Steve Sims is the founder and CEO of the luxury concierge service The Bluefish. In 2017, Sims published a book, Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. He is also a speaker, coach, and founder of Sims Distillery.
1:15 – Steve Simms introduction
2:51 – Did you call the Pentagon or did the Pentagon call you?
6:45 – Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen
8:50 – Who were the first millionaires that you met with?
11:56 – Tell me that story
13:54 – Always ask why
19:43 – What is Steve Sims’ definition of attitude?
22:54 – What did you learn from gramma? It was mom who wasn’t there to support me.
24:51 – You were no hustler or rock star if you were an entrepreneur
26:56 – What is the attitude of the Irish
29:07 – What is the biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make and how do you correct them? “Go For Stupid” is Steve Sims’ next book.
32:15 – Knowledge through the decades. Sir Charles Branson What is the attitude lesson at birth?
33:54 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 10? Don’t settle to be happy. No matter what type of bullshit you’re being fed, if it doesn’t fit then don’t listen.
36:22 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 20? Realizing work ethic and commitment.
38:22 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 30? Being with somebody that I love. Having the revelation that the opulence doesn’t matter.
40:44 – Communicating with Pope Francis 4 times. Talking about Harley Davidson with the Pope.
42:21 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 40. Started to doubt his appearance, removed piercings, dresses better. Became depressed with the facade. Don’t spare a millimeter of your energy on being something that you’re not.
44:17 – What is the attitude lesson at the age of 50. Reminiscing with family in the garden. How did the first half of life go. 50 is a pause to check to see if your life is on track.
45:48 – What advise do you have for people going through the pandemic to reset their life. Stop watching Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu and listen to peoples’ stories
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We have an unbelievable guest that we’re going to queue up and let you learn about. Please remember to subscribe, rate, review and share this with your friends on social media. We are with the one and only author of Bluefishing. He is a speaker and a coach. He has an incredibly cool community called SimsDistillery.com. We want all of you to go check him out at his website. Here’s something about my guest, Mr. Steve Sims.
“In a world where a brick layer from London taught himself every skill he needed to put the Vatican on his speed dial, send clients to visit the Titanic and others to A-list Oscar parties. If this guy can do it, you have no excuse. This strange man has captured the attention of media giants, TV and has been a speaker in a variety of networks, groups and associations, as well as speaking at the Pentagon and Harvard twice. As the old adage goes, it’s all about who you know and now, you know Steve. Entrepreneurialism is a curiosity that can’t be satisfied. That’s why you’re here but Sims has the roadmap to help you skip all the stop signs. As proof, I’m not Morgan Freeman. That would be a waste of a smart entrepreneur’s budget. Steve is a tight-assed wanker .”
Welcome to the number one winker on the show. Steve Sims, it’s great to have you. How’s it going?
It’s going well. Thank you. How are you doing? Thanks for having me.
The Bluefishing book hit a couple of years ago. It did take you to some unbelievable places. I love to hear the story about the Pentagon. Did you call the Pentagon or did they call you?
They called me. It was weird. To give you a little bit of context for many years, I was probably the most connected man that you’d never heard of. I knew billionaires. My clients were billionaires all over the planet that only things like islands and countries. When they asked me to do the book, I did it to annoy my kids. I thought to myself it’d be funny to say to my kids, “Your dad’s an author.” They know I can’t spell for shit. When we did the book, we didn’t even put a website up. In fact, you put that video up there and I’ve got to explain about that video that’s on my front page. We didn’t do anything. I literally launched my book in a bar in Hollywood.
No fanfare, press, PR and a friend of mine videoed us getting more and more drunk. She sent me the video and I posted it on the front page of the website but I didn’t think it would take me anywhere. It’s being translated into Thai, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Chinese, Korean and Polish. It’s being done in Russian and it’s launched me all over the place. If you’re thinking of writing a book, be careful but this video is funny because at the beginning of the video, everyone’s polite and articulate. As the video goes on, everyone’s getting shit-faced and they started swearing. I wanted to release a video that showed who I was.
Greg was on the show. He’s a friend and a guest of the show. That’s hilarious. I know Greg did not get shit-faced at the launch because he celebrated 33 years.Stop overthinking and start overdoing. Click To Tweet
We all know about Greg. He’s a solid guy. He doesn’t drink but there are lots of other alcoholics that carry on throughout the night. The point is I didn’t expect the book to take off. I didn’t expect to have Harvard and the Pentagon calling me. When I spoke at the Pentagon, it was to speak in front of three-star generals talking about entrepreneurialism and what they should identify as their future when they left the military. It was a very strange place to go and speak at.
Do you remember your 1 or 2 main points to those guys?
My points were that they were screwed because they would live in a world where they had worked on time to specifics. They had to solve a situation or people died. They were going into the civilian world where people turn up within fifteen minutes or whatever is dive on time. They don’t follow through and don’t have any repercussions if things go wrong. The military people are far more articulate and accurate with whatever they do than the civilian world. Most civilians are lazy. I said, “You’re going to have to dumb it down a bit or own your space.” I think they like that. They invited me back again. They must’ve done.
I hope that you get to come back and get back on stage. I have several guests that have heard you speak. They love the energy you bring but most of all, the humor and the realness that you bring to the stage. I want to thank you for bringing your realness to this show. I want everybody that’s reading this to buy your book. Tell us why you should buy the book. What are the things they’re going to uncover? How does the book help us bridge the gap from who we are to who we want to become?
Working with billionaires, I’ve sent them down to the Titanic. I’ve closed down museums. I’ve had them singing on stage with rockstars and walking the white carpet with Simone and John. When I was first approached to write the book, it was on naming all the famous and powerful people on the planet that I had created these amazing experiences for. I knew if I did that, I would be dead before my cocktail. I declined. I did a speech. They heard it and went, “Hang on a minute. How does a break liar from London who was kicked at school at the age of fifteen suddenly started working with Elon Musk and the Pope?”
It became that kind of book. “If you’re worried about being able to do anything, look at me. You’re already out of excuses.” I wanted to teach people how to stop overthinking and start overdoing, how to go for stupid, how to stop going for the impossible. I’ve never liked that term. Go for the stupid. Go for stuff that’s so ridiculous. People will laugh at you before they applaud. We wrote the book with that a-ha revelations. “Stop overthinking shit and get going.”
I’ll be honest with you. The book’s going to piss you off. You’re going to beat the book and go, “Hang on a minute. That’s so simple. Why aren’t I doing it?” The trouble is people are too smart. They want to start a business and go, “I need a $40,000 website or a $60,000 CRM.” You need a solution. You need to market the solution on your own Facebook page. See if you can help one person. If you’re going to help three people, you got a business. People overthink things. They over fear, hesitate and get into paralysis.
Did you purposely go after billionaires or did they stumble in a bar and you started getting hammered with them? Who was the first billionaire you hooked up with? How did that referral source continue?
It was a multimillionaire. My first client was a billionaire and the answer is yes. I went after rich people. The reason I went after rich people was quite easy. I knew how bad it was to be poor because I was poor. Therefore, why would I want me as a client when I couldn’t afford shit? If I had a rich client, rich clients can afford things. Everything I did, I always marked it up. People have a product and then they talk to people of their own pay grade. I’ve never understood that.
This is one thing. If anyone’s reading this, don’t invent a product or service and the next thing invent a payment plan. You never want anyone on a payment plan. Go for people where payment plans are not a consideration. I straight away started marketing to multimillionaires and billionaires. The funny thing is when you market to those people, they call and also pay but when they are happy with you, guess who they hang around with? All of a sudden, you’ve got 10 and 20 millionaires because all their mates are millionaires. It seemed to make sense to me.
What were you selling to them? Did you have a product or a service?
At the beginning of the stage, I said to you that I was poor. I was a biker from East London. I knew what it was like to be a broke-ass biker because that was me. I used the concierge service only as an excuse to get in front of rich people to think and see how they acted, talked and reacted to people. It was a Trojan horse. For me to get in front of rich people, I have to give them what they want. I noticed that most of them wanted parties. I started throwing parties and then I started getting them into other people’s parties. I started working for people like the New York Fashion Week, the Grammys, surveil on Formula 1.
I used to say this. I used to walk up to rich people in a cocktail party and say to them, “How boring are your cocktail stories?” They would be like, “Excuse me.” I said, “I can make them the story of any party. Would that be of interest to you?” I would go in there and that was my initial pitch. I would then try and pull this off. The best thing is the more things I pulled off, the more things I was able to pull off.
You are a pimp of the cocktail story. Somebody then said at one point, “Steve, do it. Go ahead and make this unbelievable thing come true.” You went, “I got to make this happen.” Tell me that story.
It never stopped. The power that I have that a lot of people don’t have is I’m stupid and ignorant. While everyone else is out there going, “I could never do that,” I go forward and try to make it happen. Getting the go-ahead to go and get something for someone, that’s one thing. Pulling it off, that’s where all of your hesitations need to be parked. You’ve got nothing to lose. If you don’t pull it off, you’re still going to be as poor as you were. There’s your downside.
You didn’t have them give you a retainer upfront. You delivered and they paid or did you say half now and half later?
In the early stages, I would take a deposit. As I got into it, I got smart and I made them pay upfront for everything. At a minimum, I would have them pay up. I would speak to someone and go, “Do you want to do this with Elton John and with Bocelli in Florence or Rome? It’s going to be a man about $2.3 million. I’ll take $750,000 now and then I’ll bill you in increments as we get closer.” I was that blunt and they bite.
Americans have no idea how attracted they are to celebrities. They will pay anything to hang and be with celebrities. Could you give me your most fulfilling story? I’d love you to tell us the names. It makes the story better but where you sat back and said, “I’ll be damn. I did it.” What’s that story? Give it to us.Your attitude is the standard you want to be accepted for. Click To Tweet
I’ve got it for you. It will identify also why you should ask why three times. It’s in my book. Always ask why three times. Never give a client what they ask for. Give them what they lost and desire. It’s a tip of the day. Write that down. I get a phone call one day and I’d been working with Elton John for about eight years doing his Oscar party here in LA. A guy called one day and the team put him through to me because he sounded a bit funny. I said to him, “How can I help you?” He said, “I want to meet some Elton John.” I said, “Why do you want to do that?” He said, “The guy is an icon. He’s one of the last living legends. He’s going to die soon and I want to get a photograph of him.”
I was like, “That’s a bit weird.” I’m like, “Let me see what I can do and I’ll call you back.” I didn’t take his phone number down, his name or his email. I didn’t want anything to do with that. It was a weird request. About a month later, we’re about a month away from the Oscar party. Someone phoned into my office with the exact same request. “I want to meet Sir Elton John at his party next month.” One of the team put him through to me. She went, “Do you remember that guy that phoned up?” I went, “Yeah.” She said, “I don’t know if this is his mate but it’s the exact same request.” I went, “Put it through to me. I’ll get rid of it.”
The guy comes through to me. It’s a different voice but same request. I said, “What do you want to do?” He said, “I want to get a photograph of Sir Elton John.” I went, “That sounds great. Why?” His tone of voice changed. Always look out for that tone of voice change. He went well, “He’s an icon and a legend.” He wheels off the knee-jerk reaction because people are often embarrassed to tell you why they want something.
He went, “I’m one of the great fans of his and those things.” It was that little bit at the end,“Those things.” I remember that specific night. I said to him, “What things?” I lowered my voice. There’s a great book by Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference. It says, “Don’t get into your midnight DJ voice.” You match that excitement and then you drop it down and see if they mirror you.
I said to him, “What things?” He told me the story. He goes quiet and then he says, “When I was a kid, my dad used to take me to school and pick me up from school all the way up into high school. Never mind mom. It was my dad’s thing. When I was a little kid, the car that he used to take me had a cassette player in it. The cassette was jammed. It played but we could never reject the damn thing. It was Elton John’s greatest hits. My dad would sing all the way there and all the way back. The pair of us would sing our lungs out. I would come to the car, jump in and push play. I would sing out Elton John all the way back until we got to my mom that was waiting for me.”
“He then got a new column. This new car had a CD player. He bought Elton John’s greatest hits. We would sing all the way to school and all the way back from school. This went through all the way into high school. In high school, I was so embarrassed. Get out of the car with Elton John playing in or quickly jump in the car and slam the door so no one could hear Elton John playing and my dad singing his loudest to the tunes. I would stare out the window with contempt that he was still singing Elton John all the way home but he never missed the beat on the way to school and on the way back singing both ways every time.”
“My dad’s been dead about twenty years. I’m driving the kids to school. I’m going to a meeting. I’m out on vacation with my wife. I’ll be in the car and Elton John will come on the radio. In those next three minutes, my daddy sat in the passenger’s chair next to me singing his lungs out. I want to meet Sir Elton John and say thank you for bringing my dad back to me for random three minutes every now and then.” I was on the phone and had tears in my eyes. I communicated with Elton John’s camp, brought him over to the party and made the introduction. You saw him lean in. He made the conversation. You couldn’t hear what he was telling Elton John because of the party but when you suddenly saw both sets of eyes welled up, you know what point of the story that got to. They hugged it out. They got the picture and that’s why I do what I do.
Is it okay if I ask what did that cost him?
He paid me for the connection and he made a donation to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The story was good enough that you went ahead and low-feed them.
You got to stand by your balls. I still charge what I charge.
When you think about the word attitude, what is your definition of attitude?
It’s probably a standard. Your attitude is the standard you want to be accepted for and want to live. Why adjust it? Why settle? My attitude is that I will do what’s required for you and me. Attitude and the word standard are intertwined.
Who was your original attitude coach? Who created that standard in your mind? Who made Steve Sims who he is? Maybe not now but maybe as you were coming up as you were broke. Was there something like, “This was my attitude coach when I was broken. This was my attitude coach now that I’ve bridged the gap,” that everybody that’s reading this show is trying to do?
I’m not done. The bottom line of it is I’ve got an attitude coach every five minutes. I look to see how I could be. A friend of mine once said to me, “The definition of hell is to meet the man you could have been.” While I sit here in Los Angeles with a ton of motorcycles, very happy, floating around the planet, coaching, speaking, inviting, I’m not done. The first person that created a shift in my mentality was my granddad. I was on the same building site as him.
He’s 80 something years old. I’m on the building site and I’m like 15 or 16. I’ve thought to myself, “My dad, cousins, uncle are and granddad is here and he’s in his 80s. Is this my life? Is this it?” I remember going up to my granddad and going, “Granddad, did you expect to be doing this when you were this old?” Bear in mind, he was an Irish lad, a 7-foot tall, big lump of a man. That was the question I should have gotten met with a smack of my nose.
Instead, he blew into his tea during tea breaktime and said these words. I remember them vividly. He said, “Son, if you don’t quit now, you’ll be me tomorrow.” I was like, “I’m done.” I quit as I left the tea up and then went into a ton of jobs that I was ill-qualified for. I got fired a lot of times. I got in the wrong position but I realized, first of all, fear wasn’t that to hold me back. Fear was to propel me to stop me from being my granddad.
I love my granddad and he never got to see how I turned out. Maybe he’s up there getting an old-fashioned ready for me for what I come up with or down there wherever I go. I looked at fear to propel me going forward. I don’t want to avoid taking a chance for the fear that I missed out on an opportunity. I don’t get scared about things. I get scared about standing still.
I’m guessing back then that divorce wasn’t around. Was grandma around? What did you learn from grandma?
You’ve stood up a dark spot there. Grandma was always very supportive. It was that generation where the shit hit the fan was my mom. I come from an Irish family. My dad was okay about me spreading my wings to see where I could go and be because we came from generations of bricklayers. My dad was following about, “Go for it, son. Give it all you want.” That night when my dad said, “By the way, Steve’s quit. He’d be leaving on Friday,” my mom turned around and went, “You think you’re better than us, don’t you?” I went, “No, you got it wrong. I think I’m better than this for me. I think I can do more.”
My mom never ever accepted it. I worked for this little car company called Ferrari. I was living at the time in Hong Kong. I came back to England. They lend me a Ferrari. I drove over to my parents’ house. I told my entire parents what I did for a living. I’d made it and life was good. I helped them out with a couple of things. My dad went off to get a couple of beers from the gavage. My mom came running into the room and went, “You can tell me now. Are you selling drugs?” I told her everything I was doing and she couldn’t believe it but she could if I’d have told her I was doing something illegal. Sadly, you can’t change everyone’s mind, even when it’s your family. You can’t choose your family. Sometimes they’re not always there to support you. It’s sad to say that my mom was not there to support me.The definition of hell is to meet the man you could have been. Click To Tweet
The story of success and bridging the gaps is oftentimes the people who burden, handcuff and who put chains on us are the ones that say they love us the most, that probably do love us the most but have their own limited thought pattern because their attitude coaches were probably shitty. My guess is maybe her folks had issues. How about grandparents on your mother’s side? Did you ever get to meet them? Were they Irish?
They were all Irish. We’re talking about generations that went through the wall. That golden life was to survive. A lot of those people settled. Bear in mind, I grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s. If you were an entrepreneur, it meant that you couldn’t get a real job. In fact, I remembered getting into trouble at school, big supplies and going to the headmaster’s office. It was when they used to throw the cane across the palm of your hand. I had to put my hand out and the headmaster gave me three lashes. He hit me once. It hurt like a bitch. Before he hit me the second time, he said to me, “Sims, you’re nothing more than a hustler.”
He then hit me two more times. The funny thing is I thought to myself at the time, “Why is that a bad thing?” If someone walked into your business and said, “You need to employ me. I’ll be the best hustler you’ve ever met,” that’s all you need to know. You’re employing them but back then, it was a bad thing. Being an entrepreneur, a hustler, you were no rockstar. You were no icon. All your resume has to see is, “I’m a hustler, a self-thinker and an entrepreneur.” You’ve got every job you want.
Tell me about the attitude of the Irish. Give us a little heartfelt lesson of the people of Ireland.
The Irish are like any continent that went through any kind of depression. We’re very well known for the Irish being very proud of their votes. We’ve gone through poverty. I lived in a very rough area of East London. We didn’t have any money but we were always cheerful and pranking each other. We were cheeky little chappies. That’s what kept our spirits up. You can go into an Irish pub and know nobody and two things are going to happen. You’re going to get your lights punched out because you said something stupid to the wrong person or within the next hour, you would have suddenly grown your family by 30 other people in the pub. It’s a love or fight thing.
There’s no fence for the Irish. They love you or they’re beating you up. That seems to be the thing. It’d be great. I’ve been in pubs before and I’d been punched up. I’ve gone back in the following night and we’re all hugging it out. The Irish are funny, strong, resilient group of people. I’m quite proud to come from that blood stamp.
We have a good share of Irish people here. We have some extremely good Irish pubs. When you come to Indianapolis, you’re going to need to let me take you to some of them. Do you have any siblings?
No, I don’t but I have three kids. I’ve started my own bunch. As I jokingly say, “I’ve got three kids. Depending on what day of the week, I’ll tell you which two I like.”
Also which one likes you because it’s never two.
It’s never 2 or 3. Occasionally one.
Steve, what do you think is the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make in their quest for greatness and to bridge the gap? What do you see as the biggest mistake with the younger generation? When you got 3 20-year-olds, do you look at them and go, “Don’t make this mistake.” Talk to us about that and the way to correct them.
My kids have started working with me and my events. I do events called Speakeasy. I believe you are part of the room that you are in. Luckily, they get to mingle with good people. That mentality has changed over the years. I’m pleased to see it but you mentioned my next book. It’s not finished yet so you can’t get it. I’m not pinching it but it’s called Go for Stupid. I’ve noticed that too many people are scared shitless of this thing, the phone and how they come across on Instagram. Do they look pretty enough? “Am I smarter? Will my video get enough likes? Am I getting enough friends in it?” Who gives a shit?
I remember doing an event with Elon Musk. Elon Musk said, “They will always laugh at you before they applaud.” I’ve always gone for stupid things. If you’ve got a dream of making $100,000, go for $250,000. You may well not hit it but you’ll hit $150,000. It made no sense to me for people to go what they think is achievable. Go for stuff that’s so freaking ridiculous that you will have people laughing at you. That laughter will propel you to achieve it. All the people laughing at you will then either despise you because you showed that they weren’t adequate to be able to achieve it or they will applaud you because you achieve what you set out to do. People overthink. They put too much value on what other people are thinking. Value what you can achieve and what you can do. As I say, “Go for stupid and be ready to be laughed at.”
Our book is based on the ten booster attitude. Booster number two, have a big goal. The ABC’s of attitude, the letter W is for Wholeheartedness. Wherever you are be there. I call it the nose and phone disease. How many people have the nose and phone disease? I take pictures when I go out to dinner of parents who ignore their kids who are looking at their phone. I put it up when I keynote and people go, “Shit.” Be wholehearted and get rid of the nose and phone disease. Steve Sims, you are freaking awesome. I have taken notes. I wrote Go for Stupid when you said it first so I can’t wait for you to put out that book. I saw the picture of Sir Richard Branson and you. Do you know him? Did you guys have lunch? How did that relationship happen?
I’ve worked for Virgin Unite and for his mom. I’ve got to work with him a few times on his events. I was supposed to be working with him in 2020 during COVID. We bumped over into 2021. I’m there when required to make something happen.
We want to do the knowledge through the decades’ exercise with you. What we do is we have you go through the decades of your life and tell us what the attitude lesson you learned. Most people can’t remember when they were born but what is the attitude lesson of childbirth whether you remember being born or maybe your children?
I remember being poor in growing up in my earlier years. I’ll be able to adapt this one in the next generation question but I grew up a little bit resentful of being poor. I was a confused, resentful, moody little kid until I started growing up a little bit more. We’ll come to the reason for that in the next generation.
I asked about the attitude lesson of childbirth. That might’ve been what our next one is. Do you remember being ten? Do you remember being in 3rd or 4th grade? What lesson did you learn during those times? Maybe it was a teacher or a coach. I don’t know if you were an athlete or not, probably a rugby guy. You certainly remind me of a rugby guy but what’s the attitude lesson when you were ten?
You mentioned rugby. It’s funny because I was a big lad. I was put on the rugby team but I could never play. I had no idea where it was going. I was crap but I was big. They used to throw the ball over to me and I would run and scare the other kids off. My young years were very much confusing and frictional because they would tell me to settle, get a job, stay with that job for the next 60 years, get a pension and retire. It was all about settling. I’ve never thought about it until that question comes up. My younger years of school were very much about being taught to settle and be happy.
This is for all our GAPers out there where people go, “Nobody’s ever asked me that before. That’s a damn good question.” It seems to me, Steve, that there was something inside of your gut that said, “This is not the way I’m supposed to be,” when they were teaching that to you. Could you feel that stir inside of you, even as a kid? You talked about being resentful. It seems obvious that whatever you were being fed, you weren’t buying.People will always laugh at you before they applaud. Click To Tweet
A friend of mine, Joe Polish, says to me that it’s aggravated oysters to make pills. I was aggravated. It was being misconstrued because of my size and in the life that I was. It was being construed that I was a very angry young man. I was distracted, distorted and confused. It didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t have Instagram to tell me how inadequate my life was or any things called the internet to be able to research or others. It was a feeling in my gut that I thought wanted to erupt. I didn’t know why it was there.
The lesson to our readers is no matter what bullshit you’re being fed by other people, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not you and not right. Let’s go to when you were twenty. You and I both did not graduate from college. We were both renegades and hustlers. Do you remember being twenty? What was the attitude lesson of turning 20 or 21? Are you able to drink beer when you’re twenty in Ireland? Were you in Ireland?
The drinking age in Ireland is six. We’re pros by the time we’re 21. I’m glad you bring up the twenties. In my earlier years, I was resentful of having work on my dad’s building sites on the weekends and after school. I was resentful of how poor we were. It was in my twenties that I had realized the work ethic, the commitment and loyalty I’ve been given. I was never hungry and cold. I was never not clean. I never had shoes. They weren’t looking after me. I didn’t realize. It taught me what true value was.
I was always tucked in a bed each night. I was always told I was loved. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realized how lucky my education had been. If I had to grind for an extra couple of hours, I’d been doing it all my life. I’ve been taught, trained and educated. I, in my twenties, started to go from resentful to cocky because I knew how empowered I was. While all the other kids were out there trying to look for a freebie, a hack or giveaway, I was a bit empowered. I knew that I had this sus. It was like playing football with a five-year-old. I still didn’t know where it was going but I was starting to get a bit cocky and arrogant.
That sounds like a person of perseverance. Somebody that has dominated adversity, persevered and a bit of gratitude. I don’t know if you remember your 30th birthday but I’m sure. When did you come to America? How old were you?
I came here in 2000.
You’re still in Ireland at 30. Do you remember your 30th birthday? What’s your attitude lesson at 30?
I was in London. We moved into London when I was in my teens and young. I’d got a job and was starting to do what I was doing like the parties and the events. I met my wife when she was 16 and I was 17. She’s been there all the way. There had been this mansion restaurant that we’d always wanted to go to. We were living in Hongkong. We came back to England. On my 30th birthday, she rented a helicopter and flew me to this restaurant.
We landed, ate at the restaurant and then helicopter back. It was the most over-the-top birthday I ever had. We were disappointed. The funny thing was you have all of these, “When I’ve made it, I’m rich, I’m famous,” and then you get it and you go, “Is this it?” In the evening, we cuddled up and watched TV. The happiest part about my birthday was two things. One, being able to sit on the sofa with someone who’s got my back and that I love and two, having my eyes to the fact that that shit doesn’t help me at all. It was a very educational birthday.
It sounds like you were a customer of your own sale in a way on your 30th birthday. What’s your beautiful wife’s name?
I married my grade school sweetheart. No drama, one gal and it’s wonderful. Give Claire our best. Do they call her Saint Claire like they call my wife?
I bought her a title for her birthday a few years ago and it still aggravates her. She is legally registered as Lady Claire Sims. She hates it.
Are you guys Catholic? That’s always good to know. That’s why you dialed up to Pope. Did you ever get an audience with the Pope or did you ever communicate with the Pope?
It’s about four times.
Which one, John Paul?
No, Pope Francis.
You’ve communicated with Pope Francis four times.
I’ve been in the room, stood next to him, chatting with him four times.
Did he say anything enlightening? I interviewed Dr. Chuck Deaton who was with Mother Teresa for three weeks. There’s a story to tell. What’s the story? I know you’ve got many but what’s the attitude lesson from the Pope when you are in his presence?
My conversation with him was very short because we were getting ready for an event. It was always backroom or in the corridor. I remember having a conversation with him about Harley Davidson. He said, “You ride your Harley Davidson.” I said, “I do.” Apparently, in Italy, they had given him a Harley Davidson. He signed it and then auctioned it off. It raised a lot of money but they said he was never allowed to ride it. His standing joke was, “ They wouldn’t let me ride it.” That was one of my funny little stories from the big man himself.
Let’s go to 40 years old. You’re here in America. I’m sure things were happening for you. What was the attitude lesson at 40?
I started to get a little bit doubtful at the beginning of 40. Here’s a weird thing. I had been successful for the past years. In my early 40s, I started doubting what I looked like. If anyone ever sees me, black t-shirt, jeans, riding a motorcycle, got a whiskey in my hand. That’s me. That’s as deep as it gets. In my early 40s, I thought, “I better start looking a bit more serious.” I took out my earrings, started wearing suits, buying expensive watches and it was all for your pleasure. I didn’t know why I did it but I was compelled because I had all this self-doubt in me.
I suddenly realized I wasn’t showing up. This facade of me was showing up. It made me very depressed. I back pedaled from that and put everything in a wardrobe. I like wearing a suit but I’m not going to wear a suit for you. I’m going to wear it because I want to wear that suit. I went back to wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. Quite simply, that made me very happy. I realized in my early 40s, you’ve got a lot of energy in you but don’t spare a millimeter of it on being somebody that you’re not. That was my big lesson in my 40s.
We have people driving cars, walking on beaches and on trails that heard that message. All your messages through the decade have been so poignant and something for people to take. What you’ve given us is a great roadmap to bridge the gap from who you are to who you want to be. We’re down to the last one. Tell me what you did on your 50th birthday. What was the attitude lesson at 50?
I have never understood the idiots out there that go, “On my 50th birthday, I’m going to jump out of an airplane or I’m going to race a car.” That’s the shit you should be doing now. On my 50th, I decided I was going to have an intermission. What I did was I made a barbecue steak, poured an old fashioned and had date in the garden with my family. We all chatted about what we had done, learned and experienced. I knew from a very young age that’s what I was going to do for my 50th. This is the time that you go and reflect. How did the first half go? Did I step it up? Did I push myself? Did I file? Did I strive? Did I ever find myself? Your 50th is your intermission. It’s your pause to make sure you’re on track to who you want to be remembered to be.
You’ve poured it all out for us, Steve Sims. You’ve been wonderful. This is great. You’re fantastic. If there’s anybody you know that needs to go through now or through decades, any of your clients that wants to come on, please refer them to this show. I can’t wait to meet you in person. If you get to Indy, please look me up. I’d like to close real quick. There are people out there that are losing jobs, have lost jobs and broke that are going, “What the hell am I doing? We’re in the middle of a pandemic.” If you had to start all over again as a broke man, somebody that the pandemic effect didn’t wipe you out, what advice do you have for those people to begin to come back?
For a start, get rid of Netflix, Amazon Prime and many of those TV stations. Turn the news off and start communicating with people. There are far too many ways that we can communicate in groups. Listen to a podcast, hear people’s stories and learn your strength in unicorn from that but focus on your growth. Not what’s on Netflix.
GAPers, that is the great Steve Sims. He has given you his heart and soul. He’s given you unbelievable stories and the answers on how to bridge the gap from who you are to who you want to be. Steve Sims, thank you so much. It was my pleasure to learn from you. We will see you all GAPers on the next episode.
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About Steve Sims
Steve Sims is the founder and CEO of the luxury concierge service The Bluefish. In 2017, Sims published a book, Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. He is also a speaker, coach, and founder of Sims Distillery.