BiggerPockets Podcast 409: Giving Yourself Permission to Go BIGGER: the “Bluefishing” Mentality with Steve Sims

BiggerPockets Podcast 409: Giving Yourself Permission to Go BIGGER: the “Bluefishing” Mentality with Steve Sims

61 min read
The BiggerPockets Podcast Read More

Today’s a special episode featuring the author of a book we can’t get enough of: Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen by the man, the myth, the legend – Steve Sims.

Who is Steve, anyway? Well, he’s a former bricklayer and bouncer-turned-entrepreneur who uses a unique mindset and blend of skills to creates once-in-a-lifetime experiences for billionaire clients.

Experiences like: getting married by the Pope in the Vatican, having a private dinner at the feet of Michaelangelo’s David statue, or going on an underwater tour of the Titanic shipwreck.

And here’s the thing: as you’ll hear in this episode, Steve’s not a silver-spoon, high society type. He’s just a regular guy who chooses to think and act differently, consistently. And after this episode, you’ll be able to “Bluefish” your way into more relationships, more private money, and ultimately more deals!

We talk about “leading with value” when approaching mentors… blah blah blah. Today, you’ll hear a refreshing new twist on that concept, and learn actual tactics you can put into practice to make more connections and level up your life today.

One final note: Steve uses some colorful language in this episode; please take note of the “Explicit” label, and listen to this one when the kiddos aren’t in the backseat 🙂

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast, show 409.

Steve:
That was the call and you need to get to the call in order to be able to provide the solution. I don’t care if you’re looking for a house. I don’t care if you’re buying a car. I don’t care if you’re buying a pair of shoes. There has to be the reason. You need the reason, pass the superficial, well, they’re the most expensive. Get to the reason. Never give a client what they asked for. Try to find out what they need, desire and lust for.

Pre Roll:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing, without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon:
What is going on everyone? It’s Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. Here for another amazing weekend edition of the BiggerPockets Podcast with my buddy, with my partner in crime, Mr. David Greene. David Greene, today’s show was unreal. I felt like … Unreal is the best way I can explain it. What do you think? Agreed?

David:
I never got to say during the show, but I was thinking the entire time, I get why Brandon likes this guy, because you excel at everything he was talking about.

Brandon:
Thanks, man. I don’t think I do, but thank you.

David:
You’re one of the best. I was listening like, Brandon blue-fished me this entire time. This was so, so good, but for people like me that don’t naturally think this way, this is gold. I think for someone like you, Brandon, you probably just get what Steve was talking about. This was very, very eye opening for me in a lot of ways. For people that maybe don’t excel in the social world, but you still want to get better at networking. You want to get better at negotiating directly with sellers. You want to get the best agent or the best contractor in town to prioritize your business over somebody else’s, this is something that almost money can’t buy. It is so good.

Brandon:
So for those who don’t know what we’re talking about yet, you’re going to listen to the show right now. We just got finished recording, which is why we’re all hyped up. Our guest today, his name is Steve Sims. So Steve wrote a book called Bluefishing and somebody recommended it to Kevin, our producer. Kevin recommended it to me and I’ve recommended it to like 100 people. Blue fishing is basically … You’ll hear it about today, but it’s the idea of making amazing things happen in your life. Not living with the status quo, but doing amazing things and it sounds super generic.

Brandon:
I’ll explain it … He will explain in the story a little more, but here’s a real tangible example of what I mean by this and this is not something I did, but something somebody did for me. Is Micah who … Micah is my, basically, head of finance. He’s like director of finance at Open Door Capital. So Micah is here in Maui and Micah reached out to me, knowing that I was obsessed with this restaurant called the Monkeypod here on Maui. I love this place. I go there all the time.

Brandon:
He sends me over a letter with a gift card from Monkeypod and some suggestion for my business. Basically like, here’s what I can do. He just stood out. It was a subtle way of standing out and that’s really what Bluefishing is about. In this subtle and not so subtle ways of standing out. So you can attract whether it’s, you’re trying to raise money for your real estate deals. You’re trying to convince a mentor to help you, to go out to coffee with him or go out to dinner. Whether you’re trying to convince your spouse about something. No matter what it is, Bluefishing is this technique of just standing out differently, and it will affect every part of your life.

Brandon:
Steve is an amazing storyteller. He’s got so many good stories and lessons. He’s amazing business guy. An entrepreneur himself and this show has everything to do with real estate investing and nothing to do with real estate investing. So you’ll see what I mean. I don’t know, did I explain that okay, David?

David:
It’s really good. The only thing I would add is, it has to do with thinking about how other people would perceive you and how they want to be talked to or what they need, and incorporating that into your ask from them. He made a really good point when he said, you guys got to listen for this, “You put yourself first by putting other people first.” I just thought that right there could sum up exactly what he’s been talking about and he’s going give a ton of really good techniques for how to do that, practically speaking.

Brandon:
So with that said, let’s get to today’s quick tip.

David:
Quick tip.

Brandon:
All right, nice and easy quick tip today. David Greene here. My buddy, David, is actually doing BiggerPockets webinars now. I have been teaching webinars for four or five years now, every single week pretty much. So David is alternating with me now on a regular basis. So if you are not yet checking out the regular webinars or if you’re just tired of hearing from me … And by the way, webinar is not like a podcast, webinar is like actual teaching, here’s how to do a certain tactic. David is teaching webinars now. Usually once a week, maybe every other week. So check out biggerpockets.com/webinars, to see which ones are coming up and you can learn from the man himself. So that’s your quick tip. You like that?

David:
Thanks, Brandon. That’s really good, and if people want to talk to us, this is probably the best way to do it. Because at the end of every webinar, I do a Q&A for as long as I can last, and people get to ask direct specific questions about their own problems.

Brandon:
So definitely show up there. Finally, that’s all we got, I don’t have anything else. I want to get to today’s show, because it is phenomenal. You guys are going to love it. Steve Sims is amazing. Make sure you buy his book, Bluefishing. He didn’t pay me to say that. I literally just think it’s an amazing book, and that’s why we bugged to get him on this show. Because I love finding great books and great people, and then just introducing them to the entire BiggerPockets community.

David:
One thing. Quick announcement. Steve uses some colorful language.

Brandon:
Oh, yeah.

David:
So if you’ve you got some children, you definitely … This isn’t one that you would want them to be hearing. Skip over it. Steve isn’t a typical BiggerPockets guest. So he’s not familiar with our podcast. This was our first time getting a hold of him. So it’s a little different.

Brandon:
Yeah. A little colorful language in there. So enjoy.

Brandon:
Mr. Steve Sims. Welcome to the show man. It is an honor to have you here.

Steve:
Thanks for having me.

Brandon:
So let’s dive into your story a little bit. Before we get into the book and what an impact it made on me, I want to go into a little bit about who you are. How did you become who you are today? Walk us through your background a little bit if you would.

Steve:
Wow. Wow.

Brandon:
Yeah, it’s a big question.

Steve:
Start off easy, won’t you? Look, I’m the exact same as every other entrepreneur on the planet. I swear if you cut us open, you’re going to suddenly find that there’s like a purple vein or some kind of neon cell in our blood vessels or something like that. We’re all the same, even though we may get to the destination by a different route. I grew up in East London as a construction worker with my father’s construction firm and I was just aggravated. Something didn’t fit, didn’t feel right. I didn’t like it. So I went off … Giving you the short story, I went off to just try and find somewhere that I could fit. I discovered along the way that entrepreneurs are disgruntled creative disruptors that don’t fit, and we don’t fit until we do. To quote Joe Polish, the man himself. He says, aggravated oysters make pearls, and that aggravation created to where I am now.

Brandon:
That’s cool, man. So let’s talk about where you are now. What do you do? What’s your business? What is this whole Bluefishing thing about?

Steve:
I get paid to make people more interesting. It’s kind of weird. So up until three years ago, my job, and probably give it a context from the beginning. Bouncing around these streets of East London, trying to find out where I would fit, ended me up on the front door of a nightclub because I was born big and ugly. From that pedestal, funny enough, I was able to see people, and I was able to see how they interacted with each other. Whether they were flirting, whether they were happy, whether they were celebrating. So I got to see humanity, which was quite interesting.

Steve:
From there, I realized I wanted to talk to rich people. So I needed to find a reason for them to want to converse with me. They wouldn’t have a conversation if I was parking their car, but they would have a conversation if I was sending them on a holiday or getting them to meet a celebrity or getting them into a party that they hadn’t been invited to.

Steve:
So I basically started throwing these parties, and I never settled. I never went for what I was capable of. I always, as I say, go for stupid. So I ended up planning parties at the back room of a shady nightclub, to ending up working with everyone from Kentucky Derby, the Grammys, the New York Fashion Week, Ferrari, and all these other things. So fast forward, three years ago, I got approached and they said, “Look, would you write a book, naming all the people you worked for?” Because bearing in mind, I had 93 clients at the time. All of these people that think they need 10,000 clients, I had 93, but pretty much all but a couple were billionaires.

Brandon:
Wow.

Steve:
So I always went for the quality rather than the quantity. Trust me, a couple of billionaires can make you happy, and make your bank manager happier. So I ended up giving these people amazing experiences like getting married in the Vatican by the Pope, sending them down to the Titanic, getting them a drum lesson by Guns N’ Roses. Getting them to walk the celebrity party with Sir Elton John. I was the Make A Wish Foundation for people with really big checkbooks. I got approached, would I release a book on this? Would I name names? Now, some of the people I deal with, they’re not celebrities, but they’re famous in their own little world and if I mentioned certain names, quite simply, I’d be dead before I knocked up me old fashion tonight. So I said, “No, I like living.”

Steve:
Then what they did was, they came back and they went, “Hang on a minute. We’ve heard a bit more about your backstory. How come a 15 year old bricklayer went from that, to actually working with the Pope and Elon Musk?” So then it became a how-to book and this sparked a curiosity in me. I thought to myself, you’re right. I am the dullest tool in the shed. I just do before I think. A buddy of mine, Jay Abraham, said I have a greater I can than an IQ. That validates you. I just got the bloody [inaudible 00:10:26].

Steve:
I just go out and get shit done and then worry about it or screw up and learn from that. So I thought, maybe this book can help people but I didn’t think anyone would buy it. So we got paid very handsomely at the beginning to do the book. I didn’t have a website, I didn’t have a podcast, I wasn’t on shows. Nobody knew who I was, other than quite simply some of the richest people in the world, which was fine for my mortgage but we just didn’t think it would take off.

Steve:
It did and it created this monster and all of a sudden I got people and some very powerful people going, “You just gave me permission to do something stupid. Something I didn’t think was possible, and I’ve just done it. Thank you.” I was like, my God. Why are people doing what really is just common sense? I believe you’ve read the book? I’m not putting you on the spot, but have you read it?

Brandon:
Yeah, very much so.

Steve:
Makes me furious. It’ll piss you off. If you haven’t read the book, and I’m not here to push it, but it will aggravate you, because it tells you all the stuff that you should be doing, that somewhere on the line, you convinced yourself you were so smart to stop doing and you’re missing out on all these golden opportunities. So it’s the kind of book that will piss you off.

Brandon:
There’s so many good suggestions in the book. I want to dive into some of the actual tactics here in a little bit. First, let’s take it back a little bit. Bluefish. What does it even mean? Bluefishing, where did that come from?

Steve:
So, I suppose we should give a little plug for the book. Otherwise, my publishers will [crosstalk 00:12:04]-

Brandon:
There you go.

Steve:
Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. There you go. We go that out of the way.

Brandon:
It’s awesome. I legitimately tell people, probably at least two or three times a week, to pick up that book. Because I think … Especially in our industry, it just like … It’s so common sense. I’ll tell some stories of how I’ve used it and how others have used it on me later, but keep going.

Steve:
Perfect. So I had this weird little thing that I was starting to take up these nightclubs, and throw in these private parties. What I would do is I would go through all the society pages to find out who was just celebrating a new job or who had got married or who bought a new house. You could find all this data, but back in the 80s and 90s, it was in the social pages of the press. Then I would contact where they worked and I would send a fax or a letter, inviting them to a party. Here was the dumb thing. They had to RSVP. By nine times out of 10, either … And you’re going to love this, fax in the number or just phoning up and just going, your name plus one and who you are kind of thing.

Steve:
Here was the daft thing. I didn’t know if I had to get a place for 50 people or for 500 people. I had no idea. So what I did was I thought, well, let’s get the RSVPs in, and then we get a place to fix them. So we never had a location. So we used to say, “Hey, we’re not going to release the location till a week before,” and everyone would be like, “Oh, that’s shrouded in mystery.” Not really, I had no idea where it was going to be. So I couldn’t tell you.

Steve:
Then what I would do was I would say that, “We’re very selective on who gets in.” We didn’t want to be handling checklists, we didn’t want to be handling … Because you always had to pay in advance. We didn’t want to be handling all the normal boring stuff, but I noticed something as a doorman, and this is important now. For those people with a pen and paper, this is your first nugget. As a doorman, you got one golden rule. Control your door. As a business owner, and I’m a coach and a speaker and it’s the exact same thing now, control your front door.

Steve:
If you can control who walks through the front door, you’ve relieved yourselves of 99% of the problems. That came to me as a doorman. If I saw a couple of guys that were a bit kind of, I’m not sure about these guys, but yeah, you can go in, I know that I was going to be dancing with them in two hours time because they were getting [leary 00:14:36] with someone. So control your front door and you remove 99% of the problems. I always noticed that people don’t get violent when they’re smiling. Now that’s a silly, little thing to say, but we started coming up with these stupid passwords. I literally just thought it was funny. I think this was my narcissistic quality, but I used to say to people on the fax, “I’ll let you know where it is but when you turn up, you’ve got to finish this sentence. One fish, two fish, red fish.”

Steve:
One of the other things I would say to them … We had three of them. So I’ll give you all three. We had three signs that we used to rotate to wherever our party was. One of them was named, two of the Teletubbies and the last one was named … And this got everyone. Now bear in mind, this was 1994 and I’m now in Hong Kong throwing these high society parties. We didn’t have Google. We didn’t have smartphones. We didn’t have any of that. This last one used to get people wound up. Name the lion out of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Brandon:
There you go.

Steve:
So people used to come up … And now what was funny, because people would come up to you and there’d be two meatheads on the door and they’d walk up to you and they’d go, “Bluefish.” You’d say, “Go in mate. Have a good night,” but because they were doing something that was so cheeky, they were smiling. They were humble. They were self-confident. Because what person walks up to a door and goes, “Tinky-Winky, Po?” That kind of stuff. We realized that it was good, because we would get people walking up to us going, “I’m here for the party.” I remember a really good one. We were in Macau at the time, and I had rented this yacht.

Steve:
So I’d rented this yacht, and it’s behind me, it’s going nuts. All the women are on it, the lights are going, everyone is happy. There is a queue at the bottom of the harbor and people are getting onto the gangplank and going up onto the party. This guy walks up to me and is like, “Yeah, I’m here for the party.” I’m like, “The party?” “Yeah, yeah. The party.” It’s four feet from behind me, in his view. I look at my mate and I’m like, “I don’t think there’s a party here.” “Hey, Collin, do you know about a party tonight?”

Steve:
Collin is looking at me and he’s like, “There’s a party down the road, I think, but I don’t think there’s one here. Are you sure he’s in the right place?” We were talking between ourselves basically ignoring him, and every now and then we’d be like, “Hang on a minute. Collin, so where’s this party you can go to?” The guy’s getting infuriated, but wouldn’t give us the password.

Steve:
So we blocked him. We said, “Sorry, mate. Don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no party here. If you could please move on. We’re just here.” Of course, there’s a lineup behind him. There’s a party going on. So the next people come on. They were thrilled that you were getting rid of that element from the crowd.

Steve:
So they would walk forward and they would go, “Hey, Bluefish” and you’d let them on. The funny thing is that … Do you know what the lion’s called out of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?

Brandon:
Aslan?

Steve:
Bingo. The amount of people who would come up and they’d be like, “I don’t know. Is it lion?” We were like, “No, it’s not bloody lion, you tard, but come on in.” Because they were so humble and having a giggle with it, as long as you tried, you were in. Some people would come up to us and say, “One fish, two fish, red fish,” and I’d go, [inaudible 00:18:08] purple fish.” We’d be like, “Yeah, it’s close enough. Get you in.” So we found that was just … And we didn’t expect it to be anything. In fact, I’ve got another element on this, but we found that it changed people’s attitude as they walked in. Some of our team used to say, “The people were walking into the party constantly smiling,” because they had had that interaction from the front.

Steve:
That everyone walked to … And when you walk into a party, and the only people walking into a party are the ones smiling and giggling because they couldn’t guess Aslan and you’d call it Robert or something, it just made for a greater atmosphere. So when we started getting really good at this party promotion, and getting these quirky kind of places, we actually decided to set up a company that specialized on this party. Again, key thing, I only invited rich people From a young age, I wanted to be the combination of the people I was in the room with. So why invite poor people? I knew what that was like, and that couldn’t get me whiskies. It was horrible. I only invited rich people, and you are the vicinity that you’re in.

Steve:
Remember that. I would always invite rich people. I had no care about setting up clubs or parties. Never had a care. My focus was to get in front of a rich person, and literally ask them this, “Why are you rich and I’m not?” That was it. I wanted a filled up Rolodex of affluent people, and I wanted to understand why. I was a curiously lavish kid and that’s all I ever wanted. Now, if I’ve got to get you a breakfast with Oprah Winfrey just to get you to talk to me, shit, I can do that, but I just wanted you to talk to me.

Steve:
The amount of benefit I got from being on their private jets interacting with them for two hours, I could have said, “How did you do that? Why did you buy that country?” These kind of conversations was just amazing, but when we set up the company to start forming a structure because we now had people and people were saying … People were asking us, “Do you do product launches?” I’d be like, “Product launching?” “Yeah, I’ve got this jewelry company and I’ve got this thing coming out and I’ve got this new line of clothing. I’m the Marketing Director for Puma and Adidas, and Reebok and stuff. Do you do product launches?” We’d be like … And we just thought a product launch was just a party, isn’t it? So we’d be like, “Yeah, we do that.” So we literally started marketing and branding product launch parties. So we set up a company called Trianon. Now, Trianon … You probably don’t know what it is.

Brandon:
No.

Steve:
It is the court of the Greek gods. So in mythology, when the Greek gods who, bearing in mind, were the almighty of the entire world at the time. When they had an argument, and they couldn’t agree, it went up to the Trianon, which was the court of the Greek gods, and you’re going to love this for precocious, the final say on everything. So we thought, can’t think of anything more precocious than that. We’re going to be Trianon. So we launched Trianon, and you know people would phone us up and they’d like, “Hey, I’m looking for Bluefish.” We’d answer the phone and go, “No, no, no. This is Trianon.” They’d be like, “Oh, sorry,” click and then hang up.

Steve:
It wasn’t until this happened about four times that one of our girls in the office turned around and went, “You keep hanging up on that Bluefish,” and we were like, “Yeah?” They went, “You do realize that you that’s you. Their talking about the password that you use. They think that’s you.” We were like, “Oh,” and we literally did a name change and then changed the name back to something that they had. So we called it Bluefish. So the word … Sorry for the long way around the answer.

Brandon:
No, it’s good.

Steve:
But Bluefish never meant anything. It was just a way of getting you into the right thing, and then something weird happened. People started making it an adjective. People would contact me and go, “Oh, I threw a little party for my kids the other day, and it was a good party, but I blue-fished the crap out of it. I was the king.” All of a sudden, it became a movement and we were like, “How the hell is this happening?” People would say to me, “Oh, I went to a concert the other day and I thought to myself, this ain’t good enough for me, not a bluefish here.

Steve:
So I managed to get myself backstage and here’s a picture of me with AC/DC or Taylor Swift.” People were using it as a way of not accepting what they’d always accepted as normal, and it grew. So it was this weird kind of high end, but an adjective of not settling for this word, which should be struck from the human. The word impossible. Have you ever noticed how people go, “Hey, I’m going to go for the impossible.” or “Reach for the impossible.” Have you ever heard anyone say that?

Brandon:
Sure.

Steve:
Does that make sense? Why would you drive through a dead end? “I’m going to drive through that brick wall.” They’re identifying that as soon as you say, it’s impossible, you’re right.

Brandon:
Yep.

Steve:
So the second you say, “Hey, I’m going to go for impossible,” it means, I’m going to go as far as I can here and then I’m going to stop at my own parameter. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. So we never allow that word to be in our language, and I think that’s what it was. Bluefish actually grew as a mindset, a mentality and more than anything, permission, just to do something different.

Brandon:
That’s what I really got. The book has a ton of tactics and lessons and obviously really good stuff in there. For example, your idea of, when you’re at a hotel, and taking the stationery from the hotel and just jotting a note and sending it to somebody that’s in your Rolodex, I love that. Again, we can talk about tactics here today as well, obviously, but it was just permission to think bigger, and to realize that life is so much what you make of it. So all of a sudden, when you realize that you can do cooler stuff, and you can meet cooler people or just unique experiences, why not? We just don’t think that. We think we have to live in this little … Like this is how I was raised. This is how my family does things. This is how life is done, and how business is done. I have to keep doing it like that. So it really opened my eyes to what’s possible out there, which I think is probably my favorite part of that book.

Steve:
I’m pleased. I’m always stunned. Because if I tell you or if I ask you, who told you had to be that way? There was no one that really came up and said, “You’ll do this, this way for the rest of your life.” It’s all those little murmurs that add to your baggage that hold you back. I’ve always looked … My wife jokes. I’ve been with my wife for 35 years. So she’s seen all my shit, and like all entrepreneurs, she’s seen the good times. She’s seen you broke, she’s seen you broke again, she’s seen you broker, and then she’s seen you rich again, and then broke, and then rich and rich.

Steve:
So the world of an entrepreneur is none that any intelligent person has to jump on but we do. So she’s been there, she’s seen it will come along and she always says that I’m a 53 year old, four year old. I’m always curious. When someone comes up to me and says, “Oh yeah, you can’t do that,” I never listen to what they’re saying, I listen to who’s saying it. Nine times out of 10, if you look at the source, you notice that they actually don’t want you achieving anything, because it will validate that they’re inadequate to do so.

Brandon:
Dude, dude. That is so true. I made a video a while ago. I called it the vegan effect. Because when people make a choice to go be vegan, which I’m not vegan, but I would say everyone attacks them because really, it’s a reflection on their own choices of feeling unhealthy all of a sudden. So, because you made a better choice for your life, I’m now going to feel bad about myself and I don’t want to feel bad about myself. So I’m just going to yell at you and make fun of you for doing that thing. I see that all the time.

David:
Yeah, we see that [inaudible 00:26:18] business and they share it with someone and their reply is always, “Money’s not all that matters to me.” That person never said money was all that mattered to them either. Why is that the first thing that you thought of saying. I think what is awesome about what you’re telling us, Steve, is you figured out a hack into the minds of other people. How to get in a backdoor when the front door is guarded, how to grab someone’s attention by being a little bit different, where everybody else is trying to say, “How do I do the same thing? Just tell me the quick, easy solution, the six steps to get from where I am to where I want to go as fast as possible,” but it doesn’t work, because everybody sees that all the time. You mentioned that you’ve spent a lot of time with rich people. Do you mind sharing what you’ve seen that they all have in common? Whether it’s the way they think, or a value system that they hold or maybe just how they approach problems in general?

Steve:
Yeah, I’ll be happy to and it’s the running thread and the running thread that goes through all of us. I’ll tell you a beautiful story, and I’ll do my first name drop of the day. Elon Musk. I did an event for Elon about four years ago, SpaceX in Hawthorne. Have any of you ever seen the movie Iron Man?

Brandon:
Sure. Yeah.

Steve:
The first movie with Robert Downey … Well, they’ve all been Robert but the first one, he actually walks through his rocket factory in the first movie. That’s actually SpaceX in Hawthorne, and they’ve got Iron Man at the front door of SpaceX because they actually used that factory for it. One of the people tinkering on one of the fuselage was Elon in that movie.

Brandon:
Oh, really? That’s funny.

Steve:
You can actually see it. So I had this event. We had … I think it was about 40, quite simply, of the richest families in the planet, was at this event. Peter Diamandis, we did something with Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic, and we had Elon Musk that we all visited at his location. I had gone up, they were waiting in a room at the other end of SpaceX and I had walked over, down the whole factory to get Elon to come over to greet me, interact with these people. I had two of my clients there that were, top of my top tier clients who had spent a lot of money with me. I said to them, “Do you want to come with me while I go and get Elon?

Steve:
Sadi, “Oh yeah, I want to do that.” So they came with me and I grabbed Elon and we started walking down SpaceX, and the guy … I’m next to Elon. So Elon’s on my right. To my left is one of my clients who’s just happy to be walking through SpaceX with Elon Musk. He’s just happy as a little kid in a candy store. To the left of him was an Australian client of ours that was just, had gone into hyper mode. Was just overly excited, and wanting to engage in a conversation with his new best friend, Elon Musk.

Steve:
So he’s like, “Oh, so what do you think of this then, and what about that [inaudible 00:29:26] and he is going like nuts. It was getting to the point that I was going to lean over to my guy, “Do you want to simmer down there a little bit?” And to control him a bit. When he turned around and he uttered this. Now, this was at a time just before NASA was SpaceX’s largest client. It was at a time when NASA was publicly ridiculing a privateer getting into the space industry. There was no place for someone that had no background in space engineering or journey, any of that. They basically … I don’t know if you remember, but NASA were really nasty on Elon.

Steve:
So my client turns around and says, “So how do you feel that NASA,” because there had been a report on this in the news, “Have actually taken on a social team just to ridicule any idea that you had within space travel?” Elon … This was the only response Elon had to either my two clients for the entire walk. Elon didn’t look at him. He didn’t stop. He didn’t slow down. He just said, “They’ll always laugh at you before they applaud.” That was it. Mic drop moment.

Steve:
I noticed the clients … The big powerful movers and shakers, they don’t care what you think about because nine times out of 10, you’re the one that wants to jeer. Now, do you remember when he released his cybertruck in downtown LA?

Brandon:
Yeah.

Steve:
He released a electronic bulletproof truck that was totally … Whether you like it, loathe it. I personally hate it, but he built something that was completely different to any other truck you had ever seen in your life outside of a Mad Max movie, correct?

Brandon:
Yep.

Steve:
Then he had it driven onto the stage with a non-combustion engine that was more powerful than any other combustion engine. He didn’t follow the parameters and the guideline of absolutely anything. Do you remember what the headlines were the following day of that truck release? Do you remember what everyone was talking about?

Brandon:
Was it the windshield? He threw a rock at the windshield.

Steve:
Now, if you walked up to any auto manufacturer this afternoon, at any car lot and threw a stone at the back window, what would you expect to happen?

Brandon:
You’re going to shatter any vehicle.

Steve:
But because Elon stood up and said, “These won’t shatter,” and it did, they completely forgot that every other part of that truck was unique. They tried to humiliate and laugh at him. Now, the thing was, he went back and went, “We learnt where this went wrong. It won’t happen again.” The only thing that they could try and push him off his pedestal with was the fact that, hey, it’s not bulletproof. Now, I’m sorry, but if you need bulletproof windows in your neighborhood, you don’t need his car, you need a new postcode. You need to move, but that was the only thing that they tried to find a way of laughing at him.

Steve:
So he went back and repaired it. He doesn’t care. What he does, and what a lot of the people that are in those kind of positions do was they don’t ever look at solving the problem. They look why the problem is there in the first place. That’s the difference. Most of us … And you spoke about it. You did, David. You both said it without realizing it. People look for a response or an answer or a solution that they can pay for. If I said to you now, “Hey, I’m going to show you, on a video how you can do XYZ, and over the space of the next six months, you would be able to do this.”

Steve:
You’d get, I don’t know, a few people to sign up, but if I said to you, “For 49.99, you can buy this program, and the program’s going to do this,” how many programs do you think I would sell? The answer is quite a lot, because people look to pay their way there from a problem. Why look at the solution for the problem when you first got to look at why the problem is there? When I coach people, the first thing I do is to take this information that I’ve gained for these people, look at you and go, “I’m listening to what you’re saying, but I’m not hearing it. I’m trying to understand, why are we focusing on that problem? Let’s go back and see why you’ve installed that problem there first.”

Steve:
Nine times out of 10, I have not solved the problem that they came to me. We’ve eradicated the problem from being there.

David:
That’s really good.

Brandon:
Can you give an example, like maybe if a business person comes to you and they’ve got some problem, what does that look like in the tangible world? If they come to you with a problem. Maybe it’s like, hey … I don’t even know what a problem would be. Like, hey, my business is struggling right now. [crosstalk 00:34:39]-

Steve:
Well, that’s always the same, isn’t it? I run an event called a Speakeasy, and we never tell people what they’re going to do or what they’re going to get out of it. We sell it for $2,000 a person. We max out 40 people. We’ve been sold out every single event. We’re doing our 10th one in San Diego, and the way that we work is you pay and then we contact you and say, “What’s your problem?” We’ve done this for 10 times now. 40 people in each one, and it’s usually the same five problems that people come up with.

Steve:
How do I work on this digital world? How do I get my message out there? How do I sell more products? How do I make more money? How do I engage my clients? How do I build up loyalty? It’s always a combination of those. So when someone comes to us, I always say, “I’ve never given a client what they wanted. I’ve given them what they needed and lusted and desired for.” I have to take what you’re telling me and then listen to what you need.

Steve:
Every single one of my clients has to get uncomfortable first. You have to go for the core. I got a little story, if you want.

Brandon:
Please.

Steve:
Have we got time? Are you okay?

Brandon:
Please.

Steve:
So, this will give you an idea and an indicator on how to not listen to what a person is telling you, but try to hear what they’re saying. So this was last year, 2019, was the end of my eight year contract with Sir Elton John, and I worked with him at his Oscar party in Hollywood. So you can imagine that was quite fun. I had an office at one stage in Palm Beach and I was in Palm Beach at the time. This was when I was running the concierge firm, and one of the girls contacted me. For some reason, in Florida, we only had girls that worked for us.

Steve:
One of the goals put a call through to me. She said, “I’ve got a guy on the phone. He wants to meet Sir Elton John. Can you go through with it, because it kind of sounds funny.” So I went, “Yeah, put him through.” So it came through to me and I went, “Hey, how you doing? I hear you want to meet Sir Elton John.” He’s like, “Yeah, I do.”

Steve:
I said, “Oh, great. Why?” He shut up. Why is the most offensive word in the planet. It’s also the most constructive because it really gets to the root of the problem quick. So the guy turns around, and he’s like, “Well, he’s a celebrity. He’s famous. He’s an icon. He’s on his Yellow Brick Road tour. He’s going to die soon. He’s wonderful and I want a photograph with him.” “Is that it?”

Steve:
“Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I want a photograph with him.” Where was the call? Where was the real kind of like nut of that? It was very superficial, wasn’t it? It didn’t feel right. So I went, “Hey, that sounds great. Thank you very much. Let me come back to you.” I didn’t keep his phone number, his email, nothing, because I wasn’t going to contact him ever again.

Steve:
A month later, now, we’re a month away from the Oscar Party, which has always held in February or early March. So this is like in late January, I get a phone call from one of my team and they went, “Hey, we got a guy on the phone who wants to meet Sir Elton John.” Before I said it, she turns around, and she said, “It’s not the same guy, but I’m wondering if it’s one of his mates, because you haven’t returned a call” I’m like, “Okay.”

Steve:
She’s like, “Can you take it?” I went, “Yeah, put it through.” So I was already pre armed that this is what it was. So the guy comes through on the phone and he says to me, “Hey, how you doing?” He’s all upbeat and jovial. I say, “Hey, how are you? My name’s Steve Sims.”

Steve:
“Great, I’ve heard of you.” I said, “So you want to meet Sir Elton John? Is that right?” He’s like, “Yeah, I do.” I said, “Why?” “Well, he’s an icon. He’s a living legend. He’s recognized by just one name, Elton and he’s going on a tour, that’s going to be his last tour. The guy is getting older in his life. He’s one of the superheroes and well, there’s … There’s things.” It was that last drift off, that last kind of, there’s things.

Steve:
So I went quiet, and I said, “What things?” He went quiet. And there was an uncomfortable pause. Then he turns around, he says to me, in a very low voice, similar to this tone. He said, “Do you know my dad used to drive me to school in the morning, and pick me up at the end of school. Every single day of my school life, he did this all the way into the high school and then I got a car and that didn’t happen anymore. But from being a little kid, all the way growing up, my dad would take me, my dad would pick me up. It was our thing.

Steve:
My mom would wave me out. The first car that we had had a cassette that we couldn’t eject and we didn’t really care, and it was Elton John’s Greatest Hits. We used to sing our lungs out on the way to school and then we’d jump in, put it on and sing our lungs out on the way back. Then he got a new car and this new car had a CD player and he went and bought Sir Elton John’s Greatest Hits and we would sing out all the way to school and all the way back.

Steve:
Then we got into high school, and this could not have been more embarrassing for me, but you know he would still do it and he’d pick me up from school and as I walk into the car, I can hear Elton John, just start and I would get in the car, and quickly slam the door, make sure the windows up so no one else can hear and I would stare out the window and refuse to sing. My dad would be singing his guts out to Elton John all the way home, as I’m staring out the window trying to ignore him.”

Steve:
He said, “Now, my dad died about 25 years ago, and every time I’m driving down the road, taking my kids to school or going to a business meeting, I’m out with my wife, and the radio’s on and Elton John comes on,” he said, “My dad’s alive for the three minutes of that song next to me, and I can hear that guy singing. I want to say thank you to Elton John for bringing my dad back for the random three minutes of the week.”

Steve:
Now, that was about seven years ago and still tears me up every time I tell that story because I can remember originally. I was on the phone to Hollywood and I got him introduced to Sir Elton John, and we were in a crowded party and they leaned in and security guards always lean forward when someone leans in. You could see them chatting, you could see the tear appearing on Elton and then you saw them hug. I knew the story. So I was already crying.

Steve:
That was the call, and you need to get to the call in order to be able to provide the solution. I don’t care if you’re looking for a house, I don’t care if you’re buying a car, I don’t care if you’re buying a pair of shoes, there has to be the reason. You need the reason, past the superficial, well, they’re the most expensive. Get to the reason. Never give a client what they asked for. Try to find out what they need, desire and lust for.

Brandon:
That’s so good.

David:
This comes up all the time in my business where I’m a real estate broker and you’ve got a buyer and they’re nervous, they’re not moving forward. You ask them, “Hey, what do you think about this house? They give you nine reasons why they don’t like it and then you notice 20 houses in a row, they’ve been able to find nine reasons on every single house. At a certain point I realized, I tend to take what people say at face value. They say, “I don’t like the color of the carpet.” Okay, let’s go find you another house with a different carpet.

David:
I end up playing this game that I call whack-a_mole, where they just keep on having objections and I keep hammering that objection, but the moles, they just keep coming. I’ve had to do exactly what you’re saying, Steve is I have to find out what is driving that objection? What’s behind it? Why are you coming up with reasons why you don’t want this house? There’s some fear there. There’s some belief you don’t think you’re worth it, and that was a game changer in my business when I stopped assuming that other people actually knew what they wanted.

David:
When they’re talking, they’re typically … It’s a cry for help. Help me understand what feelings are going on inside me and why it’s important to me to meet Elton John. Not everyone always knows. Do you mind sharing, Steve a little advice for people that are hearing this for the first time and maybe their eyes are being opened? Like oh, I don’t ask about the why behind the question, what type of questions they can ask or how they can look at this so that they can help get to the bottom of the people that they’re talking to?

Steve:
I can give you a direct accurate one directly into the real estate brokerage world. I’m very proud to have somehow been embraced in the real estate loan officer and real investment world, and I’ve spoken to some of the biggest stages in the planet in real estate. I actually … I have a client of mine, great girl, and she wanted to become … She was already the top realtor, but she wanted to amplify that. So I started working with her and she contacted me and she said, “I need your help on something.” I said, “What you got going on? This wasn’t about her marketing. It wasn’t about her web. It wasn’t about her voice or tonality. It wasn’t about any of these.

Steve:
It was a direct question on a particular client. I went, “Walk me through what’s going on.” She said, “Well, she contacts me and she tells me she wants a three bedroom on the street.” I said, “Okay,” and she said, “I’ve taken her to every three bedroom available on this street and she’s come up with problems on every single house. She said the street isn’t really that big, and we’re running out of houses to actually show her.” I said, “Well, the problem is not her for a start. The problem’s you,” and the bottom line of it is nine times out of 10, the problem is you and the client, they always say the client’s always right.

Steve:
The client doesn’t know what they don’t know. That’s your job. So I said to her, I said, “Well, you made a mistake. Walk me through the beginning.” I’m on about the first call. “When she said she wanted a three bedroom house on this street, what were the steps you took?” She said, “Well, I went straight to the MLS system and I put out,” I said, “No, you’re giving the client what they asked for.” I’ve always said don’t give the client what they asked for. Pull out your Sherlock Holmes and find out what they need, and those are two different answers. So I said, “You want to go back to and you want to go, hey, I’ve been showing you properties. I’ve been doing you a disservice. I should have stopped when you asked me about this street and found out why that street.”

Steve:
So she went back to her and she did exactly as I told her to do and she said, “I want to get a reset. I’ve done you a disservice. You said you wanted a three bedroom place on the street, and I forgot to break it down. I want to know, first of all, why is that street important.” It turned out that this woman had grown up outside of town. Not from a wealthy family by any means, but now she did have money. But her mom, when she used to go driving on the weekend with her in the car, would drive her down this street because this was the it street and where all the successful movers and shakers were.

Steve:
So in which case, this daughter now wanted to arrive. She wanted to conclude what her mom’s dream was, by living on the street that her mom has signified was where the movers the shakers, but let’s be blunt. The it street of 20 years ago, is not normally the it street of today. The address moved. So what she was trying to do was she was trying to arrive at a location, that had quite simply moved further on down the street. So once we signified the core reason for identifying that street, we could forget the zip code, and look at where the it locations currently were or were going to be.

Steve:
Hey, don’t play the game, get ahead of the game. This is where we grow. First property she showed her on an upcoming area, she purchased.

Brandon:
That’s so good. Oftentimes, a lot of people get into this world of real estate investing, entrepreneurship, business, whatever, because of this idea of financial freedom, like everyone wants to be rich or whatever. I’m always encouraged people to go deeper than that because if your only goal is to be rich, I want to have money, I see those people oftentimes are the ones that are jumping from thing to thing to thing for the next 30 years, they never actually become what they want. So I always bug people [inaudible 00:47:38] why? Why do you want to be rich? What does that mean to you? If I ask why enough time to myself, it usually ends up with, my dad wasn’t around very much when I was a kid, and I want to make sure I’m around for my kids.

Brandon:
That’s what matters. It’s like, really, you’re going to do that through … So why are you working so many hours to be able to get there? I had a reason for doing it, and the reason I’m not happy doing a certain thing is because I’m actually not solving the actual problem that I have. So I think just that’s a good practice for us all to get into, is just asking ourselves that question like, why do we really want this?

Steve:
I had a coaching call this morning. It was the second coaching call that I had with the client and the focus this morning was, are you looking to be rich or wealthy? It was exactly that style? Are you looking to have money, or are you looking at freedom? Are you looking to be able to making your own choices, or are you looking to take on bigger liabilities? Where is the cash versus lifestyle? We need to understand, are you looking for the money or are you looking for the life? You’re right, people get them confused.

Steve:
When I worked in Palm Beach, I met and I still sadly do. I know some of the richest people in the planet who are depressed. I had a client of mine, that literally went on suicide watch, literally went on suicide watch in Palm Beach, because he had missed out on getting the latest G plane. Now here’s the dumb thing. The guy had three aircraft already, and he had missed getting in the list for the deposit to have one of the … And it was the G55 or the G5, I don’t know. Fricking great jet that I can’t afford. He missed out on being able to get on the waiting list for this plane and went into a depression and his wife got him on a suicide watch because of that.

Brandon:
Wow.

Steve:
It’s crazy. You got to focus on what you want.

Brandon:
Why do you think that is?

Steve:
Because I think today, the problem is we chase other people’s goals and dreams and the social world is perpetuating that cancer. We look at someone on Instagram, and we go wow, that person successful because he’s leaning up against a green Lamborghini. He doesn’t own it. Now, I have motorcycles. I do not own a car. If anyone Google’s me, they’ll see me with these motorcycles.

Steve:
I went to … And I wish I would have recorded this. I still kick myself for not doing so, but I went down to a car park and I live here in Los Angeles, California. I had a meeting in Beverly Hills, I was parked at the underground car park and I’d gone down to get on the motorbike. So I’m just getting my helmet ready and everything, and in the corner of this car park, like three levels below the streets was this green, neon green Lamborghini and there were these two kids. Everyone’s a kid when you’re 53 years old, but these two kids, they must have been in their early 20s, really early, and another guy has got a camera and a light shaft on it.

Steve:
These two kids, kind of leaning up against this car going, “You want this, you want to be [inaudible 00:50:48],” they’re throwing out the hand signs and they’re being all cool and slim and suave and telling you about how what they’ve got to offer can get you this, and is this important to you as they’re leaning up against him. I’m watching these two little Insta gurus filming off that little video before they sell their 12.99 course and I’m having a little chuckle. I thought to myself at the time, I should get my phone and record this shit. I didn’t, but what happened next, made me regret the decision till the day I die.

Steve:
There was this big fucker, came out of the lift shaft somewhere and all you could suddenly hear was, “Get the fuck off my car.” He starts legging it and these two guys, quickly climbed down the light umbrella, shot out this door and went running as this guy came legging across this carpark to get him off of his car. The trouble is that social world is there to show you how inadequate you are, and that’s the problem we’re looking at and going well, I haven’t made it unless I am wearing the new Rolex. If I am driving the new Porsche, if I have got my girlfriend in a nice bikini on some Mexican beach or strolling through Florence, I haven’t made it till then. The problem is, the till then never comes because you’ll walk those streets of Florence and all of a sudden, you can’t hear the ching of your bank account suddenly exploding and you haven’t got paparazzi cameras on you.

Steve:
You’re just there, and you’re experiencing it, but until you videoed it going, “Hey, I’m in Florence and you’re stuck in Delaware and you’re not here, but if you buy my 49 course, it’ll still make no difference. You’ll still be in Delaware.” It’s that kind of world and we’re seeing it, but again, the successful people and me don’t give a shit about that. We’ve always said that if you’re going to communicate with me based on the car that I’m leaning on, you’ve got a problem to overcome before we can ever communicate.

Steve:
I went through this whole … It’s funny because I know a lot of these influencers and I have jokes with them, but quite a few of them, even though I still get on with them, have blocked me from their social feeds, because they’re doing shit that perpetuates this cancer. I started a whole series and it was really funny because I was speaking in Thailand. I had lived in Thailand for about two and a half years in my early years of doing all these clubs in Asia, and I’d never been up to Chiang Mai.

Steve:
My wife had always wanted to go up to Chiang Mai because she loves elephants. Who the hell doesn’t love a bloody elephant? So this time, when I got invited back to Thailand to speak, I took her with me because I said, “I’m going to get you with some elephants.” So we got her with some elephants, stuff like that and there’s a picture of me … And now I’m telling you, my wife loved it. A little fact for you, elephants look at human beings like puppies.

Steve:
Truthfully, the psychology of an elephant looks at a human being as a puppy and they find them funny to play with. There’s an attraction like that. Now, that’s fine, but when you stood next to something that’s about three ton, it scares the shit out of me. My wife was playing with his trunk, and it was lifting her up and it was quite scary to see but she had a great time. Me, I wanted to be nowhere near this thing. So right at the end, she was like, “You haven’t got a photograph with the elephant.”

Steve:
I’m like, “I’m fine. I’m fine behind the camera.” She said, “No, you’ve got to get one.” So I go over there and I’m stroking the front of this elephant, scared shitless. He’s going to like tramp me. It was a really cool little picture. It looked as though it was smiling. I thought laughing at me. I was nervous. So I actually posted that on Instagram and in the text I put in there, “I don’t own this elephant like you don’t own that jet.” I posted it and I had a lot of influencers going, “Steve, that doesn’t help.”

Steve:
I’m like, fuck it helps. You’re creating a cancer that are creating goals that not only can’t be achieved, they can’t be achieved because they don’t exist. Down the road in Burbank, which is like a private airstrip down here in LA, they actually have stationary jets that they rent out for photo shoots.

Brandon:
I was just going to ask if you knew about that, because I’ve heard of that.

Steve:
They absolutely do it. You can actually walk … And they can have a couple of cars out front. They can have a couple of girls out front, they can have a couple of girls inside. They won’t start the jet because the jet’s physically not allowed to start the engine, unless it’s going on a trip. So they can’t start the jet. So you have to sit there in like 110 degrees heat, get a photograph with a couple of light bikini models in the back, doing the old money shot, and all that kind of shit. Social world isn’t real. It is basically like a unicorn with three testicles. It doesn’t exist, and you shouldn’t be paying attention to it.

David:
That’s so good. I love the fact that you pointed out that so many people are chasing somebody else’s dream and I was curious, if you have any insight you can share on the difference and the effectiveness and the power of someone is chasing their dream, versus the person who’s doing what they think they’re supposed to go do. Oh, having a Lamborghini makes me successful. I need to go chase after that other dream.

Steve:
It goes back to my university days, being on the door of a nightclub. Because I left school at the age of 15 and some of my friends said they were going to college. I was like, “Hang on, we’ve just got out of school. Why the hell are you choosing to go back into it?” It never made sense to me. I would say that … I openly say I’m an educated man, because I’ve succeeded, and I’ve failed and I’ve tasted a lot, but that education, none of it came from school. So my PhD, my MBA, my whatever, my doctorate came from the streets and understanding on that.

Steve:
There was this time when I would be on the door and I used to look at the world. Now. I actually, for about a month, thought my life was shit. I’m on the door. I’m the guy you send back in there to get into a fight. How worse could my life get? I hated my life. Until I suddenly realized that I had a phenomenal perspective. I had a wonderful little pedestal in which to watch humanity. So when people would turn up in a car, I would ask myself this question. Are they driving the … Literally, I would ask this question. Are they driving the car, or is the car driving them?

Steve:
You would see them get out, and would they slowly put their jacket on checking out the lineup outside the club, did you see my new BMW M series? Did you see my new car? Have you checked this out, girls? Are they allowing them to be part of the problem, or would they just get out, speak to the valet boy and go, “Keep it somewhere nice,” and just cruise in?

Steve:
So I always … And that can be down to the watch. How many people do you see that are wearing a suit, but their left arm, their sleeve is slightly higher just so you can check out that watch? Are they wearing the watch for them or are they wearing it for you? So I noticed very early on the difference in how inadequate people actually felt they were to go that far to do it for you. I always thought to myself, I’m not going to do that for you. How can I possibly become someone that you will take seriously and give a lot of money to? What does that look like? I noticed something very, very early on, sadly. So have either of you guys got wives, girlfriends, whatever?

Brandon:
Yeah, I’m married.

Steve:
Okay. So, my wife had a headache in the morning and it’s like two o’clock in the morning. She ran in and she got the headache tablet and I said to her, “What tablet did you get?” She’s like, “Oh, the one that was in there.” The funny thing is, I realized that when you’re in pain, do you care about the marketing branding or packaging of the solution?

Brandon:
No.

Steve:
When was the last time that you had a headache and you went to that little toiletry shelf, and went, hmm, I don’t like the way that box looks? I really don’t like that logo. But if you bought your wife or your boyfriend or whatever, a piece of jewelry and it was given to you in A, a Cartier box or B, in a scrunched up Starbucks bag, which one would impress them?

David:
The box, I would assume.

Steve:
It would be the box. Yeah. Because the higher the price tag, you gain to something called aspirational marketing. Have you ever seen a fat, ugly person driving a Ferrari in an advert? No, because they want you to believe as ugly as I am, that if I buy a Ferrari, I’ve now got Miss January sitting in my passenger seat. They pull you into an aspirational area, into an aspirational world that hey, by you spending that amount of money on this, you will become … Again, they’re falsifying what will actually happen. You set about the difference in mentality when you chase, and I’m sorry about the long-winded way of going around it, but you cannot get to somebody else’s goalpost.

Steve:
You can get to yours. I wanted … When I lived in Florida, and I’d moved over from Geneva, I love motorcycles. Geneva had some of the beautiful roads, I could ride my motorcycle around. When I came over to America, I wanted some area that I could ride my road. I’d never use ride down the ocean fun but if I live in Florida, I can ride my motorbike down the ocean fun. Only took me 10 minutes after being in Florida and I realized I had to deal with humidity and stray-assed bloody roads. They didn’t have things like corners or hills in Florida.

Steve:
So I realized that I’d got it wrong. So I moved over to California, because I never reached my goal. Now I’ve got beautiful weather for 80% of the year, I’ve got hills, I’ve got ocean, I’ve got mountains. I can only achieve my goal when it was my goal and I knew what that goal looked like and it wasn’t somebody else’s. If you aren’t going to be impressed if I’m on a race bike, good for you. If you’re going to be impressed because I’m on a Harley, good for you. I’m not living your dream and as Elon clearly pointed out, I’m going to live mine.

Steve:
I’m going to do what I need to do and I’m not going to worry about the [inaudible 01:02:07] viewpoints and the criticism. I’m going to focus on my life, and you can’t, you can’t reach somebody else’s goalposts. You just can’t do it.

Brandon:
That’s really good, man. Really, really good stuff. So I want to … We got to get out of here pretty soon. Obviously, I don’t want to hold you up all day, but I don’t want to leave this discussion without going back to kind of where we started with the idea of the Bluefishing, to use it in that way. If people are listening to this saying I want to add more pizzazz, pizzazz, I don’t know how you say it, into my business, into my life, I want to do more creative things. Maybe they want to do it for a tangible reason. Like I want to build a better relationship with private investors who want to lend me money on future deals. We do a lot of this stuff within my real estate company, because we want to take care of our investors. So we try to find little creative, clever ways to do that.

Brandon:
For whatever reason, what are some tactical things, things either you’ve done or just suggestions you have for getting this? How do you get to talk to Elon Musk? How do you get to go hang out with Elton John, or even a smaller thing, how do you raise money from that guy down the street who you don’t really know yet? What are some ideas you have there?

Steve:
All right, perfect, and a great question. I’m going to give a shallow plug. The benefits may not. We have a completely free Facebook group called An Entrepreneur’s Advantage with Steve Sims and we do a lot of these discussions in there. The key is, if you can raise money by not communicating and building a relationship with someone, then turn over the clock because you’re on a count down before you’re out of business. AI is going to take your business, Amazon’s going to take your business, Siri, Alexa, these are all transactional services.

Steve:
If you are in the transactional business, then your shelf life’s coming to an end. What you’ve got to do is create and design. AI can’t do that, because you can only create in design, once you understand. You can only understand why you take the time to connect. You can only connect, when you start focusing on a relationship. You’ve got to form a relationship with someone who you’re doing business with, and you can only form a relationship by the following. I’ll give it to you in a little example, to cement it.

Steve:
So we’ve got Brandon and David and I say to you, “Hey, I’m having a dinner party this weekend. You guys, why don’t you come to the party?” What are the first few questions that you too are going to ask?

Brandon:
I don’t like to admit this, but out of the questions that popped to my head is, who’s going to be there?

Steve:
Okay, that’s that’s a common question. So you validated it. Okay, good. Let’s break it down. There was a reason I asked question. You want to validate it’s worth it for you by knowing who’s going to be there. If I tell you that, a couple of kids from my local neighborhood, and there’s loads of kids, and we’re going to paint faces together, stuff like that, you’re checking the validation for you. Give me another question you’re going to ask.

David:
I would ask … I don’t know how I would ask it, but I’d be trying to figure out, will I be the only person there that I know. I don’t like meeting new people. I would … If there was someone, like Brandon was going to be there, I would be really good. So maybe I would say, can I bring somebody or is there anyone there that I know?

Steve:
Okay, again, so you’re validating it for you. Give me another question.

Brandon:
The specifics of like where and when. I don’t know if you’ve already specified that in this example, but-

Steve:
And I’ve invited you to my dinner party. What other question would you have?

Brandon:
What are we going to eat? What do I wear?

Steve:
All right. So these are all selfish questions that benefit you. Are any of your questions benefiting me?

Brandon:
No.

Steve:
So by the time you’ve gone to the sixth question of what you should be wearing? Who’s going to be there? Is it worth it? Will there be any hot people there? Will I be challenged? Will I make money? How pissed off am I with how well it benefits you? This is the question you should have asked straight off the bat. Thank you, Steve. What can I bring? All right. Whatever relationship that you’ll get involved in, what can I bring to the table?

Steve:
That’s the question you should always ask. Funny enough, the ladies are usually better at it. Ask this question to your wife and girlfriend and say, “Hey, we may be going to a dinner party. What question would you ask?”

Brandon:
Dude, every time. Every time my wife says, “Well, what…” I say, “Hey, Josh invited me over. Josh and his family invite us over to dinner Friday night.” “Okay, great. What am I supposed to bring?” I’m like, “I don’t know.”

Steve:
So why the fuck did you not ask that at the first question?

Brandon:
She doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t ask that and I’m like, “I don’t know. It never occurred to me.” We have this discussion twice a week and I never remember.

Steve:
Every person that I’ve ever gone up to has not been … And I’m very much like David here. I am the most anti-social fucker in the planet. You will never meet me at a networking party going around going, “Hey, I’m Steve Sims. How are you?” Bullshit. I don’t do that crap. It’s not me. I’m not built warm and fuzzy, like David is. So I don’t do that. So whenever I have a bumping to someone moment, or a, oh, sorry about, who are you, trust me, this is planned with CIA precision. I get into that conversation with bringing something to the party.

Steve:
I will literally … In fact, I’ll give you how I got involved with Elton John, for eight years. I went to a party that I knew the head of the Elton John AIDS Foundation was going to be at. I knew the Elton John Oscar party was the biggest society celeb hang out every single year, the night of the Oscars. I wanted to make sure that I was on the invite list, but not only on the invite list, I was behind the scenes. So more importantly, to answer David’s question, I knew who was going to be there.

Steve:
What business relationships could I nurture? What introductions, what access could I get? This was my work night. This was my biggest work night every single year, and I needed the keys to the kingdom. I didn’t want to buy a ticket to get in. That’s easy. I needed to be the fricking gatekeeper. That’s what I needed. So I went to this party where I knew the head of the Elton John AIDS … And this is actually in my book. He actually read it and came up to me went, “Was that me?” I actually said to him, “Having a relationship was so important to me that I was not willing to take it to chance. Is that okay?”

Steve:
It made sense to him and he thanked me and do you know what the funny thing is? I’ve heard him tell stories or other cocktail parties, about yeah, that was me in the book.

Brandon:
That’s funny.

Steve:
So what I did was if you were in a star-studded party, and there’s a bar, there’s a toilet, there’s the usual things, there’s a stage, where do you want to be in that room? Let’s ask you that question first. Where would you position yourself in that room? If you wanted to knock around with celebrities?

Brandon:
By the bar maybe? My instinct says go hang out by the bar.

Steve:
So we’ve got you, Brandon. David?

David:
I’ve never spent much time [inaudible 01:09:42]. You know what I would do, is I would assume that some of them have to be like me, and they’re going to look for a wall to go put their backs against because they want to be able to see who’s out there and not get pinned down and I’d try to give them an escape route.

Steve:
So most celebrities in an event, the event wants them to be at the front. So like when you’re watching an award show, they pan the cameras around and what’s the first few rows always? Sort of celebrities, but the two places you want to make sure you’re at a celebrity party are the two places you can guarantee those celebrities are going to go. The bar and the toilet. So I went to this event. I saw the guy get up. He was down at the front. He was with Elton John, and he starts to walk to the bar.

Steve:
So I can take my time because I’m by the bar, and I can see him coming. Take my time, walked up, turned around, oh, shit, literally just bumped into him. “Oh, I’m sorry about that mate. I was just heading to the bar.” “Yeah, so am I.” There you go. We walked to the bar together. Planned, planned. We get to the bar. He orders a drink. I can’t even remember what it was, but I said to him, “What is that?” He said, “Oh, it’s a [salsa 01:10:53].” I said, “I’ll try it. I’ll have one as well.”

Steve:
So I’m now relating with the guy, and then I turned around, and I go, “Well, hang on a minute. Aren’t you so and so?” Now of course I knew this because I’d been studying him for six months. He went, “Yeah, I am.” I went, “Do you know, I really liked what you do, but I’ve always wondered why you didn’t do this to make more money at the event?”

Brandon:
Wow.

Steve:
I gave him a solution by identifying a problem that he hadn’t thought he had.

Brandon:
Without insulting him. Because you didn’t say-

Steve:
Totally. I didn’t say, “Oi, dick shit,” I didn’t … None of that.

Brandon:
Or look how smart I am. If I was you, I would have done this.

Steve:
None of that. I’m just curious. Now I’ve gone up to people before and I’ve gone, “Hey, how are you?” Now here’s the funny thing I always do … And you can do this. I will come to powerful people, and not always celebrities. There are other people that are way more powerful than celebrities. I walk up to them and I go, “Hey, how you doing? My name is Steve Sims. You don’t know me.” Now, have you ever been in a party where someone’s walked up to you and gone, “Hey, Brandon, how you doing?”

Brandon:
All the time. I have to rack my head to go, do I know this person? Where do I know them from? Oh, no.

Steve:
Now when you’re racking your head, does that put you in a place of serenity and happiness?

Brandon:
No.

Steve:
Or does it put you in a place of distress?

Brandon:
Yeah, complete distress and fear that I’m going to say the stupid thing of like, “Oh, nice to meet you. Oh yeah, we met last year,” then I feel stupid again.

Steve:
Bingo. Bingo. So if you walk up to someone, and you go, “Hey, my name is Steve Sims. You don’t know me,” do you know, it settles them down remarkably fast.

Brandon:
That’s so good.

Steve:
Then you turn around and you go, “I actually heard you were doing this and I really liked this. But I was wondering, have you looked into this so you can avoid that?” I’ve done this for people and they looked at their entourage and then they looked at me and they went, “Yeah, we did and we noticed that and we saw how that was going to trip us up. Do you know, what? That’s why we pulled out of the contract three months ago.” I’ll be like, “Oh, great, perfect. So you recognize it? That’s good.” I wasn’t able to solve that problem, because they had already seen it and got rid of it.

Steve:
I did that twice with two very powerful people and do you know, each one of those turned around and went, “But I like the way you think. Would you take a look at this other project we’re involved in?” “I’ll be sure to. How do I get a hold of that?” “Well, let me give you my deal. Let me swap out…” And all of a sudden, bring something to the party. I have friends, and I look at my friends and I look at each one of them and I go, “What do you bring to the party?”

Steve:
I’ve got people that could buy my world 20 times over and they help me with financial advice. They help me with business advice. I’ve got friends that couldn’t even afford to buy me a drink, but I like the way their head thinks. I like the way they smile. I like the way they keep me grounded. They bring something different to the party. It hasn’t always got to be money, but I am a selfish, self-centered fucker and when you’re on a plane, and the steward stands up and goes through the usual kind of, “Hey, if there’s a problem, an oxygen mask is going to fall from the roof,” when was the last time you heard him turn around and go, “Hey, put on someone else first. Make sure they’re okay and then put it on you.”

Brandon:
That never happens.

Steve:
No. So look after yourself, but the funny thing is you look after yourself by looking after someone else, and not doing like you two jackasses did, ask all the questions of the party that benefit you.

Brandon:
Steve, this has been awesome. Man, this has been an amazing. Where do people … Let’s remind people one more time. Where can they get the book from? What’s it called, and I guess any final thoughts?

Steve:
Well, the book is Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. It’s on the stevedsims.com website. There’s a really funny video there of my version of a book launch party, which is basically me just getting completely pissed. You can grab it anywhere on Amazon or stuff like that. I’m on An Entrepreneur’s Advantage Facebook page. It’s a free of charge Facebook page, or you can join my inner circle. It’s simsdistillery.com, or find out more about me on stevedsims.com. Just one M in Sims.

Brandon:
Very cool. I’m joining that Facebook group today. That sounds amazing.

Steve:
You should. It’s free of charge and it’s just cool people. Again, I check who comes through the door, and believe me the amount of people I decline, again, that’s my narcissistic joy. I won’t do it to you, even though you asked bad questions to my party, and I know never to invite you.

Brandon:
I’ll bring something nice next time.

Brandon:
All right, that was our interview with Steve Sims. Dude, that guy can tell a story like almost no one else I’ve ever heard. Like, so good. Then they drive back to this point, you’re like, oh, it’s so good. He’s a speaker I want to become. So good.

David:
That’s a great way to put it. I caught myself thinking, I wish I could be like this guy, because you talked to him for an hour and a half and it feels like it’s been 10 minutes. You just want to keep going.

Brandon:
I found myself just getting sucked into these stories and then at the end being like, oh, that’s such a good point. So yeah, super good. Like I said, everyone go pick up a copy of Bluefishing. It’s so good. It’s going to help your business and a lot of ways and he’s just … The whole book is just stories. He’s just a storyteller at heart, but all those things are what affects our business. So my question for you, David, is, how are you going to apply this thing to your life? Do you have any ideas off top of your head? How do you stand out? How do you make it about other people? How can we apply this right now to real estate investors listen to this show? Got any good ideas?

David:
The first thing that I was thinking about has to do with getting out of the daily operations of the business so I can focus more on this. I literally ordered the book via email while we were doing the podcast, because I thought, oh, I should be reading this and thinking of ideas. I know, what I liked was when he said, if you are in the transaction business, you’re trying to just make this as transactional as possible, you’re going to find yourself out of a job. Technology is going to replace you, and it’s very similar to what Lewis Howes had told us where he said, your best brand is yourself. But if you’re in the relationship business, you can never be replaced.

David:
So the first thing I’m going to be thinking of is, in every conversation, how do I start it off by saying, “What are your goals? What is important to you? What do you really want to see accomplished?” And turn every single conversation I have in that direction first, and then look to see how my goals can end up aligning with the people’s that I’m talking to.

Brandon:
That’s really good. I’m thinking about, what can I bring to the party? That was really good, because and I love the fact that, we didn’t come up with the right answer. I love the fact that he had to call us out on that. The right answer was, what can I bring to the party, and he’s right. 100%. It’s funny that he brought up how women are better at this because … I wasn’t joking. My wife literally … She scolds me for this all the time. Like, “Why didn’t you ask what we can bring?” I don’t know. I’m selfish and greedy. It’s just who I am.

Brandon:
So I’m just like, I got to start doing them more often. We’re doing it with like, raising money. We’re raising … We have this $30 million fund right now with Open Door Capital we’re raising right now, which is completely overwhelming in terms of I’ve never raised even half that much before. So we are … So I’m thinking, how do I apply more of this to lenders, to my current … One thing that we’re a big believer, and this is business for everybody. It’s easier to make a current, “customer,” we’ll call it for now. Or it could be a lender, it could be a partner, whatever.

Brandon:
It’s easier to get a current person to work with you, again, than it is to go find somebody brand new. So I’m thinking like, how can I take better care of my investors? A couple things that we do. Like for example, I use a service called Loom, it’s something I do already. It’s called Loom, it allows you to record a quick, easy videos, and it automatically captures the URL, so you can send somebody a video.

Brandon:
Basically, it’s a way for me to very quickly and easily record a video. So I actually send personalized videos to all my investors in my first two funds, just, “Hey, thanks so much for being part of this.” I try to get to know them a little bit over video. I can’t get on a phone call with every single one because I’ve got hundreds of investors, but at least a little thing, like that just makes me hopefully stand out a little bit more. Now I’m telling all my other syndicators out there, what I do, but that’s one tactic I’m doing.

Brandon:
We’re doing some other stuff, we’re sending out some actual personalized stuff to people. Even podcast guests, I want to be using these Bluefishing techniques to get some amazing podcast guests that would normally not want to do a show like ours. In fact, we have somebody lined up here in a few weeks that if it works out, it’s going to be the most famous guest we’ve ever had. And actually is very much using some of these Bluefishing techniques and the things talked about today. So, anyway, that’s kind of how I’m leaning on using this stuff, but mind-boggling stuff.

David:
I love how unique this information is. Investors aren’t going to hear this just about anywhere else that they go. There’s a million places you can learn about ROI, cash flow and spreadsheets, but this is the stuff that like Steve said, actually makes either wealthy people or successful people. It helps them become wealthy and successful.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s so true. Somebody mentioned a few years ago and I admit, I knew about this technique, and I don’t do it, but just gives you one more tangible thing is like, why not after every closing you do, you go buy a duplex or a fourplex, why not go send your real estate agent a nice gift and send the title company person a nice gift? Doesn’t have to be really even nice. It could just be a thing, like a thank-you card, or a gift card for a drink at the local restaurant that they like or whatever.

Brandon:
Just like everybody involved in the transaction, oftentimes we do these real estate deals and at the end of it, we’re so consumed with ourselves, we forget the 10 other people that were involved in the transaction that it would be really good to have their ongoing goodwill and relationship. So fostering those relationships every time, beginning, middle and end of a transaction is just huge. It’s all, I think stuff that Steve would support. So there you go. All right, man, we got to get out of here. So, cool stuff. I guess I’ll let you take it out.

David:
All right. Sounds good to me. This is David Greene for Brandon, can I bring a burnt cake, Turner, signing off.

Pre roll:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing, without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Watch the Episode Here

Help Us Out!

Help us reach new listeners on iTunes by leaving us a rating and review! It takes just 30 seconds and instructions can be found here. Thanks! We really appreciate it!

This Show Sponsored By

logo blue no tagline centeredRentRedi is landlord-tenant software focused on your success, with 5-star customer support, and features like mobile rent payments, syndicated listings, tenant screening, in-app notifications, reporting, and video maintenance requests. One unit? 1000 units? It doesn’t matter. With RentRedi, the cost will always be the same whether you’re starting small or growing your business.

And, for a limited time, you can get their annual plan for just $1. You heard that right, RentRedi is offering this special promo for our listeners. If you sign up with the referral code BPFALL, you can get their annual plan for just $1.

Knox LogoKnox Financial Knox is revolutionizing how smart landlords, homeowners and retirees generate wealth with the Frictionless Ownership Platform, which makes owning income property an effortless, market-beating investment. If you are a landlord or plan to move in the next year, you should speak with Knox, the technology company that makes owning investment property effortless and more profitable. The Knox platform uses data and automation to optimize your property’s investment returns.

Join the homeowners and professional real estate investors who use Knox to build wealth with income property, without all the work and cost that used to come with it. Visit Knox at Knoxfinancial.com/bigger where you can try their new wealth calculator.

Mid-roll Sponsors

simplisafeCheck out SimpliSafe Security’s DIY home security systems; an affordable, wireless, cellular, and customizable system that doesn’t require a contract!

Go to SimpliSafe.com/pockets to enjoy their 60-day money back guarantee.

Caretaker logoCaretaker is like an assistant doing all the drudge work for you on the ground except it’s really just a very carefully crafted system of smart locks, unique access codes and screening tools, built specifically for real estate investors who are either out of state or just don’t want to be schlepping across town all the time.

Check this out – they’ll actually send you a smart lock to try out for free and they’re giving Bigger Pockets member three months off. Just head to Caretaker.com/biggerpockets.

Post-roll Sponsors

MIP COLOR Straight no LLCMemphis Investment Properties locates and identifies properties in undervalued, stable neighborhoods. We have developed a system to streamline the investment process, enabling investors to secure the highest quality properties at the lowest price.

Visit memphisinvestmentproperties.net

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Steve went from bricklayer to bouncer to building a business that makes people’s dreams come true
  • What “Bluefishing” is
  • Digging deeper to find your customers’ true motivation
  • The one thing Artificial Intelligence can’t replace
  • Why it’s often better to remove – rather than solve – problems in your business
  • How to chase your own dreams, not someone else’s
  • Why social media “influencer culture” often leave you feeling empty and unhappy
  • Stories of working with clients ranging from Elon Musk to The Pope

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Steve:

Today’s a special episode featuring the author of a book we can’t get enough of: Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen by the man, the myth, the legend – […]