Tony Hawk Defines Success As 'Truly Doing What You Love'

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Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk attributes his professional success to one thing: staying true to what he loves. The seven-time X Games champion spoke to the crowd at The Channel Company’s NexGen conference in his hometown of San Diego.

Hawk recalled the tough times of his early skateboarding career, during which his gigs with friends only pulled enough money to cover a hotel room to split among ’six dudes’ and travel.

’It didn’t feel like a struggle because we really believed this. We loved skateboarding so much, we loved the company. And I look back at those times with fondness, I think because those were the times that were really more defining,’ Hawk said.

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’I define success as truly doing what you love, and not necessarily doing it because it’s the most financially rewarding thing to do,’ he said.

Hawk found further success in his lucrative line of skateboarding video games, Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Again, he said, he stayed true to what he believed in.

’All I wanted to do was make a game that I thought skateboarders would be proud of,’ he said.

Hawk’s video games rank amongst the most critically acclaimed games for PlayStation consoles, and he released Pro Skater 5 earlier this year.