VIDEO: GENE SIMMONS ON YAHOO FINANCE
You probably know Gene Simmons as the fire-breathing, blood-spitting "demon" character in the iconic rock band KISS. You may also know Simmons as the somewhat spaced out father on the reality TV series Simmons Family Jewels, which ran for eight seasons on A&E.
You probably don't know that Simmons is the quintessential American success story: He immigrated to America from Israel as a young child, learned English from watching TV newscasters and worked a variety of odd jobs to help support his mother and put himself through college. Simmons also dreamed of 'making it big' in rock n' roll; few bands ever made it as big as KISS. No matter what you think of the music, you can't deny the success: KISS has sold over 100 million records and continues to tour the world 40 years after its founding
Beyond the marketing machine that is KISS -- which has over 3,000 licensed items, including a Las Vegas golf course and the KISS Kruise party boat -- Simmons parlayed the band's huge success into a series of far-reaching entrepreneurial ventures, including restaurants, marketing, TV and film production, magazines, acting, financial services, universal language translation and many more.
Simmons details his philosophy of business and life -- what he calls "The Art of More" -- in his latest book: Me, Inc.
Simmons discusses some these principles in the accompanying video, including:
Fake it 'til you make it: "Make yourself as big as possible," he advises. "If you don't feel it, if it's not in your inherent nature to be big and bold, fake it. There are other people...who have no problem stepping up."
Go big. Or go home: "Opportunity is not going to come to you, you're going to have to come to it," Simmons says. "It's incumbent on you to get up off your high horse, stop watching Oprah reruns and do something in your life."
Speak English: "It's not politically correct to say, but too bad," says Simmons, who's never been accused of being PC. "The world is judgmental, prejudiced and racist. We all make preconceived judgments and you have a very short window of opportunity to [make] your first impression, which are lasting."
Some of Simmons' advice is unconventional, which isn't surprising. But some of his advice may surprise you because it's probably something a parent or grandparent told you: "You have an advantage if you don't smoke, don't get high, don't take vacations and don't get married in your '20s," he says. "At the outset, all those important decisions you make in your life are either going to further you in your advancement to making a lot more money or you're going to be wrapping fish for someone."