Life Lessons from Gene Simmons |

Life Lessons from Gene Simmons

TheArtOf - Life Lessons from Gene Simmons

This week I was lucky enough to be able to attend The Art of Marketing conference; not only was the day packed with great speakers who provided all kind of insights and really got me excited again about the world of marketing, but Gene Simmons was the keynote speaker. Not being a fan of KISS I was not as excited about seeing him speak as some until a few minutes in to his session when I realized that this man knows a thing or two about marketing, business and how to be a success.

I don’t think anyone who has been in his audiences can deny that the man is very confident and dare I say a narcissist but he has a reason for it—KISS has made more money through licensing than any other musical entity. There is something to be said for that. He still performs to this day and has too many companies to even mention. He is in advertising, publishing, producing and has recently launched a chain of restaurants Rock and Brews (arriving soon in Canada).

Mentors will take you up the ladder, they will tell you what to do and where to go, so you too can achieve your dreams.

During his hour long talk Gene had us laughing (literally out loud) as he bantered with his wife, Shannon Tweed, who is very successful in her own right, but also dispersed many smart life lessons:

Find Something You Love to do – Gene called this a love of labour and tenderly spoke of his mom who you’d be surprised to hear is his marketing mentor. He told us the story of how she worked day and night sewing buttons on coats for a penny each. Barely being able to speak English she supported him and raised him to the success he is today.

Spread the Risk – Now this lesson is a potentially built on a false understanding that Gene has of the average persons day, week, year. He believes that most people don’t really work all that much. 7 hours a day, only 5 days a week and of course there are statutory holidays and vacation days—he believes there a lot of time for you to be working on another project that produces some income for you. I don’t entirely disagree with the lesson in theory.

I am sure you work more than 40 hours a week. I know I do! So your time may not be plentiful but if you have something you love to do and it can be monetized or you can be paid for it, why not fill your free time with building something for yourself?

Save Like a Squirrel – Squirrels know what to do with their nuts, says Gene, but we don’t. Squirrels spend the months before winter saving up for the time when the nuts are scarce. Simmons recommends saving 25% of your earnings if you can and investing it for the day when there are no nuts!

Find Successful People to Hang With – This one might seem obvious but not sure how many of us do it in practice. Find a mentor, someone who can coach you and introduce you to the right people. These successful people will take you up the ladder, they will tell you what to do and where to go, so you too can achieve your dreams.

Your Name is Your Brand – Take pride in your brand and in the work you do. Be on time, work hard, do good work and be somebody that people want to be around. “No reason you can’t be Disney without the overhead!”

Being Qualified is Highly Overrated – Gene rambled off lists of people who had vision and leadership skills, who worked hard but didn’t have the exact skills to make their dreams reality. Steve Jobs wasn’t a developer or a programmer.

Find a Partner in Life – This one is obviously a nod to his wife, who let out a loud snicker, when Gene mentioned he doesn’t even have an assistant. Simmons advises that we all find someone who is going to make us stronger and smarter. A person that will help us weather the storms that will undoubtedly come and also help us celebrate the successes.

Now, I mentioned that I walked in to the session not being a fan of KISS, I left being a fan of Gene Simmons. He has a new book coming out (he mentioned it several times), it might be worth checking out.

  • Enrique Lara

    Definatelly last GS book is a most read..