In a business notorious for short-lived careers, rock legend Gene Simmons, at age 60, has been an international icon for more than half his life.
Yet this titan of entrepreneurism, like all of us, also had plenty of flops. When Peter Guber and Gene met in his enormous home office, which was more of a living museum of KISS-related products and services, Guber asked Gene his secret to success.
Gene didn’t mince words. “My mother’s story which she lived and told is my connection and filter to almost anything I do,” he said. “My mother was born in Hungary and at 14 years of age, she was in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. She told me stories of how she watched her entire family wiped out, how at age fourteen she was determined to survive and found something her captors needed – her talent of doing the hair of the vile commandant’s wife.”
Back stories don’t get much more negative than that. But instead of letting it bury him, Gene translated his story into a vow of determination. His personal mantra became: I too will survive, whatever it takes — even if I have to be a chameleon. “My life has been a zigzag of back and forth,” he said, “so I had to be flexible. But who I am is not the outside; who I am is the inside. I know where I’m going, and I’m convinced in what I’m going to say, what I am going to do, and its success.”
MORE ABOUT TELL TO WIN
To validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.