Russell Simmons on Leadership, Rising Tide Project

Russell Simmons is working with Tide as part of the Rising Tide program in an effort to help people fulfill their aspirations. The newly launched Rising Tide program is all about giving young people access to information, tools, and experts who can help them on their path to success. As a result, Rising Tide is hosting an online contest, which will offer 18-30 year olds the unique opportunity to be coached one-on-one by Russell Simmons, along with a two-day, one night trip to Los Angeles with a friend, $5000, and a tablet device. Nine other finalists will receive a tablet device of their own, along with a random distribution fifty $100 gift cards just for entering.

We caught up with Simmons to chat about how he got involved and to get some of his philosophies about what it takes to become an innovator.

 On Rising Tide  

Tide had this idea for me to be part of this process, which is to educate young people on their potential—to remind people of their truth and the fact that their service is the key to becoming a good entrepreneur. I translate that from what is scripture to everyone, to what is practical. It lives inside them already, so whenever I tell them they already know. As an entrepreneur, being a servant is critical whether you’re a CEO, or even an intern. Giving people what they need—going out and finding a white space as an entrepreneur, finding what people need servicing; it’s not from watching what everyone else is doing but if you go out and see that people need clothing—urban graduates and people grew up on hip hop spend billions and billions of dollars on hip-hop clothing—there’s potential there. And that potential could build a brand inspired by the same generation that’s made all the Rocawears and Sean johns and Phat Farms successful.

So it’s the idea of the individual and giving people so much stuff that people don’t have that they need but hasn’t been done yet is there. You have to be able to look inside and say, “Here’s what I learned. I don’t have to be a follower. I can come from my own heart and my own inspiration about what I learned that people are missing.” It can be very simple. It can be something you’re missing as an individual. Follow your heart and have faith in your heart. Unfortunately, people aren’t taught that enough in school. People tend to be sheep and not leaders, so giving people that inspiration to become leaders taking control of their own lives and doing what’s right. Give people what you want to receive. And having faith that if you’re a good giver you’ll be a great getter. Giving people the confidence, faith and courage to be a good servant.

Go-getting as a Spiritual Practice

People are focused on results but the prayer is the work itself. What makes you happy is the work itself and that’s a spiritual experience. What makes you happy is not focusing on results. I think in the scripture it says, you have control over the work alone but never the fruit. Have faith in your journey and do your work and the work itself should make you happy, not the results. And you have to learn that. Giving is a blessing and you’ll get miracles placed in front of you. You don’t see those things when you’re focused on results. And when you get the results and you think that those can make you happy it can only make you sick or sad so put faith in giving.

Operating From Abundance

Be still and meditate every day. Letting your thoughts settle and then you start to see clearly as opposed to having your nervous system so involved and engaged in every second of your life. That’s when you have fearful or anxiety filled responses to the world, but if you’re calm and operating from abundance and a calm space then you can be awakened and be a good giver.

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