In the decade since Tony Hawk became a household name and a global business brand spawned by a successful video game franchise, the skateboarder has inspired dozens of imitators hoping to build their passion into their business. So far none of them have reached Hawk-level fame or fortune. So what's the secret ingredient to getting to Tony Hawk-level success.

"Authenticity. I think you have to be authentic and know your audience and know what they respond to. They can spot someone who doesn't have their heart in something," Hawk told PopEater prior to visiting Coney Island on Thursday night as the main sponsor and judge of Wrath of Cannes 5, an annual advertising awards show created by NY-based indie agency Woods Witt Dealy & Sons.

We imagine it also takes a lot of hard work.

"Every day. You have to work harder than you ever thought you could," Hawk said.