When it comes to career mentors, Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as “The Rock”, may not be the first to spring to mind, but perhaps he should be. Having considered a career as a professional football player he went on to be a wrestler before transitioning into acting, demonstrating the same level of dedication to all areas.
Johnson has used skills that he learned in one area of his career in other fields, such as the ability to connect with an audience. And throughout it all, he has managed to remain a fan favorite, delighting audiences on social media just as he did in the ring and now does at the box office.
“I’ve had such a renegade career that I honestly never had anyone in my life give me advice in [an official] way. It’s what I’ve learned over the years that has pushed me beyond limits.” - Dwayne Johnson said in Fortune.
The Rock’s career advice
From getting the basics right to always being true to yourself, here are the six takeaways The Rock has distilled from his own career.
1. The basics
The fundamentals to being successful in your career are showing up, outworking everybody else and relying on yourself to get the job done, according to Johnson. These principles can be applied to whatever industry you’re in and as Johnson has proven, can be transferred from one role to the next.
2. Be consistent
Greatness may be the goal, but Johnson points out that it doesn’t have to be there from the start. He suggests that being consistent and working hard leads to success, which in turn can bring about greatness.
3. Pay attention to your audience
Johnson says not to take your eye off who you’re doing business for, as your most important relationship is with your audience. He pointed out that he learned this before breaking attendance records at major US venues when he used to wrestle in flea markets for $40 a match.
4. Earn respect
Understanding that respect has to be earned is something Johnson’s father instilled in him from a young age. He said his dad helped to break down color barriers in professional wrestling based on this principle and it’s something the younger Johnson still lives by to this day. Nobody in any industry should expect to get anywhere simply because of who they are without proving they can do the job.
5. Be yourself
That said, Johnson said it’s also important to be yourself. This ties into the second point, as it’s very difficult in business to be consistent if you’re trying to be something you’re not. Find a way of operating that works with your core values and demonstrate why that’s beneficial to your customers or clients and you’ll build a following based on trust.
6. There’s no secret to success
When asked what the secret is to success, Johnson replied that there isn’t one. Instead, he says you must be humble and hungry, working harder than everyone else. It’s a good lesson to learn if you’re looking for a shortcut, as you’re likely to lose out in the long run.
The Rock’s reputation
Johnson has been known to say that his reputation precedes him, but while this may sound arrogant at first, what he means is that directors and producers across Hollywood know what he’s about. Throughout his career, Johnson has consistently thrown himself wholeheartedly into his projects and therefore has built a reputation for giving 100%.
He demonstrates this when promoting his films and interacting with fans, understanding that a project isn’t complete when the camera stops rolling. Offering more than just what he’s contracted to do and remaining connected with audiences is a lesson most of us can learn in our careers. It may not land us 326 million Instagram followers, but it could help with your next career move or show that you’re dedicated to building your reputation for hard work, just like The Rock.
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