In 1981, in San Francisco, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) invests his family's savings in portable bone-density scanners which he tries to demonstrate and sell to doctors. The investment proves to be a white elephant which financially breaks the family and as a result, his wife Linda (Thandie Newton) leaves him and moves to New York. Their son Christopher (JadenSmith) remains with his father. While downtown trying to sell one of his scanners, Chris meets a manager for Dean Witter and impresses him by solving a Rubik's Cube during a short cab ride. Chris does not have enough money for the cab fare and flees the cab driver into a subway station where he barely escapes the cab driver but loses one of his bone scanners in the process. This new relationship withthe Dean Witter manager earns him the chance to become an intern stockbroker.
Despite arriving there unkempt and shabbily dressed due to an emergency, Chris is offered the internship. Chris is further set back when his bank account is garnished by the IRS for unpaid taxes, and he and his young son are evicted. As a result they are homeless, and are forced at one point to stay in a bathroom at asubway station. Motivation drives him to find the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, which has a homeless shelter primarily for single mothers and their children. Due to demand for the limited rooms, Chris must frantically race from his internship work early each afternoon in order to land a place in line. Chris finds the bone scanner that he lost in the subway station from a demented man whobelieves it to be a time machine and it is now damaged, but Chris finally repairs it.
Disadvantaged by his limited work hours, and knowing that maximizing his client contacts and profits is the only way to earn the one paid position that he and his 19 competitors are fighting for, Chris develops a number of ways to make phone sales calls more efficiently. He also reaches out to potential highvalue customers, defying protocol. One sympathetic prospect takes him and his son to a professional football game. Regardless of Chris's challenges, he never reveals his lowly circumstances to his co-workers, even going so far as to lend one of his bosses five dollars for a cab, a sum he can't afford.
Concluding his internship, Chris is called into a meeting with his managers. His work has paid offand he is offered the position. Fighting back tears, he rushes to his son's daycare, hugging him. They walk down the street, joking with each other and are passed by a man in a business suit (the real Chris Gardner in a cameo). The epilogue reveals that Chris went on to form his own multi-million dollar brokerage firm.
En 1981, en San Francisco, Chris Gardner (Will Smith) invierte los ahorrosde su familia en portátiles de densidad ósea-los escáneres que trata de demostrar y vender a los médicos. La inversión resulta ser un elefante blanco que financieramente se rompe la familia y, en consecuencia, su esposa Linda (Thandie Newton), lo abandona y se muda a Nueva York. Su hijo Christopher (Jaden Smith) es propiedad de su padre. Mientras que el centro de tratar de vender uno de suslectores, Chris conoce a un gerente de Dean Witter y le impresiona al resolver un cubo de Rubik en un corto viaje en taxi. Chris no tiene suficiente dinero para el taxi y huye el conductor del taxi en una estación de metro, donde apenas se escapa el conductor del taxi, pero pierde uno de sus escáneres de hueso en el proceso.Esta nueva relación con el director Dean Witter le gana la oportunidad deconvertirse en un corredor de bolsa interna.
A pesar de llegar allí despeinado y mal vestido, debido a una emergencia, Chris se ofrece la pasantía. Chris es más un retroceso cuando su cuenta bancaria es adornado por el IRS por impuestos no pagados, y él y su hijo son desalojados. Como resultado de ello no tienen hogar, y se ven obligados en algún momento de permanecer en un cuarto de baño en una...