290: How to Make the Impossible Happen with Steve Sims

By April 23, 2018Podcasts


Steve Sims says: "Most people don't do things not for the fear of failure, but for the fear of being laughed at."

Bluefish founder Steve Sims shares the approaches that enable him to create legendary experiences for his exclusive clientele.

You’ll Learn:

  1. How Steve got the Pope to drop by and bless his client’s wedding
  2. The magic question that unleashes possibilities
  3. How relationships are like oak trees

About Steve

Steve Sims is is the visionary founder of Bluefish: the world¹s first luxury concierge company that delivers the highest level of personalized travel, transportation, and cutting-edge entertainment services to corporate executives, celebrities, professional athletes, and other discerning individuals interested in living life to its fullest. He has been invited to speak to MBA students at Harvard (twice), has spoken at the Pentagon, and has been featured in major media all around the world: From The Sunday Times and China Post, to The Wall Street Journal. You can learn more at stevedsims.com.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Steve Sims Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Steve, thanks so much for joining us here on the How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast.

Steve Sims
It’s a pleasure to be here.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, you’ve got so many interesting tales with your clients and extraordinary experiences that folks have had. I was most intrigued if I could hear the tale behind how you got a client to get married in the Vatican by the Pope.

Steve Sims
Yeah. I get some strange ones.

I had a client that just said he only planned on getting married once and he wanted to do it at the top-shelf level. I asked him – I actually flew into Europe and I asked, “What does that mean?” and he went, “I’d love to get married in the Vatican.” We then had to do it.

Bottom line of it is we had no idea what we were doing. In fact I will whole heartedly say that I have no idea what I’m doing 90% of the time. I just make steps to find what needs to be done quickly and in this situation I knew some powerful people in Europe, I knew some powerful people in Italy, so I just started reaching out.

I went out shaking the bush to find out if anyone had any leads, spoke to a very important family in Florence. I said to them, “Look, I want to do this in the Vatican, but like everything I do, I want to see if I can push it further. I want to see how far I can do it.” They said, “Well, what you need is you need someone to introduce you.”

Believe it or not, it’s very, very, very cheap to get married in the Vatican, but you have to have someone allow you to do it and that’s the problem. Along the way of getting people to allow you to do it, those are the people that cost the money.

It’s like most things. You want to go down in the Formula One race in Monaco with Ferrari, the tickets literally say on them one Euro, but you can spend thousands upon tens of thousands to get those tickets. The Oscars have zero price on them, but they’re very expensive if people sell them on. It’s usually the people that get you the ability to have a yes that are more expensive than the venue itself.

I spoke to these people in Florence. They said, “We know some people who know some people,” and we started on the ladder of getting in.

As soon as we knew we had the opportunity for the Vatican, we wanted to find out what chapel we could use. As soon as they show you what chapel we can use, you push it and you go, “Is there another? Is there an alternative we could look?” You just push it and push it until you basically in the end of the road and you get the best possible chapel.

“Well, this would be fantastic. I have to approach this subject and it may sound silly, but what are the opportunities of-“this is a better way of putting it, “What needs to happen in order for the Pope to actually do the ceremony himself?”

You learn the lesson very quickly in my job, never ask a question that they can answer yes or no to, unless that’s the answer you want. No is the easiest word in the planet. Every language in the world can say no. It’s short, easy, and nine times out of ten, the knee-jerk reaction for every question you ask that’s even slightly out of the realm of normality. Don’t ask a question where they can give a gut response with no.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, well, I’m on the edge of my seat. You said, “What has to happen?” what did you hear? What happened?

Steve Sims
It was kind of “Well, you need to get permission.” I went back, asking people, “How do I get permission?” Then you had to do the walk of the Vatican. You had to visit the certain areas of the Vatican to make sure it could happen.

Then the chapel was chosen, the ceremony commenced, halfway through the ceremony, the Pope walks in and blesses them mid-ceremony and then leaves. The funny thing is, no photography was allowed for the event.

Pete Mockaitis
Got you. Intriguing. What were the steps that led to the Pope getting the message? By the way, which pope?

Steve Sims
Francis, the current one.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, the current pope. Okay, cool. Pope Francis, how does he get the memo and how is he inclined to say yes?

Steve Sims
Well, I’m a great believer in two things. No one ever got on the roof without climbing a ladder. I literally will have everyone be a rung of that ladder to get me to where I want to go. As we all know, ladders start at the bottom, which is one step.

I’m using that analogy to make it simple so people realize very quickly, if they haven’t already, there’s no super intelligence on the other side of this podcast. It’s just real – it’s an I can over an IQ. I won’t allow the fact that it’s never been done before to be of any significance to the conversation whatsoever.

I will ask someone that knows more than me, “How would you go about it? What would need to happen you would perceive for this to happen? How would you go about this step?” You ask five people that and you usually find they’ll be a commonality between say two or three of the answers.

Then you go, “Oh, can you help me? Can you introduce me to that person?” If I go in cold, they’re going to go, “Well, who are you?” I want to avoid all that conversation. “Can you contact them as someone that knows me and goes, ‘Steve Sims, startlingly good looking man, perfect face for podcast, can you help him?’”

Nine times out of ten I get other people to introduce me to that person and in fact I would say it’s probably my secret sauce, that way allows more people when I reach out to them they go, “Bobby was telling me that you sent people down to the Titanic and you do this for your own job. How can I help you?” You go, “Glad you asked that question. This is what I’m looking for.”

Sometimes you’ll get, “No, I used to be part of that, but I can’t now.” You go, “Fair enough, I appreciate it.” You may even turn around and go look, “You’re not involved in that now, but if I ever find something that would still be in your circle of influence, do you mind if I come back to you?”

Remember the relationship you make today, may not be one that can be utilized for two, three, four, ten years. But if you look at it for a quick gain, those are usually the weakest relationships. Always be open to see where doors open and keep those doors open.

I just literally got ahold of people that can make the right phone calls, make the right whisper in the ear. When I asked the Vatican to make the question, while they were doing that, I went to other people so that he would get the same request from about four different angles of credibility and respect so that I would be within that same model.

They say credibility by association, if I’ve got five people that you respect telling you I’m brilliant, then I’m going to be credible before you’ve ever spoken to me.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. I guess I’m wondering, with the message, there wasn’t any sort of magic in it as opposed to – or brilliance in terms of the offer, like, “Hey, Pope Francis, I know you’re big on mercy and the joy of the Gospel and forming missionary disciples and if you go here-“ there’s none of that, it’s just people making the introduction, right?

Steve Sims
Exactly. A lot of the time – it’s hard for me – I may know what you have an interest in, especially when you’re working with a certain level. We can brushstroke this with major celebrities, business icons from Elon Musk to Pope Francis. When you’re up in that level, the easiest way for you to get a no, is to contact these people and go, “Hey, how much is it going to cost me?” Money-

Pete Mockaitis
Right. It almost kind of cheapens it, like, “Oh, he is not for sale, Steve. How dare you?”

Steve Sims
Oh, you can guarantee you’re kicked off the line in a heartbeat.  You need to do your homework. You need to either go in there.

In the situation in the Vatican, which is still one of the wealthiest cities in the world, the Vatican itself, and as a country, designate a self-governed country, but the bank of the Vatican is one of the wealthiest banks in the world.

You can’t go there and go. “Hey, I’ll make this payment. I’ll wire the-” They don’t care. You’ve got to go in there and either find something they want or find someone they’ll do it for. I have no idea what my people have done to have the respect that they did from the Vatican, but I made sure that the people asking the question had the ears and the attention of the people they were asking.

I’ll do that with anyone. If I need to get ahold of Richard Branson, Elon Musk, any of these people, I will make sure that the people that I’m talking with have that credibility and respect in the sandpit that when they reach out, they are listened to.

Now, during that I need to come up with what’s the win here. It’s very much easier with everyone else other than the Pope. But I may find out that they’ve got a book coming out, they’ve got a project coming out, they support a local school, they support a local cause, they’re big on a certain gala in their hometown.

You can research things and go, “Hey, I believe you’re part of this such and such gala once a year in Dallas, Texas.” They can go, “Oh, yeah.” “This is what I’d like to do. You know I want something, but I’m going to tell you quickly what I can do for you. I can help promote that. I can help sell out half the arena. Would that be of interest?” Give them a win-win quickly that shows you’ve done a bit of homework.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s good. That’s good. Thanks for taking us through that pathway.

Maybe we need to back up a smidge. Could you give me a little bit of context? You’ve got a company Bluefish and a book that talks about a bit of your escapades with that company called Bluefishing. What’s the background story here?

Steve Sims
As we’ve already said, if any – I doubt by now anyone listening to this has thought that I’m a genius. That’s good. I’m a bricklayer from East London that went from working on the door to becoming a concierge for not the rich and famous, but the richer and unknown throughout the globe.

I’m a big deal in probably the top 3% of the world. But my website doesn’t even have a phone number on it. There’s no way of contacting me unless you know someone who knows me.

Pete Mockaitis
I feel cool just talking to you now. “Oh, how did Pete do it?”

Steve Sims
Oh, there you go.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, you’ve just got to know people who respect Steve Sims. That’s what it’s about.

Steve Sims
Yeah, you know people who know people.

It just grew. Then a couple of years ago Simon & Schuster asked me if I would do a book. I’ve been offered to do a book. I’ve been in the media many, many years. We’re about 23 years old now, so we’ve been in every kind of publication worldwide you can think of, but we never wanted to do a book exposing the clients.

But this time they actually said to me, “No, no, no, we don’t want you talking about what you do for your clients. We want to know how you do it. How do you build up relationships? How do you create a win-win? How do you consult luxury brands and solopreneurs with the same passion and detail.”

It was a great opportunity at the ripe old youthful age of 51 to just go, “I’m going to talk about a bricklayer, how he gets to do this with Elon Musk and the steps it takes to create an irresistible relationship and how to solidify a message to be completely transparent, to be impossible to misunderstand.”

All of those elements, because I’m a great believer that you can download an app now for everything, from how to wash your T-shirt to how to speak in Chinese, how to calculate the weight of a bridge based on a scan from a picture. You can get an app for anything now, but you still cannot get an app that will teach you how to communicate one human to another human.

People have actually called me a master communicator. I am not a gifted or master communicator. I am actually not a very good communicator at all, but I am looking exceptional because of how bad everyone else is getting at it.

Pete Mockaitis
Alright, well that’s a nice frame. Let’s hear it. We’ve heard a couple of the perspectives. Could you share a few more in terms of the core principles and favorite tactics?

Steve Sims
Do your research. If there’s someone that you really want to speak – I’m a great believer that it’s positioning. Everything in life is positioning.

If there’s someone that you want to meet, whether it be romantically, business-wise, mentorship… whatever, but if it’s someone significant enough that you want to get into a relationship with that person, that’s the key. I’m not on about getting a selfie outside a bar at 12:00 at night in Hollywood. I’m on about a relationship. If you want to get a relationship with someone, do your homework.

The internet has given us the ability for you to be able to Google anyone. It could be the principal of your local school, it could be the real estate developer on a new project, it could be the Pope himself.
You can Google what they’re interested in, where they’re seen, what they’re behind, what they support.

And then in doing so, you can actually make sure that now that you’ve seen that they go to a lot of horse events and that they have a great love of equestrian, you can start hanging out in those circles.

Then when you see them, you can make sure you go to the bar or you go to the restaurant, you sidle up next to them, and as you’re doing something you can go, “Hey, listen. That’s a nice watch. Oh, you’re so and so. Didn’t I hear somewhere that you’re a collector of watches?” Drop a nugget in. There’s nothing easier to get someone talking than when they’re talking about themselves or something they love, which in some cases is the same thing.

If you can get them talking about or say, “Hey, I saw you in a magazine and you were with a Porsche. Why do you like vintage Porsches? I saw you were doing something with this vineyard. I like whiskey. Why do you like wine?”

It’s going to be for two seconds while we’re getting a drink. Just do something like that to get them. It shows a commonality. It shows that you’re actually being completely open. You’re not trying to go, “Oh, I didn’t recognize. Oh I didn’t know who you were.” Don’t be an idiot. You stood there. You’re talking to the guy. They probably think that you’re sniffing around in any case, so say to them, “Oh, you’re so-and-so.”

Be very transparent but be entertaining. I’m a great believer in all communication has to have the three E’s. You have to be engaging. You have to be educational. You have to entertaining. If you can have those three, in any communication, whether it be a podcast or chatting up a person at the bar, if you’ve got those three things in there, then you’re going to do well.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, very nice. In the book you lay out a few particular elements such as the password. Could you unpack that a little bit in terms of what do you mean by password and then how do we get it?

Steve Sims
Yeah, this was a huge intelligent idea of ours. We started throwing parties in Hong Kong, me and this fellow meathead that I worked on the door with. We invited rich people to come to them because guess what? Poor people can’t afford to. Quite simply I invited rich people because I could make money out of rich people.

I thought to myself, but I don’t want to be inviting problems to the club. I don’t want some arrogant git turning up at the door and demeaning everyone and being disrespectful.

What we did was we came up with this really silly, and it is silly, little principle, this little game. What we would do, and this is back in the ‘90s, the age of the fax. We would fax them where the location of the bar was, what time the party started and the password.

What we thought was if you’re humble and solid enough, confident enough to quote a silly phrase, that’s the person we want. We want the people that are up for a laugh. We don’t want the arrogant person turn up going, “I’m on the list. Let me in. You’re wasting my time.” I want the people that are there for a bit of a giggle.

We used to make up the stupidest passwords. We had finish this sentence, ‘One fish, two fish, red fish …’ so people would walk up to us and go, “Blue fish,” and we’d let them in. That’s where the company name came from. That’s how deep we are. It literally came from a password that we used repetitively.

But we would also come up with one and say to people, “Name two of the Telletubbies.” You’d have the head of an airline come up to you or the owner of a bank and go, “Tinky-Winky, Po,” and we’d say, “In you go. Enjoy your night.” It was just a really good way.

We got people turning up going, “Oh, I don’t know the password. Let me in.” We’d stand there and we’d be like, “There’s no party here, mate. No, no. Sorry, you must be in the wrong place.” The whole party is going off behind us. There’s people in a line and we would just dismiss them and get rid of them. Then the next person would step in and go, “Tinky-Winky.” We’d go, “In you go. Enjoy yourself.”

We noticed that if we had a password, if we had a hurdle, if we had something that you had to do, even if it made you slightly uncomfortable, you were more committed and loyal once you were on the other side of it.

We’ve had passwords for many of our events. I’ve worked with Sir Elton John at his Oscar party every year. We have a pre-party on a Friday. We use the exact same thing. We have a password.

We got these people from all over the world in black ties and ball gowns that have paid a serious amount of money, a small car, to go to one of my events, and they’re not getting in the door still unless they’re humble enough to come and say this funny password and we let them in. It’s all a state of mind and a position.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s fascinating. This reminds me. I had a client who will remain nameless. He was a psychiatry student. He would have parties in which at the front of the door, he would have a handful of pills and we would say, “Well, you’ve got to take one of the pills to come into the party.” Folks were like, “Uh, no thanks,” would go away verse the person who did were, they’re like, “This is an adventurous, bold person. That’s what we’re going here for.”

Now all of the pills were placebos and that could probably get him in some trouble with the review board, so he’ll remain nameless. But it has a similar effect for good or for evil.

Steve Sims

Pete Mockaitis
Of the filtration there.

Steve Sims

Yeah, I’m a great believer on the filter. Even when we get people actually try and join any of my groups, like I have a very successful consulting practice. I interview every single person that I’m going to consult before I go into a consultation. I want to make sure it’s the right fit.

As I openly say, and I don’t want to offend anyone, “Assholes don’t get better with time,” so if you take someone into your company, even if you take them on board as a client, if they’re a dickhead when they come into your company, they’re only going to become a bigger dickhead during the company. Try to be careful of the people you take into your group, into your circle, into your life.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, very nice. Well, there’s a few more elements I want to make sure to cover. You talked about making yourself impossible to misunderstand. What does that look like in practice and how do people screw that up?

Steve Sims
There’s this word at the moment going around that I absolutely despise called authenticity. People go, “Oh, he’s so authentic.” That’s ridiculous. It’s like looking at someone and go, “Oh, he’s bleeding. He’s walking.” It should be something that we take for granted and we don’t draw focus to. But now authenticity, because we live in an insta-perfect life, authenticity is something we strive to find.

I’m a great believer in something called transparency.

I’m also a great believer that my stomach is far smarter than my head, so when you meet someone you look at the suit. Whether or not you think you do, you do. You look at the car, you look at the key ring, you look at the jewelry, you look at the watch, the shoes, the belt.

You look at the whole makeup of that person, even if it’s in nanoseconds and you look at that person to judge friend or foe, can I trust them, is this someone I want to hang around with, and that’s your mental perspective.

Then your stomach gets those little butterflies. The guy is talking a bit too much here and I’m not quite sure I believe what he’s saying. You get those little butterflies. I’m a great believer that forget your head, forget the visuals, if you’ve got butterflies, move away. Get away from someone.

I’m a great believer in talking to people, trying to use transparency in the communication. The easiest way to do that is to be – and I’m going to quote a sentence here from Brian Kurtz and Joe Polish, ‘There’s a difference between being easy to understand and impossible to misunderstand.’

If I’m speaking with someone and I say something along the lines of, “Hey, Pete, I’ve heard about your show. It sounds like a fantastic show. I don’t know too much about it,” don’t lie, “I don’t know too much about it, but I’ve had enough people tell me that I should chat with you in order to be on your show. Is that something that you’re open to pursuing?” Be as blunt and as bold as that.

Don’t go up and go, “Oh, Pete, I’m your greatest fan. What’s the chances, if you don’t mind, if it wouldn’t be an inconvenience.” That’s all fluff. I want to be crystal clear.

When I go up to iconic people that I’ve just started working with or I want to work with. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been at a party and I know someone has contacted someone else and introduced me, but I haven’t yet been able to speak to them.

I’ll go up to them and I’ll go, “Are you Roger-” and they go, “Yes, I am.” “My name is Steve Sims. I believe someone has already reached out to you. If it’s of interest to you, I look forward to making communication with you. But I just wanted to say I’m here. I’m actually going to go over and grab a drink if you’ve got the time, would you like to join me, if not, we’ll talk another time.”

Just keep things real, bold, and direct, and don’t waste the time. You’ll be surprised that when you’re that polite and very transparent, I’ve never had anyone go, “I’ll get back to you.” I’ve always, when I’ve approached it like that, I’ve had them go, “Well, I need a drink. Yeah, let’s just grab a drink together.” “Okay, fine.” Then we’ve gone over and we’ve ended up having a conversation.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Yeah.

Steve Sims
That’s the key. Whenever you get into any relationship, you’ve got to look at the relationship and go, “Look, is this a fad or is this an oak tree.”

I look at every relationship with those two questions. Is this person here to help me with this project or is this someone that I want to grow a relationship with. I can know a cool catering company in say Paraguay and know that more likely I’m not going to be there again and I can go, “Thank you so much. It’s been wonderful,” but there may not be any need to invest any further in that relationship.

Then there will be someone I meet that I’d go, “Hey, I really want to be-“ that’s when I look at them as an oak tree.

When I say an oak tree, an oak tree starts off as a little seed. It can be stamped on. It can be crushed. It can die of starvation. To become an oak tree, you have to water it, nurture it, prune it, protect it. So the time that it’s a 300-year-old oak tree and you can run a bus into it and it will still be standing. That’s a relationship.

Relationships are not by sending someone a Christmas card every year. You’ve got to prune them. You’ve got to massage them. You’ve got to feed them. You’ve got to protect them. You’ve got to put energy into anything worth its weight in gold. That’s why I say, when you meet someone, is this a fad or is this an oak tree. That’s how I look at every relationship.

Pete Mockaitis
I like that perspective. As you relay that scenario in which you’re interacting with someone who is high status or influential or super busy or maybe annoyed that you’re approaching them, you have got a turn or a phrase about getting comfortable being uncomfortable. How’s that done in practice?

Steve Sims
Well, as I said to you in the beginning, I don’t know 90% of what I’m doing. I’ve had people ask me to close down museums and have Andrea Bocelli serenade them. I’ve asked people – asked me to send them down to the Titanic. Where do you start? The same as everything, you start at the beginning.

There was a period in my life where I was starting to do more and more of this stuff that I would sit there and almost do a little jingle on the spot and go, “Oh my God, what am I going to do now?” My insides, my little leprechaun is just dancing around going, “Whoa, what’s going to happen? I don’t know what I’m going to do next.”

But then I suddenly got used to the fact that most people don’t know what to do. I got comfortable with hang on a minute, why don’t I ask people. “Do you have any idea what would need to happen in order for this to happen? Have you ever done anything like this and if so, what can I do to emulate it?”

I started asking questions. I found the more that I ventured out – it’s the classic elastic band – the more you stretch, you never go back to your original shape. I’ve been uncomfortable many, many, many times.

And my dad actually – and it’s in my book – my dad actually said to me many years ago and it’s probably one of my fondest quotes. At the age of 16 I had no idea, like all kids, no idea what my dad was talking about. I remember my dad just looking at me one day and just going, “Son, no one ever drowned by falling in the water, they drowned by staying there,” and then he walked off.

I remember at the age of 16 going, “What the bloody hell was that about?” It hasn’t been until my later years that I realized that if you’re not getting the answer you want, try a different question or try the same question with a different person, but if you keep trying to do the exact same thing you’re doing and you keep getting the same result that you’re getting, that’s where you’re going to drown.

Pete Mockaitis
You talk about asking three times. What’s the thought process there?

Steve Sims
Yeah, a lot of people, they will come to me. They will see me in the newspaper. They will read a book. They will see me on speaking gigs and they want to do something, but there’s a great deal of humiliation that stops most people actually getting to do what they want to do.

They will come to me, they may want to do something big and grand, but they’re actually scared of humiliation. In fact, most people don’t do things not for the fear of failure, but for the fear of being laughed at.

People come to me and they go, “Oh, I’d really like to just shake the hand of – I’d really like to meet-“ they want to do more than that, but they’re scared of it. You just go, “All right,” and you just let them talk. Then you go, “All right, why do you want to do that?” Literally just ask why and shut up.

Then they will go, “Oh, well, you know, this happened in my life and this happened and they were there and it supported me. I just felt that that would be a good chance to-“ “So there’s quite a bit of meaning to it. It’s not just a quick thought you’ve come up with.” “Oh no, no, no. I’ve had this dream for a while.”

“Okay, so you’re telling me that you’ve had this dream for a while, but you shaking their hands, is that really going to be the crescendo to the end of this movie? Is that going to be case closed, end of chapter? Would that really be significant? Is there something that we could do that would really get you excited and basically wake you up at 2 o’clock in the morning going ‘Holy hell, I can’t believe I did that.’?”

Each time you ask, you start to unlock them a little bit more and you get closer and closer. In the end, you’re prodding the …. When you’re there, you actually can just play with it and find out.

If someone’s really passionate about something, I hate to say it, but they’ll sell their first born to get it. Really dive in to what’s important to them. Never take the first answer because what people say and what they mean quite often are two different things. If it’s about the fantastical and the whimsical and the passion, nine times out of ten, they’re too shy to really expose to you what it is in case you’ll laugh at them.

And you know what I look like. I’m a big ugly fellow. A lot of people now openly tell me what they like because they know the amount of people I work with and they know how credible I am at doing what I do. But a lot of people for many years were very cautious and scared and apprehensive about basically what is unveiling yourself to expose what you’re really excited about.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, that’s powerful, particularly early on. “I just met you,” in terms of there’s a certain level of vulnerability or exposure that is just uncomfortable for folks so they don’t quite go there.

Steve Sims
Yes, yes, exactly. You’re right. You’ve got to help them. You’ve got to ask the questions. “Is this going to do it? Why do you want to do that? Hey, I’m here for you. Let me in. Tell me why you’re stood here in front”

I’ve had people they’ve had the whiskeys at night. They texted me at 1 o’clock in the morning or phoned me, left a message. “Steve, I want to talk to you about doing this because I really want to do it.”

Then when you speak to them in the morning, the drinks worn off and they’re a little bit more embarrassed about actually fully exposing it, which to be honest with you also is great news for me because it makes me look like a rock star when I’ve exceeded what you’ve first asked for.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. Steve, tell me anything else you really want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Steve Sims
No, I just want people to get out of their own way. Basically, get that saying that I said about drowning in the water, write it down on a piece of paper, and don’t be one of those people that drown by staring at things too much. Just keep moving. But nope, let’s continue with the podcast.

Pete Mockaitis
All right then. Tell me, can you share a favorite quote and maybe you already did, something that you find inspiring?

Steve Sims
That one was probably one of my most favorite. One of mine that I probably use most regular is I ask myself whenever I’m doing anything that’s copy or writing, ‘Is this impossible to misunderstand?’ I use that one. That’s more of a working quote that I use to myself a thousand times a day whenever I write to someone. Is my message to them impossible to misunderstand?

Pete Mockaitis
Beautiful, thanks. How about a favorite book?

Steve Sims
What? Apart from mine? I’m actually a funny reader. I don’t – books aggravate the hell out of me. Joe Polish sends me a load of books. I get very aggravated because as he says aggravated oysters makes pearls.

When I’m reading a motivational book by like Ryan Holiday or Tucker Max or Cameron Herold, or any of these people, Tim Ferriss. I get aggravated because I’m like, “Oh, I’ve got to do that. I’ve got to make some notes.” I find myself getting agitated.

So when I do like to read, I like to escape. I really like the Dragon Tattoo books, the trilogy that they did. I really like anything by Dan Brown, the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. I like to escape my world when I read. Otherwise, I’ll audiobook any of the ones I know I’m going to be aggregated by.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. How about a favorite tool, something that helps you be awesome at your job?

Steve Sims
I’m actually talking to you from the garage of my motorcycles. I collect motorcycles. My favorite tool is to jump on two wheels and escape. That’s my safe zone.

When you’re on a bike, when you’re playing golf, when you’re waterskiing, when you’re doing kickboxing, when you’re doing yoga, you can’t be thinking about anything else. That’s my meditation. That’s my escape. My favorite tool is two wheels going around the canyons.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. Any other favorite habits?

Steve Sims
Whiskey, hugging my wife and barbequing badly.

Pete Mockaitis
Got you. Tell me is there a particular nugget you share that really seems to connect and resonate with people when you are hearing your message?

Steve Sims
Yeah, I’m a great believer, and this is usually my consultant gigs and my speaking, I’m a great believer in keeping things ugly. We’ve become too Photoshopped and we’re living in an insta-perfect world all the time.

Every time you see anything, you look at someone and you suddenly realize that the girl’s actually 12 foot tall and the legs are 9 foot. We’ve got used to seeing things that aren’t real anymore.

You’ll look at a real estate advert and you’ll see a beautiful apartment building and the apartment building just happens to have left out all the other buildings around it and shown this big sunset and a picture of the ocean in it and it’s in Minneapolis or Chicago. It’s not even near the ocean.

You can’t trust what you can see nowadays. I’m a great believer in #filterfree. Don’t filter stuff.

If you want to write something, try handwriting it. Instead of typing the letter, handwrite the letter.  A minimum, handwrite the envelope. Use text more. Use video texting more. But do things that expose you and your full content, not just shouting and yelling the message.

I once had a guy yell at me because he had texted me or messaged me on Twitter and I hadn’t responded. That’s not communication. Communication is two people in front of each other going, “This, this.” It’s a back and forth, back and forth. It’s not throwing a message out there and hoping someone responds.

Pete Mockaitis
All right.

Steve Sims
My terminology with that is keep things ugly, raw, and real.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. And do you have a particular place you point people to if they want to learn more or get in touch?

Steve Sims
I’ve got a website with all my ramblings and rants called SteveDSims, S-I-M-S, that’s SteveDSims.com.

Pete Mockaitis
Do you have a final challenge, a call to action for folks who are seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Steve Sims
Yeah, do something that arouses you. I want you to something that you haven’t done that just excites you and just kind of like would make you wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning going, “Holy hell, I did that today,” and do it.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s awesome. Well, Steve, thank you so much for sharing this. It’s exciting, opening a world of new ideas and possibilities and boldness. It’s been a lot of fun and I wish you and Bluefish tons of luck.

Steve Sims
Thanks pal, appreciate it.

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