Today we’d like to introduce you to Jade Simmons.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Mine is the story of an accidental maverick turned intentional disruptor. My original dream was simply to be a classical concert pianist, which was not an easy feat, but I made it onto some incredible stages. Over time, I began introducing storytelling into my concert experiences before storytelling was trendy and it changed the trajectory of my career. I also started adding in different genres, electronics, and interactivity which garnered me the nickname “Classical Music’s #1 Maverick”. Speaking became a trademark of my concert experience but also broke me out of the music world and onto corporate stages where my artistic background made me an instant authority on creativity and innovation. Today, I’m a sought-after keynote speaker who creates keynote concert adventures for some of the world’s superlative brands and organizations. As a Yamaha artist, a piano comes with me wherever I go!
I go into every engagement, whether it’s a keynote, a concert, a sermon, a book, or a coaching session, with the intention of disrupting the way my audiences think, believe, and move. It’s a type of disruption that moves us out of stale ways of thinking or familiar habits that block breakthrough. My aim is to cause us to understand possibilities anew and to go for more than we previously thought capable.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
In the beginning, when I was trying to solely become a classical concert pianist and I was doing it just like every other classical music graduate, that is when things were difficult. It was comparing apples to apples and the ones with the least blemishes won out. I wasn’t a great competitive player because I didn’t play perfectly. I’d started playing piano later than my counterparts and didn’t have the same resume or connections. But, I could play an engaging concert. Nevertheless, as a musician, it’s ingrained in us that our career cannot start until we find “representation”, meaning a manager, an agent, or get a record deal, so we wait around to be discovered.
Everything changed when I started discovering myself instead. I went from working to play Mozart like all the Greats that had come before me to designing a concert experience built just for me and the special type of audience who would want to take the journey I was offering. The bolder I got in my choices (be it in the music, the themes, or even my wardrobe), the more diverse my audiences became and the more acclaim I received. I now understand the importance and the freedom in what I call organic differentiation and it’s something I teach to creatives and those in more traditional workspaces.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
At Jade Media Global, we offer transformative live experiences and uncommon inspirational content. We change lives from our live encounters, to our books, to our social media because we are transformation-obsessed. The speaking industry is oversaturated with thought-leaders, authors, influencers, leadership experts, and celebrities, so we have had to work hard to make sure that “Jade Simmons” is synonymous with the following:
Wow Factor, energy, inspiration, entertainment, uniqueness, transformation and our key ingredient Over-the-top Customization.
When I started speaking, I brought the same work ethic as a 12-hour a day practicing concert pianist who paid excruciating attention to detail. I learned the ins and outs of every industry I was speaking to, had calls with their leadership to find out about pain points, absorbed their messaging, set Google alerts to know my clients were in the news and then I’d weave that info into my presentation. Here’s the kicker! I thought all speakers were doing that and boy, was I wrong! So many were dialing it in, barely acknowledging that each audience was different even if it was the same industry. In a very short time, this customization piece distinguished me and shot me to the top of many rosters. And this work ethic was when I was only making $15k per keynote. In less than a decade, we’ve been able to raise my fee to 6 figures per keynote because of the factors mentioned above. We now can say we offer transformation on the spot and that is priceless.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Pursue true purpose instead. Operating in the dead center of your purpose provides fulfillment even before all the goals are reached. Joy, happiness, confidence, and confirmation are on repeat when you know the unique outbreak you’re designed to have on the world around you. Watching that effect you have yield big results in life, family, and business is success.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Ultimately, success for me is knowing that I’m walking in God’s will for my life. I also understand now that success looks different in different seasons, which also means I can set a new desire for each season. Depending on what’s going on with my family, success may look like keeping the peace through growing pains, it may look like keeping my promise to be truly present when I’m home with family and not traveling. Success this year has looked like holding my team together through the biggest breakthrough season we have ever been in. I teach that breakthrough and breakdown (and sometimes, break-off) all go together and that was the case for us as a company in Q1 of 2023. Success was seeing them thrive in the challenging stuff, keeping morale up when some of their team members couldn’t keep up with the speed of the breakthrough train. Success is knowing that the awesome profit we have been bringing in is directly tied, not only to our tremendous hard work but to our tremendous impact on others. We rejoice when testimonials from perfect strangers come in, when we see lives forever changed because of the words we’re speaking, printing, and posting. Success is going to bed knowing that you have left the world better than it was when you woke up that morning. There’s no feeling like that.
What’s next for you?
That’s always a loaded question for me that I used to be able to shoot off an instant answer to. These days, I’ve figured out that the answer is “I don’t really know”. I have some inklings and I’m constantly on the lookout for confirmation that let’s me know whether or not my current ideas are NOW ideas. When I have that confirmation, I move in that direction even if I don’t have the whole plan laid out. The question I now ask myself is which type of impact is needed by us right now and then we lean hard in that direction. I do know that Jade Media Global will begin to have events of our own so that we can curate our audience’s experience from start to finish and offer the transformation we want to spark. My new book, Purpose The Remix, has been birthed to see more than a billion people uncover their true purpose so they can be about the business of offering the solutions they are uniquely designed to offer. And, I also want to do my part in igniting a more purposeful nation, one that lives up to its original purpose. Time will tell what that looks like. For now, I’m living as best I can in the NOW.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
PurposeThe Remix.com is where you’ll find all things Purpose including the book, ebook, audiobook, and exercises to help you get closer to understanding the power of your purpose. Learn more about my speaking activities and the possibilities we offer you and your organization at JadeSimmons.com. Visionary women of faith looking to walk in the center of purpose and finally realize the big, bold dreams on your heart, learn about our revolutionary communiverse called Designer Growth Club at Jadesimmons.com and in the Jade Simmons App.
I hang out frequently on instagram @officialjadesimmons.