In the business world, as in music, Simmons boasts an impressive record. A classic immigrant rags-to-riches tale, he’s worked tirelessly over the last 36 years to turn the KISS brand into an empire. His former blood-spitting “Demon” alter ego now graces more than 2,500 different products such as ketchup, condoms, coffins and credit cards.
In addition to KISS album sales (over 100 million units sold), Simmons earns $100,000 per speaking engagement, and has more than half a dozen booked for 2011 already. Among his other non-musical ventures are estate planning (he is a co-founder of Cool Springs Life Equity Strategy), books, magazines and a handful of television projects.
Reuters sat down with him recently in Toronto just before his keynote speech at Canada’s Advertising Week 2011. Here are some tips from Simmons on how to excel in business.
Q: Beside yourself, who else has it right in business today?
A: If you take a look at Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim — they don’t use computers and they don’t text. They don’t even talk on the cell. Impersonal social networking is fine for information. But you’re not judged like that. You’re not going to get a job that way.