How Steve Sims built a business on being likeable

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Today’s guest is a little bit different. He’s not a tech entrepreneur. He didn’t build his company in his dorm room.

He had kind of a winding road to get here, and the reason that I’m having him on is I think this story is going to be useful for you, but also I’m just freaking fascinated by the guy.

He has a kind of personality that makes you just like him. I know that seems kind of like wishy washy and dorky, but we shared a cab on the way back to a hotel and I just said, “I dig this guy. I really just like him.” And I said, “I want to know how he’s so freaking likable,” and so that’s what this interview is about.

Steve Sims is the founder of Bluefish, is a concierge service for VIPs and executives who want luxury and adventure.

Steve Sims

Steve Sims

Bluefish

Steve Sims is the founder of Bluefish, is a concierge service for VIPs and executives who want luxury and adventure.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, everyone. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they’ve built their businesses and usually, I interview tech entrepreneurs about how they built their software companies often, kind of, in a dorm room. In fact, later today I’m going to be recording an interview with a guy who I think literally did in a dorm room.

So today’s guest is a little bit different. He’s not a tech entrepreneur. He didn’t do this in his dorm room. He had kind of a winding road to get here, and the reason that I’m having him on is I think this story is going to be useful for you, but also I’m just freaking fascinated by the guy. I feel like he has a kind of personality that makes you just like him. I know that seems kind of like wishy washy and dorky, but we shared a cab on the way back to a hotel and I just said, “I dig this guy. I really just like him.” And I said, “I want to know how he’s so freaking likable,” and so that’s what this interview is about.

How he built his business, how he’s so likeable, and how he gets to do things like, well . . . Why don’t I introduce him first then I’ll tell you some of the things that he’s gotten to do in life. I know because I read his book. It’s called “Bluefishing.” So his name is Steve Sims. He is the founder of Bluefish. Bluefish is a concierge service for VIPs and executives who want luxury and adventure. So I’ll give you a sense of the kinds of things that people come to him asking to do. One guy wanted to go to the Playboy Mansion. Somebody else said that he wanted 16 Birkin bags in two weeks. I guess that’s a hard thing to get.

Erotic car purchase. Retain a private island for up to 200 guests. Book a castle for intimate stays, family vacation. There was something in this book Steve, tell me if I’m wrong. Some guy wanted to go not just watch some car race, but he wanted to do it in Monaco he wanted to do it with the royal family. Am I right about that?

Steve: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a Ferrari, yeah. Ferrari, Formula 1.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s a typical request that people come to you with and you help satisfy. I’m I right?

Steve: Yeah. I’m the modern day Wizard of Oz for those with the check book.

Andrew: Right. I like how you always say, “With a checkbook.” Even at the dinner you said, “I get people to do anything who want to pay to get it done.” All right. So I’m curious about how you get that done. I’m curious about how a guy builds a business like this and whether it really is a business or just kind of a hangout event that you get to enjoy. And I didn’t plan to talk to Steve. As much as I like him I told him, “Hey, we’re not going to talk about your book. That’s not what Mixergy’s about,” but he still sent me a copy of his book. And as you guys can see I didn’t just read it, I wrote in it. I bent the corners of some of the pages to remind me to ask him some questions about it, so we will talk about the book, “Bluefishing,” which is, “The Art of Making Things Happen.”

We’ll do it all thanks to two great sponsors who are equally as determined as I am to learn from entrepreneurs and help you build great companies. The first will help you sell more. I know because it helps us sell more. It is called Pipedrive. The second is going to help you get your next great developer. It’s called Toptal. First, Steve. Welcome, man.

Steve: It’s a pleasure. I knew this was a techie thing so I wore a hoodie.

Andrew: Nice work. You should also know that I’m also going to ask you about revenue. I know your revenue, at least to the best of my knowledge. Do you feel comfortable sharing it publicly? Say, “yes.”

Steve: Yes.

Andrew: What is the revenue from Bluefish, this business that gets people all these VIP experiences?

Steve: This year we’re probably going to be around about nine.

Andrew: Nine million. Last year what were you?

Steve: Seven I think, so we’re gaining quite an explosion.

Andrew: Where does the revenue come from? What are people paying . . . Is it for individual experiences or is it for that membership that I saw on the site?

Steve: So we have a membership. I’m a great believer in if they pay they pay attention, so we have a membership. It’s five grand just to get our phone number, and then from there we do everything from hotels, flights, tickets to Justin Bieber. But what we’re really well-known for, where the big revenues come in, is where the clients want to go down to the Titanic, or they want to have breakfast with Oprah Winfrey, or they want to get married in the Vatican by the Pope. You know, these are all things that we do and we’ve done.

Andrew: You’ll get me to have breakfast with Oprah if I have enough money for it?

Steve: Yeah.

Andrew: Wait. How do you do that? Oprah doesn’t need your money. She doesn’t need my money. How . . . ?

Steve: No. Most people funny enough, the level that we’re playing at now, most of the people that we actually ask to do things don’t need the money. But we can either help promote something that will involve them. We can help support a charity. We can help raise profile and awareness for a charity or a cause that they’re involved in, so there may be a charity [inaudible 00:04:20] you can say that Oprah’s supporting at the time that we could make a donation to and raise awareness for.

Andrew: I see. So that’s pacifically with Oprah, you guys helped raise money. How much money did you have to raise for Oprah?

Steve: Yeah, so there was . . . Do you know I’m not sure, and I’m not fine to give figures, but we had a client who wanted to meet with her and hang out with her in Canada . . . Well, it wasn’t specifically in Canada. He just wanted to hang out with her but she was up in Canada at the time and we were able to arrange it up there and there was a charitable donation required for that.

Andrew: Anyone who’s listening and I know most people are listening to this, not watching us, would in their heads imagine, “Well, this guy is sending people on these big adventures, VIP, Oprah Winfrey,” etc. and they hear your accent, they might be thinking that you’re standing here in a bow tie with a tuxedo and not what you’re doing just now, which is touching your shaved head. You’ve got a piercing in your eye and you’ve got kind of a bad-ass, I’m-going-to-kick-your-ass or ride-over-you-with-my-motorcycle look to you, and it’s because you weren’t born a blue blood you came from a construction family. What did your family do growing up?

Steve: Construction. All the way through. You know, my dad . . . My mom literally used to work on the building site when we were tight for staff, so I come from an East London construction family, and that was it. I lived . . .

Andrew: And then you started doing that too?

Steve: Yeah. At the age of 15 and I left school, didn’t go to college. And I left school, the following day my dad kicked me out of bed at 5:00 o’clock in the morning. He’s like, “Mate, you’re on the building site now.” So I was a construction worker straight out of school.

Andrew: Yeah. The thing I’m curious about is how does a guy who’s a construction worker become this kind of entrepreneur, and how do you even find this thing? But let’s work our way through it. I can understand how you said to yourself, “You know what? I don’t want to do this. It’s not that much fun.” I could see you have more creativity in you than that. Why stockbroker then became the job, I’m curious about?

Steve: Oh, God, well, because in England it rains. It rains a lot.

Andrew: I see.

Steve: And it’s cold and it’s horrible, and so being a brick layer isn’t the easiest job in the world. So I wanted the polar opposite, and in the ’80s, it was the era of Wall Street and Gekko and the big [inaudible 00:06:32]. So really, me being uneducated idiot plank that I was, I wanted the polar opposite so dirty brick layer, pinstriped stock broker and power lunches. That’s what I wanted. So I was the kid that always went for extremes. And that’s what it was, I literally went for that because it was as far-fetched from being a brick layer as I possibly thought at the time.

Andrew: You know what Steve? The movie “Wall Street” was supposed to basically show you how bad Wall Street was in the ’80s. It had the exact opposite effect. There were people who wanted to be brokers because of that bad-ass attitude that was expressed in the movie, and you’re one of those people. Did you get a job as a stockbroker and how was it?

Steve: Yes, I did. A friend of mine was working in a bank and he told me about these internships. So I turned up at the bank to apply for an internship and ended up walking into the room where they were doing an introduction for all of these brokers that they were flying over to Hong Kong. They were basically moving part of bank over to Hong Kong. I went in that room because they had a really beautiful breakfast buffet, and it was the first place I ever ate salmon for breakfast. And I actually blagged my way into it for them believing that me, wearing my dad’s suit, I was one of the brokers that needed to be transferred.

They actually sent me a ticket and transferred me to Hong Kong as a stockbroker.

Andrew: You must have loved it?

Steve: Yeah. I arrived on a Saturday. This was from London. I was like 20 years old. I arrived on a Saturday, got drunk with them on the Saturday, got drunk with them on the Sunday. Went to orientation on a Monday and I was fired on the Tuesday. So . . .

Andrew: What did you do on Monday or Sunday that got you fired within less than a week?

Steve: Less than a . . . Yeah, in a day. I think they would have fired me earlier. I think they just realized I had no qualifications, and then when they pulled me into the office . . . When I came into the office on the Tuesday they asked me to go straight into the board room. So I’m in the boardroom with these two guys far smaller than me, both petrified which one of them was going to tell me that I was fired. And they would just ask me, “Oh, where is your . . . We don’t have your licenses. You know, where is your Chapter Seven?” And I went, “I don’t have it.”

What about, “Seven?” I was like, “I don’t have that.” “The 11?” “I don’t have that . . . ” They went, “Are you licensed at all?” and I was like, “Nope.” And then we all realized I blagged my way in there, and they went, “You know you’re fired, don’t you?” I went, “Yeah, I kind of realized that.” So I blagged my way in there but there was no way getting past the fact that I had to avoid . . .

Andrew: Did they get you a flight back?

Steve: Sorry?

Andrew: Did they get you a flight back after that?

Steve: Yeah. So they gave me a return ticket, an open-ended return ticket, and they gave you an apartment for three months. Now, when I got fired they said, “Look, you got a ticket. Because you’re we’ve got to give . . . ” They gave me a couple of months’ severance package so I thought, “Well, I got loads of money brick layer with all of this money in what was the most expensive city in the world at the time, so that lasted me a couple of weeks. And they said, “You can stay in the apartment for three months but then you go to bugger off.” And that was it.

So I’m now wandering around the streets of Wenzhou [SP], no job, trying to work out what the bloody hell I’m going to do. The guys in the apartment hated me and that was it.

Andrew: I’ve actually circled that in your book here. I don’t think these are the right page numbers because I get early copies of books so thanks for sending it over. But basically you say that to this day when things are tough you think back to that discomfortable period where you said, “Back then,” speaking of the time you were in Hong Kong, “I had no money, no future, no ideas, not a clue. Honestly, I wasn’t too bothered by it. I just thought, ‘Well, I have no money? Well, in the past I’ve had no job. I’ve had no plans,’ so there you go. I’m used to this.” So that is partially why today you got this like fuck-it attitude.

Steve: Yeah. I was uneducated and I had nothing to lose when I was young, and that was a great standing point for me, you know. I only had my word and my energy, so as I’ve grown and fallen down I’ve realized well . . . And as my dad used to say “The fight’s not over when you fall down, son. It’s when you stop getting up.” So I had that kind of attitude, “I’ve been here before,” so I can get up. And the beauty of falling down is when you do it enough times you learn how to get up, and you realize it’s not that embarrassing when you fall down and you learn more on the way back up than you do on the way down, so I’ve actually been thankful of the failures that I’ve had.

Andrew: So, you know what? I’m still like going through the book trying to find this place here. I do remember somewhere in the book you said, “I then . . . ” You were working the doors of bouncer somewhere in Hong Kong, at some point you decided, “I’m going to organize my own parties,” then there was this pass word that I thought was clever. Talk about the transition from being basically a bum in Hong Kong with no prospects, to suddenly creating this party business that led to what you’re doing today.

Steve: I’m not quite sure I would have classified myself as a bum, young mate.

Andrew: I’m trying to add drama to it. I thought of that too. I feel like “bum” is actually not like a politically correct word to use, but I got to add drama so let’s go with it.

Steve: All right. Let’s roll with it. So the bottom line of it is I was actually starting to get into a dark place, and I found this one bar which was like the first bar in Wan Chai [SP] that I was sat outside just getting drunk, and the owner was a woman. And she came out to me one day and she said, “Look, can you get these foreigners off this table? They’re causing trouble, and if they don’t leave politely now, we’re going to let our boys go in there and I don’t want that to happen.”

So I had worked from the door before and being naturally gifted to being big and ugly I was built for this. So I just went in there told the guys, “Look, you got two options. You pay your bill and you leave nicely, or these guys are going to come out and you’re not going to see Tuesday. I hope you make the right decision.” And I went back to my table and from that night the lady said, “Look, can you be the door man?” So I went, “Yeah, sure.” I started noticing the club wasn’t very good on certain nights, and I started noticing that there was some real good expatriates in the area that I started forming my own clubs going, “Hey, let’s get the pretty girls coming this night and let’s get some ’80s music going here,” and I started forming these to try and get people to come in.

And I made the girls kind of like wear certain outfits, and I don’t want to get wrong but in the ’80s and ’90s in Hong Kong most of them were topless in these clubs, so . . .

Andrew: Oh, really? Okay.

Steve: Yeah. It was a very seedy little area, so I said to the girls, “You got to be dressed . . . You can be sexy,” so now the tease was brought in and the guys liked that more because they knew they would come in, have fun, go home alone and it was a much better thing. And so I started doing clubs and I always had a [prick 00:13:24] policy. I didn’t want to deal with people that weren’t comfortable with themselves so I would send out a fax where the location of my party was going to be, and I would send a password and these passwords, we only had three.

One of them was name the lion out of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” One of them was name two of the Teletubbies, and the other one was finish this sentence, “One fish, two fish, red fish.” So we would have these guys come up, and as I said, this was in the night . . . This was the target market, so we had like the heads of like Puma and Reebok and Adidas and Ralph Lauren and banking companies and jets. We’d have them walk up to the door and they’d go, “Aslan,” and we’d let them in.

But if they turned up and they were like, “Yeah, I’m here for the party,” me and my other meat head would be on the door and we’d be like, “No party here. I don’t know what you’re talking about mate,” and we would blank them and make them look a bit stupid. And then they’d wander off and the next person would come up and go, “Tinky, Winky, Po,” and we’d say, “In you go, buddy.”

And of course, one of those passwords being Bluefish after a while of doing these parties people started going, “Oh, that’s that Bluefish company,” otherwise we could have been called, “Tinky Winky Po,” so I’m quite glad that they picked up on that one, and that was the birth of this kind of community. And we would always try and do things a little bit different. We’d always try and make it a little bit cooler, a little bit more vibrant, and we would take up over penthouses in hotels, and rent new residences that companies were trying to sell, yachts, and just try to have parties in weir and wacky places, and just invite, by now, a great network.

Andrew: You know, so my researcher put a note here in my Google Doc about you saying your goal was to actually get back into banking through these parties. Is that right?

Steve: What a delusional get I was. I thought to myself if I knew loads of rich bankers by networking with them they would just walk into the club one day and go, “Hey, Sims, you should work on a trading desk.” I overlooked the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. I just really thought that if I knew a lot of rich people I would get a rich job. And that was it because you don’t want to invite poor people to a club because they can’t afford it. So I invited affluent people hoping . . . Now, here’s one weird thing. That was the only time in my career that I never actually asked for a job or asked anything. Someone would say to me, “Hey, I want to go to Monaco,” I’d go, “Great, that’s five grand. Give me the money I’ll sort it out.”

I had no problem with asking for money, but I never ever asked for a job at the time. The only time I never asked for anything.

Andrew: Because you didn’t have the guts to do it or because you were so comfortable with where you were in life?

Steve: I didn’t think I was ready. I thought I needed to get the right crowd, the right person who’s working and what not. I was doing all of these events and making money and getting more connected and putting off these things because of my brazen . . . And I think part of the beauty, part the secret source was because I never thought this would last. I kind if didn’t care about it too much, so I’d be like, “Oh, yeah, I love that yacht. Can I borrow that Tuesday?” They were like, “You want to borrow my yacht?” “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know really rich people. Would have really got the hot girls, fancy cars, and a bit of . . . You can come,” you know?

And they’d be like, “All right, but you got to clean up.” “Yeah, sure. No problem.” I was that blasé about life. I was kind of getting in the places that people were like, “How are you doing this?” and I’d be like, “Oh, I don’t know,” because I was fixated on that guest list and thinking . . . [inaudible 00:17:06] coast, I went over there in early ’90s and it was like six years later and I was throwing the best events in the round and getting into other people’s events from Hong Kong to Macau to Monaco to Shard. But before I realized it, I’d built up Bluefish while still thinking I was going to get a banking job.

Andrew: All right. Let me take a moment to talk about my sponsor and then we’re going to come back in here and I’ll talk about how suddenly you actually just started generating money from banks. It wasn’t directly the way you thought it would be, and where the original customers came from, and then how you developed and grew this. But the sponsor’s a company called Toptal. Steve, have you ever heard of Toptal or any experience with them at all?

Steve: I haven’t. No, I haven’t.

Andrew: I’m about to blow your mind. Here’s the thing that Toptal’s known for. The best developers, right? People I see on medium are now saying, talking about the experience trying to become developers in the Toptal network. I get emails now because I do ads for Toptal from people saying, “Can you please help me get in the Toptal developer network so that I can get work through Toptal because they’re the best.” It’s the best of the best people in their network. If anyone wants to hire a developer they can get it from them, but here’s the thing that I did recently.

I know that they acquired a company that would allow businesses to hire business professional, people who are from finance background. I said, “You know, I’m the only person going through my own book,” so like at the high level the only person going through my books on a monthly basis and looking for issues, looking for opportunities. “What if I just go to these Toptal people and hire like a CFO person?” So I talked to them. They introduced me to three people. I picked the person I liked. I hired them on an hourly basis for a little more than 200 bucks an hour.

And this one of the top of the line. This is a guy who was a former McKinsey partner, headed Carlyle Group companies. Before we even start Steve, he looks at my financials and starts to send me all these different ideas for what I could be doing differently. Like Andrew, “Why are you an LLC? You should be a C Corp based on the few things you told me in your screening call with me where I was trying to get the job to work with me. based on all these things I put together a spreadsheet with an estimate of how much taxes you’re probably paying right now, and I put together a parallel spreadsheet showing you how much taxes you would be paying if you were a S Corp the way I’m telling you to be.”

What the hell is this? And then he put together this whole document of how he would work and like all the goals that we would hit together in this process for doing it. I go, “This is amazing.” So I get on a call with him because I hire him, and we have an hour call. He gives me a bunch of things that need to get done. Some of them I say, “Can you do it because I don’t know what to do with this?” Some of them are small, like, “Hey, you’re paying too much in credit card fees. Go negotiate with them or go tell them that this is what you want.” I go, “Okay, great, but I don’t actually fully understand what’s going on in our billing.” He goes, “Send it to me.”

So I sent him my whole invoice from the credit card processing company. He found all these issues with it. I go, “Oh, this is really good.” He gave me whole list of things that my account should be doing. I started firing off letters while we’re talking, started firing off emails to my accountant saying, “He told me we should do an S Corp, here’s why. Why aren’t we doing an S Corp?” Then I sent another email, “He told me we should be doing this. Why are we doing that? He told me we should . . . Why are we doing that?”

Anyway. Lot of work. So, so worth it. And then here’s the wonderful like thing. Not that I mind paying him whatever it is, about $200 an hour, but all the work he did before we got started he didn’t even bill me for. He did it for the reason that I knew the Toptal people work. He just loved the freaking challenge. He couldn’t help himself. He was supposed to start on Monday. He couldn’t help himself. On the weekend put together a spreadsheet, put together a bullet point list of the things I should be doing. Started thinking about all the things that we must be doing wrong here and that he wants to fix. This is what the best of the best will do guys.

If you want to hire someone who’s going to take direction from you, there are tons of freelance sites out there, they’re going to do great. They’ll do exactly what you tell them to do like they are your hands. If you want brains people, who can’t help but try to solve problems you’ve got to go to Toptal. I have hired them for developers. I have hired them for designers. This is my first time hiring from the finance area. You got to go check them out, the best of the best. Frankly, I’m going to be honest with you, they’re going to cost you a little bit more than other freelancers online, but you’re going to be happy with the prices and I know it because I’m looking in my inbox.

The vast majority are happy and occasionally, I get unhappy mails from people and I talk to you about them publicly in the ads for Toptal because I’m that confident about the results you’re going to get. If you want to sign up don’t go to toptal.com, by the way. That’s “top” as in top of your head, tal as in talent. Go to the special URL where you’re going to get 80 hours of Toptal developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours, and that’s in addition to a no-risk trial period of up to two weeks. Go hire the best of the best on an hourly basis, part-time basis, full-time basis. You can even hire a whole team of developers from them if you go to the special URL toptal.com/mixergy. Toptal.com/mixergy.

All right, Steve. There. I think I blew your mind. It’s now impregnated in your head. You’re probably not going to think to need to use it right now because you don’t need a developer. Two months from now you’re going to go, “Wait a minute. I know the best developers. You guys suck. Get me someone from Toptal.”

All right. Let’s come back into your story. You then start to get sponsors from the banks, right? What are they paying for?

Steve: So I now realized I had a crowd, and because by keeping it very primitive and the fact that I only wanted affluent people that were cool, I had no drama. I had eradicated drama without realizing it. So now I had a lot of people go, “Oh, where is next? Where’s next party?” I was going to a lot of these banks hoping that they were going to employ me, and then in the end what they started doing was go, “Oh you’ve got the kind of clientele that we want,” and then I suddenly realized that I had something.

I had a group of people that followed me. I had a community. I had a tribe, so I was like, “Well this party is going to cost me 10 grand.” Now, bear in mind I’m charging the people that are turning up. And I’d go, “Oh, this party is charging me 10 grand. You give me . . . ” And I remember in the early stage, it was like, “You give me two grand and I’ll put your name on it.” And they’d be like, “Oh, there’s two grand.” So they would do it for sponsorship rights. I worked out very quickly that I shouldn’t actually be paying anything for the party, so I was sponsoring. So I was making the money from the people attending and I was charging about three or four sponsors to be there.

So I was charging that off and then I was able to get bigger places and make bigger parties, and have guests turn up, and so I was very much a part of party promoter in the early stage.

Andrew: I get how you would get good people to . . . Actually, I get how you would find the locations. You have the money, you have the creativity. You’ve had the time on your hands to go find the yacht, find the nice apartment it’s on. What I’m curious about is how did you get these people to show up in the days when . . . I’m looking at your website from when was this, like 2000? No, this is from 2001. It was the bluefish.com, right?

Steve: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, it looks like it was almost created on like a Yahoo store. You want anyone who’s interested . . . Do you want them to email you with their email address? Professionally . . . I don’t know what this is actually. Maybe this isn’t even you. Wait, were you doing any like . . . “If you know your business or organization needs to be on the internet but don’t know how to get there you found the right place. Bluefish . . . ” No. That’s not you. I see, okay.

Steve: No.

Andrew: Got it. So then how did you get people to show up if the web is not the answer?

Steve: The web wasn’t an answer for me for the first maybe eight years. What I was doing was I was . . . If you go anywhere, and you could do it in America as well. If you go into a store that specializes in a certain food like if you go down to an actual supermarket that specializes in Chinese or Korean or British food, there’s magazines and newspapers, local papers in there of people that are in the area. And quite often it’ll show just new people over here. This new person landed in America and is the expatriate and has now got this job.

And all your magazines, your local magazines, every now and then will do the top doctors in the area, or the top lawyers in the areas. I would send them little notes and I would go, “Hey welcome to the area. By the way, you want to hang out with other expatriates? We have this fantastic party on Tuesday night. Phone up this number, small interview and then we’ll put you on this.” So we’d always interview people. I learned very early on that that little interview process was one of the Golden Keys. If you stop people coming that are problematic, you got rid of 99% your problems.

Andrew: It wasn’t just that you were manually looking for people to invite to the party and sending them handwritten notes I’m assuming, but you would also screen every single person by phone?

Steve: Every single . . . Still do now. You apply for membership in Bluefish and you get a scheduled phone call and then you are interviewed. We interview Kings, Queens, royalties, politicians, whatever. Every single person that comes into Bluefish is interviewed, and hopefully, most of the time by me.

Andrew: That seems like a lot of work for you to have done that. Why not come up with something more automated? Something less intense?

Steve: I don’t know how you can automate you gut yet.

Andrew: So you were looking for gut reaction to see is this person worth it?

Steve: I was looking for gut action bearing in mind if you’ve got a party, and your party starts off with 50 people, okay? You know full well that those people are going to bring plus ones. So worst case scenario, you’ve only got 25 phone calls to make, okay? Once you know those people and then you get a bigger location and you can allow another 30 people in, again, you’ve only got 15 phone calls make. It’s not like you’re sitting there making 1000 phone calls, and if you’re inviting millionaires, billionaires, entrepreneurs, creators, heads of our industries, you only need a handful of those people to be making you money. I can do one thing like get married to someone in the Vatican and I’m on like 1.2 million dollars.

So you don’t need a lot of people to be making a lot of money. You need the right kind of people to be making the right amount of money. I’m not selling McDonald’s bearing in mind, so I’m not looking to shift 30,000 units in a day.

Andrew: Okay. I see it. So then you start doing these parties. You’re making money from people buying tickets to come in. You’re also making money a little bit from the sponsorship. How does the transition to more of the concierge service happen?

Steve: So then I get people starting to travel. So people I’m speaking to, and I’m predominantly in Asia now. They’re like, “Hey I’m going back to England, and I’m going to Wimbledon, you know. Can you do something for me for Wimbledon?” And I’m now thinking, “Oh maybe I should put him up in a hotel.” And in the early stages because I knew nothing, I’m phoning up hotels going, “Hey, how do I get paid for this?” And they were like, “Well, are you a travel agent?” “No. How do I become a travel agent?” “Well, you need to be IATA registered.” “What the hell’s IATA?”

So it’s a lot of questions. I’ve never been a kid that’s been embarrassed about asking questions. So I would grill these people. “How do you get IATA? So IATA’s a travel agency regulatory body?” “Yes.” “So that’s who I need to be. That’s the best?” “No. You need them and then you need these people because that’s the best of the best.” “Oh, well, then I’ve got to go after them.” So I would basically learn all these things and then I would go back to my tribe and go, “Hey. Oh by the way, you may never have thought of us for travel, but did you know we’re registered travel agents as well?” And, “Oh, by the way, did you . . . ?”

So as we would do something, and we still used the exact same principles now. Every time we do something cool like stick a clown on stage with a rock star, or get you a drum lesson by Guns N’ Roses, or throw a party with Sir Elton John, we then go and tell our community and tribe and followers about it, and then they would come back to us and go, “What you’re doing with Elton John’s brilliant, but could you do that with Lady Gaga, or could you . . . ?” And we’d go, “Can’t be that hard. Let’s try it.” And so we constantly are leap frogging between different ideas based off of different relationships we’ve already got.

Andrew: I continued, as we were talking, to go through the internet archive to see what your site used to look like. December 2003 that is, I think, the first big version of your site. What I see on there is . . .

Steve: [inaudible 00:29:36]. Is it that bloody, ugly fish that looks like it came out “Finding Nemo”?

Andrew: Yeah. I just lost it. I’m on the newsletter page, and what I see in the newsletter page is . . .

Steve: I don’t think [inaudible 00:29:45] the blue fish.

Andrew: Yeah, thebluefish.com. So here’s what I see. You could get me to the 46th annual Grammy Awards. I just have to email “Grammys@ thebluefish.com. I could get into LA and New York Fashion Week. I just have to email newyorkfashionweek@bluefish.com, or lafashionweek, and then there are bunch of little events like that. It seems like you were also doing events at a period there, am I right? Where it wasn’t just one of the concierge services but this?

Steve: Yeah. We started to grow. We started to go from doing the personal concierge to also getting big into the [corporate 00:30:17] and into the major event, you know. We were the official concierge of the events you just mentioned, and so during that time period clients of ours could get into those events. This got us a lot of media. I will be honest with you, it also got us in a lot of trouble because we . . .

Andrew: What do you mean?

Steve: Well, we were in such high profile events now, getting so many emails from so many people we would getting diluted. And so we had to kind of cut back ties real quick and start going back to the interview process. There was a period where we weren’t interviewing as much as we were running credit cards.

Andrew: I see.

Steve: And we did actually start to lose our voice. That went through probably between . . . Because the Grammys was 2004, between late 2003 and early 2005, we got really diluted, and we have to kind of snap it back and go, “Wait. Hang on. Nope. Pull it up.” We actually at one stage had our phone number on the website so then we yanked that off. We don’t have the phone number on our website till now.

Andrew: I see, yeah. Phone number and fax. You know what? Your video just froze. You want to turn your video off and on and let’s see how it goes?

Steve: Okay.

Andrew: And it’s off and in a second, it’s going to come on. There. Oh good, because we’ve also had a lag before which is probably why it seemed like we’re stepping on each other’s words. Okay.

I see how this business started to evolve. It’s one-off concierge services. Did you actually want to be in that business or did you say to yourself, “At some point I’m going to transition away.” What did you want to be?

Steve: For the first five to six years I wanted to be a stock broker. I wanted to go to a desk. I wanted to wear a nice suit. I actually thought I wanted that life. Then I realized I was flying around the world meeting people, doing stuff. And there was a period where I started to dislike Bluefish, and that was in that middle to late 2000s before we restructured. And now we are very severe on our interview policy. And now what it does for me is I actually get to hang out with some of the most incredible entrepreneurs all over the world doing incredible things and getting paid for it. So it certainly wasn’t a business I ever planned to do, but I’m not quite sure and I’m very lucky that I never got that banking job.

I’m not quite sure what I could actually do, you know. They’ve tried to buy us out twice. We’ve had to serious offers to buy the company, and it was a case of, “Well, what do I do?” You know, “After that, what do I do?” And so we actually bailed on both of those offers.

Andrew: Because you just enjoy it. I see on Facebook yesterday you posted a picture of yourself with . . .

Why am I missing Aerosmith’s lead singer’s name?

Steve: Oh, Steven Tyler.

Andrew: Steven Tyler. How did you see Steven Tyler?

Steve: I was at Sir Elton John’s Oscar that we worked with for about the last three years, and I’m sitting at the table just sharing with Steven Tyler about “Dream On” and bits and stuff, and you just catch yourself going, “Well, hang on a minute. I brought people from around the world to this party and here I am sharing light with Taylor Swift and Elton John and with Steven Tyler, where the hell could I be where I would be paid to do that?

Andrew: I see. And that’s why this thing that where just kind of a way for you to get a job in a respectable office became something that you actually enjoy. So let me ask you a little bit about the work that you do. You said that there was a guy who called you up in the book somewhere. Guy who called you up and said he wanted to go to the Playboy Mansion, which go figure, that there’s a person, you, that someone could have called to get into the Playboy Mansion. You get on a call with him and then what do you do? Do you know what I’m talking about?

Steve: I do. I do. It’s actually a big, beautiful story. So I’m a great believer in working from your gut not from your head. And one of our team got this phone call and this guy wanted to go to I think it was the Halloween or maybe the Midsummer Night’s. This was the classic Playboy mansion parties, and they contacted our team. And this girl got on the phone as she was talking to him and she contacted me and put him through to me and she said, “Something’s not right. The guy is really nice, but something’s not right about this request. You chat with him.”

So I’m chatting with the guy and I say, “Oh, you want to go to the Playboy Mansion?” He’s like, “Yeah, I need two tickets.” And so I went, “Okay. That’s great, you know. Have you been before?” “No.” And every bit of his tone was down. You know, I said, “Oh okay. So give me your credit card,” and he starts to read out his credit card, and I thought, “You don’t give someone a credit card if you’re not keen on doing something, but why does this guy sound so pissy about going to the Playboy Mansion?”

So we started chatting and I said, “Do you go out to LA much?” He went, “No, not really. I’ve been more North.” I’m like, “Oh, where’d you go north?” He went, “Oh, I’ve been to Napa, Santa Barbara, and Pismo, those areas. And I said, “Oh, you like that?” And his tone changed. He started going, “Oh, I do. I love those areas, and then . . . ” you could physically feel him stand up on the phone now, telling me why he loved to go to Carmel, and the food and the drink and I’m like, “Hang on a minute.”

So I played with him. I went, “Oh, hang on a minute. The Playboy Mansion, it’s for two people is it?” And you could just feel the deflation, and he was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah that’s right. Yeah, it is.” “All right. Back to Napa.” And he was like, “Yeah, I dig it.” And so we got talking and I said to him, I said, “Look. I’m going to go out on a limb here.” And he’s like, “What’s that?” And I went, “Are you gay?”

Andrew: You just brought it up and you said, “Are you gay?”

Steve: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. I just said that so loud that I think people right outside here are shocked. Uh-huh?

Steve: And there was quiet, and he was like, “Why?” I said, “Something’s not right. We’re talking about the most manly oriented event going around. You have boob central yet you then lit up when you’re talking about wine. I’m getting the impression you’re more interested in the grapes and being up there with this other guy that’s coming with you than the Playboy Mansion.” He was quiet for a while and he went, “That’s correct.” I said, “Then why the bloody hell do you want to spend . . . ”

Now bear in mind, back in the early 2000s to get into the Playboy Mansion it was like 10, 15 grand a ticket, you know? The proper Playboy Mansion parties this was an expensive thing. Why the hell are you spending 20 to 30 grand to come over here to go to a freaking party you don’t want to go to? That doesn’t make sense to me.” And he was actually a broker and he said that he’s getting so much [chip 00:37:09] at work he wants to throw them off the scent.

And I was like, “Well, this is fucked up. We’re not going to do that but I’ve got a brilliant idea for you. Why don’t we send you to Napa and I’ll send you on the most amazing vineyards. I’ll get you into wineries and into private homes you never could have thought of. Oh and by the way, I’ve got a couple of clients going to the Playboy Mansion, I’ll send you their ticket stubs, and you can just go to work on Monday, drop those bad boys on the table, and no one will be the wiser but you would have enjoyed a weekend in Napa.”

He went nuts for that and we did it, and he took those bad boys back and threw him on the table and the guys were like, “Oh,” and he was like, “I don’t want to talk about it, boys. I’m not discussing it. It was a great weekend. I loved it. I had a fantastic time, but you want to know what’s going on, you buy the tickets.” And he flanked it and it was beautiful, and I actually saw him for many years afterwards.

Andrew: You know what? Let me ask you something else. I pulled this out of a section called, “Listen for it,” in your book where you’re telling us to pay attention while people are saying, “Why? Who cares? The guy wanted to buy tickets to the Playboy? Sell them to him for whatever, 30,000 for both. Make that guy. Let him go out. Yeah, he has a weekend that’s not ideal for him, but he gets the weekend that he’s looking for. What am I taking away from this?”

Steve: The thing is I don’t want to make 10 grand on one sale. I want to make 100 grand on 20 sales. And I had this feeling that this guy just wanted something and it wasn’t right. And because it wasn’t right it was wrong. Now I didn’t know at first the guy was gay, okay? I knew a rat’s ass, but what I didn’t want for him to go to the Playboy Mansion and maybe to be an asshole there. So my first thoughts were, “Is he going there just to create an issue? Is he going there to do something stupid just to get himself attention?”

And I realized it was quite simply because he had no interest in being in being there, so I wanted to make a happy client because I know happy clients, they come back.

Andrew: I see, and that is your business, people coming back. That’s also your business where it’s not just selling tickets, it’s creating these experiences on an ongoing basis. What type of typical . . .

Steve: I’ve got to tell you this. I was in three of the largest gay magazines and I was actually at LA Pride because of this guy spreading the word of what I had done, so I did great.

Andrew: All right. Okay. Speaking of magazines. There was this one magazine, I’m going to come back after this ad and talk to you about it. You were on a plane. It sounds perfect. Apparently you did not like that you were in this magazine, or what was it? A newspaper. You didn’t like that you were on a plane? You didn’t like this and this change . . . Oh, you don’t know this story. I’m going to remind you in a moment.

Steve: Yeah, no. I did. I thought you meant I was flying on the plane but I . . .

Andrew: No, no. This is like the South Florida Business Journal. You got an article in there that to me seems like the right article for your business. I don’t know why you were upset with it and what you decided to do as a result is what I’m curious. I’m going to get to it in a moment, but first, I want to tell you and blow your mind about another piece of software called Pipedrive, right? You don’t know Pipedrive.

Steve: No.

Andrew: Here’s thing the about Pipedrive. Pipedrive forces you to organize your business, your sales process into a series of steps. Man I was just interviewing the founder of Ambassador recently. It’s a guy, I interviewed him back in ’03. A million plus dollar business. He was a wonder kid. Things were working out. He was selling and growing his sales and I said, “What’s the problem?” He said, “Well, I couldn’t keep selling myself.” So I said, “What did you do next?” He said, “I hired someone to come in and lead our sales department, a VP of sales. This guy tripled our business in a . . . ” I think it was a year or two. I forget what it was.

And now it’s since grown and grown, grown. I said, “What did this guy do that was so special?” He said he implemented a process. He said to me, “I always felt from the gut how to sell just on my own,” just like you did. But he says, “I can’t grow a business based on my gut or trusting a bunch of sales people to go with their guts. We needed a process for selling,” and so that’s what the sales VIP did for him, created this process that allowed him to just keep growing. What Pipedrive does for anyone who’s listening to me, is force you to create a process, a basic one, a rudimentary one, one that you’re going to adjust and change and probably throw away and remake a lot, but a process.

What’s step one when someone’s interested in buying. What’s step two? What’s step three? What’s step four, etc.? And then when you want to sell to someone you add him to step number one, to the first column. You create a card for them just like in Trello, card in column number one. And you just keep piling up those cards in column number one. For each one of them you take the next step, and you move their card over to the next column to the right and so on, all down the line.

I had this one woman who I hired to help us sell for Bot Academy, this side business that we have at Mixergy where we create chat pods for people, and she was so good. I let her just go and just sell. She wasn’t closing enough sales for me. She wasn’t actually staying on top of it, and I had no visibility into how she was doing. I said, “You know what lady? I love you. I wanted you to do things your own way. You need to come and use Pipedrive,” and I felt like I was imposing but I have the right to impose at this point, so I forced Pipedrive. I said, “Let’s create every step of our process.” We put every step of our process in Pipedrive.

She starts adding every potential lead that comes in into the first column. She starts moving them one column over to the right as she takes the step. Now every morning if I’m curious I don’t have to say, “Hey, what’s going on with the sales?” I just look at the big board with every step of our process and all the cards are the people who are in each step. And now she’s closing sales. She’s feeling happy about it. Now, she has a process so that she can feel like she could keep iterating on it, so even days when she doesn’t have that gut that excitement she can sell. And now I can bring in more people to help sell.

Guys, I’ve been talking about this for a long time, and every time I do an ad for Pipedrive people sign up and I’m not sure why because it’s really hard to describe verbally here. It’s so much better for you to go and not just see it but experience it. So I’m going to give everyone who’s listening to me 14 days to increase your sales, 14 days for free. Go to this special URL. They are going to give you 14 days of Pipedrive for free plus 25 off for your next three months, 25% off for the next three months. Their price is super low anyway, so frankly, it’s not about the 25% discount. It’s about you having 14 days to change your business. Take this challenge. Go to pipedrive.com/mixergy to get that offer. pipedrive.com/mixergy to get that offer, and I’m telling you if you use it you will actually see your sales grow predictably, measurably, and with a team of people that you can keep building.

There is a decent ad but I’m what I’m realizing is Steve, I’m shutting you out of the ad. Like you’re just standing there and seeing me get all hopped up.

Steve: You’re bad looking to me so it’s all cool.

Andrew: Thank you. I appreciate it. I’m not sure about that. By the way, why did you . . . Speaking of better looking, I’m trying to find it. You used to put Ugly Sims as your name on Facebook. I can’t find it.

Steve: I did.

Andrew: What’s the deal with that, dude?

Steve: I was always very open with the way that I marketed was very raw, transparent and I always said rough around the edges. And I used to just call it that was ugly marketing. So then I came up with Ugly Sims, and you know the funny thing was when the publishers actually got this book they went, “You got to get rid of “ugly”. You can’t start with a negative. You can’t be ‘Fat Steve’ or ‘Ugly Steve’ or ‘Bold Steve.'” So sadly, Ugly Sims had to die, but I’m a strong supporter of ugly marketer.

Andrew: You know, I’m going to get back to the thing I said I would talk about which is the PR, and talk you about ugly marketing. What is this whole ugly thing that you do? How does the old . . . What was it? Sky Mall catalog fit into it? Tell me about that.

Steve: No that’s . . . I know.

Andrew: What is this whole ugly?

Steve: Okay, so what I used to do is there’s this whole thing that I do when I do speeches and stuff, you know. How many fingers does it take to delete an email? Well, we know the answer, one. How many fingers does it take to open up an envelope? All of them. It’s all about the engagement. There’s a lot more engagement in physical post. So as I was traveling around the world a byproduct was I was always in these hotels in Venice, Rome, Poland. I would grab 50 envelopes and on the plane ride home I would use it as my posting time.

So I would hand write the envelopes and then I would grab the Sky Mall and I would just go through that with a sharpie and find any kind of crap, and it could be a manatee shaped post box. It could be a skeleton back scratcher all of this stupid stuff. And I’d rip a page out and scribble on it, “Andrew, you need this for your kitchen, ” or “You need this for . . . ” or “I thought of this. This is perfect for you.” And I would just stick it. I would fold it up, shove it in an envelope and I would get off the plane with like 50, 60 sometimes even 100 envelopes all pre-packaged with crappy Sky Mall shit in it. And then I would get home and I would post it out to you. Would wake up three days later, there’d be an envelope from Venice.

You are thinking, “Who the bloody hell sent me an envelope from Venice?” You’d open it up because it’s all hand written, and there’d be like a Sky Mall thing in there go, “Andrew, this is perfect for you. All the Best, Steve Sims.” And then I would spend the next week just getting these emails and these texts going, “I don’t want that. That’s stupid,” but it would just start a conversation. It was a bit humorous, and that was my way of just ugly marketing and just keeping it in front of people. I would even send people my bar tabs from restaurants. When they give it to you and there’s like 20 whiskies on there and a burger, I would keep the other copy and on the back of it go, “I had 10 whiskeys while at this bar. Two of them I was thinking of you, about your next holiday. I’ll call you soon.”

And I would just stick a bar tab in an envelope and send off to someone.

Andrew: You know what? You did a course on Mixergy about how to connect with people, and I still to this day use some of the techniques that you talked about. Like I think, didn’t you also tell me to, in the course you said, “Put the stamp on the envelope but do it crooked so the people can see that it’s a human being who put it on.” That’s the kind of stuff you’re talking about, ugly, so the people sense the humanity in the stuff you’re sending.

Steve: Yeah, I know a lot of people, and I actually went back to this. They get an iPhone and the first thing they do is they put that signature on that. While on my desktop one of my signatures actually says on . . . On my desk top it says on there, “Sent from iPhone.” And so I will add someone will send me something and on my auto responder, I can select it’s this, so they will get an auto responder going, “Hey, I want to come back to you on this. Can I speak with you in the morning? All the best, Steve. Sent from iPhone.”

And they will respond to it because it is like no computer ever sends “Sent from iPhone,” and I wake up in the morning and my [thing is 00:47:35] having a conversation with itself. It’s perfect.

Andrew: You know what you’re making me think now? So I obviously have read this book “Bluefishing.” I’ve highlighted some parts. That would be pretty good. I’m never going to like put this on my bookshelf and go reread it. If I want to reread it frankly, I’m a digital person. I’ll go get the freaking digital version. I’ll reread it. Cost 10 bucks. What’s the big deal?

So what I end up doing is just keeping this in my bookcase or here on my desk, when I should be doing is tearing out pages and sending one like page to Nick Julian, saying, “You would like this. I think you find this funny, right?” Or sending another one to Mary Catherine Johnson and saying, “This is totally you,” and just like rip the page, stick it in an envelope with her address that I get on my phone because the CRM that we use has a mobile app. That’s what you’re telling me to do?

Steve: Absolutely. The daft thing is you get 4000 bloody emails a day. You rid of most of them while you’re pouring your first coffee in the morning, but no one gets any post anymore. So if you post it . . . Another way of doing it and this is even bloody free is to take a picture of it on your phone, and then text it to someone and say, “Enlarge this and watch this. It’s you,” you know? Or if you want to be really funny read . . . Actually hold the book and video yourself reading one paragraph of something and go, “Jim, I thought of you when I was reading this paragraph.” Just something like that, there’s more communication outside of email.

Andrew: You know what? I’m going to say to anyone listening don’t do that to me. I do not want more video in my email. I try to rip through my email. I want to pause and watch but I get that video is a very personal touch. Johnny Dumas got me to go to his cruise, which for me to be stuck on a boat for seven days there’s no way I would do it. But the guy sent me a personal video, and I didn’t know him that well but I said, “You know what? This is personal. Let me go and hear what this is.” So I heard what it was and then I go, and turns out, I actually like the cruise. I don’t know that I would go on an ordinary cruise. I don’t want a bunch of strangers around me, but to go on a cruise with people who you kind of are in the same industry with which is what he did, he o did a podcasting crews was fan-freaking-tastic.

You don’t escape each other for seven days. You end up loving each other. I loved it. Loved it. Okay. Okay. So I get why you would do that to your clients. Somewhere in this book you said that you did it to the woman who copied stuff for you. Oh, here we go. This is to the woman who prints out your booklets. You pulled out a piece of paper. You scratch a note saying, “Thanks for getting these done so fast. Brilliant job.” So British, by the way, to use the word “brilliant.” Why? You’re a busy guy. Why are you sending her a note about how she printed out? Why not just say, “Lady, thanks for doing it . . . ” Not “lady.” “Thanks for doing this. Brilliant job.” Move on. Why are you taking this kind of effort? What’s the point?

Steve: That allows me to be busier, you know. You talk about automation. If you focus on those people that are keeping those cogs moving for you, then when you need a little bit of a spin and things get a bit fast, it’s funny how your project suddenly gets jumped to the front. So I’m a great believer in grease those wheels now before they dry up on their own. So if someone does something for me I will send them a donut. I will send them a magazine. I will send them whatever just so that they remember me. So that time when I phone up I’ll go, “Look. I know it’s short notice.” They’re like, “All right, Steve. Let’s see we can do,” and the amount of stuff that I’ve pulled out of my ass at the last minute has proven it’s worth.

Andrew: Okay. I get that and it did in this situation. Somewhere in the book you also talk about . . . There’s a lot of “somewhere in the book.” In the book you do talk about how you needed some rushed job done and because she had some kind of affinity for you, she did it. And you say, “Look, guys. Don’t do it to her boss. Don’t do it to some stranger online. Just tell the person who does the work.”

Steve: Oh, yeah. It’s the front line that’s important. It’s not the manager, it’s not the boss. you can always tell the boss, “Hey this fellow, this last time really good to me, but look after that front line.”

Andrew: I’m looking at this. This is Simon and Schuster that published this. You told me by the way a little bit about what kind of advance you’ve got which is congratulations, impressive. But how do you get them to put your company name Bluefish into a title “Bluefishing,” as opposed to this which is the art of making things happen. That would have actually been like a more common title. This is more promotional, bluefishing.

Steve: I have no idea. I’m side [swipe 00:51:53]. You stood there and I got a ton of respect for you, you know? I love you man, you know that, but you a big deal. And you stood there waving my book around, and I’m just like, “Who in this hell?” And when you look at the back of it and the people I’ve actually written . . . I don’t know if that one’s got the quotes from people, but I’ve got you know like Elton John, and you know, Joe Polish and Peter Diamandis. I got some incredible people that I will pass my book now and I’m like, “How the hell have I got a book that’s being read by these people, and being interviewed by you?” I can’t get over that.

Andrew: Yeah, and that’s what that pause was about.

Steve: Oh, I don’t know how this [inaudible 00:52:34].

Andrew: So I told you upfront I like you, but I’m not going interview you about the book. I only wanted to do a cursory glance of it. I just want to get a sense of what it is. What I like about his it’s full of good stories with clear points. Very, very, interesting stories like the one that you talked about with Sky Mall and I get off on that. I can’t stop reading something like that. All right. I did promise that I would talk about this whole PR thing. So you get a PR opportunity, South Florida Business Journal. I don’t know them, but I imagine they’re big deal in South Florida business or they [inaudible 00:53:07].

Steve: Yeah, they were at the time I think, yeah.

Andrew: What did they want you to do?

Steve: So they contacted me. They wanted to do an article and an interview and it was like fantastic. You know I’ve always been known for being a guy in a black t-shirt and jeans and riding around a motorbike. So and they were like, “Oh, yeah, you got to . . . You know, we’d like you in a suit and you’re going to be on this plane.” So I pulled up and I borrowed my wife’s car. I don’t have a car. And I pulled up and put a suit on and they’ve got a jet there. Now, you’ve seen Florida. So it’s like a 150° outside and this bloody jet’s stationary with no air conditioning. And they’re toweling me down while literally interviewing me inside this plane in a suit, and then they’ve got pictures of me walking down the runway.

And one thing I’ve noticed and it’s even more valid now, is no one that owns a jet ever shows a picture of them on it, you know? It’s the Instagram go to if you’re bloody borrowing someone’s plane or something, but no one ever shows anyone that actually owns the damn thing. It wasn’t me. I was stood there having this interview, sweating in a suit. You know, I’d have been much happier just on the back of the bike sitting at burger bar talking about the things I was getting up to. So they were trying to create a perception of me and then when the next person came up and said, “Oh, we want to do an interview,” I was like, “If you’ve seen that, I don’t want to look anything like that. If you want to look like that, I’m not in it.”

So I learned very early on to . . . I learned two things. One, media needs you as much as you need it. It needs to be fed. The whole way media stays alive is because it’s got to tell a story. So as long as you feed it appropriately but also make sure it’s not telling the wrong story. I didn’t want people expecting to see Steve Sims turn up in a bloody suit. It wasn’t me. So control . . .

Andrew: You know what though? But it is your clientele, right? You have a clientele . . .

Steve: No, it’s not.

Andrew: It’s not?

Steve: No.

Andrew: If a guy’s going to pay $100,000 to a million plus which you’ve been . . . Have you been paid over a million for an experience? You have right?

Steve: Yeah, yeah, many times.

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve heard that. So if someone’s going to pay, don’t they want someone in a suit who looks the part that they’re expecting like a concierge at the Four Seasons to look? No.

Steve: No. The beauty is people at that level and I hate saying that term, but people at certain level have learnt to look past the perception. They learn to look past the guy that looks a bit too polished. They’re looking for substance. They’re looking for value. They’re looking for talent. They’re looking for creativity. That doesn’t come in a three-piece suit, and so when I turn up I’m like, “Look. You’re not here to date me. You’re here because I do shit, so what are we going to talk about?” I also carry and as you know, and I can probably sound be pig headed here, I carry a great deal of credibility though while people are listening to this that don’t know who I am and we’ve been throwing out all the big names, you know full well I’ve worked with all of those people and those people have quoted me.

So you gain me, you retain me because I have got credibility, and not because I’m astonishingly good looking. That’s just a bonus.

Andrew: All right. I dig your whole style and I could see how because you’ve found your personality and your style, your clothes, you get people to buy from you, trust you, want to read your book, etc. You’ve written about that in your book. I don’t have time to get into the details of it. If anyone is curious about how you found your voice and how they could find their voice it’s in here. What I like about this book “Bluefishing” is . . . It sounds a little bit too promotional right, that I’m telling people what I like, but screw it. I got to be me.

Here’s the problem. Sometimes I find stuff about people and I ask them and it sounds confrontational. And then I have a guest like you. I don’t have it. I’d like to find dirt on you because so we could talk about because I’m not judging. I’d want to know like how did you rip this guy off, and I’m totally fine with that. I’m not going to tell you to run for it. If you want it go get it.

Steve: I can’t spell for shit, so.

Andrew: So just equally, I like the book so if anyone wants it they can go check it out, “Bluefishing.” Are you not even in sales promotion for the book, right? You go through a week of promotion. You get to the bestseller list and then afterward, screw that, the book is just there for you to market your ideas and get talking opportunities and get on TV, right? So you don’t give a rat’s ass that we’re selling. In fact, you probably a little angry that I didn’t have you on before. Instead, I put all these barriers.

How many e-mails did we have to go through even though we’re friends, and I still made you wait?

Steve: Yeah, I liked that. It made me want it more, you know? I’m not [inaudible 00:57:30] and I knew that you were a tough nugget, so. And you took me back to my hotel, so how can I moan?

Andrew: All right. I drove him back to his hotel in New Brighton, I didn’t take him back to his hotel room, but if you guys want to check it out, the book is called “Bluefishing.” Follow him on Facebook. I kind of like the photos and like your style though I do see more of a conservative style from you right now as your book-promotion mode. Steve, thanks so much for doing this.

Steve: Yeah, cheers pal. I love everything. I love you. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Andrew: Thank you. All right. And for everyone who’s out there if you’re interested in closing more sales and you should be this one-on-one sales not mass email, but one-on-one sales via email or phone or Facebook Messenger, whatever, go check out Pipedrive it’ll keep you organized. See them at pipedrive.com/mixergy. Even Steve Sims is nodding his head, “Yes.” Yeah. And if you want to hire a developer, the best of the best, designer, the best of the best, and now finance person the way that I did, the best of the best are always available at “top” as in top of your head, “tal” as in talent. That’s toptal.com/mixergy. And finally, my team is working on adjusting the audio and improving. They keep wanting feedback from you so let him know if the audio is good, bad, indifferent at contact@mixergy.com, contact@mixergy.com though I’ll appreciate it.

Steve Sim, thanks so much.

Steve: Cheers.

Andrew: Thanks. All right.


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