“New York Undercover” star Malik Yoba refuses to be typecast in a role or in life. While he’s made a name for himself through films and TV, he’s never considered himself only an actor.
“For me, I've always been an entrepreneur. I've never been the actor that's waiting for a job. I always have 15,000 other things going on. My life is about yes, right? I live in yes. I wouldn't be in this business if I believed in no — No, What is that?,” Yoba told Jen Rogers on Yahoo Finance’s My Three Cents.
His multi-tasking comes to bear even when he’s on a set. When he was starring as a Jamaican bobsledder in “Cool Runnings,” he also wrote the theme song, from which he still makes money.
“It's extraordinary to be part of something like that, that's an evergreen, airs all the time. I'm very proud of that,” Yoba said of the comedy classic.
From a paper route to real estate developer
Yoba’s entrepreneurial streak started with a paper route in New York City when he was eight years old. Since then he’s made leather bags, had an Icee stand, owned a restaurant, had a marketing company and a record label. He even once worked in a jewelry “sweat shop.” Recently, he’s turned his attention to real estate.
“I made some money, some real money on my first real estate transaction. I knew that I wanted to build. I used to walk in Harlem in the burnt up Harlem of the '80s, and I'd look at brownstones that were dilapidated or apartment buildings, thinking whoever designed this and built this did not want it to look like this.”
Yoba is currently combining his on camera and real estate skills on a new show, I Build NY, that follows him on his journey of becoming a NY real estate developer.
He says his two worlds have at least one thing in common. “I think it's hard for anyone to get into real estate or Hollywood.”
Jen Rogers is an anchor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @JenSaidIt.
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