Given the chance to brush shoulders with the wealthiest person in the world at a party, what would you say to make an impression?
Comedian Kevin Hart was in this very situation when he spotted Jeff Bezos at a Superbowl party in 2019. The founder and CEO of Amazon is currently worth $193 billion, according to Bloomberg.
As Hart recalled on the May 25 episode of the podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," the New England Patriots had just won the Superbowl, and Tom Brady was giving a speech thanking billionaire owner Robert Kraft.
When Bezos walked into the private party, Hart told his friend, "I'm gonna say, 'What's up?' I would love to pick his brain. That's an interesting individual," he told Rogan. Hart's friend told him it wasn't a good idea, because he might appear "thirsty" or uncool and overzealous.
But Hart went over to Bezos and introduced himself with his wife, Eniko Parrish. "Hey man, I admire you," Hart said to Bezos. He added that he respects that Bezos "created and accomplished…a phenomenon."
"I want to shake your hand. I would love to talk one day," Hart recalled telling Bezos.
Bezos said it was good meeting Hart, and he was "sure we'll bump past one another one day," he added.
To Hart, it was important to get face time. In truth, Hart had "a bunch of questions about this Amazon" and why Bezos came up with it. "I don't think this is the time or place, but I want you to see my face," he said. Even if he never saw Bezos again, at least they had met once, he said.
"I'm not asking for anything, but what I did [was] I set myself up for another conversation for when I got the opportunity," Hart told Rogan.
Hart said that people often feel "too cool" or lack the humility to ask people questions or introduce themselves to others. "There wasn't a level of cool that I had that would keep me from just going in, saying hello or asking a question for that matter," he said.
"My ambition is fueled from possibility," he said.
Hart was the highest-paid stand-up comedian in 2019, making $59 million, according to Forbes. In addition to stand-up comedy, he has starred in a number of hit movies, including "Ride Along," "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" and "Night School."
In the beginning of his career, Hart said he was constantly in situations where he was wondering how other people got successful. "I find myself saying, so how? But why? Well, then what did you do?" he told Rogan.
Instead of just "stumbling upon" information, he learned to network and ask for it. "Maybe you're in the right environment you hear some stuff you can ask some questions," Hart told Rogan. "But nine times out of 10 it's not offered."
Hart recently released an Audible audiobook about success, called "Overcoming Today's BS for Tomorrow's Success."