your stuff the way you want it, man.
Rule #3: Do Your Own Thing
I don’t think I’ll ever give anybody any advice.
[Interviewer] Almost all the advice I’ve been given was wrong.
We shouldn’t follow advice.
[Interviewer] That’s our advice.
Take our advice, don’t follow advice. ‘Cause everybody’s life is different, everybody’s got different … If something works for John, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for me. So do your own thing.
And you kids out there, do what you want, and if your parents want you to do something else, do what you want, ’cause nine out of ten times you’ll be right. And if you become a bum, hey, we told you not to take advice, right?
“Everybody’s life is different, everybody’s got different … If something works for John, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for me. So do your own thing.” – Eddie Murphy
Rule #4: Find Your Path
My whole family is funny, I have a really funny, funny fam, like we’re … The whole family can tell jokes, and … To the dozens and all that, so we’re always really funny around the house.
When I realized I wanted to be a comedian was Richard Pryor. That’s who was like, “Oh that’s what I want to be,” so … It’s 1976 I think, it was the album he put out called That Nigger’s Crazy.
And I remember just sitting and listening to it, over and over and over and over and over and over, and that was kind of where it started. That’s where I realized what I was, what I wanted to do.
Rule #5: Focus On Your Talents
Ultimately, I just want to be known as a person who wants to make people feel good.
[Narrator] It was Eddie’s genius for comedy that caught the eye of Hollywood, and turned Eddie Murphy the comedian into Eddie Murphy the movie star.
What’s happening, Luther? I’m sorry about the door, man. Did that hurt? It looked real painful when you slammed into it. I think everybody has talents, and all you have to do is find what your talents are, and put focus into it. And when I was 15, I knew I was going to be in show business, and I knew that’s what I was going to do.
Rule #6: Ignore The Critics
I’m just a comedian, you know. I don’t really listen to critics. That’s coming from a person who gets … I guess ’cause I get criticized a lot, you can’t listen to it. I just do what I do, you know? I can’t, when they say good things, I don’t sit around and say, “Yeah, that’s right.” When they say bad things …
[Interviewer] Do you read everything?
I read everything they say.
[Interviewer] Do you have a clipping service, so you read everything?
“I’m just a comedian, you know. I don’t really listen to critics. ” – Eddie Murphy
I read pretty much everything. And I just say, you can pretty much tell where somebody’s head was at. But I’ve never taken any advice from an article that I’ve read, ’cause like I said, I feel like I’m an artist.
And if you read … An artist, the best picture I think is like the first thing they did. Then critics come around and say, “If you had done the eyes different …” And then next time you paint, you go, “They didn’t like the eyes, so I should …” And I’m not, I just do my thing.
Rule #7: Decide For Yourself
I’ve been the class clown since I was a little kid. I started out as a class clown, and from class clown, I went to the school clown. From the school clown, I went to the neighborhood clown, and like now, everybody knows me. I’m the guy who … I’m Funny Murphy.
“A lot of kids tell their parents they want to be doctors and lawyers and garbage like that, but I wanted to be a stand-up comedian.” – Eddie Murphy
Host: Put your pants up, that’s number one. I don’t want any of this, right?
You know, if I was faced with choosing another career, I think I’d go crazy. There’s nothing else I could do. I decided at a very … I’m 19 now, I decided when I was 17 that I wanted to go into this, for real.
And I was familiar with stand-up comedy and entertainment since I was 15. A lot of kids tell their parents they want to be doctors and lawyers and garbage like that, but I wanted to be a stand-up comedian.
I told my parents that, and everything’s working out for me fine. I’m growing constantly on the stage, and everything’s working out for me.
Host: I like very much the imitations you did, the impressions were great.
I want to get … I’ll say famous by the time I’m 21, I’m 19 now. I give myself two years.
Rule #8: Learn How To Deal With Stress
I do a little exercise, you know, just to keep it fit, and you know, but more than anything, it’s have a, know the, the least amount of, that’s the …
“When I have something that’s stressful that I have to deal with, I’ve really learned how to deal with it and put it in the back, and not sit around.” – Eddie Murphy
Stress is really the thing that really eats you up, and I have such a small stress level, for years and years. And when I have something that’s stressful that I have to deal with, I’ve really learned how to deal with it and put it in the back, and not sit around. Very rarely, you see me sitting around the house like this.
[Interviewer] You know it’s hard to believe … Yeah of course, you got to.
Rule #9: Connect With Your Audience
The easier thing is I can tell you what’s the most gratifying thing. The most gratifying thing for me as an artist is to be able to have some longevity, and to be able to connect with an audience.
Different generations, to be around for a while, especially, you know, in a business where … People come and go so fast in the movie business.
“The most gratifying thing for me as an artist is to be able to have some longevity, and to be able to connect with an audience.” – Eddie Murphy
Just to be able to connect with an audience, you know, when you were 19, and you can still connect with them, people still appreciate what you do. That’s the most gratifying thing. Bless you, Paul. That’s the most gratifying thing.
Rule #10: Keep It Rolling
Interviewer: How do you think artists should move forward if they’re feeling discouraged or feeling I guess stressed out about everything that’s going on in the world?
Well, it kind of it what it is now. So, just kind of, you know … There’s nothing you can do, it is what it is, so you know, got to get it right, keep it rolling. I think this is a great country, and I think it’s the greatest country in the world, and I think that all this will get worked out, and … I’m an optimistic person, I’m not, you know …
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Spikes2108 asked me to, so if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it down in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do.
I’d also love to know what clip resonated the most with you today, which of the clips from Eddie had the biggest impact on you, that you’re going to immediately apply to your life or your business somehow. Leave it in the comments, I’m going to join in the discussion.
Finally, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to Noah Sachs. Noah, thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and tweeting that picture out. I’m looking forward to the review.
Thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you, I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is. Much love. I’ll see you soon.
Don’T Approach Things Too Seriously.
I think one of the reasons why I was so successful on the show is because I didn’t take the show as seriously as other people in the cast. ‘Cause a lot of people that like, this was their shot.
And I was 19 years old when I was doing that stuff. And it was just fun to me, and I think the audience picked up … Even if what you’re doing isn’t really that funny, if you’re having a ball, the audience kind of picks up with it. And I think that’s why …
Oprah: ‘Cause you can take material that ordinarily wouldn’t be funny if somebody else did it, and make it funny.
I think that was a compliment, was that a compliment?
Oprah: Yeah, that was a compliment.
‘Cause you’re like, “What you do isn’t funny, “but it’s funny.”
Oprah: No, but you know …
You might also like
More from Eddie Murphy
What's up, Believe Nation! We put out a lot of content, and I often get asked: can you summarize it down …