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Russell Simmons: Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Living a Balanced Life

As the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, Russell Simmons has helped introduce generations of iconic musicians to audiences around the world. A leader in media and fashion, he’s also noted for his holistic approach to health, wellness and business-building. The self-proclaimed ‘yogi businessman’ visited Goldman Sachs for a Talks at GS session to discuss entrepreneurship, activism and living a balanced life.

On the evolving relationship between artists and record companies: "What’s inevitable [now] is the artist will have more power and direct distribution. If somebody has 40 million social media relationships, they don’t really need you to speak to their consumers. So with that reality, if you want to be the company that artists go to for support, you need to find ways to serve them."

On feeling connected to your business: "Lasting, stable businesses require honest hearts at the core of them. If you’re building out something that you want to be meaningful and lasting, you have to have an honest perspective and understand how it affects people. Your footprint matters. Spirituality and having a core that is connected really matters, in terms of not only what you contribute to the world but how you feel about it."