Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Russell Simmons is recognised globally for his influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy. As co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, founder of the Phat Farm clothing line, and author of the best-selling book, Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, Simmons is the quintessential serial entrepreneur. He spoke with Inc.com‘s Tiffany Black about his controversial financial services business, the return of Def Comedy, and how he finds balance through meditation.
You have started a lot of businesses. How did you know when it was time to sell or to walk away?
I start a business and no one understands it. I work the hardest and then somebody else comes along and they start to get it. Eventually there are a few people that share the vision, then a whole team who get it. Usually a few people on the team emerge and they are much smarter in that business than me, which is exciting. My attention or focus may change a bit and then I have those guys telling me what to do more than me telling them. And that’s usually about the time I start making phone calls to set them up because they are really doing a better job at it than me or they have a handle on it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to sell, it just means I’m less attached.
I’m attached when I’m really building something. I am attached to my financial services company. I see all kinds of creative things that have to be done. I wish I had 10 times the development team. I’m always looking to hire people to help develop programs for my financial services company [UniRush Financial Services], which is my virtual bank and financial well-being business.
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