Below you will find an excerpt from Russell Simmons' new book SuperRich, which really struck a cord for me by discussing the culmination idea of working hard, smiling and success.
"For instance, last year I was approached at the Magic clothing convention in Las Vegas by a recent graduate of Morehouse College named Wayne Bell. Wayne told me that he had his sights on becoming an actor, but was concerned that he didn't have enough money to get an apartment in Los Angeles, where he needed to be in order to go on auditions. 'Uncle Russ, I really want to be the next Denzel,' he told me. 'What should I do?'
'Stop being a bitch and move to L.A.,' I replied. 'I've seen sixteen-year-old girls move to Italy without a dime in their pocket so they can become models. You're a grown-ass man, so you've go no excuse. Just get on the next bus to L.A., take the first job you find, and then put your head down and start working your hardest. Before too long you'll look up and you'll be standing in front of the cameras.
A lot of young people might have waved off that advice, but Wayne took it to heart and got on a bus to L.A. the very next day. Once he arrived, he got a job scooping ice scream at a shop in Beverly Hills. And true to my advice, he hustled his hardest at that job. He didn't complain about how much money he was making or act as if serving people ice cream was somehow beneath him as a 'Morehouse Man.' Instead he made friends with his bosses and coworkers, chatted up his customers, and served cone with a big smile.
Several months after meeting him in Vegas, I was at the L.A. premier for Lee Daniels' Academy Award-winning film Precious when who did I see working the room but Wayne! Despite the party being one of the hottest tickets in town, Wayne had managed to finesse his way inside, where he found himself rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. As I looked on proudly, he managed to strike up conversations with such stars as Oprah and my great friend, the director Brett Ratner.
But here's the thing: Wayne would have never been able to get so close to all those players if he hadn't been hustling from the moment he set foot in Los Angeles...The chain of events that led to his having a foot firmly planted in Hollywood all started with his willingness to scoop ice cream with a smile on his face.
Wayne's still a young man, but he already understands a secret of success that eludes many for their entire lives: Treat every second as holy. In other words, treat the moments spent scooping ice cream the same as the moments spent talking to Brett Ratner. Whether it appears on the surface to be a pedestrian or prestigious, tedious or tremendous, every moment must be infused with love and hard work. There is simple no other way to find long-term success in this world."