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In this episode of The Inner Chief podcast, we speak to the Concierge to Billionaires, Steve Sims, on Going for Stupid, how to gamify life and work, and building priceless relationships.
Steve is the visionary founder of the world’s first luxury concierge that delivers the highest level of personalised travel, transportation, and cutting-edge entertainment services to corporate executives, celebrities and professional athletes.
Entrepreneur Magazine labelled Steve as “The Real Life Wizard of Oz” because he has developed a reputation for making the impossible, possible.
His best-selling book, “Bluefishing”, documents how he built a business on social currency, and he has spoken for Harvard, The Pentagon, and Fortune 500 Companies.
What is most striking about his achievements is that Steve was a young guy who was only qualified to lay bricks on a construction site, so he really has built an extraordinary life from the ground up.
Thanks to James Whittaker of Win The Day for introducing us to Steve.
In this episode we talk about:
- Becoming desired and different and building credibility
- Giving your clients value by not giving them what they ask for
- Gamifying solutions and acting without fear of ridicule, and
- What he means by “Go for Stupid”
Connecting with Steve Sims
Books and resources
“No-one ever drowned by falling into the water; they drowned by staying there.”
On becoming a desirable asset
- When I started making that shift in my head, that's when my breaks started coming. I had to discover what your pain was, to be able to provide a solution. If I could be the solution to your problem, you didn't care what I looked like or sounded like.
- I didn't want to be competitive. I wanted to be desired. Different is better than better. So, I always wanted to be desired, and I wanted to be different.
- It doesn't matter what your client's problem is, it matters what you can resolve with ease. I always focus on what I call an ROE (Return On Effort and Energy). What can I do easily, comfortably, that people go, “Holy crap, how did you do that?”
- Experience became credibility, and credibility allowed bigger doors to open.
- And then look for those clients that have that problem; don't try to find the problem, only to work out that you are not the solution.
- I worked with clients where quite simply money wasn't an issue, value was.
On going for stupid
- People often used to say to me, “Have you ever failed at getting your client what they asked?” The arrogant answer is, not once. And the reason I can say that so profoundly is because I never went for what the client asked for.
- If the client wanted a dining experience or front row tickets I would sit there and go, “How can I make this goal stupid? How can I make it ridiculous?” And by making it ridiculous and stupid, you gamify it. When you start doing that, you smile and smirk, and then the five-year-old neurons in your head explode and you actually get energised, rather than bracing yourself for, when you say impossible, it's like saying, “Let's do something we can't achieve.”
- We think that people are scared to try something different, but I don't think they are. Remember the old saying, “Hey, what would you do today if you knew you couldn't fail?” Well, it's a different one today. “What would you do today if you weren't scared of people laughing at you?”
- I hate cancel culture and the gotcha society, which is why I wrote the book. The smartest people on the planet are serial failures. How many times have you failed? A thousand? You probably can't even remember how many times.
- But every time you fail, you've become educated, which again leads to experience, which leads to credibility, which leads to you being able to send out really big invoices. The point is, you want to invite failure, because that's where the education is. And today, people aren't scared of trying, they're scared of being laughed at. I realised my superpower, without realising it, I couldn't hear the critics and naysayers.
- When Peter Diamandis did the X Prize, Burt Rutan from Scale Composites won it and then Richard Branson bought the rights to it, and it became Virgin Galactic. But, in Peter going, “Hey, do this, and you could win $10 million.” He gamified space travel. And Burt Rutan has often said, “I spent $120 million to win 10 because it was a game.”
On why people need to support others
- We're in a crab society, where too many people like to hold people back for fear that they're going to actually achieve their goals and you’re not. And that's what I'm trying to do with the book. I want to get people to go, “Hey, I may not understand what you are doing, but I'm going to support you, and I'm going to bring the coffee while you work it out. I'll be there to help you. If you need to get somewhere, I'll drive you there. But I want to support you to get to your goal.”
- Instead, you have all these naysayers that keep you down. They lower your energy, they lower your standards. And that's what I want to change. I want people to support, and challenge each other, rather than being a crab.
On early lessons in relationship-building
- I realised that there are those people that see and withdraw, and those that see and attack. And I thought for me to be able to be better than where I am, I need to improve who I'm with and have curiosity.
- Every hour of the universe that we're in today, we are in no other currency today than the relationship currency. Everything that we have, everything that we lose is based on relationships. If something bad happens to your business, but you've got those relationships around you, they can help you. Focus on managing, building, and thriving those relationships that are going to nurture you through the years.
On moving with purpose
- Depending on the day, I think we just flow between being introverts and extroverts. When you are run down, you're more of an introvert. As an introvert, I actually think we have a little bit of an advantage because we know our energy's going to be sapped so we only move with purpose.
- I think to myself, “What's the point of me speaking on this stage? What's the point of me being on this podcast? What's the point of me having a phone call with that person? What's the point of me going to that networking event?” I've become very selfish with my time. What should we do to make the maximum impact out of this time?
- That's the difference between affluent people, and poor people. Affluent people know they can make more money, but they can't make more time. So they focus on what can be done with the time they have. They make sure the relationship is worth it, that it is fruitful for both parties and so they nurture it.
On failure and fear
- Our mind is a muscle so you can train it to recognise opportunity. Then it's your decision to just take action. COVID was rife with opportunity.
- My life is all about growth and failure, which equals education. Do I really want to be the same person today as I am in six months time? Hell no, because there's no growth in that.
- I was always looking for that opportunity, and I was always taking risks. If something didn't work, great, what did I get out of it? It’s never a total loss.
- Yes, I get scared, nervous and apprehensive. But it's amazing how much of those experiences, and those feelings, and those emotions mirror excitement. It’s the same.
- Fear will do two things: it'll either stop you in your tracks, and make you run away, or it'll make you attack. The fear is for me to miss out on that opportunity by not doing something.
- That which scares us most, we should actually be doubling down on because when you get through that section, it’s no longer scary. And then the next thing becomes scary. So I believe that fear is a great driver. It propels you. Don't run away from it, use it as your fuel.
- Every single successful person you can name would have been openly mocked, laughed at, and challenged; yet we revere them because they had stupid goals and then went for them. Yet these days we're frightened to stick our heads up because of Tall Poppy Syndrome. Instead you've got to stand up and be prepared for people to take fire at you. It's up to you whether or not you listen to them.
On a challenge you should do
- I want you to phone up five of your buddies over the next 24 hours, and I want you to ask them this question. “How are you doing?” And then when they give you the bullshit answer about, “Oh, I'm fine. No, everything's great, everything's rosy.” Go. “All right, I heard that. Now let me ask you again, how are you doing, and how can I help?”
- Actually dare to get down to the crux of two things, the relationship, and the problem. Your relationship will grow, your ability to communicate will grow, and the strength of character that you have will grow. And that's what I want you to do. If you want to support me, support your friends.
Final message of wisdom and hope for future leaders
- If a bald-headed British biker can be swanning around with the Pope, Elon Musk and Richard Branson on his speed dial, then you have no excuses.
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