Russell Simmons’ Unique Take On Success

Updated on 9 November 2017

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Russell Simmons Has A Unique Take On Success - Which Of His Mantras Will You Try?

Russell Simmons is listed among the 100 greatest living business minds by Forbes.

He is an American entrepreneur, producer and author. Simmons is the founder of Rush Communications, one of the largest African American owned media firms in the United States. He also co-founded Def Jam Records, the label that defined hip-hop music and culture in the 90’s.

Simmons is however not your typical mogul. He is known for his alternative lifestyle – he is a strict vegan and has spent many years practising the philosophy of yoga and meditation, which has shaped his views on success.

“We should always put happiness above success, money doesn’t make you happy, but happiness makes you money,” he told delegates at the Liberty Life VUKA Knowledge Summit 2017 held last week, an event that brought together local and international leaders from various fields including technology, entrepreneurship, design and literature, to deliver talks on leadership and innovation.

The business mogul was the featured guest speaker. He was joined by world-renowned, Nigerian playwright and poet, Wole Sonyika, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, and founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant.

One of Simmons’ secrets to success is to let go of all feelings of need. It is in this state, he says, that you can fully focus on your work.

“No matter how rich you are you can only sit your ass on one seat at a time. And you have to operate from a comfortable seat. And when you get really fully comfortable in that seat – the state of needing nothing – it attracts everything,” Simmons says in an interview that’s available on the 702 website.

Which of these 6 Russell Simmons’ secrets for success would you give a try?

1. Work Without Expectation
Stop worrying about results because you actually have no control over them, Simmons says, focus instead on the work. This will allow you to be fully present in everything that you do and this is the basis for good work, he says.

“Your work is your prayer, the results are what they are. You have control of the work alone but never its fruit. So make your work your prayer, make your work your happiness,” Simmons says.

2. Look Within To Find Your Success 
Outward success can only be achieved when we’ve mastered our internal processes, so it is very important to learn how to centre the self first, says Simmons. One of the ways of achieving this is through practices such as meditation.

“It’s something that I’ve learnt and everyone knows intuitively that they need to operate from a place of abundance. We want to operate from a calm place. And so it makes sense to come to a business summit and remind people who are trying to achieve things in the world that it has to come from the inside. Then you become a much better business or whatever contribution you want to make. That’s the message,” he says.

3. Nurture A Powerful Mind
It is not difficult at all to learn to calm the mind, he says, sit and the mind settles every time. And a mind that is still has the potential to function at a higher level than an occupied mind, Simmons says.

“It’s not a miracle, the mind settles all on its own. You just need a little bit of patience and then the mind is still. It’s something that we all pursue because everything in life is to have seconds of stillness – every car we buy, every drug we take, everything we do is about [getting] stillness because those seconds are the only time you can have happiness or creativity, or really be focused and really do a good job in your work.”


See also: Romeo Kumalo’s 4 Principles For Finding Your Direction In Business

4. Trust In The Unknown
Finding success in business is a lot about luck, but also a little instinct and courage, says Simmons.

“In other words, you go out on a limb and you pick something that you believe in and you push it. And that’s what I did there (Def Jam Records) and various other opportunities, the poetry, the comedy – it’s always the same. Take a leap of faith and have faith in what your instincts are telling you.”

5. Give To Find Real Wealth
‘A good giver is a great getter’, is one of Simmons mantras. Material wealth comes when you truly serve and are of service to others, he says.

“You give and you trade and that’s good, it can make you successful, but giving without expectation makes you ever more successful. And this kind of freedom to give is a freedom to receive inside out.”

6. Make Time For Meditation
You can help your body’s circulation through exercise and meditation, Simmons says.

“You need meditation to decide for yourself what’s important to you.”

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