Entrepreneur, author, activist and philanthropist Russell Simmons has launched scores of groundbreaking careers and innovative enterprises in arenas as varied as music, film, television, fashion, comedy, poetry, digital platforms, theater and finance.  His lifelong mission has been giving a voice to extraordinary talent and empowering underserved communities as they in turn shape the mainstream of culture. After having produced or managed artists such as Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Whodini and Jimmy Spicer, Simmons joined forces with producer Rick Rubin to found Def Jam Recordings. Under Simmons’ leadership as Chairman, Def Jam signed acts including the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Jay Z and Kanye West.  Simmons’ long-running HBO series “Def Comedy Jam” helped make household names of comics including Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and JB Smoove. “Def Poetry Jam,” also on HBO, won a Peabody Award and a Broadway version netted Simmons a Tony®.  Simmons’ numerous big-screen hits include The Nutty Professor, which grossed more than $273 million. Simmons has written three New York Times best-selling books, including Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, which was published in 2014. He has also launched a multitude of diverse business ventures including pop-culture website Global Grind, UniRush Financial Services, Simmons Jewelry, Run Athletics and clothing subsidiaries Phat Farm, Baby Phat, Argyleculture, and American Classics. Most recently, he has been building All Def Digital, a premium, multi-platform digital media company and entertainment hub, curating, developing and connecting a new generation of content creators to global fans. He also co-founded the digital marketing firm Narrative.  A longtime champion of social justice and equality, Simmons was honored with the 2011 GLAAD Excellence in Media Award. He is also a leading animal rights activist, having been named PETA Man of the Year in 2011. His charitable endeavors include the Diamond Empowerment Fund, a global organization that supports educational initiatives for disadvantaged people in diamond-producing African nations, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which gives young people opportunities to create and appreciate art, and Foundation for Ethnic Understanding which he serves as chairman promoting understanding and cooperation between and among ethnic groups to help reduce the existing tensions among diverse racial and ethnic communities. A native of Queens, NY, Simmons has two daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee.

Entrepreneur, author, activist and philanthropist Russell Simmons has launched scores of groundbreaking careers and innovative enterprises in arenas as varied as music, film, television, fashion, comedy, poetry, digital platforms, theater and finance.  His lifelong mission has been giving a voice to extraordinary talent and empowering underserved communities as they in turn shape the mainstream of culture. After having produced or managed artists such as Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Whodini and Jimmy Spicer, Simmons joined forces with producer Rick Rubin to found Def Jam Recordings. Under Simmons’ leadership as Chairman, Def Jam signed acts including the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Jay Z and Kanye West. 

Simmons’ long-running HBO series “Def Comedy Jam” helped make household names of comics including Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and JB Smoove. “Def Poetry Jam,” also on HBO, won a Peabody Award and a Broadway version netted Simmons a Tony®.  Simmons’ numerous big-screen hits include The Nutty Professor, which grossed more than $273 million.

Simmons has written three New York Times best-selling books, including Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, which was published in 2014. He has also launched a multitude of diverse business ventures including pop-culture website Global Grind, UniRush Financial Services, Simmons Jewelry, Run Athletics and clothing subsidiaries Phat Farm, Baby Phat, Argyleculture, and American Classics. Most recently, he has been building All Def Digital, a premium, multi-platform digital media company and entertainment hub, curating, developing and connecting a new generation of content creators to global fans. He also co-founded the digital marketing firm Narrative. 

A longtime champion of social justice and equality, Simmons was honored with the 2011 GLAAD Excellence in Media Award. He is also a leading animal rights activist, having been named PETA Man of the Year in 2011. His charitable endeavors include the Diamond Empowerment Fund, a global organization that supports educational initiatives for disadvantaged people in diamond-producing African nations, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which gives young people opportunities to create and appreciate art, and Foundation for Ethnic Understanding which he serves as chairman promoting understanding and cooperation between and among ethnic groups to help reduce the existing tensions among diverse racial and ethnic communities.

A native of Queens, NY, Simmons has two daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee.

Have you ever wondered how to find a balance between being an entrepreneurial beast, making tons of cash, while still making a difference in the world and keeping grounded spiritually? Is it possible to achieve a high level of material success and public notoriety, yet remain faithful to your spiritual values and principles? Not many people manage to reach for the stars while keeping their feet on the ground, but we managed to find a very special guest who seems to have figured out how to walk this tightrope of high performance, yet keep his heart and soul very much intact along the way. 

In this episode, we sit down with 'the godfather of hip-hop' himself, Russell Simmons, and learn how he's used yoga and meditation to not only build an empire but also to teach thousands of people around the world about the value of the yogic lifestyle through is many books and philanthropic ventures. 

You'll learn the history of Russell's spiritual journey, the most powerful practices he's discovered along the way, and what motivates him to keep pushing the boundaries of personal growth and enlightenment.

This one is dedicated to the pursuit of success. Inside and out. 

Pass it on...

Luke


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 EPISODE BREAKDOWN

  • How yoga has transformed Russell's life, and led him to open his own studio called Tantris in LA
  • How he first found yoga, and what technique he practices 
  • Sobriety, faith, and how he built the habit of meditation into his life
  • What are the biggest benefits of meditation?
  • On commercializing yoga lifestyle
  • What drives him  to share his life and message with the world, even though he’s achieved enough material success to just chill and retire
  • What he had to say to someone who believes that money and fame will make them happy?
  • The most important spiritual principles to learn and live by 
  • How being ‘rich' has little to do with living in a mansion and everything to do with living in a positive state of consciousness
  • How can someone avoid having material, or even spiritual success go to their head? How to keep the ego in check?
  • Lifestyle recommendations


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  • Episode #5: Emily Fletcher: Meditation Made Easy
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  • Episode #20: Mas Vidal: Ayurveda and Yoga as a Way of Life 
  • Episode #37: Guru Jagat: The New Age of Ancient Wisdom
  • Episode #45: Khalil Rafati: From Skid Row Junkie To Malibu Juice Giant

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CREDITS

Intro music: Jeordie White
Show production: Tatiana Melo
Sound editing: Dustin Smith


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