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If you’ll indulge a reporter for a minute, I’d like to have a fan-girl moment about Tom Hanks. His long and varied career -- actor, producer, writer, director and app developer -- makes him among Hollywood’s elite, and he’s done it while maintaining a reputation as the nicest guy in Tinseltown.
His likability and ambition were apparent from the start. When he was just an 18-year-old kid, he wrote a letter to acclaimed director George Roy Hill that outlined all the ways Hill could ‘discover’ him as a star. The letter, which is equal parts gutsy and hilarious, exemplifies the entrepreneurial tenets we often talk about on this site: Hanks took a risk, saw an opportunity to network and had a clear vision of what he wanted (“I do not want to be some bigtime, Hollywood superstar with girls crawling all over me, just a hometown American boy who has hit the big-time, owns a Porsche, and calls Robert Redford 'Bob'”).
The entrepreneurial spirit Hanks displayed as a teen has remained throughout his career. Here, we’ve compiled a list of his seven best business lessons, inspired by what he has said in interviews.