Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Q&A With Russell Simmons

Music and media mogul Russell Simmons has recently released a new book entitled Super Rich: A Guide To Having It All. The book, which is a follow up to Do You!, redefines success as a combination of consciousness and compassion - qualities that can be cultivated even if you don’t have two nickels to rub together.

Due to his busy schedule, I wasn't able to get a one-on-one interview with Simmons, but his publicist did send me the following questions and answers:

Your previous book, Do You! emphasized spiritual principles. Why did you decide to call this book Super Rich?

Russell: Initially I was going to call the book “Rich Inside and Out.” Then one day I was describing the book to my ex-wife Kimora Lee and she said, “Oh, so you’re trying to show people how to be super rich!” And when she said that, it really rang a bell. Because what this book is promoting is finding a way get past the accepted definition of “rich,” which is money and material toys, and accepting that true happiness and success comes from living in a state of consciousness where you’re connected to the spiritual richness inside of you. When you’re able to sustain that connection, that’s when you’re Super Rich.

Readers have seen a million get-rich-quick books. How is Super Rich different from all of the others out there?

Russell: Super Rich is different in that it doesn’t try to segregate the concepts of spiritual and worldly success. There are some self help books that adopt a very Machiavellian approach where God is never mentioned, while there are other books that are so focused on the spiritual that they are practically blind to people’s worldly needs. But my approach has always been to have one foot planted very firmly in God, and the other foot planted firmly in the world. I think this book reflects that sense of duality. I want people to see that far from being separate, there is a direct connection from getting rich in your heart and getting rich in the world.

One chapter is called “Being a Business Yogi” where you discuss only working on projects that you believe in. How do you choose your projects?

Russell: The first step comes back to this concept of service. If a project doesn’t strike me as something that will provide the world with a lasting, stable service, then I’m not interested. If it looks like it will provide a stable, non-exploitive service, the next step is determining whether I have a strong vision for where it can go. Because if I don’t have a vision for a project, or at least buy into my partner’s vision, then I’m not interested.

If readers can take only one thing away from Super Rich, what would you want that one thing to be?

Russell: To wake up from seeing the world through cloudy lenses and be conscious of their higher selves. To embrace their spiritual evolution. To feel comfortable making the compassionate choice in all situations. If people can be even just one degree more compassionate and conscious after reading this book, then I would consider it to be a great success.

Russell's new book is already a best seller, and is currently available in hardcover at or at

Book Details:
Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All
by Russell Simmons with Chris Morrow
Gotham Books
Hardcover, $22.50
208 pages
ISBN: 978-1-592-40587-9

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  1. Great questions for Russell. Congrats on your new book.

  2. Mr. Simmons is a deep individual. A good friend of mine (Leonid Khankin) who is the managing director for the Ernst Benz watch brand chose Mr. Simmons to promote his watch brand. Together along with the Chrysalis Foundation Mr. Simmons introduced a wristwatch that had " spiritual evolution" written all over it. His connection to life is very sincere. I haven’t read his book but it sounds like a good read.