SIGN UP TO KNOW WHEN WE RELEASE NEW EPISODES!

The Published Author Podcast

STEVE SIMS, AUTHOR OF BLUEFISHING, TELLS THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK

You wouldn’t think Steve Sims had room for even more success.

Originally a bricklayer from East London, Steve had achieved more than he dreamed working as a successful entrepreneur, business coach, and speaker. 

He’s known as The Real-Life Wizard of Oz, courtesy of Forbes, and past clients include  Elton John and Elon Musk. 

But after writing Bluefishing: The Art Of Making Things Happen, Steve’s level of success vaulted into the stratosphere. 

BOOK BROUGHT STEVE ‘MORE GRATIFYING’ WORK

“I started working with people that wanted and demanded more of themselves. I would go home happy, not being able to sleep because I was so excited about what the projects we were working on,” Steve enthuses to Published Author podcast host Josh Steimle.

“I was no longer spending a billionaire’s money to give them a cool cocktail story. I was working with a business to help them change their ethos, changed their culture, changed their branding and it wouldn't just affect the owner. It would affect the 300 people working in the business. And it was much more gratifying.”

Did he expect any of this after writing his book? “No!”

Steve’s wizardry includes sending people down to see the wreck of the Titanic on the sea bed and closing a museum in Florence for a private dinner party, with Andrea Bocelli arriving to serenade the diners while they ate their pasta!

WHAT KIND OF REACTION DO YOU WANT YOUR BOOK TO BRING?

Right before Steve began working on his book, Jay Abraham asked him: “What is the reaction you’re trying to create?”

Steve thought about this and realized that he knew a lot of fantastic and successful people. “I've been able to milk that and ride the coattails through my 30 plus year industry. I'd love to be able to give some people the shortcut to that. 

“So two things. One, I want the book to be an easy read. And I want it to be digestible quickly. I wanted someone to walk into JFK, buy the book, and to be able to read it on the five hour flight from there to LA, get off that flight, and do things differently. That's what I wanted. 

So Steve focused on how readers can learn from his experiences while missing out some of his failings along the way.

He had what he calls a translator work with him on the book, translating his concepts and ideas into readable prose. He basically told his stories, experiences and lessons, and they were written down in his voice. 

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL MINDSET

Steve says there’s no such thing as a rich person without a successful mindset. He saw this at an early age and made it his goal to connect with as many people as possible to start building his business. 

He went from getting people into nightclubs to entrance into the Monaco Grand Prix, New York Fashion Week, the Kentucky Derby, and the Grammys. 

All these things were possible because he learned quickly about what successful people value and focus on.

1. Value Time

“The first one is they value time more than you do,” he says. “A lot of people will get to a point in the day when they think ‘I’m just going to sit on the sofa.’

“Successful people go ‘What can I learn with that free hour? Can I read a book or look at YouTube’,” They realize they can make more impact, they can make more money, but they can never make more time.”

VALUING TIME AND RELATIONSHIPS

2. Value Relationships

Next, successful people value relationships. They don’t hire from a resume. Instead, they hire people who will match their culture. 

“We all see these resumes, you know, graduated from Harvard, MBA Ph.D. But if the person's not a good mental fit for you, then the paperwork is not going to make it so. They focus on culture, and like-minded people get in.

“If you’re not qualified for the job but you’ve got the right mindset, they can train you for the rest of it.”

QUICKLY MOVE AWAY FROM PROJECTS THAT DON’T WORK

3. Let Go Of Something That Doesn’t Work

Steve’s final key to a successful entrepreneurial mindset is to let go of a project that isn’t working. He acknowledges that it’s tempting to sink another $1,000 into a venture, but successful entrepreneurs have learned to let go. They tell themselves that the project is dead, and they won’t go back to it. 

Steve learned this lesson the hard way. He says: “I learned it because I failed. You know, it's like everything. We become experienced because nine times out of 10 things go wrong, and you can't get experience without failure.”

He says entrepreneurs shouldn't think about what others may think of them and their failures. Those who possess a successful mindset will lean into failure and learn from it, not run away from it. 

Learn more: If you appreciated this episode, listen to:

Entrepreneur Writes Startup Guide After Hearing Crazy Business Ideas

And:

For Entrepreneurs Self-Publishing Is The Way To Go

LINKS

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PUBLISHED AUTHOR PODCAST

If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. You can also watch episodes of the podcast on YouTube.

And if you want to spread the word, please give us a five-star review (we read every single one!) and share this page with your friends. 

We also share valuable snippets from podcast episodes on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

ABOUT THE HOST

The Published Author Podcast is hosted by Josh Steimle, founder of Published Author. Josh is a book author himself and his article writing has been featured in over two dozen publications including Time, Forbes, Fortune, Mashable, and TechCrunch. He's a TEDx speaker, the founder of the global marketing agency MWI, a skater, father, and husband, and lives on a horse farm in Boston. Learn more at JoshSteimle.com.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Josh Steimle:

Today, my guest is Steve Sims. Steve is the author of Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. Steve is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, and he's known for making unusual and special things happen. Steve, welcome to the show.

Steve Sims:

It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.

Josh Steimle:

All right. So I know we're going to get into it. And we're going to have to get some of your stories about some of the crazy things that you've done, and you've seen. But give us a little background on you. Where did you come from? Who are you? And what were some of the formative events that turned you into who you are today?

Josh Steimle:

Wow, that's a massive question held in a short sentence. I'm an East London bricklayer, I left school at the age of 15. Because my counselor at the school said, “Don't bother applying for college. Just won't be worth it for you.” And I've often wondered, did he know something that I didn’t at that time? But I went on to the building site. And I just felt there's got to be something more for me. There's got to be something better than this. My dad was a builder, my uncle, my cousins, my granddad. But I was aggravated. And the funny thing about us and anyone listening to this podcast is we're aggravated for better things. We demand more of ourselves. Otherwise, we wouldn't be putting up with me spouting on a podcast. And that was it. I just went out to try and find it. And I tried to find, you know, different ways of mingling around rich people. Because guess what? I wasn't rich. So I tried to get a job as a stock broker, an insurance agent, a car salesman, a yacht guy and air charter guy. I tried to get these jobs that had affluent people as clients. And along the way, I ended up working on the door of a nightclub because I'm big and ugly. And I started to see rich people coming in. And I started, this was the job that I thought was my lowest point. I thought, it's way lower than a skilled tradesman, like a bricklayer, you know, that's a skilled trade. Full honor to those people. And I'm on the door where my job description is to slap people, you know, that that's what it is, you know, break up a fight or punch a guy, you know, that was it. And I just suddenly started seeing how people interacted with each other. So without realizing it became the best job I could ever have to see in those people pretending as though they had money, and those people that had money. And so I started off just going, hey, you know, you like this club. I know another club just up the road that's opening up on Thursday. Do you want me to get? And I would do anything to get these people to talk to me? And then it was a case of well, yeah, I'll go to the club. And oh, there's a private party. Can you get me into that? And I'd be like, yeah, let me see what I could do. So in the early stages, I just became the nightlife, all the call. And then it got bigger, and it never stopped getting bigger. And I went from getting people into nightclubs in Hong Kong to, you know, the Monaco Grand Prix, the New York official, official, partner, official, partner of like the New York Fashion Week, Kentucky Derby, the Grammys. And recently, I finished an eight year contract with some Elton John for his aliased Oscar party in Hollywood. So the party's just got bigger and bigger and bigger. But it was the same goal. I wanted to surround myself with rich people. So, and you said to me, who am I? Because my wife jokes, I'm a 55-year-old five year old, I wanted to walk up to a rich people, rich person and go, why are you rich? And I'm not. What am I doing? And that was it. And now I've been able to ask that question to literally some of the most powerful, influential people in the planet.

Josh Steimle:

So has it helped? Or has it just been interesting?

Steve Sims:

Oh, my God. Yeah. It's obviously helped. So, you know, people, successful people, and this is the first thing successful people become rich. Okay. There's no such thing as a rich person who's not got a successful mindset unless they won the lottery, and then they're going to go bankrupt. The successful people become rich. So the first thing you have to do is change your mentality. So in speaking to these people, I started to learn things. And it started to change my perspective, my attitude, what I focused on, what standards I adopted. And then all of a sudden the financial gain and opportunity came with it. So yes, I had the best education in the planet. You know, I've worked with Richard Branson. I’ve worked with Elon Musk, Peter Diamandis, the biggest entrepreneurs in the planet, you know, so yes, I have benefited from it massively.

Josh Steimle:

So what are some of the key lessons that you learned? I mean, success mindset. That's a great one. What were some of the other keys that you noticed in terms of patterns or behaviors that these rich people had?

Steve Sims:

Wow. Okay. I'll give you three. Okay. The first one is they value more time, they value time, more than you do. Okay. I'm picking on you. Maybe you do as well. But they value time more than most people do. You see a lot of people will get to a point in the day and they'll go, I'm just going to sit on the sofa. Whereas successful people go, what can I learn from that free hour? You know, can I read a book? Can I quickly look at YouTube. They're constantly trying to get some, because they realize they can make more impact. They can make more money. They can never make more time. So time becomes a real vulnerability to affluent, successful minded people. So in which case, when they're having a conversation, and I've seen this, it's almost like getting interviewed, you're in a party, and they'll be like, hey, how you doing? So what are you working on? You know, what are you trying to do? What are you trying to create? How is that working for you? They want to know. They don't want to, hey, what are you watching on Netflix? And you know, how do you like your coffee in the morning? They lose the ability of small talk, and they focus on the impact and movement that you're creating. That's the first thing that they do. Okay? The second thing they do is they value relationships. They don't hire people from a resume. They try to find people that will match their culture. And that was something that was really different. We all see these resumes, you know, graduated from Harvard, you know, MBA, PH. If the person's not a good mental fit for you, then the paperwork is not going to make itself. So that's one of the big things they do. They focus on culture, and like minded people to get in. If you're not quite qualified enough for the job, but you've got the right culture, the right mindset, hey, they can train you for the rest of it. But they focus on the person first, before they purchase the accolades. That's the other thing. The other thing is they’re quick to move away from projects that don't work. As entrepreneurs, we don't want to let go of something. It'll come back, you know, if I just sink another $1,000 into epic, they've learned the ability to go, no, that's false. That's dead to me now. And they won't revisit it. They won't go back to it. So those are three things that, you know, straight off the bat that I noticed with successful people.

Josh Steimle:

That last one is tough, because it's easy to get emotionally attached to a business or an idea or something, and just, oh, I got to make this work. I got to make this work. How do you give that type of thing up?

Steve Sims:

[inaudible 00:07:17] oh, I learned it because I failed at it. You know, it's like everything we become experienced. Because nine times out of 10 things go wrong. You can't get experience without failure. And I've remembered there was tons of times where I would, I look back on my life. And I go, why did I try to keep that that deal going? Why did I try building that company? Obviously wasn't going anywhere until eventually it didn't, you know. And so, in the early stages, you've got so much pride and ego that the first thing you realize that the biggest mistake in you continuing was you, you know, you suddenly realize that it’s your kind of I can't do it. And it does boil down to what other people think of you. You know, you think I can't let this go. You know, what would my friend say? What would the employees say? You know, what would people think of me if this company got? Who cares? Have you noticed that the most powerful, influential people in the planet give no care about your opinion. They focus on the impact. Elon Musk has no caring in the world, what you think of his cybertruck or what you think of his rocket. He's working on a much greater playing field. So the first thing you got to start doing is if you can take that humiliation, and that's what it comes down to that humiliation of that failure away. And just go hang on, this isn't going in the right direction. But what elements of it are that I could take into a new trajectory, into a new project to ensure a new thing? See, the good thing about something going wrong is it doesn't all go wrong. Bid to me go wrong, that make it implode. But it's taking those lessons out of it. I'll give you a little story. As with Elon Musk when he was doing the reusable rocket cells that would land on a floating platform, do you remember those on TV?

Josh Steimle:

Yeah.

Steve Sims:

And you'd see that big fuel cell start to flow and land by itself on the platform. It would wobble a bit. It would fall over and it would explode. You remember that?

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Sims:

How many times did you see it explode on a platform?

Josh Steimle:

There was a couple of times. It was at least like three times, wasn't it?

Steve Sims:

Yeah. How many times have you seen it since?

Josh Steimle:

Ah, let's see. Seems like they did one the other day on land that maybe worked. I can't remember.

Steve Sims:

See the point is no one cares because it works now. And I remember being with him at the Space Center when it started to land. There was maybe 200 people in the room. Started land, started land, fell over, exploded. Instantaneously, there were a few people in the room that went oh, grab their head and led back. But immediately Elon leant forward, grabbed the desk and looked at the data. Where did they go wrong? Because it came down on the on the platform. So obviously, on his GPS accurate, it worked 80%. And then it toppled over. What was that little bit that made that go from, you know, a failure to working? And he looked at that. You see the education is in those bad moments. I’m in those dark times or in those mistakes. And so I noticed again, it's another one that I teach my clients, affluent, successful minded people lean into the problem, rather than lean away.

Josh Steimle:

Great lessons there. So I don't know how to describe you to people, when I tell people about your book, other than to say, Steve Sims is a guy who gets stuff done. He helps other people do unusual things. How do you describe yourself? Or how do people come to you? And why do people come to you?

Steve Sims:

So for one, I don't. I've never introduced myself to anybody. And this is absolutely true. People will come up to me, and they'll be like, hey, so you're here? You know, what do you do? And I'll turn around, and I'll say, oh, I run a valet car company. We park cars for a living, or, you know, I'm a mechanic, or, you know, I make stuff up. Because all of my businesses come from referral. And when it comes from the referral, you don't have to introduce yourself. People come to you and they go, “Hey, Steve, that my friend made the Pope. I want to do this. Can you do that?” I'd be like, “Sure, you know, let's see what we can do.” So again, understand that my business, my concierge firm was nothing more than a Trojan horse to get me in front of affluent people. And affluent people work with people that make things work. So by being a solution to that problem, i.e., a better summer holiday, a drum lesson with Guns and Roses, or a guitar lesson with ZZ Top, a walk on roll on a Hollywood blockbuster, all things that I've done, I just became the guy that could make this according to them, and possible magical stuff happen. But you see, I was never fixated on getting them as a walk on roll on to a movie. I was fixated on engaging them enough and satisfying them enough that they will take me to a cocktail reception. And I can have two hours grilling them to find out how they got to where they got and that that was it. It was very funny. I always felt as though I had, I was like a secret agent. It was like I had two jobs.

Josh Steimle:

So you used your business as a platform to get access to these people who had information that you wanted to get, and get that mentoring, so to speak.

Steve Sims:

Absolutely, yeah. I've got mentor, but the key is you've got to give them something they want first, you know, give them something they want. So, you know, because the old saying about, you know, get your foot in the door, you can go online today and find the phone number for the queen. You know, you can get anything on the Internet. Getting your foot in the door is not the real talent today. It's been so engaging, that they want to invite you in and they locked the door behind you. That's the key. And you can only do it by showing up as a solution.

Josh Steimle:

So is this also the key to how you get all these crazy things done? Is that you're looking for what the person needs that can provide the thing that your client needs? I mean, how do you get these things done? Is there some secret to that? Or is how do you do that?

Steve Sims:

And that's the beauty. It's not, but it's just ignored. In fact, and I know we're going to go into the book in a minute. But the book revealed to me how stupid most people were and how they looked at trying to overcomplicate things. And I was like, my wife has often joked I've never overcomplicated anything. You know, I've just, I am still that bricklayer from East London that just gets shit done. And I've always worked on very simple stuff. Let me play a game with you, Josh, if you're okay with this. It's Saturday. It's a Tuesday, and I'm having a barbecue party on Saturday night and I say, Josh, you're in the area. Come to my barbecue party and you go yeah, that'd be great. What's the first question you ask me? What can I bring?

Steve Sims:

How hard was that? Okay. It was a knee jerk reaction, wasn't it?

Josh Steimle:

Yeah.

Steve Sims:

You'll be surprised if you play that test with your friends. How many of them will be things like, where is it? Who am I going to meet? Who's going to be there, which are all selfish questions. But your question straight away attacked, what you could do for me. I've gifted you entrance, and you've gone what can I bring that’s going to help you? If you put that down in that kind of primitive nature to have a relationship and go, hey, I want to have a relationship with that person. What can I bring to the party? Now you talk to a lot of authors. Okay. So maybe there's a podcast out there that says, hey, I'd like to have you on my show. I know you're releasing a new book. How would you like to get your book distribute to my audience? Now, for the author, that's absolutely fantastic. They gain. So for the author, they can turn around to the podcast. So go, that's fantastic. How can I help you maximize this? And how can I help you? And they may turn around and go, well, could you do like a little snippet video saying that you're going to be on my podcast? Or could you sign five books that we give away on the show? Absolutely. Too many people take it one sided on a relationship. So the two things that I do, every relationship that I have in the planet, I ask myself the simple question, what can I bring to this party? You know, what can I make it work? That's the first thing I do with absolutely everything and making it happen, people, people overcomplicate stuff. I've got a couple married in the Vatican by the Pope. Okay. I was here in Los Angeles, when I got that request. What should be the first thing I should do? Found someone in [inaudible 00:16:15], you know, phone, someone in, you know, Miami, you know, speak to my next door neighbor. No. Phone up someone that I know in my room and go, hey, would you know anyone? Funny enough, as you mentioned, I do. Took me about 12 little steps before I started to get closer and closer and within the Vatican. So the bottom line of it is, start. Don't over qualify. Don't overthink. Don't get out your PowerPoint presentation and milk it to death. Make a phone call. Do the most simple thing first. That's what you got to focus on and everyone you're speaking to. And I gave you the example of the Vatican. Everyone I spoke to that got me one step further, I helped. I would send over a couple of tickets to a concert. I would prepay for a local restaurant just to say thank you to them. You know, a client of mine said that there was a new Thai restaurant. I found out the Thai restaurant, made sure I've got a fully covered table for the pair. And I phoned him up and I said, you mentioned the Thai table. It's all covered on me. Book it, go, enjoy. Now, if I send someone a $500 and said, hey, if I send you today, Josh, $500, you know, would you be grateful?

Josh Steimle:

Yeah, sure.

Steve Sims:

What would you spend it on?

Josh Steimle:

Probably not Thai food. But I don't know. I'd figure something out. Probably some probably books. I mean, look at the shelves behind me.

Steve Sims:

Or your phone bill.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. Maybe that.

Steve Sims:

Or your car payment. See, the bottom line of it is that $500 can go very, very quickly. Even if you bought a pile of books, okay, and the books are sitting behind you. Okay. But if I turned around and said, hey, you mentioned that you really like Italian food. In your way is this beautiful restaurant. By the way, I've already prepaid a table. Go and enjoy yourself. Now I've given you an experience.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah.

Steve Sims:

I’ve not given you $500. I've given you a memory. Take your best friend, your partner, your loved one, go and enjoy yourself. I've given you an experience. I've given you a night. Every time you walk down that road past that restaurant, even if the restaurant goes out of business and only the door is left, you're going to remember me. So people focus on too much of the transaction. My biggest thing I've always said to my team is we're in a transactional society. You know, Amazon gives you what you ask it for. Siri does what you tell it to do. Alexa puts the radio on when you tell it to put the radio on. You've got to find the client’s question and challenge it. So quite simply, don't give the client what they ask for. Give them what they lust and desire for. And that's the key.

Josh Steimle:

So now you got me curious. What do you lust and desire for? I mean, you already kind of told us here that you like hobnobbing with rich folks and getting their tips and tricks and talking with them. But what are some of the other things that like--

Steve Sims:

That wasn't really a lust or desire. That was the necessity to avoid me being poor because guess what? I was poor. And I knew what it was like. And like, everyone that's poor will confirm, it stinks. Okay. So the funny thing is, I don't like wearing a tuxedo. I've got a tuxedo. I get dressed. I don't want to do that. You know, see, the weird thing is, I'm probably one of the dullest people you'll ever meet. I ride motorcycles. I barbecue. I just sit in my garden, drinking old fashioned and you know, play with the gardening. I don't want to fly around the world. Okay. But because of my job, because of my coaching, because of my speaking, because of my books, I actually fly around the world doing it, you know, we've already, we booked up last Friday, Florence. I've got to go to Florence to do a presentation. I love Florentine steak. So I'm going to have a week in Florence. But we already have started planning an event that I'm supposed to be speaking at in Thailand, in Bangkok. So I'm going back to Bangkok. I used to live in Bangkok. So, you know, I get to travel around the world. But if all of that stopped, you just find me in the garden, you know, planting some trees and drinking an old fashioned. So I'm not that exciting.

Josh Steimle:

So how do people help you then? How do, like, what does your wife get you for a president? What do you get for the guy who knows how to get everything for himself?

Steve Sims:

To start, she doesn't, you know, when you get to, and I think this is just an age thing. When you're 55 years old, get a birthday prezi, you know, you get something for the house, you know, you get a new, you know, oven or you get, you know, a new barbecue, you know, something like that. I'm not really into that. But I am key on experiences. So like for argument's sake, my wife, I haven’t bought her a gift 20 years, you know, I don't buy her gifts, but I will get her an experience. I will get her, you know, walking on stage or we’ll go to a restaurant, and I'll get the chef to take her into the kitchen to help make her dessert or, you know, just weird and wacky stuff that we've done. But I'm very much about the experience and about the memory. Because those kind of things I've always believed. And they always tell you as a kid, when you die, your life flashes before your eyes. I want to make sure that when I die as it's flashing in front of my eyes. It's so jam packed that it's an intermission for popcorn. That's what I want.

Josh Steimle:

I'm loving this. This is one of the best interviews I've ever done, Steve. But now let's get to the book. So you, like you said, you get all this referral business. Your business is booming.

Steve Sims:

Yeah.

Josh Steimle:

It doesn't sound like you needed the book to get more business. Why did you want to write this book? What was the motivation? What was the inspiration?

Steve Sims:

Oh my God, this to say that this was the biggest surprise catalyst and nuclear explosion in my world is all an understatement. When you change the room you are in to surround yourself with only great people, great things happen. You know, when you're in a room full of billionaires, you don't get a $500 deal. You just don't, you know. So that was what I was doing within the concierge company. I was surrounding myself always with great people that did great things. And I would hopefully get the crumbs, which I did. I was in a party in New York. And I was with my wife and I'm talking to this young girl. And we're having a few drinks and we're laughing. And I'm telling her this story of this thing that I did where I took over the academia, the Galleria Museum in Florence, set up a dinner table of six at the feet of Michelangelo's David, because my client wanted the ultimate Italian meal. And then as I’m eating that pasta, I bought in Andrea Bocelli, disseminated. Okay, so I'm telling this girl about it. Literally, she puts her drink down on the bar, and runs away from me. Now, if I had not had Claire with me, my wife, I'd have been like, well, that's a bit weird. And probably everyone would have looked to me that I've made this little girl kind of run, half my age, just run away from me. And I stood there still with my drink looking at my wife thinking, did I say something offensive or? Yeah, within a couple of seconds, she came around in running back with another lady who was much older than her and she went, hey, tell that story again. Tell that story, the exact. And I'm like, okay. So I told the story. Turns out that she was part of Simon and Schuster. And so they came back to me. So for all of you authors out there, hugging your guts out trying to get a book deal, I apologize. I didn't do that. I literally went to a party, got drunk and told a few stories, and got approached with a book deal. But that was the first step of what was scary. So they sent me a book deal. And they said, we want you to write a book exposing all the rich, powerful and famous people that you've done business with. And I said, well, I can't do that, because that's my business. If I did that, I'm out of business. So I then went along and I was already doing speaking engagements. And I did a speaking engagement, talking about how a bricklayer that left school at the age of 15, was now working with Sir Elton John. And someone heard this told someone who told say, go back up the ladder, back to this woman in Simon Schuster, who then contacted me. She went, hang on a minute. We've got the wrong book. Rather than naming names, why don't you tell us how a 15 year old bricklayer does this? So I went yeah, okay then. And that's how the book came about. This is where it got messy. Very important point here. Very important point. Because I know good people, a good friend of mine is Jay Abraham. And he's done a lot of books. So I said to Jay, you know, what should I do? And I remember him saying to me, totally remember this, meeting him. I went down to his house. We got drunk. And he said to me, are you ready for what this book is going to do to you? And I went, yeah, of course. And he said, no, no, no. And he repeat, he said, are you ready? He said because if you write the right book, and a good book, it's going to change your world. And I was like, yeah, sure. You know, and I was thinking no, we can't, you know, I've run the largest experiential concierge in the world. Forbes has called me the real life Wizard of Oz. Entrepreneur Magazine, you know, I've got accolades all over. I've spoken, lectured at Harvard twice, Stanford once, the Pentagon once. Sure. What's a book going to do to me? Boy, I was wrong. So Simon Schuster gave me a ghostwriter. And the ghost writer said, okay. And that's the first lesson. You don't have to write your own book. And so I said to him, well, every afternoon, I'm tinkering around in the garbage on a motorbike. And he said, well, what we're going to do is I'm going to phone you, or we're going to chat while you're tinkering on the bike. And that's what we did. So he started to write these chapters based on conversations and stories we were having while I was in the garage. And they sent me three chapters. And I said, they went, oh, if you could run through those and let us know in 72 hours, what you think? Now I like reading books. But I'm a slow reader. You know, I am not a book a week guy. I'm a book a month, book every two months, kind of guy, sadly. Because I always finished the book going, oh, I got to start again. And then I do it again. So I'm a slow reader. So to read three chapters of my own book, I kind of felt was a bit egotistical, you know, and I felt a bit awkward about it. So I gave it to Claire. And I said, you read it? No one knows me better than you. We've been together since we were 16 and 17. And she read it. And we were in bed, and she finished it. And she said, “This is horrible.” And I said, “Oh, why? Is it bad?” She's like, there's words in there that you can't even say let alone spell. She said, “This book is written about someone that's somewhat like you, but in no way you.” And I was oh, dear. She was like, it's got to be whole, but it's all kind of like, I did this. I am this, I can do that. It's all about how wonderful you are, and have no benefit to anybody else. So living in LA, we took the decision to pull out this deal. So we actually--

Josh Steimle:

That's a big decision.

Steve Sims:

I don't, well--

Josh Steimle:

I mean, you’re burning bridges. You’re--

Steve Sims:

Well, forget the bridges. My paycheck on this deal was borderline criminal. You know, first author, they had never paid a first author the amount of money they paid me. And then because the market changed after that, I think I've been the highest paid first author ever. Okay. Now to give you an idea of how many motorbikes I bought with it. And so it did really well for me, and I got the first chunk of it. So, you know, it wasn't a small piece of a pie to give back. But remember, I said to you earlier that the successful people had standards, and they didn't change those standards. That was the first thing that I ever got. If I got a drink, and it wasn't very good, I'll give it back to the bottom go. Excuse me say that that's not like it. You please remake it. I adopted the standards of successful people. I was not going to have my book go out there with my name on it, probably my face. And him not be me. Okay. So I have to, regardless of money, and again, I said before, successful people are successful and money comes. So stop looking. And I know it's hard to say, but don't look at the money, because you're looking at the wrong point. It's like driving down the road and looking out the window to your right. That isn’t smart. You're crashing to something. So we had to stick to the standard. So we got on a plane, me and Claire. Claire didn't want to do it either. But we knew it was the right thing to do. We flew to New York. I walked into the editor's office. Claire sat down with a magazine. I walked into the office. She was late. So she walked into the office. We were both still standing. She said to me, why are you here? Very aggressive Jewish women. Absolutely wonderful woman. But massive balls on her and really strong. She goes, why are you here? And I said it’s the book. I got the first three chapters. They're awful. What's wrong with them? It's not me. And we hadn't even sat down. I said is not me. You know, I can't honestly, I'll pay the money back. Why are we back immediately I can do it now. I said, but I can't have this book go out there because the chapters talk about, you know, how brilliant I am. And it doesn't help anybody else. We can't do it. And she said oh, got it. Still not sat down. She said, you don't need a ghost writer. You need a translator? Shall we? What does that mean? Now, of course, I get those jokes being a Brit in America. She said, you don't need someone to write your book. You need someone to translate your ideas and concepts and stories and translate them into a format that other people can understand. You don't need a ghostwriter. You need a translator. She said, we're giving to that person. You can start the other person next week. I said, you don't want to call this off. No, we're writing a book. See you later. We hadn't even said. I walked out of the door. I swear I was in that meeting for maybe five minutes.

Josh Steimle:

Never even sat down.

Steve Sims:

Never sat down. Claire didn't even receive her coffee that the Secretary announced that you want to get, hadn't even received the coffee. And we left. You know, so 15 minutes on the elevator to back in it. And we were like, what the hell was that? You know, but that was the big difference. I wanted to write a book. And here this was the first thing and Jay Abraham told me. He was like, forget the book for a second. What do you want the reaction to be? Focus on the reaction of that book? Do you want to read a whole book and finish it being scared? You know, do you want to read a whole book and finish it smiling? You know, what is the reaction you're trying to create? And I thought to myself, I know a lot of fantastic people. I know a lot of successful people. And I've been able to milk that and ride the coattails through my 30 plus year industry. I'd love to be able to give some people the shortcut to that. So two things. One, I want the book to be an easy read. And I want it to be digestible quickly. And I came up with this concept that I wanted someone to walk into JFK, and to buy the book, and to be able to read it on the five hour flight from there to LA. And then I wanted them to be able to get off that flight in LAX, and do things differently. That's what I wanted. So we focused on the reaction first. And we realize that reaction isn't me telling you how brilliant I am, is me telling you how that brilliance can make you brilliant, how you can learn from that, how you can miss out on some of those walk in failings along the way. So we focused on the reaction. And then as the translator was interviewing me, you suddenly start to get revealed to you. It's like a therapy session on what it is you do, because I'd say to him, oh, I did this, this and this. And then I did this. And I'd be focusing on the big grand thing that I did. And he'd be like, well, hang on a minute? Let's step back three steps. Why did you do that? And I'll be like, well, you just do that, that that. And then you do this. And he’d be like, no, no, no, you're missing the point. It's never the finish line you get to. It's how you start the race and what you do during it that gets you to the other. The wonderful thing you pull off, that's just the destination. It was the route you took, and the method and the vehicle that you do differently. And I realized I simplify everything. And so in revealing the book, I thought to myself and again, this was also because of the time I got, I didn't have to worry about the money. You know, I could write the book I wanted to write. I can call it out there and go, hey, stop complicating it. Stop focusing on your brand. Stop focusing on the solution. Stop worrying about how to attract clients. Start trying focusing on word of mouth. All of these different things did I did, and then if I can do it with Elon Musk, you can do it. And so I ended up writing a book that I wanted to and I was proud to and we released it. And this is where it gets a little bit funny. We released it. And I think the first month I said we sold 1,000, maybe 2,000 copies and then the second month about this.

Steve Sims:

Where do we get to and then I'll pick it in.

Josh Steimle:

Okay. The last thing that I heard was we sold about 1,000, 2,000 copies. And then?

Steve Sims:

All right. So I'll cut back into that and you can splice it. Okay?

Josh Steimle:

All right.

Steve Sims:

So this is where it gets funny. The book got released on October 13, about three years ago. And the first month they sold like 1,000 or 2,000 copies. Second month, the same. And I can't tell you, Simon and Schuster went, oh, you know, is this good? And they turned around, and they went, “No, don't contact us. We'll contact you.” And I'm thinking, “Oh, shit.” And then the third month 8,000 copies. And all of a sudden, it took off. And I realized what Jay Abraham was talking about. There's very few people that are ever going to be able to buy a house on the beach from selling a book. But what the book provides them the opportunities to will get them a mansion on the beach. It was amazing how it was like releasing an animal into the city. You no longer have control over it. And I was getting phone calls. I was getting letters. I was getting emails. Can you train our teams? Can you coach here? Can you fly him speak? And I suddenly realized what I was doing were very primitive and simple, with difference in the world today, where we overcomplicate things, overpretty things, overbrand things. And it just exploded. In the first year, I was making more money through the book and the opportunities that was given than my best year within the top concierge firm in the planet. Okay. The money was different. But this is where it got really, this is the impact it did. Well, because you know, I wasn't really focused on money at that time, because it is the business I had. The work I was doing gave me a greater ROE than ever before. Now I work on ROE, return on energy and effort. Some people return on investment. But if you're working with a person you don't really like but you're making a lot of money, it still wears you out, you know. And some of my clients were powerful, strange characters to work with. Let's leave it at that. But now I'm working with entrepreneurs who are aggravated. They demand more. How do I raise my standards? How do I raise my business? How do I raise my brand, my name, you know, and I was working with them. And I'd be like, look, you're doing all of this, you're focusing on your funnels in your website. Let's focus on this little element here, nail it, and then work on the next bit. So I started working with people that wanted and demanded more of themselves. I would go home, happy, you know, not being able to sleep because I was so excited about what the projects we were working on. Because I was no longer spending a billionaire’s money to give them a cool cocktail story. I was working with a business to help them change their ethos, change their culture, change their branding. And it wouldn't just affect the owner. It would affect the 300 people working in the business. And it was much more gratifying. So did I expect -- you said at the beginning about the book, did I expect to do any of this? No. And I'll give you one last little story. Can I give them my website?

Josh Steimle:

Absolutely. Yes.

Steve Sims:

Okay.

Josh Steimle:

Please.

Steve Sims:

I'm not pitching you. I want you to watch a free video. And there's no sales pitch in the video, but you'll understand it. So I have a website, Stevedsims.com. D for David. And there's only one m in Sims. Now the reason I want you to go to that website is because I made the biggest mistake in the planet when I launched a book. I didn't even have a website. I didn't have a website because I thought to myself, no one's going to buy the book. It is the book I want to write. But if it sells, it’s and I didn't know anything about writing books, didn’t know anything about promoting it. And so I was told about a week away from the releasing the book by Simon Schuster, you've got to do a launch event. I said, I do. And they went, yeah, it’s in your contract. You've got to do it. So I literally and here's a dumb thing. They sent me $2,000 and every what every payment I've received would have been in a wire. They posted me because it was from a different department, a $2,000 check to cover champagne and stuff for a launch party. I took that check to my local whiskey bar that I used to hang out in. And I signed it over to the bar manager and I said look, here's the deal. When we've run out of that check, turn the lights on, kick us out. And he went yeah, fine. So I invited a whole bunch of my friends and again, understand. If you only hang out in great rooms, you only have great friends. So I had, you know, Jim Quick. Lewis Howells was coming down. I had Matt Maddox, Caleb, Greg Reed. I had a whole bunch of people at this event. So I had some good faces and names, some Hollywood, you know, names and faces and all come along just to get drinking with me. Okay. No photographs. I forgot a photographer. I didn't have any recording of it. Except for one girl. Now there was one girl there, Sonia Hodder that sent to me, can I do a little bit of video work for my husband to get some B roll, because it's a cool bar, some cool people. We just want some background and the odds of him, you know, for a future video we're doing for him. So I went, yeah, fine. Knock yourself out. So I went on with the night just to get drunk. What I didn't realize was that she was actually doing a secret video for me. She was going around everyone interviewing them about Steve and the book. And about two days later, I get this phone call from Simon Schuster going, you got no website? And there's been no mention of the release of the book. And she started, they were like, no, this is a problem. And I was like, oh, crap, I've got no photos. I've got nothing. So I started contacting a few people going, hey, because we all carry these phones now, I said, you know, did you have any photographs? Can you put them in this Dropbox? Apparently, under contract, I've got to do this. Sonia, without me contacting her, contacted me, and said, we've done this video for you. And I'm like, oh my god, that is brilliant. So what we did was straightaway, we opened up the website. I always buy my own domain. So I always buy my name. I bought, since I had my kids born, I buy the URL of that name. So they've always got their own name. So I always had Steve D since from years ago. We had just a blank page, and we shelved that video in the middle. Now, the website has gotten a lot better over the years. But we still on the front page of our website have the launch night video of that whiskey party. And when you watch it at the beginning, everyone's very polite, very courteous, because they're all sober. And then as it goes on, everyone's getting more and more drunk and abusive. And I put that video out there. And there were a couple of people from Simon Schuster. And they said, it's not the right kind of video that we're trying to put out there.

Steve Sims:

But it was me. And that was the key. That was the absolute key. You want me to put my finger on what made this so successful. It's 100% unapologetic, impossible to misunderstand me. And the video was the same. So the video exposing my friends getting drunk, laughing at me saying rude things about me. People went well, this isn't a guy trying to be someone he's not. This is just him, being him, doing what he does. Well, if he can be that real, maybe we can. And that was it. So that that video, I put that down responsible for the book being taken off. And I can give you an exclusive. As of last week, the book just got released in Russia. So it's gone all over the planet. And I had no idea it was going to take off like that. No idea.

Josh Steimle:

Steve, this has been fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing your story. This has been amazing. This is so valuable. This is exactly what we need for this audience to help entrepreneurs figure out how they can write a book and promote it and leverage it to grow their business. And the stories are just hilarious. This is so good. And I can say having done this interview with you now and having read the book, the book is you. I mean, it's authentic. And there's nobody else who could have written it. There's nobody else who could have done it. Ghostwriter wouldn't have worked.

Steve Sims:

Thank you. Then I appreciate. Then I hit my goal. That's what I wanted to do like it, loathe it. I just wanted it to be me.

Josh Steimle:

Awesome. Steve, thank you so much for being on the show. Everybody, go to Stevedsims.com. And check out all the stuff that Steve has to offer for you there.

Steve Sims:

Thank you.

CONTACT US

Know someone who would be a great guest for the Published Author Podcast? Have a question or suggestion? We'd love to hear from you!

ABOUT PUBLISHED AUTHOR

At Published Author we offer online courses, mastermind groups, book coaching, and ghostwriting services to help entrepreneurs craft a nonfiction book they can leverage to grow their business.

LEARN MORE

© 2021 7 Systems, LLC. All Rights Reserved