Step into the fast-paced world of ‘Real Marketing Real Fast’ with me, Doug Morneau. Each episode is a power-packed journey through the twists and turns of digital marketing and website acquisition. Expect unfiltered insights, expert interviews, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. This isn’t just another marketing podcast; it’s your front-row seat to the strategies shaping the digital landscape.


Tips on how to make things happen by Steve Sims

  • And most people I know, they dream too small
  • I am a 100% referral business. So every client that comes to me comes from somebody else introducing them
  • People don’t ask for what they want
  • Money is always the second, third, and fourth chapter of a conversation
  • The Distillery is very important for me because I’m really excited about people’s growth.
  • Too many people think you have to plan for perfection. And perfection does not exist
  • I’ve failed so many times in my life. I’ll probably fail on something tomorrow. But I fail up

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Too many people think you have to plan for perfection. And perfection does not exist

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Doug Morneau: Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today is not only going to be real fast it’s going to be really fun because the guest today that I’ve got specially lined up for you has been called the man with the coolest job in the world in a recent publication that was put out by Forbes Magazine.

So Steve Sims will be joining us in the studio here shortly. And I got to know Steve through his assistant who had sent me an email saying, “Hey, I think,” Sam Miller sent me an email saying, “Hey, I think you’d like to hear from my boss. He’s a pretty smart guy. He’s doing some really cool stuff with his company.”

And so I started to dig in to look at his background and it’s a pretty amazing story. So I think if you’re open to it Steve’s going to kind of maybe help you shift your thinking and think a little bit bigger and ask for bigger things and just see what’s possible.

So Steve is the founder of a company called Bluefish and Bluefish is one of the top personal concierge services in the world. He’s also an expert marketer within the luxury industry. Steve’s been quoted in a variety of publications and TV including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the London Sunday Times, the South China Morning Posts, and many more.

He’s also the best seller of a book called Bluefishing: (It’s) The Art of Making Things Happen. So he’s a sought after speaker and consultant. And he speaks to a variety of networks and groups and associations, as well as the Pentagon and Harvard twice.

So he will set up whatever experience you’re looking for through his company Bluefish. So if you wanted to sing with your favorite rock start or if you wanted to be serenaded with Andrea Bocelli or walked on the red carpet with an A-list of Oscar parties, get married in the Vatican, dive to the wreck of the Titanic. These are just a few examples and highlights of what Steve has been asked to provide for his clients. So he seems to make the impossible possible. And he’s quoted as being the real-life Wizard of Oz by Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine.

So as an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word, Steve is well-regarded within the luxury world for his innovation, down to earth personality, which will come through as we move into our interview. He’s known for his honesty, integrity, and doing things his way. So Steve creates experiences for clients that they could never imagine possible. So we’re going to have him share how we can take this knowledge and we can roll it out into our businesses to do things for our clients and grow a business that we never imagined possible.

So with that being said, I’d like to introduce to you and welcome Steve Sims to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today. So I’m super excited to have you on the show. Welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast. How are you doing today?

Steve Sims: I’m going good, thanks. Thanks for having me.

Doug Morneau: So looking at your background and looking at your social media and all the media attention you’ve got, you’re a pretty amazing guy.

Steve Sims: Are you blowing smoke already?

Doug Morneau: No, no, no. If I was having a guest and I might not say, “Hey I looked at your background, I don’t like you,” ’cause you probably wouldn’t be a guest at that point. But do you want to share with us just an overview of who you are and what you do for our audience that may not know exactly who you are?

Steve Sims: I’m an East London biker that now works with everyone from Branson to Pope, Elon Musk to the rich and unknown around the world. I, up until 2017, was a big deal to maybe about 200 people in the planet. These people just owned things like countries and Forbes called me the real life Wizard of Oz. I released a book in that year, in the October 2017, not whistle-blowing on any of my clients, but more importantly, telling ’em how an uneducated biker from Britain gets to do all of this kind of stuff and it kind of set me on a different career path. So it’s been a quite exciting period. But that’s it in a nutshell.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, I saw the article on Forbes, a great article, and the photos there that you shared from your company Bluefish really are the who’s who of the world. So you said your clients only own countries, so that’s-

Steve Sims: Yeah, it’s kind of weird. I’ve been to three countries where the plane stopped mid-runway and they escorted me off of a plane into a car and I’ve never actually gone through customs. Three countries I’ve done that. And that’s wild when the plane just stops and you get the police and a limo turn up and they put a thing up and everyone’s like what’s going on and then they come to my chair. And if anyone hasn’t ever seen me, I’m a stunningly good-looking lad. I’m basically 240 pounds of ugly, tattoos and goatee, and I look perfect on a motorcycle. But I look kind of weird when I’m in a palace. And that’s the kind of things I get up to. So it’s kind of funny where I go.

Doug Morneau: So how did you get there? I mean what was the transition? Because often people have this baggage that they carry and I think a lot of that is their own decision to carry it. Oh, I had a bad childhood or I had a bad this or I grew up this way or that way. And they have trouble just imagining building a six or seven-figure business. But I mean you’re working with the most elite people in the world and helping them with what they need help with.

Steve Sims: Yeah, look if it hasn’t already been established, I’m a primitive individual. Everything I do has to be there for a purpose. It has to have an impact or what’s the point. That’s basically me. I’m not pretty unpurposeful. Actually, that sounds good on me. I need to remember that.

Doug Morneau: Make a note of that, yeah.

Steve Sims: Yeah, make for me one day. But I worked out when I was a bricklayer that all of my friends were poor. And we could only drink a couple of nights a week because we never had any cash to drink all week.

And so I realized that things had to happen. I had to make richer friends, earn more money, and I thought the only way to actually be able to do any of that was to get to know successful people. And it was very primitive. They say you are the combination of the five friends you hang around with. Mine were all ass broke on bikes. And I never minded being on bikes, but I did mind the ass broke bit.

So I started I was working on the door and I started just talking and interacting a little bit more with the affluent clientele that we were coming in. And it would be a simple thing like, “Hey Doug, tonight it’s a bit quiet. You may want to go and grab a beer around the corner and come back in about an hour and I’ll save your space. Don’t worry about the lineup.” And just do something like that to show that you were thinking of them.

I would actually … I got in trouble with my boss at the club because I would have regulars turn up and I’d be like, “Boys, not tonight.” And they were looking at me like I was going to kick ’em out. They hadn’t even got in and I wasn’t letting these regulars in and they’d be like, “But we were in last-“

“No, no, no. I haven’t got a problem with you I’m just saying tonight’s quiet because a new club’s just opened up around the block called Jimmy’s. If you run around there, speak to Barry, tell him Sims sent you, he’ll let you in. But that’s where the action’s going to be tonight. I don’t want you wasting your money and leaving here pissed off.”

And they would go, “Oh, jeez.” And they would go and when my boss would yell at me I’d say, “Look, they’re going to come back because they trust us now.”

Doug Morneau: Yeah, absolutely.

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Too many people think you have to plan for perfection. And perfection does not exist

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Steve Sims: They would. And they would come back and I’d be like, “tonight’s the night boys. Get in there” and I became this conjured, this oracle of knowing where the events were. And then it was a case of, “Hey, do you know where these pies … Steve, there’s this launch for a new car … This jewelry part that’s taking over this mansion. Do you know how to get in there?”

And I realized that to be in any relationship again, keep it primitive, any relationship someone’s got to bring value to it. If you look at the people in your circle, every single person in that circle brings you value. Now, they may bring your intellect, they may bring you a different perspective. I got friends that are still ass broke, but they make me laugh. And I know every time in London, hey I’m carrying the bar tab. That’s fine, they just send me out laughing and I love their company. That’s value to a relationship.

If there’s anyone in your circle, and I hear this classic, “Oh, but I’ve known them since childhood.” Hey, shit, people change. So that’s not a commitment. You don’t have to keep doing that. But if someone’s in your circle that doesn’t educate, motivate, challenge, push, make you laugh, support, pick you up when you cry, pick up when you fall over. If they don’t do that, they shouldn’t be in your circle.

So I started being a value to affluent people by being the person that could get them into parties. Then I started planning my own parties and then people would say, “Hey, I’m going to the Monaco Grand Prix. Do you know how to get in there?” And I’d be like, “Yeah, sure.” I didn’t know but I’d be like, “Yeah, sure I do.” And then I’d try and work it out. And I just grew and my contacts grew.

And I think my biggest talent was my ignorance. I wasn’t fearful of the brands that I was dealing with. I wasn’t intimidated by all of the cars and all of the jewelry. I would literally roll up on a motorbike and I still do. I’m giving you this podcast here from my garage and there’s currently eight motorcycles in here. I don’t own a car. So I would just turn up to this party on a bike, get off the helmet in my hand, go and negotiate, get my clients in, and then I’d go back.

I was very, very easy to understand. People knew exactly what they were getting from me. And in today’s insta-perfect world and over-complication and shields of glory and look at me I’m so successful and leaning up against a car that you don’t bloody own, I think they find that a little bit refreshing. And so I get a lot further with that transparency. Notice I don’t see authenticity. Transparency, that’s the power.

Doug Morneau: Well, but I mean it still takes a certain thinking for you to be able to do that. So how do you help … ‘Cause you said you do some business consulting as well as working with the clients in terms of working with the celebrity side. So how do you help business owners have that mind shift to understand like you said ignorance. And I’ve told people I’m too stupid to quit when I start something. Or I didn’t know that I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to be able to do that. I just thought hey, I should do that so I go and do it. And they go, “Well, didn’t you know that that was impossible?” It’s like, “Well, no I forgot to ask.” So how do you help people?

Steve Sims: I didn’t get the email.

Doug Morneau: That’s right, I didn’t get the note, “Don’t do that. It’s difficult.” I mean you talked about for example before we started you started a podcast.

Steve Sims: Yeah, I started a … I was literally at an event and I’d posted something on my social @stevedsims, a little plug there, and it was a podcast guy chatting. And so I did a little video on him and I went, “Hey, should I do a podcast?” And I asked my peeps and I got a rounding kind of like, “Hell, yeah.” So I thought, all right, I’ll start doing it.”

So many people search for perfection. It’s a case of if I’m going to do a podcast, I’ve got to have the right mic, I’ve got to have the right studio, I’ve got to have this, I’ve got to have on guests. Basically, they’re chasing perfection and I have a little joke that I say, “Perfection is a blue unicorn with three testicles. It doesn’t exist.” So for me I just thought all right, I’m going to do a podcast.

So I looked online, I found this platform that we’re both using called Zencastr and I bought myself a cheap-ass microphone, plugged it in, started just contacting people that I knew. Thankfully after 20 plus years, I know some interesting people. And we just started chatting. And I’m like, “Yeah, this is great.”

I did 18 podcasts because I knew that when I came out I wanted to be ahead of the curve. I didn’t want to be like, “Oh, crap! I’ve got to release one this week. What am I going to?” I didn’t want to be that. I wanted to give myself a little bit of comfort zone. So I knew that I had to have about 18 to 20 podcasts in the bag. We’d release about eight to 10 on the first hit. And then I’ve got kind of like 10 weeks in front of me.

But the bottom line is when you get to like the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th podcast, you start going back to the original ones and you go, “My god, that’s an appalling turd, there.” And so you just delete it. But the difference is I got going and then I got good. I ditched the yeti. I learned the difference between a compressor mic and a dynamic. So I’m on a dynamic now. I found a place in my home, and it’s literally in my garage.

nd funny enough the mic and the camera I needed to get to a decent height. And I had one of those little portable stands, which is like 10-inch high which is great for a hotel room, but useless when you’re sitting on a chair or on a desk. And then my wife had a camera stand, which I don’t know why goes up to something like 12 feet. And that’s too bloody high unless you’re going to be filming the top of my head. And I had this green bucket and this green bucket was like about 18-inch high. It was an absolute perfect height.

So I bought a decent mic and everything’s now on my green bucket. And so I’ve actually taken pictures of my podcast setup and people are like, “The green bucket, is that optional? Oh, that looks hi-tech. That green bucket.” So that green bucket has gotten the piss taken out of me and here’s a funny thing. A guy from a company and I should give him a push. Mefoto, M-E-F-O-T-O, they sent me a stand, a really beautiful stand. But it ain’t my green bucket. I’ve kept my green bucket.

I use that stand for other things, but I’m a case of … again, as I’ve said to you before, I’m not pretty I’m purposeful. And this bucket gives me a nice wide stance to be able to stick things on including a glass at night when I’m doing a podcast.

Doug Morneau: That’s funny. I mention that because I did notice that on your Instagram photo that you had this galvanized rusted tin behind you and then this green bucket with your MacBook on top.

Oh, no. I’m sorry, but I’m just about ruining your dreams there. So the daft thing is in my old garage, I’ve moved. I’m in Los Angeles and I’ve moved to a different property. In my old garage, I had these galvanized cabinets. And they were really nice and they were a really cool backdrop. In the new house that I’m in, it’s a 1950s house and we’re building a new garage and an extension and blah, blah, blah.

So at the moment, I’m in a shitty wooden garage, okay. So I needed to get a backdrop that was again along with my kind of metal, raw, kind of ugly feel. And I went out and saw a piece of corrugated tin roof. And I said to my wive, “Go shove that in the back of the car and I’m going to use that.” ‘Cause it’s all rusted up, beaten up, crapped on, just like me and most entrepreneurs. Perfect backdrop.

So she’s like, “Oh, we’ll come back, we’ll come back.” So she thought a perfect reason for me to not just grab it off the side of the road. It was literally sitting on the side of the road. And so when I got back about an hour later, she was like, “I’ve organized your backdrop and stuff.” The backdrop that you saw and that’s on my videos and my Facebook page and YouTube and stuff like that, is a shower curtain.

Doug Morneau: That’s hilarious.

Steve Sims: It’s actually a shower curtain that looks like rusted up old corrugated. And all I’ve done is nailed it to a lump of wood behind me and that’s my backdrop. So it’s a shower curtain. $12.99 for a shower curtain.

Doug Morneau: Oh, that works, doesn’t it?

Steve Sims: Green bucket and shower curtain. There you go.

Doug Morneau: So let’s dive down into some of the services that you offer. So why don’t you share a couple of examples of events or programs that you’ve put together?

Steve Sims: Oh, okay. Well, a bunch of people out there are probably going, “Who in the bloody hell is this clown?” I had a client from north Europe contacted me and he wanted to have an exclusive dinner in Florence. And most people I know, they dream too small. So the more I get to know people, the less information they give me when they want something. They let me do the dreaming because I have a habit of dreaming big.

So he wanted an exclusive restaurant in Florence. I actually closed down the Academia Museum that houses Michelangelo’s David, the most famous statue in the world. I set up a table of six at the feet of David, and then while my clients were in an empty museum at nine o’clock at night eating dinner underneath the most iconic statue, I had Andrea Bocelli come in and actually serenade these six people. That’s the kind of stuff that I actually get up to.

Doug Morneau: That’s amazing. Like you said people think too small. So did you always think this way? I mean you talked about in your early days when you’re working and you wanted more. So, just share a bit about how you got your mind around these things are possible.

Steve Simms: Again, I think it was … I don’t know how much of it was already in me, but I’m an Irish lad from east London, so I always wanted more. It’s as simple as that. And if you wanted two sausages on your plate, you asked for three and then your mom would tell you off and you’d accept just two. So it was always this kind of like grab until you can’t grab anymore.

I recall giving the example and there’s actually … There’s a dark side to that Florence story, which I’ll tell you in a second. But when the client wanted the most exclusive restaurant, my idea was how far can we take it? Now bearing in mind he would have settled at just a really good pasta restaurant. ‘Cause that’s where his head was. But I wanted to see how far I could go.

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Too many people think you have to plan for perfection. And perfection does not exist

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And I thought if you’re going to be in Florence, a lot of the churches when you go into them in Italy and Poland and France and England, they all look the same inside. They’re all beautiful, but from the inside from a photograph, you don’t know where it is. If I take you to New York and in the backdrop is the Statue of Liberty, you know where you are. So I thought to myself, “What backdrop can I have that can only be Florence?”

Now there’s the famous bridge, there’s the Palazzo, but there’s also David. And for a lot of people, they may not know David’s in Florence but they certainly know the statue of David. So I wanted to see how far can I go. And I’m a great believer in leveraging relationships. My websites and I’m not here to pitch them, none of them have a phone number on them. None of them have a way of actually contacting me.

Now that may sound stupid in today’s business, but there are all these people that go, “Hey, I’m a referral business, and they’re not.” I am a 100% referral business. So every client that comes to me comes from somebody else introducing them. And for that reason, whenever I need anything like I needed the Academia Museum in Florence, the first thing I do is look at my Rolodex and I go, “Who do I know in Italy? Who do I know in Florence? Who do I know that’s in a position that maybe if they contacted Florence, the Academia, they would listen to them?”

And I found a couple of clients and so my first client luckily was on the board of the charity that supported the refurbishment of the Academia. So you know what it’s like, you’re playing in the right circle and before you know it you got access to anybody. So I leverage my relationships. Because if I tell you now on this podcast, I’ve sent people down to the Titanic, I’ve got them married by the Pope, and every year I walk into the Oscar party with Sir Elton John.

That’s arrogant, it’s all true, it’s arrogant, it’s self-promotion, it’s pushy, it’s salesy, but if your best mate was in a party and saw me walk through the room and went, “Doug! That guy over there, he’s worked with the Pope, Elon Musk, Richard.” If he said the exact same thing that I had just said, it’s gospel and it’s credible.

Doug Morneau: Yep, absolutely.

Steve Sims: So I always get other people to introduce me. Other people to recommend me. And that’s how I got the Academia. Now I’m going to give you the downside of that. I’m very, very good at never asking a question that you can answer with a yes or a no. I ask things like, “So how do we make this happen? What would be the steps needed to pull this off?” I engage in conversations.

Never get a yes or a no because a no is the fastest way … Nine times out of 10, it’s the knee-jerk reaction. “Hey, can I do this on Tuesday?” “No.” It’s just a reaction. If I say, “Hey, what would I need to do to be able to do this on Tuesday?” They can’t go, “No,” ’cause they sound like a little bit of a moron. So you get into an engaged conversation.

But during this Academia event, now bearing in mind I had two days to pull this off. And the Academia had approved it. There were a couple of people as I was walking around the museum just sighting out for where the meal would be and everything, you could just sense the friction that they thought I was just some rich boy buying off things.

Money is always the second, third, and fourth chapter of a conversation. You walk up to Elton John and go, “Hey, how much will it cost me to have a piano lesson with you?” He’s going to hang up or get security to cart you out because they don’t want to … They’re not for sale at that level. So there was a couple of people that were giving friction and I could sense that they weren’t too happy with what I was pulling off. ‘Cause it wasn’t a common thing by far.

So the night of the meal, we’ve got the table set up, it was stunning. The David’s there all lit up. The whole museum has been empty since about five o’clock in the afternoon. Andrea Bocelli’s in a corner just warming up and testing the acoustics in the room. It was just incredible. And there’s one of the curators of the museum, very close to me that I knew had friction.

Now, the check had already been cleared and I was already in the museum and the food was already being lined up on the table. So he couldn’t kick me out. It was too late for that. So when there’s no liability I wanted to have a little play with this guy. ’cause to be honest with you, originally he’d irritated me.

So I was like, “Hey, how are you doing?” He’s like, “Hello.” I was like, “So, you like this?” Again, these yes or no answers, they were of no liability to me anymore. So I said to him, “So, you like this?” He was like, “Yes, yes I do.” I said, “Is that table beautiful?” “It is beautiful.” I said, “did you ever think there’d be a table of six and Andrea Bocelli would actually be here to sing to them while they’re eating their dinner?” He’s like, “No, this is beautiful.”

My ego is about to blow the walls off of this museum. I was full of myself and I was just digging it to this guy just to kind of like show that oh, yeah, I pulled this off and you didn’t want me to. So I turned around and on my last question I actually said to him, “So how come we did this and how come I was able to get this table?” And I was expecting things like, “Well, you know powerful people, Steve,” or “No one’s as connected as you,” or “You’re a brilliant negotiator.” I was expecting my final tug. And he looked at me in the eyes and he said, “No one’s ever asked.”

It killed my moment and I suddenly realized that I had been pushing for the ultimate luckily because of 20 plus years my circle of influence 99% of the time gets me in the rooms I want to be in, bearing in mind if I had not got the Academia, the client wasn’t any wiser. I could have then gone to a church or a cathedral or a roof deck overlooking something. I could have scaled down and still been far higher than my client ever expected. Luckily because of the way that I work now and who I know, I usually get the top draw when I first ask.

But I suddenly realized people don’t ask. People don’t ask for what they want, which is sad on one element. Makes me look brilliant, but you imagine what people would do and here’s where it gets dark and I’m hopefully not twisting it, most people don’t ask for what they want, no for fear of it not happening, for fear of people laughing at them that it didn’t happen.

Doug Morneau: Wow. Yeah, I mean.

Steve Sims: And that’s the sad thing.

Doug Morneau: Looking at your background and hearing that story, that’s exactly my … I agree 100%. I was at a conference in San Francisco, it’s the direct marketing association, which is for our listeners who don’t know it’s the largest marketing organization in the world. And all the top brands are there. And Sir Richard Branson was a guest speaker the next morning.

So about 5,000 people in the room and there’s video conference through the rest of the conference. And I’m sitting up at the front row and he’s speaking and they said we’re going to ask for people to come up and ask questions and if you’ve been to enough of these events you know they’ll put a microphone there and nobody wants to go first and then once somebody goes, there’s a flood.

So I thought I’m going to go up and I’m going to ask him a question, but I was nervous because I was at the front of the room and I walked up to the microphone and I said, “Hey, I really liked your presentation and I like your point, ‘To whom much is given much is expected.’ So I have an unusual question, can I have my picture taken with you?” And I thought the worst he could say is no, in which case I would look silly in front of all my marketing peers and the room full of people, and the best he could say is yes.

He said, “Yeah, yeah. Come on up front.” And I said, “No, I want to come on the stage.” And he said, “okay, come up on the stage.” And then he realized that I’m about a foot taller than him. So he hopped on the couch gave me a big hug and took a picture. And as I left he said, “There’s someone who’s not afraid to ask for what they want.”

But my thinking, like you said was, “If I blow this and he says no, I’m going to look like an absolute fool.” So when I wasn’t left there, although I was happy that I had a chance to briefly meet him, I thought this is a marketing conference full of other people. Why didn’t anybody else think of that?

Steve: I’ve got a little story that’s very similar to that, but sadly a bit painful. I was walking through Glendale, which is an area just outside of Los Angeles. Got this massive shopping mall. And I was with my wife and in front of me there were these two guys and in front of them and this is probably politically incorrect, but one of the largest, fattest women that I’ve ever seen in my life.

And she was as wide as she was tall. And what really caught my eye was that she had a bunch of target bags on her arms. And so her arms were literally at three and nine o’clock, holding onto these bags. And she had probably about five bags on each arm. I was watching her going two things: One, you’re so wide you’ve now done this with your arms, no one can get past you. So I found that a little bit rude. Secondly, her upper body strength to be able to support these bags, I was quite impressed with. The next step she actually fell down.

Now, because her arms were at nine and three o’clock by her sides, she was waddling like a penguin, she went down on the side of her face. Bags went everywhere. It was horrific. And she was a big woman. And it sounded like a massive lump of meat just went SMACK! on this tile floor. It was horrific. Two guys in front of me, thankfully, ran to her aid, couldn’t grab her in time. No one was going to grab her. She was probably about 400 pound.

I got there, quickly tried pulling all her bags into her, because of her weight we were concerned about moving her too much in case she had damaged anything. So we were being very careful. We brought all the bags in so they were close to her legs so no one could run off with one of her carrier bags. She slowly started to come about and her side of her face was all red. I swear to god, I obviously never saw her again. But I don’t know if she broke something, but I’m sure she was battered and bruised the following day.

She started looking around like a prairie dog and I said to her, “we’ve got all your bags here. Is there something missing? Is there a handbag missing?” Maybe something that we hadn’t seen goes flying off into the crowd. And she was looking around and she said, “No, no, no.” And she said, “I’m just wanting to make sure no one was videoing that.” Now, this girl basically is in pain. She’s hurt herself and nowadays all we’re concerned about is the view of someone else laughing at us.

I’m very fortunate to know very powerful and successful people and I remember Elon Musk telling me they will laugh at you until they applaud. And it’s just scary that fear is not what’s stopping us anymore. It’s people watching us and giggling and having an opinion that is actually more painful than anything now. It’s more painful than any failure.

Every time we failed, and you’ll agree with this, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but every time you’ve been screwed over, lost money, messed up, hasn’t it made you stronger, smarter, and then funny enough, those exact moments, they never occur because experience comes two seconds after you needed it most. And that’s where we learn things.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, that’s so true. And Elon Musk is a great example. And I really like his approach. It’s that people either love or hate him. When he’s doing well, everybody’s behind him cheering him on. And then he does something that’s controversial then the haters show up. But he doesn’t care. He just keeps plugging away. He’s got a vision and a mission and he doesn’t care what people think.

Steve Sims: Not a care in the world. NASA publicly used to ridicule him, and now they’re his largest client.

Doug Morneau: There’s lots of people like that. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about the consulting work you’re doing. So you’ve done some work with celebrities. So if I want an extreme experience, I better set my goals really high and know that you’re probably going to put them higher. And again, deliver this amazing experience because you’ll ask and you have the connections. How do you help businesses and business owners from a consulting point of view?

Steve Sims: So it’s funny. So as I said, I started going from nightclubs to ending up working with some of the largest award shows and sporting events in the world. And then what I started getting into, this was back … I’ve been doing my concierge business for about 24 years now.

So about 12 years ago I started getting contacted by the awards shows themselves saying, “How do we get a new genre of viewers? How do we get people to go to the after parties? What have we got … ” So I ended up marketing a lot of luxury brands and helping to get their message out there, talking to the new ever-changing consumer. How to create a Wow! How to create an experience over a transaction?

You’re buying something from Amazon is a transaction. Going into Tiffany’s and getting the blue box and watching them do the bow, that’s an experience. So I was working with a lot of those people and I started doing a lot more stage work, a lot more speeches on delivering Wow! And this started getting me onto a lot more entrepreneurial stages. And then when the book came out, I found that I got a lot more entrepreneurs going, “Hey, I run a textile company. I run a car group. I run a hat organization. I design apparel for yoga. I do makeup. I do jewelry. We want you to consult with us to show us how we refine our message. Who’s our target market? How do we define our avatar?”

And I ended up working with these entrepreneurs to the point I built up something called the Speakeasy Community, and this is a monthly training program where I consult directly with the problems you’ve got and I don’t know everything, but I guarantee you I know someone top shelf that knows the answer to what you’re looking for. So I’ve been working with probably about 16 personal entrepreneurs and we do Speakeasy events where you don’t have to become a member, you can just go along for … We top these off at 40 people. And we bring in experts from loads of different industries to solve your problem.

There’s no kind of preaching up there. There’s no kind of, “Hey, look at me and now you can clap like a demented seal.” It’s a case of what problem do you have that we can solve? How can I make you smarter when you leave this room than when you entered? And we launched an online course called The Distillery, which is just a cheapy little thing. It’s like $49.99, which is a bunch of videos and every time I do another video or get a decent interview, we plug it up on there. There’s perks and events that go up. So it’s an online community that’s growing and growing as a resource and a library. So there’s a lot of stuff going on that I never thought I’d be doing.

Doug Morneau: So The Distillery, I mean obviously you’re a whiskey fan and I heard you say that you’re Irish, and Irish lad, so I knew not to talk about Scotch whiskey while we’re on the podcast. So what is The Distillery? So why would you, with what you’ve done and what you’ve built and the people that you help, why would you create a product like that? I just want to know kind of your thinking behind it.

Steve Sims: So a lot of people need a lot of help but they don’t know what they don’t know. So we put the book out there and to be completely honest with you the book hit bestseller and did really well. In fact, funnily enough, as we do this at this moment, it’s a best seller in Taiwan. It’s just gone international. It’s actually written in Chinese now. Getting 50 copies of a Chinese book released in Taiwan was kind of hilarious.

But the book came out me trying to get people to change and getting them back to the value of relationship and the art of communication. ‘Cause let’s be honest, you could go on the app store now, you could download how to build an aircraft, how to shoot a gun, how to build a bridge, probably how to do open heart surgery. You can’t download an app that’s going to teach you how to talk to another individual. You don’t know how to communicate and we’re losing it because we’re seeing the top everyone’s head from now on.

So I wrote the book because I was aggravated. And like most entrepreneurs, we do things out of aggravation. If something doesn’t work we invent something that does. That’s what entrepreneurs do. We solve problems. The book was my hope to solve the problem and get people to value the actual ROI on a relationship and how to create one and keep it. The book then was a great way for people to get to kind of ask themselves questions.

The Distillery is the next step. It’s where they can see videos. It’s the behind the scenes of where the book comes from. Hey, we spoke about this in the book, but you know how I got to that? These things happened. These are my scars. This is how it hurt. So hopefully you can avoid that pain to still get that experience.

And then we wanted to create other elements on there so that you could continually keep growing. So again, we got my friends on there for videocasts, training exercises. If I’m involved in something and I go, “Hey this is good.” I’ll come back to my garage, shoot a video on what happened today, and I’ll post it on there so people can go, “You know I never thought of that.” Because they may not be having the same experience as me, but the problem is still the same.

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Too many people think you have to plan for perfection. And perfection does not exist

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Doug Morneau: Right. Yep. So then I guess maybe the hope is that as people go through this process if you help them scale their business and they’re obviously up to be a client for your concierge business as well.

Steve Sims: No. I know that sounds really funny, but I’m 52 years old, I live up in the hills in Los Angeles, I’ve got enough whiskey, I’ve got enough motorcycles. I’m actually fine. And the funny thing is we actually are closing down the website for our concierge firm because we’ve peaked at clients and we don’t want to lose the bespoke treatment. So I’m actually not hoping that they’re going to make millions of dollars and then phone me up and go, “Hey, I want to be your client.” I’m hoping that they’re going to make millions of dollars and then help other people.

You see I’ve spent 20 plus years spending rich people’s money giving them amazing cocktail stories. When you take an entrepreneur and you show them how they can double, quadruple their business, by quite often automating a lot and getting rid of the shit that they don’t need to be focusing on, it helps not only them, but it helps the workforce. Their kids are now going to private school, they’re now more stable, they can build, they can expand, they can grow. Far more people benefit by creating a successful entrepreneur than spending a rich kid’s money to give him a cool story at a cocktail party.

Doug Morneau: Yeah, fair comment. You’re right. I mean the money that’s going to flow just to help other people, too, and the not for profits and the people that need funding and a hand up is there are entrepreneurs doing well.

Steve Sims: Absolutely. So maybe I’m getting [inaudible 00:36:47] in the old age, but I’m at that point now where I’m a great believer in being selfish. I really am. I won’t go to a party, I won’t go into a room, I won’t go to an event unless I know what’s in it for me. And I tell everyone when you’re on an aircraft they tell you to put the air mask on yourself first before you help others. So my air mask is fine and I believe every entrepreneur wants their air mask as secure and their mortgages paid and their wife’s safe and fed and their kids are warm and clothed. That’s when you got to start looking left and right and see who else you got to help with an oxygen mask.

Doug Morneau: So based on your experience and what you’re doing, what’s some of the … I’m going to steal a Tim Ferriss quote because I see I have a picture of you with Tim Ferriss.

Steve Sims: Tim Boy, yeah.

Doug Morneau: And one of the questions I saw him ask in one of his books, what’s some of the bad advice you hear in business these days?

Steve Sims: I love all of that. Tim does do well on that. There’s a lot of people … It’s not so much the advice as the hidden statements that they never ask themselves. Too many people think you have to plan for perfection. And perfection does not exist. And too many people think, “Well, okay I’m going to start doing this. All right let me analyze this and I’m going to do a data search and I’m going to scrub for analytics to find out how this goes, what my readership is and stuff like that.”

Do it, put it out there, find out if 10 people like it. Do it again, find out if those same 10 people like it or if you lost them. If they like it and you’ve got more then you’re in business. I’m a great believer in keeping things simple and stupid. I often find that people that don’t really know what they’re talking about are usually the ones over-complicating the process.

Doug Morneau: Okay, good advice. My rules for advice are always finding someone who’s done what you want to do or is willing to pay the price you’re willing to pay. So I mean it’s interesting looking at kind of your background and looking … Listeners, there’s an opportunity to buy a book and get access to this sort of talent, information, education, and experience from someone whose gone before you and I’m assuming that not everything has gone well in your life and you’ve had some loses along the way.

Steve Sims: Tons of them! Absolutely tons of them. I’ve failed so many times in my life and I guarantee you it’s Thursday, I’ll probably fail on something tomorrow. But I fail up. And I remember my dad once said to me and he told me this when I was about 13-years old and I had no idea what he was talking about. But he just looked me in the eyes one day and he said, “Son, no one ever drowned by falling in the water. They drowned by staying there.” And then he just gets up and walks off. And I remember as a little kid going, “Fuck was all that about?” But ever since then I’ve realized that every time I’ve fallen down I’ve got up taller. And so I welcome those times when things don’t actually go right because I know the next step is going to be that I’m going to grow from it.

Doug Morneau: So what are you most excited about in the next six to 12 months? I mean you’ve got lots going on?

Steve Sims: Oh, loads. Well, I’ve got Elton John’s Oscar party in February. Let me give you my next three months. I’m in Mexico speaking at the Four Seasons in the next two week. I fly back directly to Vegas where I’m opening for mortgage convention called CRS. Then I come back, I throw my speakeasy in Los Angeles the 21st and 22nd. On the 24th I go to Elton John’s Oscar party with Elton John. Then I go to Vegas, San Diego, and then I’m speaking in Phuket, Thailand, with Travis Chappell on the 15th of March.

So, that’s just the next couple of months. It’s got me in two different countries and flying around airports. So, it’s just … I like to be excited. I like to be aroused. And if I’m not excited then I don’t do it. So I’m a great believer that you’ve got to look for those opportunities of excitement and take ’em. But more importantly be ready to take them.

Doug Morneau: Yeah. I have nothing to say to that other than yeah. I’m just listening, thinking, it makes a lot of sense but is there any technology or any new strategy or is there anything that keeps you awake? I mean your schedule sounds like a really super busy schedule. And like you said you put a lot of value on your relationship with your family. So you’ve got some balance there. But is there anything that wakes you up in the middle of the night and you’re thinking, “Man, I just got to get this out there?” Is that The Distillery program?

Steve Sims: The Distillery is very important for me because I’m really excited about people’s growth. I really want people to do the best they can. I actually want people to get out of the way of themselves. And we know the most problem … The old kind of like when you point one finger to someone else as to blame, four are pointed back at you. 99% of the time, you’re the problem.

And I’ve often said when I’m on stage, every morning when we’re brushing our teeth and we’re looking in the mirror, we’re greeted by the slowest evolving technology that exists today. And so most things go wrong. You would not buy a washing machine if the warranty said guaranteed to fail on a regular basis. It will go wrong, you just don’t know when, but probably when you need it most.

But that’s what we are. We’re human beings and everyone goes, “Well, we’re human. We fail. We’re flawed individuals.” You would not buy a product given the warranty that we hold ourselves to. So I believe in increase your standards, get out of the way of yourself and stop overthinking it. If a bricklayer from London can be doing this shit, you do not have a leg to stand on with any kind of rebuttal.

Doug Morneau: So where can people find you, Steve? Where’s the best place for people to connect and learn more about you and what you’re doing? I’m assuming your books on Amazon. When I’m done the podcast I will make sure to order your book and will head over to your Distillery site as well. So where can our listeners check you out?

Steve Sims: You got to tell me what you think of it. And if you hate it just tell me. But you got a few different options. If you’re in the US, grab your cellphone and text the word SIMS, that’s S-I-M-S, to 345345. Or go over to stevedsims.com. And you’re right, Bluefish and the Art of Making Things Happen is available on Amazon.

Doug Morneau: Okay, perfect. And where’s the best website for people to connect with you and your brand and find The Distillery program?

Steve Sims: Yeah, so that’s on BluefishSteve.com or they can go to stevedsims.com and there’s a link on there called The Course, but if you want to go directly to it, it’s BluefishSteve.com.

Doug Morneau: Excellent. Any last minute thoughts or comments you want to leave with our audience before we sign off today?

Steve Sims: Yeah, try and do something today that scares the shit out of you. Even if it’s tiny, just do something different. If you go to work, go a different route. If you’re listening to the radio station, turn over to a station you never would have listened to before. Just try something different today and grow from it.

Doug Morneau: Well, excellent. Thanks. I super appreciate your time today. You’ve left a lot of information there and I think there’s lots of opportunities for our listeners to connect deeper and learn from you. So like you said, they can improve their business, improve the world.

Steve Sims: I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

Doug Morneau: So there you go listeners. I hope you enjoy this episode. I was so looking forward to it. I had done such a deep dive on Steve and his background. I looked at all the various things he was doing and just liked the direction that he’s going. So we’ll make sure the show notes are transcribed. I’ll make sure we put all the links in there for the show notes and by the time this episode has aired his podcast will be live as well. So be happy to give a shout out and a link to his iTunes or wherever it’s going to be published so you can follow him there. So we thanks for tuning in and look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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Too many people think you have to plan for perfection. And perfection does not exist

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"Innovation isn't just thinking outside the box; it's about setting the box on fire and building something extraordinary from the ashes."

Doug Morneau