Russell Simmons Talks With Us About Yoga, Business Success, And The My Rising Tide Contest

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Who knew a detergent could be so helpful outside of the laundromat?

Tide, the P&G super soap mega brand, has launched a contest aimed at moguls-, artists-, and professional successes-in-the-making aged 18-to-30 years old. The Rising Tide Contest will give one winner two tickets to Los Angeles, $5,000, a brand new tablet (nine finalists will also get this prize), and the chance to have lunch with mogul, entrepreneur, and yoga devotee, Russell Simmons. For details and to enter, click here. You have until May 3rd. And after the jump, you can check out another clip (besides the one below) that gives a sample of what lunch with Uncle Rush would be like.

We had the chance to sit down for a chat with Simmons also, albeit over the phone. “It all depends on the individual,” he told us when we asked him what sort of advice he would give to the contest winner. “What you know to be true is true. People don’t really have faith because of all this noise on the outside. But all this promise is useful.”

We all know that Simmons is dedicated to practicing yoga, but it’s still a little jarring to hear him speak in such spiritual terms when you know he’s also so rooted in the business world. From Def Jam to Global Grind, Simmons has made a name in earthly enterprises.

“Smile and breathe,” Simmons says when he talks about the practice of yoga. “You have to have the clarity to be present. When we’re in the present, we access our creativity.”

And having that clarity is tied to his business success. So all you have to do is sign up for a class, stretch, breathe, find your deeper self, and the path to moguldom will be laid before you. Simple right? (Not.)

“These things are simple. It can be complex if you want to make it that way,” Simmons continued. “The goal is to give without expectation. Having faith in our journey.”

In addition, we have to take advantage of the modern conveniences that we’ve been afforded. For example, Simmons says he’s working on a television project focused on Frederick Douglass (he couldn’t reveal any further details). Douglass reached great heights without the benefit of anything even remotely like the Internet, where information is at our fingertips.

“It’s the choices you make… to change your position. Blame isn’t an option,” Simmons continued.

Speaking of technology, we asked about his new digital agency, Narrative, which he’s launching with his longtime business partner, Tricia Clarke-Stone. The goal, Simmons has made clear, is not to be an ad agency, but to help agencies with their work. Again, there was no mention of business success per se (until I brought up the whole making money thing), but rather the success that comes with following your path and a job well done.

“When you do a good job you start making money. Think about being smart and having fun,” he said. “One when you’re fully engaged can you be successful.”

And with that, I might dust off my mat and head down to the yoga studio.

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