Pursuit of Happyness’ Chris Gardner: You can’t be inspired to make money

2013-11-24 06:00

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Chris Gardner, the man movie star Will Smith portrays in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness, was in South Africa as a guest of technology company Business Connexion. Mamello Masote shares the quotes that stuck with her.

Gardner is an American investor, stockbroker, entrepreneur and author, and his story is one of inspiration and persistence.

In the film, he overcomes many odds – including becoming homeless – to provide a better life for his son.

» On the hardships he faced: “The most important aspect was having a mother who told you you could do or be anything. It was never about money, it was about giving my son something I never had: a father.”

» On technology: “A year ago I lost a lot of my life to brain cancer and my life has been changed because I had access to technology.”

» On what inspires him: “You can’t be inspired to make money. It’s got to be bigger than that. No one’s got to see it but you, as long as you’re seeing it with the eyes of your soul.”

» On the perception of Africa: “The perception of Africa is a lot more positive than you are aware. Corporate America is seeing the market in Africa and they’re coming. This is an exciting time for Africa and South Africa. South Africa is like the Hong Kong of Africa. This is the gateway entry so what are you doing to get ready to capture and participate in the opportunity?”

» On his future endeavours: “Mr Smith and I are working on something. Watch your television screens because we’ll be right back.”

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