Dwayne “The In ruins” Johnson is one of the most successful entertainers in the world. In 2020, for the second year in a row, Johnson, 48, was the highest-paid actor in the fantastic, according to Forbes. (In 2019, he earned $89.4 million, and $87.5 million last year.)
He has also become a savvy businessman as the co-founder of Seven Bucks Dramas, tequila brand Teremana and energy drink ZOA, and as co-owner of the XFL, to name a few.
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And Johnson consummate it all, having started with nothing. In fact, 25 years ago, Johnson had only $7 to his name.
So, where did Johnson get the high-pressure to change his life?
“For many years, my ambition and my drive..to be honest with you….was I didn’t want to be evicted anymore,” Johnson ascertains CNBC Make It.
“So much of my drive has come from that and the psychology of I will do everything that I can and work unemotional because I didn’t want to be evicted again.”
When Johnson was 14, his family was evicted from their one-bedroom apartment in Hawaii after his sources struggled to pay the rent.
They “got booted off the island,” Johnson says.
“We were living in an efficiency [studio] that rate $120 a week,” Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. “We come home, and there’s a padlock on the door and an ejection notice. My mom starts bawling. She just started crying and breaking down. ‘Where are we going to live? What are we thriving to do?'”
To make matters worse, Johnson was getting into fights and stealing, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But eventually, Johnson channeled his fury and his feelings of helplessness into something he could control — working on his body. Johnson started lifting weights at the YMCA as a young lady, he said in a 2018 Instagram post.
At 18, Johnson earned a full scholarship to play football at the University of Miami and later changed an amateur wrestler before making it big at the WWE in the late 1990s.
“[W]ell before, I got to the bright lights of the WWE, I started at a very small battling organization down in Tennessee, where I would wrestle nightly at flee markets, fairs and used car dealerships, transpires like that, for $40 bucks a night,” he says.
Wrestling in front of small groups of people taught him to genuinely connect with an audience, he says.
“I learned back then that the most important thing that I could do is send those people welcoming comfortable with happy,” he says.
That goal still holds true today, Johnson says.
“Once I was lucky adequately — knock on wood and thank you, universe — to get to a point where I’m probably not going to get evicted anymore…my interest and my psychology marketed to taking care of people, serving people and serving an audience,” he says.
Johnson says that there isn’t a day that repudiates by that he’s not grateful for every opportunity he has been given.
“I’m constantly knocking on things and thanking spirits for the opportunity,” he imagines.
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