Richard Branson and Ice-T agree: You don't have to be a jerk to be successful

Rapper, TV star and entrepreneur Ice-T
Theo Wargo/NBC | Getty Images
Rapper, TV star and entrepreneur Ice-T

Rapper and TV star Ice-T isn't just making a name for himself as an artist. He's launched a podcast, founded an online music label and co-authored three books, among other entrepreneurial endeavors.

Along the way, he's spent time with billionaire entrepreneurs Richard Branson and Mark Cuban. What he's learned from them, he tells TheStreet, is that, "to be successful and wealthy you don't have to be an a--hole."

"I just think that you can be successful and be a tennis shoe-billionaire … and be cool as hell," Ice-T continues.

Branson, founder of The Virgin Group, "couldn't agree more," he writes on his blog. "You can do well, by doing good. In fact, if you get into business solely to make money, you won't. If you try to make a real difference, you'll find true success."

Plus, "what good is the money if you're still an a--hole?" says Ice-T.

Ultimately, people are going to remember you for your character — not your net worth, the hip-hop artist tells TheStreet: "I tell my kids that all the time. I say, at the end of the day, no matter how much money I leave you, my reputation and my character is what you're going to live off of.

"If your dad was an a--hole, people are going to treat you like that. If I was a good man, they're going to treat you like that. [Character] is more valuable than the money."

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