The "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," actor, rapper, producer and businessman Will Smith made his way down the California coast to San Diego and told attendees of LPL Financial’s annual advisor conference that he is eying a humanitarian position with the United Nations.
“If I care for people, I will be successful,” Smith said. Citing a career based on hard work and “authenticity,” Smith said he wants to improve lives rather than link his happiness to box office success.
To be sure, he said he got caught up in “being number one everywhere” about a decade ago when his film career was on a tear. Since that success has waned, Smith said he had to make a shift. Feeling accomplished has gone from “product to people,” he said. Big inspirations for him were Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela.
Indeed, Smith, who was a pallbearer at Ali’s funeral, said the memorial changed his worldview. “It was a celebration,” Smith said of the Louisville, Ky., funeral service. It was a celebration of a life filled with accomplishments and affecting people in a positive way, he said. Mandela’s life inspired him similarly. Smith noted that he had longed to portray Mandela in a film, but said that opportunity has passed him by.
Smith endeared the estimated 6,000 people in the audience with personal stories of his relationships with his wife and children, as well as his professional milestones. The point, he said, is to create a work-life balance.
“Carry the same value system in the workspace as you do at home,” he advised.
Smith said he has been in talks with the U.N. for some time to take on a more formal role with the organization. He expects to take up that role by year-end.