In this Episode
- [00:39]Stephan introduces Steve Sims, a best-selling author, sought-after coach, and speaker at a variety of networks, groups, and associations.
- [05:16]Steve shares the inspiration behind writing the book Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen.
- [10:46]Steve demonstrates how he promotes himself and his concierge business.
- [15:42]Steve tells the story of how his podcast, The Art of Making Things Happen, and his inner circle, Sims Distillery, was created.
- [22:25]What does Steve’s Speakeasy, a reverse-engineered event, look like?
- [27:12]Stephan talks about his incredible experience in one of Neil Strauss’ The Society intensives where they were trained how to avoid bounty hunters, getting kidnapped, etc.
- [31:19]Steve tells the story of how he achieved setting up an exclusive dinner in Accademia Gallery in Florence for his client who wanted to impress his in-laws.
- [37:05]Steve points out how asking for what you desire rather than what you feel you can achieve makes a huge difference in reaching your wildest dreams.
- [42:21]What is the true art of communication?
- [47:12]Visit Steve Sims’ website at SteveDSims.com, to check out his podcast, The Art of Making Things Happen, and his book Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen.
Steve, it’s great to have you on the show.
Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
How did you get into this business of hooking people up with the most amazing experiences that you might only be able to dream of?
Wow, I didn’t, is the short answer. I never wanted to do that. I’m not particularly approachable. I’m not the kind of guy that you meet in a room, and you go, “Hey, I want to go and talk to that guy.” I ride around on motorcycles. I’ve got eyebrow piercings, earrings, tattoos. I’m the guy you avoid. But the funny thing that happened was that growing up in East London as a bricklayer, I was poor, I had no money, I used to go into the pub, and all of us have thrown coins on the table to see how many beers we can afford. Then we would share them out with everyone else. It was just that kind of life. I realized that my time and they always say that you are the combination of the five friends you have. I always believe that you are part of the room you’re in. So I thought to myself, every room I’m in is full of broke bikers. I need to change the room, I need to change my environment, I need to change my surroundings, if I want to change. And so quite simply, I wanted to talk to rich people.You need to change your environment, mindset, and the people in your life if you want to change your life. Click To Tweet
This was back in the 80s and 90s. We didn’t have something as easy as Facebook groups to be able to do it. We didn’t have networking groups. We didn’t have like the Genius Network, Joe Polish’s group, that we’re both mutual friends of. We didn’t have any of those environments. So I physically needed to be in a different room. Weirdly enough, I found that room to be nightclubs. Now I couldn’t afford to go to nightclubs, but they did want a big scary doorman. So I ended up being the doorman for these nightclubs and just being able to talk to affluent people. I needed to give them a reason to talk to me. It started off that I knew where all the best parties were. I knew where all the best clubs were. I went from knowing where they were to doing my own little clubs, to taking over yachts and throwing parties on their mansions. I went from being a doorman to throwing kind of after-hours parties, to working for everyone from the Grammys, Kentucky Derby, and New York Fashion Week.
Wow. Then you ended up writing a book about it. What inspired you to write a book about the magic that you have been able to figure out?
I went from knowing where they were to doing my own little clubs, taking over yachts, and throwing parties on their mansions.
Look, when you’re in a room of wonderful people, wonderful things can only happen. So I was in a room, I chatted with Tucker Max, who’s a GN member. He started talking about writing a book, and I was like, “Oh, I could never do that.” And he introduced me to an agent. And the agent said, “Next time you’re in new New York, let’s have a couple of meetings.” We had a couple of meetings with coffee. I met this woman. And before I knew it, I know there’s a lot of authors out there that hated this story, but I never went out to write a book. I literally just went and had a coffee with someone, and then a week later, I got offered a deal. Now the deal was pretty low on the money, but Jay Abraham, we mentioned Jay earlier. Jay is a friend of mine just down the road from me here in Los Angeles. Jay helped me with the negotiation, shall we say.
So I ended up getting a very good paycheck upfront. I’m very heavily fun and loaded, and before you knew it, I had a book. And the dumb thing was when I realized I was paid, so I didn’t carry any worry about what am I going to do to make money I’d already got paid. My business was good. I thought to myself, “Well, this now gives me the chance to write the book on how a 15-year-old bricklayer from East London riding around on a terrifying motorbike can now be shutting down museums and becoming the Make A Wish Foundation for people with big checkbooks.” It gave me the chance to put that on paper. It became fun to try and get people to go, “Hey, you don’t have to believe all the bullshit and hype and the parameters and the fear that you’ve encouraged yourself to believe in. You could do things differently.” And so I wrote the book, but the dark thing is, I didn’t even have a website. I honestly didn’t know if anyone would like the book. So we did the book, released the book, did a launch party in a whiskey bar in Hollywood, didn’t do a Barnes & Noble or anything like that. And I didn’t have a website, so they phoned me up and said, “You got to get a web page up.” So we put up one page.
It just went crazy. People started buying my book and paying me to speak at events. The monster was unleashed.
For two months, nothing happened, and then it just went crazy. Everyone started buying it, and everyone started joining me on a Facebook group, we started a Facebook group. And then people were paying me to speak at all of these events, and then they were following me. Basically, the monster was unleashed, and then we had to kind of feed it with whatever we could. So we did an inner circle, Sims Distillery, a private membership group, we did a free one, An Entrepreneur’s Advantage, which is a free Facebook group, and just tried to feed the monster that we have created because people were now looking at it and go, well hang on a minute. And don’t take any disrespect with this. If you can be doing this, so can I. And that’s what I wanted people to be able to believe.
That’s great. Did you build the one-page website at BlueFishing.com? I hope you did because that would make sense.
It would make sense.
And while I was saying that, I was checking, and it is owned by a domainer right now. You should buy it.
One of my key things in life is never to do anything that enforces a limitation.
It was crazy. We didn’t put any thought behind it. Luckily, my name was available, Steve D Sims. I didn’t know if I was going to write another book. But one of my key things in life is never to do anything that enforces a limitation. If I opened up the domain, Blue Fishing, and focused on the book, instead of me, the author, then I’d have to do another domain if a second book came out. The sensible person says, “Well, you buy both,” but I didn’t have the chance to buy “blue fish” and someone already had. So I just put my energy behind pushing my name and having it worked from there. And it did. So the first page went up just on my name. And then we added other pages to it. We didn’t even do any SEO, and we didn’t do any pixelation. And then after a year, when we went from, I think it was–and I remember this because I went up to Simon & Schuster in New York. And they moaned at me because I had 16 followers on Instagram. They said to me, “For this to take off, you need way more than 16.” And here’s the daft thing. I had just done an eight-page article in Forbes, and this girl in Simon & Schuster looked at me, and she said, “That’s nice. But no one reads Forbes.”
So I went out and hired a digital marketing firm to start focusing on my social. And the social got up to about two and a half thousand followers. And it was all these kinds of memes and the statement and nothing that I would ever say. It just didn’t work. So I turned around, and I said, “No, no, no, no, no. I’ve just got two and a half thousand fans that I have nothing in common with.” So I got rid of them. And I just started posting, “So here’s me having a drink of whiskey in Poland.” I’d stick a picture up of it. Here’s me thinking this doesn’t work, and I have my kind of quote or meme. I would just throw that up sometimes very badly spelled. And it resonated with people. And so I looked at it this morning. It’s like 54,000 something on Instagram. So it just grew itself, and so I had to add some power behind it. Now I’ve got SEO, I’ve got pixelation, but I certainly didn’t have that in the beginning.
Good for you. You could still buy bluefishing.com. It looks like the minimum offer on that is $54,000. So I don’t know if you want to spend that.
I’ll just buy another couple of motorbikes.
Okay, good plan. So Robb Report and these other kinds of affluence media outlets and so forth, where do they fit into the picture in terms of trying to reach the ultra-wealthy and get some offer, some product, some service in front of them? Does the Robb Report even still work as a place to do that? How do you reach these people?The key to success in business is to go above and beyond what the client wants. Click To Tweet
Branding isn’t what you say; it’s what people say about you when you’ve left the room.
So the answer is yes. And no, it depends. Everyone needs media because there’s nothing better than voiding in on the credibility of someone else saying that you’re good. And this is where I come into my promotion and my coaching regarding don’t brand. You see, people try to set up a company, they set up a product, and then the first thing they try to do–and I say try–to brand the company a certain way. Now the trouble is people don’t understand what branding is. Branding isn’t what you say; it’s what people say about you when you’ve left the room. That’s branding. And so having good branding is also credibility. If the Robb Report says, “Hey, this is the most handsome guy in the world,” you’ve got credibility, straight away. You may not be the most handsome, but if the Robb Report said I was, you’d believe it. So you’ve got to understand what you’re doing with your product, who do you want to see your product with, and then go and tune your message with the appropriate platform.
When I had my concierge firm, and I was reaching the most affluent people, it was pointless for me to do a podcast because the podcast would have 20,000 subscribers, but my concierge company only had 93 clients, and they all happen to be billionaires. So a podcast was not where you would go to attract billionaires. You would go to conferences, conventions, and get the Ivy League, those things that are related to supreme luxury. Like getting an article in the Robb Report. What you do is you contact these magazines, and you say, “Interesting article on XYZ, I did something similar when I did ABC,” and you offer them. So you flatter them about what they’ve said in the past and then offer. The good thing about it was, the media is lazy. We know the media is lazy. And so if you can get content or a good writer to write an article about you, and you send it with your email, then you’ve done half the work for lazy media. And before the blog is in the media, people out, they go, “Oh, that’s not true. Bullsh*t. You know you’re lazy because you’ve got to get an article, not out once a month, once every hour, you’ve got to get something out there nowadays.”
I am stunned at how many people have a product and then market it in the wrong media.
So it’s a tough industry to be in. You’ve got to make it as the person trying to get the media as easy as possible for them to go, “Oh, I like that. Thank you for the article. Thank you for the Dropbox link of all the pictures.” You’ve got to do that kind of thing. So in the concierge business, I would go out, and I would get publications and TV like they used to be. Fine Living was a great program on TV, which was like the online version of the Robb Report, the life of the rich and famous, all those kinds of things. But now, the book is out there, and I work with entrepreneurs and try to get them to break the shackles and parameters of their self-belief. Now, I’m doing podcasts. Podcasts are, without a doubt, the best marketing platform for authors, influencers, thought leaders, and creative disruptors. So you’ve got to know the message you’re trying to produce and who it goes to. I am stunned at how many people have a product and then market it in the wrong media.
Right. I had this kind of epiphany a few years ago. I speak at a lot of conferences. And one of the things I did was I essentially trained my competitors. I mean, I do that through this thousand-page book. You have a copy of it. I think you gave it to a colleague. You said, “I’m not going to open that.” But anyway, this is a great service to my competitors. And then speaking at conferences, I’m also training them there. And then I realized, “No, I need my ideal clients and prospects filling all the seats.” And so I changed some of the session topics that I would pitch to conference producers to things like how to scale SEO across a very large website. Who has a very large website? Typically, bigger businesses have a lot of budgets, so that would end up filling the room with a lot more of my ideal client avatar. So that made a lot of sense. And it didn’t dawn on me until just a few years ago, and I’ve been doing the speaking circuit for decades now. Better late than never, though.
The money won’t be the question. The value will.
Yeah, I’m always amazed. I have clients come to me, and they go, “Hey, I’ve got this product.” When you look at the tonality and the message that they’re sending, they’re marketing to poor people. Now before everyone leaps up and wants to throw your toys at me, we all know what it’s like to be poor. We know what that’s like, we’ve all felt it, or most of us have felt it. So it’s a very relatable emotion. Not a lot of people know what it’s like to be a multimillionaire and not have to worry about the next year of your mortgage. So it’s harder for them to get into the mentality of millionaires. But let’s be serious. If you’re trying to sell something, why would you market it to someone that can’t afford you? So what I always did is whenever I got into marketing, and even with my courses, and even with my Speakeasy, my events that I do, I always market them to people. The money won’t be the question. The value will. So I always focus on value. But first of all, look at affordability. Very standard, why people market to people that really shouldn’t even be in your sandpit.
Yeah, good point. So you have courses, you have events, and you have an inner circle. That’s quite a bit different of a business model from a high-end concierge service that has 93 billionaires as its clients. How did that happen?
Two things. And I believe you probably know both of these people. I knew Jay Abraham before I knew he was Jay Abraham. Now I know that sounds funny. But I was working for Jay when he was a client of our concierge firm, but I never knew him as the mythical icon of business that he is. But as I got to know him, and then discovered that, by that time, I already had a friendship with him. So it was a beautiful way that he transitioned that way. But Jay used to say to me that I have a greater “I Can” than IQ, which was a polite way of saying that I go and try it–fail, but then I’ve learned how it worked or didn’t work. So we released the book, I put my effort and energy into the book. I didn’t put my effort and energy into marketing the book, and we’re celebrating now, three years of this book. So it’s happened fast, and it’s gone quick. But all of a sudden, I found that there were a lot of people that wanted to try different things on the menu before they ordered the chef special. And so you need an appetizer, then you need a shared plate, and then you need an entree before they move up.
So I gave him a free Facebook page, and I do a podcast, The Art of Making Things Happen, where people could taste me for free. They would understand what I’m saying, who I am and what I look like. Hey, if that relates, where do we go next to get something a bit more? And I realized many years ago if they don’t pay, they don’t pay attention. And so quite simply, I went, “Okay, this is fair enough. This is free of charge.” And like with any group, my biggest number is my free group, An Entrepreneur’s Advantage, which’s my biggest number, Instagram, my bigger number; 54,000. People will look at you, and people love what you have to say until they have to pay. And that’s fine. So I put a little group together, which is my inner circle; Simsdistillery.com. And it’s $97 a quarter or 300 bucks a year. But it’s a commitment. So once I see that you’ve committed to me by simply paying, then you get into a different area where you get more of me, you get some of the hidden secrets. And then I put an event together called The Speakeasy, and that’s two grand to attend, and you don’t know anyone who’s gonna go, you’re given no information other than the city and the hotel you’re staying at. And I never do more than 40 people attend. And that started selling well.
So then I was working, what do you need? What do you want? And I noticed again, a lot of people market forward, I market in reverse. If you want a cake, what color cake do you want? What kind of taste? And then I will make the cake. So everything that I do, I say to you, “Hey, you like following me? Do you like speaking with me? What do you want?” And they go, “Well, I’d like you to do live AMA with your friends,” “I’d like you to do this, I’d like you to do that.” Okay, I’ll do that, and this is the price ticket. And then people would get on board. So I always ask people, “What do you need? What do you want? What’s going to create the impact for you?” Rather than trying to say, “Hey, buy me because you can be great too. You can be bald too. You can be British too.” I didn’t want to sell that way. So I tried to solve rather than sell. And it’s just grown. Now I have these different little points to get into. And here’s the dumb thing, anyone listening to this should be doing what I’m doing. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. I just do it and try it. And I have failed at so many things, but I haven’t failed at this. These are working. If you’re out there and wondering, “How do I build up a community?” To start, ask the community that you have, “What do they want?” And then start providing that. You’ll find that you’ll get a lot more from word of mouth, it’s that branding that you need.I am stunned at how people have the right product, yet they're marketing it in the wrong media. Click To Tweet
That’s great. What would be an example of a speakeasy event that was memorable and powerful for those who attended?
I try to solve rather than sell.
I’m asking everyone out there to replicate this, okay? This is not proprietary. I’m not going to scream at you. Please copycat what I’m doing because it works. I decided to put an event on. And so I put a web page together at SimsSpeakeasy.com. And it just says Speakeasy on these two dates. And the next one’s in San Diego, the last one was in Nashville, the one before that was in Vegas, the one before that was in Reno. And on this, and you can see this, you should look up the website I am urging you to not to join, but to just see how cheeky it is. It literally just says the date, and then it says $2,000, and then it’s click to purchase. I don’t give you any information whatsoever. But then when you join, you get one of our team to contact you, “Hey, thank you, Stephan, for joining up. Why did you do that? And what’s your problem?” And we want to know what you need. And then I go to my friends. I go to make connections. And I wrap the event around you. So when we had it in Los Angeles, I said to everyone, “What’s the problem?” It was things like, “I want to write a book,” “I want to become more credible within my industry.”
And I’m not talking about thought leaders. I’m talking about people from plumbing. I’ve got a client that owns a big plumbing company, real estate investors, realtors, mortgage loan officers, authors, speakers. And I say to them, “What do you need?” And then I bring people in. So when we had it in Los Angeles, there was a lot of talk about, “How do I do more videos?” and “How do I make sure my audio is good?” I took over the Gower Studios on Sunset Boulevard, and we held it in one of Frank Sinatra studios. So I always take things, “How can I take it a bit far?” When we talked about new technology, I did it in Reno, and I took one for a private tour of Elon Musk’s Gigafactory. When we did it in Vegas, I had the Vegas police force talk to us about communication because so many international people go into Vegas. And it’s all different cultures. So how do you handle communicating? When we did it in Nashville, I took them into the Country Music Association to talk about how country music builds loyalty. And I took it into Mitchell Binder, who does all of the jewelry for all of the musicians all over the world, on how to create this loyalty of them that goes into jewelry. So I always have very interesting locations, and very interesting people, and the topics that matter to you to answer your problems. And there are never more than 40 people in it. And if you go to the website, you’ll see. It’s terrible for marketing. It just goes, “Here it is, on this day, pay me two grand, and we tell you nothing about it.”
It’s like buying a mystery box.
I always have fascinating locations and interesting people and topics to answer their predicaments.
Well, that’s why it’s called The Speakeasy. And when I first did it, I wanted to test it. Again, I wanted to challenge my credibility. So I said, “Hey, I’m going to do one,” this was two and a half years ago. Now, I said, “I’m going to do one in July, two days, and you chat with me for two days.” And I’ll have some friends show up, but I’m not going to tell you who. I didn’t know who was going to turn up. So I couldn’t tell you who. Two grand is not cheap for two days. So I needed to make sure I brought value in. And then I would phone up everyone and go, “Hey, you just paid me two grand, and you have no idea what’s going on. Why did you do that? What’s your problem?” First of all, they liked the fact that we were sculpting the event for them. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of events where I have to refund people because their questions don’t fit in with the people that are coming to the event. But it means that everyone in the room has a problem that I’m going to solve during those two days. And it was a client. It was an attendee that turned around and said, “Hey, Steve, this is just like a speakeasy. You get a password, you get a secret door, but you don’t know anything else.” And because people know I like whiskey, it just made complete sense. So we started calling it the Sims Speakeasy, and it just grew from there.
That’s cool. You pay attention to the experience. It’s not just the learning or the education. It’s an experiential learning journey. And that reminds me of one of the masterminds I’m in specifically, and it’s Neil Strauss’ mastermind. It’s called The Society.
I know Neil very well.
Okay, so you probably know about some of these Intensives. I’ve been in his group for seven years or so. I spoke at his second event for Intensive, and then I had so much fun that I stayed the rest of the event and decided to join and had been a member for seven years. One of my favorite intensives was when he brought in these experts on how to avoid bounty hunters and getting kidnapped and all this sort of stuff. You would learn how to start a car with a jiggler key, how to break out zip ties, how to pick handcuff locks and pick door locks and padlocks and everything. I learned all this stuff over a couple of days. On that last day, he had everyone compete in teams of three to avoid getting kidnapped. First of all, you started the day by getting kidnapped. You get hooded, put into like one of those white windowless serial killer type vans. And they take you to an unknown part of LA like you couldn’t see because you were hooded.
They were randomly tasing some of us too. Thankfully, I didn’t get tased; the guy next to me did, though. And we had to follow these clues and avoid the bounty hunters. First of all, we had to break out of the van. We had to escape out of the van. So they conveniently went and got a coffee and left us in the van handcuffed to the van. So we had to pick the locks and pick the handcuffs, get out of the van, ask for rides from random strangers. Oh, that’s another thing is that they took all of our money and credit cards and ID and everything. Cell phones, too, I think. We didn’t have any way to pay for anything. So we had to ask for money. I’d never asked for money before just going up to people and saying, “Hey, can I get five bucks?” You’d be surprised how many people are like, “Yeah, sure.” As long as you don’t look like you need it, people are happy to give it to you. It’s just the weirdest thing. So yeah, that’s an experience right there. That was pretty incredible. And my team came in the first place. So we beat everybody else.
Yeah. So I gotta ask you, like some of the crazy, outlandish, amazing, once in a lifetime experiences that you have created for some of your ultra-wealthy clients, regale us with some crazy stories.
Well, I’ve sent people down to see the Titanic on the seabed. I’ve had people Cosmonaut Training in Russia. I’ve had people learning to play the drums by Guns and Roses. I stuck another Genius Network member on stage to sing with the rock band Journey. I’ve had guitar lessons by ZZ Top. I’ve done all of those things plus thousands more. Do you want a story? All right, I’m trying to think of the conversation. So the story I can give you is going above and beyond what a client wants. That’s always the key now. We’re in a transactional world where we’ve got used to going, “Hey, Siri,” “Hey, Alexa,” “Amazon.” We’re on transactions now. And so I’ve noticed that if you can fulfill a transaction, then you’re seconds away from Amazon taking your job. What we’ve got to do today is everything that Amazon does, and then everything Amazon doesn’t do, and it doesn’t create a dream or a desire. It doesn’t have those fundamentals yet. So I had a client of mine contact me. I was working out of Rome at the time doing something with the Vatican. And he knew I was over there. So he contacted me, and he said, “I’m going to Florence. I need you to set something up to impress my future mother-in-law and father-in-law. Create a great experience for me. That was it.” When someone’s been working with me, they know to say as little as possible and just let me go. So it was that last word, he wanted an experience, and he wanted to impress his mother-in-law and father-in-law.
So what I did was I took over the Accademia Gallery Museum in Florence, and it’s the famous museum that holds inside Michelangelo’s David. The oldest, most iconic statue on the planet beats the Statue of Liberty for worldwide recognition. And so it’s housed in Florence. So I took over the entire museum from three o’clock in the afternoon till two o’clock in the morning. I set up a red carpet from the front door with rose petals on it, a dining table, some candlesticks on there. I had a string quartet in the corner. The client turns up, the doors open, they came in, they had the whole museum to themselves. And then, as they’re eating their pasta, I interrupted the string quartet. And I bought in Andrea Bocelli to serenade them while they ate their food. So I took what I was asked for, and I wanted to see how far I could take him. Now, the dumb thing is, no matter how far you try and fail, you always end up a lot further than the client originally asked you for. You’re never given what they asked for. Give them what they desire and dream of. And many times I fail, billions of times I failed, but I get something pretty good that overwhelms the client. This was one of those times when nothing failed. I wanted the Accademia Galleria. I got it. I wanted Andrea to turn up. I got it. It was just weird how everything I asked for in Florence, I got. And it’s Amazing. The more you ask–and I’ve got a second story that maybe I should help you with–but the more you ask, the more you achieve.Everyone needs media because there's nothing better than the credibility of someone else saying you're good. Click To Tweet
Now, when I wanted the Accademia, I didn’t know anybody within that museum in Florence. But some of my clients, very powerful people in Italy, had connections with the museum. So I got them to ask for me. And again, I rode in on that credibility. So the museum said yes, not because of who I was, but because of who had made the introduction. So when they said yes, they introduced me to the head curator to facilitate it. Now, what you need to understand is, I got this request on a Sunday afternoon from the client. The dinner was Wednesday night. So I had three days to pull this off. And I didn’t start making phone calls until Monday morning. Luckily, by Tuesday morning, I had the Galleria. So when I went up to the curator because I went back down by train from Rome. When I saw the curator, I’d be like, “Oh, so can we bring the table in at like six o’clock?” He would go, “It should be okay.” Now, I don’t want an “it should be okay” I want a “yes” or “no.” I can handle either one of those. But this “should be okay,” “could be okay,” “possibly.” I couldn’t put up with that crap. But this guy made my life hell for two days. So on the night, six o’clock in the evening, the clients were turning up at nine, the chef was getting everything prepared. The decorators were getting the table ready, and they laid the carpet out. They had got the rosebuds in a big box, getting ready for them to be put out. They want to put them out too early. They didn’t want them to dry out. The string quartet was practicing, Andrea Bocelli was in the corner, just getting ready with his son, who was on the piano. While this is all going on, and I’m watching this spectacle that I had put together at the feet of David in a museum, where I was wandering around to my heart’s content because I owned it for like six hours.
Go for the most outlandish, ridiculous, stupid result that you don’t think is achievable. But guess what? You might just get it if you ask.Steve Sims
I saw the curator. So I invited the curator to come over and stand next to me. He came over. He was a smaller guy, had his arms crossed, didn’t want to talk to me. And I got the idea he didn’t like me. So I said to him, “Oh, look at that table. Is that a beautiful table at the feet of Michelangelo’s David? Is that not the most beautiful table in the world?” And he, without looking at me, went, “Yes, it is. It is beautiful.” And then I said to him, “And look at this, we’ve got a string quartet. There’s gonna be ambiance music while the clients are walking around the museum that they are the only people in. Isn’t that wonderful?” And he went, “Yes, yes, it is wonderful.” And then I said, “I’m on top of all of this. We’ve got the iconic Andrea Bocelli that is going to serenade you while you eat your pasta. Is that not the epitome, the quintessential best way to have an Italian meal?” And he went, “Yes, it is.” So I had gotten an affirmation out of him three times. Now I wanted to give him a slap. So I looked at him, and I went, “So why do you think I managed to pull this off when it’s never happened before?” And this is where I was expecting him to go, “No one’s as connected as you. No one knows how to negotiate.” I wanted something like that just to upset him and make me feel like a bigger person. Yes, it’s immature, but hey, I’m an immature little prick.
But the guy turned around to me and simply said, “No one’s ever asked.” And it killed me. That fellow, I haven’t given you his name because I went from hating him for two days to being one of my dearest friends in Italy. And we’ve met so many times. We went out afterward and had a Florentine steak. But the point was I realized that I got all of these wonderful things because I asked. Many people don’t get what they want, because they failed to ask. When I came back to LA, I started phoning up the Pentagon, I started phoning up Harvard, I started phoning at Warner Brothers, I started phoning up Paramount, asking, “Hey, how are you doing? Remember when we did this five years ago?” They were like, “Hey, it was great.” And I was like, “I was just wondering, how come we did it?” The answer was the same every time. “Well, you asked Steve.” The bottom line of it is most people don’t ask for what they dream of; they ask for what they feel they can achieve. Believe it or not, they’re different. You should always ask for what you desire. Ask for what you dream of. And as I say, go for stupid. Go for the most outlandish, ridiculous, stupid result that you don’t think is achievable. But guess what? You might just get it if you ask.If you're trying to sell something, why would you market it to somebody who can't afford you? Click To Tweet
Wow. Okay, well, I want to go to the International Space Station. And I don’t want to pay 20 million dollars for it.
Well, that is the problem. I said to you at the beginning, if they don’t pay, they don’t pay attention.
Right. Wow, that’s great. So this client is still a client to this day?
Yep. We’ve got less now. Because every now and then they do a few things, and then they don’t want to do anything anymore. And let’s be serious. I’ve got two businesses now. One of them is a concierge firm that just gives billionaires really interesting cocktail stories and makes them look more interesting. And the other one is I coach and work with entrepreneurs on how to get them out of the biggest obstacle in their life, which is usually them. So I’ve got two different scopes that I work with now.
Right. So I’m curious what was the second story you were thinking about maybe sharing?
It was the asking. I wanted to give you the learning moment out of that story. I thought I love Florence for a start, and every time I go to Florence, I always end up going around David. And every time I walk around, David, I always end up looking behind me at a crowd of about 2000 people thinking, I remember when I was in here with an espresso and nine o’clock at night on my own because I owned it for six hours. So it’s always a very nice little feeling.
Yeah, that’s cool. So what are some of the secrets that you have learned that maybe you share in the book or you share with your affluent clients? Give us a taste of a couple of the secrets of your craft or the secrets of success.
No. Because I don’t have any secrets. How old are you?
I’m almost 50.
I’m 54 years old. So when you were 20 years old, and you wanted to go and play with your mate, what did you do? Did you knock on his door? Or you phoned him? Or maybe you sent him fax? You certainly didn’t throw a tweet up that you were going out for a beer that night. So the point is that we came from a generation where we only had like two or three ways to communicate with someone. We’ve now become saturated with million-plus ways of connecting. How many times have you had people come up to you moaning at you because they sent you a tweet, and you didn’t respond?The key to success in business is to go above and beyond what the client wants. Click To Tweet
Oh, that just happened like two days ago. I don’t even look at my tweets, or I don’t even know what I’m tweeting for one thing because it’s my team that’s doing it for me. And secondly, they don’t always let me know if I get a DM from a friend or something. And this is somebody like an acquaintance that I know in the industry. She sent me a Facebook message, which I did see, and she said, “You didn’t respond to my DM on Twitter from four weeks ago.?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I don’t look at it. I have no idea what’s happening on Twitter.”
Why is it now your problem? So I believe that there’s no secret. If there was a secret, I sure wouldn’t know what it was. I focus on stuff that works. And the only thing that works is direct communication. And communication is when I say something to you, and you say something back. It’s not when I go on Instagram and send you a pretty picture of a sexy girl. That’s not communication; that’s advertising. However you want to look at it, that’s plastering. So what I focus on is the true art of communication. What is a relationship? How to make it a win-win? How do you communicate with someone without selling them something, but by solving everything? So the bottom line of it is, let’s stop with this kind of like when you say to your team, “Oh, I want to get hold of Peter Diamandis,” or “I want to get hold of Dave Asprey.” “Did you contact them?” and they turn around and go, “Yes, I emailed them.” Emailing is not communication. It’s throwing a signal at them and hoping they respond. It’s the same thing as throwing a dog a bone. He may want it, and he may not. Connect, relate, relationships, communications, whatever happens on the planet, those things are still going to be required.
COVID is a prime example of something that’s happened to us that’s made us want more communication. It made us so badly want to get together. Now, with respect to Genius Network, there are three events a year. I go to each one of these events. I just want to go and be able to connect with other weird wackos that do things a bit differently. Now I’m not able to. And I know everyone’s going virtual, but I don’t want to look at a screen. And all of a sudden, my dog walks behind me or farts, or I’m asked if I want a cup of coffee. I don’t want the distractions. So we all yearn to connect with people. They say that COVID has stopped us from connecting with people. No, we stopped connecting with people. The second Myspace was invented. We started outsourcing how we connected with people. So do not buy the Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. It’s a seriously thinner book than The Art of SEO. Do not buy that book and think it’s going to give you secrets. It’s going to impale you with stuff you decided doesn’t work anymore. Trust me, it does. So there’s no secret pill. It’s just going to say, “Hey, why did you stop doing that?” “Why did you go invest $60,000 on a CRM program because you thought that magic pill would work?” And guess what, buddy? It’s not. Pick up the phone, video chat with someone, start connecting, rather than just shouting.
You know the weirdest thing is how since text messaging has taken over, people don’t phone anybody. They feel weird like they’re interrupting. So they’ll text first to see if they can call them. That’s just bizarre to me. I just can’t wrap my head around that.
But they do. And that’s the dark thing. The Matrix was always about the blue and the red pill. One of them kept you ignorant, and the other one lets you see the real thing that was going on. A lot of people today went for the ignorant pill. I can’t remember if it was the red one or the blue one. But they want to stay ignorant. Me and you, as you’ve just said, you look at something, and you go, “Why are they not doing more of that?” Or “Why are they stopping to do that?” I do a lot of branding. So I’ve spent a lot of years focusing on product placement. I can’t watch a movie now without seeing where things have been product placed. Where all the baddies are chasing, and they’re all in like GMC or Cadillacs, yet the evil person, they’ve got the labels removed. So you know it’s a Mercedes, but it hasn’t gotten a Mercedes logo on there anymore. But the GMC, they’ll go, “How do we get them? Let’s cut them off here. And then you’ll see him suddenly using the SATNAV or something.” Did you know the product placement for Apple?
Product placement is like both of our businesses when you’re in a business, and you suddenly start noticing things like if you go out with your mate on a Saturday afternoon, and he’s looking at a yellow car, and you think, “Oh, I haven’t seen one of those,” and the following day, all you’ll ever see is yellow cars. So it’s like Apple. Apple has this thing where they’ve announced that the baddies can never use an iPhone. So every time you see a baddie pick up a phone, it’s never an Apple iPhone. It’s also the glaring things with the way we communicate. You look at things, and you go, “Why are people not communicating?” you get to see what they’re not doing while they’ve taken the ignorant pill. So there’s no secret sauce that I have. I just tell people to value relationships, the value of being relatable, and value being true to yourself. I’m a bald British guy with piercings and tattoos and a blank t-shirt. If this works for you, and you can work with it, great. If not, move along. It’s a filter process. I only want people in my sandpit that I can play with.
Yeah, that’s a great kind of mantra or way of life. I like it. How do we get more information to our listeners about how they can join your inner circle, how to sign up for your courses, get your book, all that. Where should we send them?
If you want to find out about me and you don’t want to pay any money, that’s fine. The Art of Making Things Happen podcast with Steve Sims, An Entrepreneur’s Advantage with Steve Sims, all of these things can be found at StevedSims.com. If you want to grab the book, it’s called Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen by Steve Sims. If you want to have conversations with me, really get a chat with my friends; SimsDistillery.com is what we call my inner circle. It brings you into a private Facebook area where we do a lot of live AMAs with Jay Abraham, Jim Kwik, and some pretty amazing people.
That’s awesome. And The Art of Making Things Happen podcast, do you have guests on those or those just your wisdom every episode?
It’s a mixture. So we just had Sean Whalen and Quan Huynh, we’ve got Jay Abraham, Jim Kwik, Jeffrey Madoff, Joe Polish, but mostly it’s just me on there going, “Hey, I tried this in Florence, and it worked.” “I tried this, it failed, but this is what I learned from it.” So my podcasts have gone from 10 minutes to an hour and 30. So it’s me puking up from my head what’s going on with some really interesting people.
Very cool. All right, well, listeners, please take some action and amaze and surprise the people you love by going above and beyond and just simply ask for it.
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Checklist of Actionable Takeaways
Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond for the things I care about the most. Do this for my family, friends, loved ones, clients, and business partners.
Be vocal about what I want in life. Get that kind of stuff out there for the world to hear and help me out.
Choose my group of friends wisely. I am the average of the five people I am constantly with. If I want to achieve something, being in the wrong peer group can make accomplishing my goals more difficult.
Talk to influential people. Find out what makes them tick by reaching out to them for an interview. A podcast is a great way to get to know influential people on a personal level.
Have fun in everything I do. If I’m not having fun, it’s not worth all the effort.
Aim to become an authority in my niche. If I want to produce something people will keep trusting and patronizing, I must remain a credible source of information.
Utilize social media to widen my reach. Spread valuable information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to establish an inner circle I can call my tribe.
Invest in content marketing to present valuable information in several creative and strategic ways. Create content that has a higher chance of enticing my target audience.
Work on my outreach strategy. Reach out to people who can help me grow. These new connections may potentially become my mentors, business partners, clients, or good friends.
Provide what people want by first knowing what they want. Listen to my audience’s feedback and take their suggestions to heart.
Check out Steve Sims’ website to learn more about his events, subscribe to his newsletter, and grab a copy of his book, Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen.
About Steve Sims
Do you know anyone that’s worked with Sir Elton John or Elon Musk, sent people down to see the wreck of the Titanic on the sea bed or closed museums in Florence for a private dinner party and then had Andre Bocelli serenade them while they eat their pasta – you do now
Quoted as “The Real Life Wizard of Oz” by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine, Steve Sims is a best selling Author with “BLUEFISHING – the art of making things happen”, sought-after coach and a speaker at a variety of networks, groups and associations as well as the Pentagon and Harvard – twice!
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