Celebrity entrepreneurs? We know what you're thinking. Oh, sure. Next thing you know, loudmouth business moguls will become prime-time TV idols, right?
Well, we're here to tell you that it happens -- a handful of celebrities, from the worlds of sports, movies, television, music, and fashion, have made their marks in the world of business. Some have been around for ages, and others are just getting started. How did we pick 'em? We culled through hundreds of candidates, whittled the list to mere dozens that were serious contenders, and then investigated until we had our Top 10.
We excluded celebrities who have simply lent their names to products, opened vanity restaurants with six celebrity partners, confined their business interests to their industry (sorry, no actors with their own production studios), or dropped a wad of back-end profits on a sexy business venture they don't know the first thing about. Instead, we sought, and found, celebrities who invested as much time as money, as much energy as star power, and helped make the world a slightly better place along the way. We looked at longevity, financial success, creativity, and the ability to leverage celebrity (a trickier task than you might imagine) to help build a business -- and we ranked them on that basis. They are all real entrepreneurs, going to staff meetings, hiring employees, contributing ideas, and giving something back to their communities -- meaning they all have a lot more in common with you than you might have thought.
Here you'll find profiles of each of our celebs, except for Moby, whom we felt compelled to visit in greater detail (see page 82). The pop star, who owns a tea cafe and a bottled tea company, is at a crucial juncture in his business odyssey, and we think you'll be as impressed as we were with his creativity and commitment. Is he the next Donald Trump? God, we hope not.