Key Lesson: Let the things you love be your guide to happiness and success.
Russell Simmons is the quintessential Grounded Leader: He’s authentic, generous, full of positive emotion, deeply curious, driven to succeed and knows how to maintain a peak performance lifestyle. On top of that, he’s an astute businessman with a wide array of accomplishments in the entertainment and fashion industries. And most recently — with his substantial investment in Celsius — the energy drink business.
Simmons recently told Inc.Video: “I have to love what I do. I have to believe in what I do. I love designing clothes, I design clothes. I loved music before I sold it. I like telling stories. Now, in Hollywood, I have a bunch of movies in development. This energy drink, I started to like it a lot. It’s a healthier alternative to anything else in the marketplace, so I bought it.”
Simmons explores the connection between believing in — and loving — what you do in a number of books, most recently Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All, which advocates giving as a lifestyle choice (2011) and Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, asserting that meditation can help one achieve success (2014). In addition, Simmons serves as Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which was created to “promote understanding and cooperation between and among ethnic groups” and also sits on the board of the Lynch Foundation, which brings meditation to people in need. A vegan since 1999, Simmons has been honored by PETA and is also a supporter of Farm Sanctuary, working to “protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.”
Russell Simmons is our Grounded Leader of the Week for demonstrating so ably that doing what we love can carry us a long way in business and in life — and that we don’t need to limit ourselves to a single endeavor. Whether we’re designing clothes, making music, selling energy drinks, or supporting causes we believe in, Simmons reminds us “that happiness — living it and giving it — is the goal of life.”