00:10 Host: How do you prepare for the day? What do you do? What's the first thing you do in the morning?
00:13 Russell Simmons: First thing I do in the morning, I stand up. I stretch a little bit, and I light a candle, and I meditate every morning.
00:19 Host: How did that start?
00:20 Simmons: It started many years ago, but more recently I guess, I don't know, maybe eight years ago I started to do TM in which I had a big breakthrough, I thought, in my meditation. So I've been meditating about, I don't know, maybe 20 years.
00:37 Host: Now, many other people among this room, actually most of the people in this room if not all of the people in this room are...
00:42 Simmons: That's a lot of people.
00:42 Host: People who have started something. And so they will have been motivated by the desire not to work with somebody else or they may have been motivated by the desire because they had an idea that they just had to actualize. What is it that got you started? What is it that motivated you when you first went out and started creating things?
01:02 Simmons: My first experience, entrepreneurial experience, was as a result of loving music so much and wanting people to experience it. It was a passion to share with the world what I loved. And so that was... It started in concert promotion or small parties, and then larger parties, and semi-concerts with rap artist. It was because I loved the music so much and the whole experience of consuming it, marketing it, working with the artist, it was a passion to share what I loved with other people.
01:37 Host: In your first book, "Do You!" which... Any of you guys read this one? The two... That's a lot of people...
01:43 Simmons: That's two people right there.
01:44 Host: Right, right [laughter] You talked about the power of instinct, but you also talked about the power of vision. When does the instinct... If you can articulate this, when does the instinct crystallize into a vision and how do you know that it has?
02:00 Simmons: I think it takes a little bit of courage to take an instinct. There is a yogi, who I refer to a lot in both books, Paramahansa Yogananda, he said, "The imagination is God." And with any dream or idea, just a little faith, dedication, and resilience, it becomes actual, it becomes real. And it's about when that instinct comes and it's got a real inkling of truth to it, to have enough courage to stick with it, to delve into it, take those first steps and start a process. And I think that if learned after one good experience, one passionate experience, it makes it a little easier to do it again and again, I think.
02:42 Simmons: And so, when you love it, and you want people to... Because everything, I think, anything you sell is because someone else likes it, right? And then, you get a return. And if you sell something you like and they like it, it's a much greater return obviously, and then also it's a lasting, stable thing you're giving mostly, for the most part. So having that experience that people need something, there's this white space. For entrepreneurs, it's, "Wow, people need this. Let me give it to them." And that's the passion, like the service thing. And it reminds me, I want to mention. I was thinking, in front of all of these brilliant people, these entrepreneurs, and I was thinking, and we're talk about my book. And I want to mention I got a half a star from Business Week on my book, so I just want you to take everything I say with a grain of salt [laughter] The other half a star was given to Deepak Chopra. And so Deepak and I shared a star in Business Week.
03:48 Simmons: And the reason that I say it because it really is business people versus entrepreneurs in some ways. Some business people have these quarterly issues, have these rigid ideas of how to grow some seed that someone else planted, or kind of maintain or keep exploiting some idea that someone else created. And then there's entrepreneurs. And my book is heavily based in scripture and mostly yogic scripture, and it's heavily based in metaphysical ideas, but are simple. And when I say it's in yogic scripture, that means it's in every scripture over and over. So my book is based in theories that are about passion, about service, about all those things that they thought was... That was bullshit, again, according to Business Week. But I find these ideas to be simple and easy. I hope that some of you... Two people read the last book. I hope some of you guys read this book.
04:50 Simmons: I think... And I don't wanna be a long tangent, but I just wanna say 'cause I wanna share this, this book is about passion, about service, and making your work your prayer. And my whole message is about making your work your prayer, and forgetting results, and forgetting all the other things, but really being a good servant. And the book is also about happiness, and I think that attracts more of a cycle of giving and getting and all those things.