How Good Communication Benefits Productivity With Steve Sims

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TBT 118 | Good Communication

When people talk about time management and boosting their productivity, they often underestimate the role that communication plays in ensuring their success. Good communication, most of the time, is one of the most important aspects of the job you’re doing, and without good communication, you’re left only capable of performing half the job. Steve Sims is the bestselling author of Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. He joins Penny Zenker to talk about how good communication serves to ultimately benefit productivity. Still not sure how exactly that works? Steve’s story can make you understand the inextricable relationship between productivity and communication.

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How Good Communication Benefits Productivity With Steve Sims

I am dedicating this to bring in people who will challenge you to think differently so that you can take back time and this interview is no exception. I have Steve Sims with me. He knows how to make things happen. He’s got a simple formula of two questions to ask yourself in order to make things happen. A little bit about Steve is he’s somebody who’s worked with Elton John and Elon Musk, among many other celebrities. He sent people to see the wreck of the Titanic and he’s closed museums in Florence for a private dinner party and then he had Andrea Bocelli serenade them while they ate pasta. He makes things happen. He’s been quoted as the real-life Wizard of Oz by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. Steve Sims is also the best-selling author of Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. He’s a sought-after consultant and speaker and speaks at a variety of networks, groups associations, as well as the Pentagon and Harvard. Without further ado, Steve, welcome.
It’s a pleasure to be here.
I’m excited about the conversation because we’re going to be talking about the ROI of communication. Now more than ever, communication is important and it always was. It’s the key thing. We talk about productivity and saving time. It’s the biggest area. When it doesn’t run well, we’re not productive and lose trust in one another. It’s huge to be focused on proper communication.
It’s like having a car with the wheels off. If you can’t communicate, you could be an engineer with a great idea, but you can’t communicate. You could be a guy with a car trying to sell it and you can’t sell it. You can be a guy trying to chat up a girl at a bar and you can’t seal the deal. Without our ability to communicate between two human beings and it’s still the only thing that I can’t do and you can’t download an app for.
We put our focus everywhere else. Why do we do that?
We’re lazy. I hate to say this but we’re cheaters. As human beings and as exaggerated human beings, entrepreneurs, we look for the hack, trick, shortcut, secret door. What’s been given to us, we grabbed eagerly and hungrily. This word that’s in everyone’s dictionary, which is social distancing, we started that years ago with a company called Friendster and Myspace. Without realizing it, we were pushing ourselves away from people and increasing our disability to be able to communicate with each other. We rely on the fact that we’re going to go on Twitter, we’re going to go on there, “I had a great birthday.” It’s like shouting down a corridor, you hope someone opens up the door and go, “Really?” Otherwise, you’re doing lazy banner advertising. It’s hurting us.

TBT 118 | Good Communication

Bluefishing: The Art 0f Making Things Happen

There’s always a silver lining. The silver line I’ve seen in this Coronavirus is how upset we’ve been not to be able to communicate with people. There’s going to be a surge when we’re allowed out to play with each other and everyone’s going to want to go, “Let’s get together. Let’s never miss this moment again. Let’s never wait.” You’re going to get all of that. Sadly, it’s going to die off again because we have a short attention span. The Coronavirus is going to be good and impacting us into the power and necessity for two people to communicate, whether it be a business person, me to my staff, you to your kids, whatever it is, people are realizing, “I do need this communication thing.”
I have a couple of things that I can say about that. First, I see for myself, I see more communication and more time spent for that at home. That’s definitely a positive thing. Some of the challenges with anything, we have to set boundaries and we have to look at what’s productive and what’s unproductive. There’s a lot of communication that goes on in social media, in the news, it’s not real communication but people are still caught up in that. They’re at home but they’re still caught up even more so spending more time on social media, more time with news that fills our head with negativity. What about that side of things? There’s the positive end of connection and communication, but then there’s the communication that disconnects.
If you are starving and someone offered you a plate of food, would you ask what it was?
No. I would eat it.
That’s what we’re in now. We’re in a situation where we’re suddenly at home. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and he said to me, “I miss the bagel man.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “I don’t know the guy’s name, I’ve made it up, but every couple of mornings I see the bagel man. We tell a joke. We laugh. We smile. He’s jolly. I miss my bagel man.” The bottom line of it is we need that communication. We’ve had it removed from us and so everyone’s jumped on a plate of food that they don’t understand. Social media, I hate to say this, isn’t social. It’s a platform. It’s a tool and it’s to be used appropriately. People go onto Facebook to connect with their family, they will avoid a phone.
It’s not connecting.
They will set up a friend group and they will go, “I’ve got a friend group so me and my family can stay in touch.” Bollocks. Pick up the phone, FaceTime them, Zoom them. My wife, as soon as this happened, she opened up a Zoom account. She uses FaceTime but now she can get her brother and sister all on Zoom and they have a conversation on a Saturday morning over breakfast. The beautiful thing is they’re in England, she hasn’t had breakfast with a family for years, but she’s using Zoom as a tool to accomplish that. Social, people are still going, “I need to communicate.” Let me yell down that corridor more and that’s where they getting it wrong. You’ve always got to ask yourself, “What’s the point?” That’s the thing we’ve got to do in everything.
The first thing I do when I coach my clients is I teach them to be selfish. I said to them, “What’s the point?” First, how does this benefit you? Second, how does it benefit someone? A lot of people are well focused on the benefit in them by saying, “I want to be common. I want to be relevant. I need more views. I need more likes.” As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never been able to pay my mortgage with Facebook likes. Until I can, it’s a waste of time to me. The point is you want to be able to communicate with another individual. The funny thing is, 9 out of 10, social platforms are the place for that to not happen, phone call, Zoom, FaceTime, all those other things.
People are desperate and they’re trying to work with what they’ve already got at their tips. They’re used to going through Facebook and cyberstalking people in their bikinis on their holidays. They’re used to doing that. It’s a comfort zone for them to go back there. Let’s be serious, Facebook is a great big voyeur platform. It’s where we can all stare at other people and then not have to be part of the conversation. Now we’re trying to use it as a conversation and that’s where we’re going wrong.
I’ve always said that what we’re doing with the likes and all of that is we’re trying to be significant. The louder we yell, the more significant we think we are. We’re seeking connection and we’re doing it in the wrong place, in the wrong ways.
You’ve got to use it as a tool. We have a Facebook group, there’s no charge, called An Entrepreneur’s Advantage. We went on there and we said, “I don’t know about you guys, but on a Friday night, I always used to like getting together with a bunch of people and drinking an old fashioned.” I can’t do that and I’m like Billy no mates, drinking on my own, “Would you like to drink an old fashioned with me on Friday night?” I used my social platform to announce what I wanted to do and then invite people to come into it. When they came into it, it wasn’t a Facebook Live, which, let’s be honest, it’s just you. I said, “Let’s do a Zoom. Would anyone be okay with that? We’ll all be able to see each other. We’ll all be able to converse. I’ll get a big screen.” We have 60-something people join us on a Friday night, which is me in my garden with an old fashioned telling as many Coronavirus jokes as possible. Seriously, they are bad. The more dad joke you could come up with, the better. I haven’t heard many funny ones yet, but that’s what we did. We used the social aspect as a tool to invite them to the visual aspect, which was Zoom.
Let’s go back to the idea of communication as an ROI. What do you mean by that? How does one get it? What’s the point?
I hate networking events because it’s a cluster show of how many business cards. If you’ve ever seen those playground things where someone jumps into a glass booth and then has to grab as many tickets as possible. You’ve seen that also with dollar bills and someone has to grab as many as they can in one minute. That’s people in a networking event. How many business cards can they get? In fact, I don’t carry business cards. I will never take your business card. I always say, “Let me get your cell phone and I’ll text you my details.” I always do that. I want to have a conversation.
Let’s get selfish here. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not getting any younger, every conversation I have has to have a benefit to me. It could be monetary. It could be access to something that’s monetary. It could be access to something that’s benefiting a client of mine, which I’ll charge him. It could be someone that’s funny at jokes that make me smile. It’s someone that’s smarter than me, which is every one, that helps me become smarter. It’s someone that may challenge me. I’ve got friends that some of them banter. You’d almost think, “Do they like each other?” I have a friend who goes, “What the bloody hell are you doing? What’s the thought process behind?” He’s not saying I can’t do it but he’s delving into the reason behind. I’ll come out of a conversation like putting in ten rounds with Mayweather, I’ll be like, “Was that a night out or was I grilled?” Everything’s going to benefit me. If I’m in a woofy conversation, “Hi. How are you? Where did you come from?” I’m gone. I’m like a two-second bailed. I’m out. I want to say, “Why are you here? How does this benefit you?”
You could be an engineer with the best idea, but if you can't communicate, there's nothing you can do. Click To Tweet We spoke about this briefly before, when you’re focusing on the ROI, that means you’ve got to put your effort into it. I’ll use a little example as I do when I’m talking on stages. I always show people a lot of the people that I know, throwing names around, the Branson’s, the Musk’s, Elton John, all these people and I show loads of pictures of those. I say to people, “Do you know why I know all of these people? Do you know why I can text every single one of these people? It’s because I have these.” I show a picture of a sequoia tree and then everyone’s like, “Why are you showing the picture of the tree?” I then go to the next slide, which is a seed. The sequoia seed, like every other seed on the planet, is minute. The bottom line of it is that’s your relationship.
Sequoia trees are the biggest trees in the world. They’re powerful. You can cut a hole in them and a bus can drive through up in Yosemite. If someone gives you that seed, 99% of the time you’re going to ignore it. You’re going to put it on your desk, put it in your wallet, put it in your pocket. You’re going to put in many different places, which is not conducive to it growing and it will die. If you focused on it and you put it in the proper kind of soil, proper kind of water, fed it, nurtured it, pruned it as it broke soil, you protected it, stopped it getting trampled on by animals or your pets, whatever. If you put a lot of energy into that in its early stages, you’d end up with something strong and powerful. You wouldn’t have to worry about it for years to come.
There are certain friends that we know, years can pass, people from college, people from high school and you can pick back up where you left off.
You spent all the effort at the beginning because you grew. I’m going to argue that point. Sadly, a lot of people keep friends from places like high school and college and stuff like that because they are familiar. You may not like the person, but you knew him from school. People like familiarity. When I meet someone for the first time, I have to make sure for three months, I’m in that person’s face, I’m on that person’s mind if I want a relationship with him.
Let me clarify that because what you’re saying is important because there’s adding value to somebody’s life and there’s just getting in someone’s face and being maybe annoying. Is that a distinction? You’re looking to add value to somebody’s life and create a relationship that is an exchange.
If someone rewinds back in this, I said that there were two things. What’s in it for me and what’s in it for them? At this moment, in our conversation, I’m talking about what’s in it for me. I’m only on one side of the fence at the moment. If my head tells me, “I want to know that person. I want to work with that person. That person is more intellectual. That person is stimulating. That person is funny. I want to hang out with him.” If I’ve made my decision that I want that person in my world then the next decision needs to be, “What can I put in next? What can I bring to the table?”
It may be that they’re in a business that I can offer them some advice, I can offer them a solution. I can challenge them. I can tell them funny jokes. I can bring them an investor. I can bring them clients. It always starts with your decision. Think about you’re on a plane. The plane is about a takeoff. The stewardess stands up and says, “In the case of an emergency, the air mask will drop. Put it on yourself first.” That’s the same situation I’m talking about. You’ve got to be the one that makes a conscious decision, “I need to have a relationship with that person.” Once you’ve made that conscious decision, then it’s a case of, “What can I bring to the table that they’re going to be excited about?”
I said to you that I will spend three months being in front of them. I will spend the first two weeks of that relationship stalking and trying to find out what I can bring to the table. You could have been at an event. You could phone up the host and you could go, “I’m out with Mary. We had a great conversation. She mentioned something about a book or that she was starting a new bakery. Can you tell me a little bit about that?” I want to bring some value to the conversation. This isn’t just a one-time deal. If I go to a host of a party and I start that conversation, they already know how much I value relationships.
They already know that I’m not wasting my time with everyone at the party. I’m laser-focused. They already know and they’re like, “She’s got two bakeries. The first one fell apart but this one, she’s specialized in this.” You then can go back and go, “Mary, it was nice to meet you, but I’ve done a bit of stalking on you because I found you compelling and interesting.” Understand, everyone says about stalking and they go, “That’s a bit rude. That’s a bit invasive. Shut up.” The bottom line of it is we all know that if we’re going to meet someone in a couple of days’ time, we Google them. We look them up on Facebook. Everyone goes, “I don’t like that.” As you said, we do it.
You qualified it. You said, “Because I found you engaging.” I thought you were going there next and I know that this is what you’re about. It has to be authentic. There are some people who interact with me who say all these nice things and blow smoke up my butt, but I don’t feel like they mean it. I feel like they’re trying to get something from me. It’s also important that we check in with the energy that we’re showing up in and make sure that it’s genuine.

TBT 118 | Good Communication

Good Communication: When you start putting money into purchasing finery to impress people, all that stuff can actually become baggage because your real self doesn’t come out.

You’re right, 99% of the words, but you came out with one of my hated words, the word authentic. I absolutely hate that word. I do not think I’m authentic. I’m transparent. If I come to you and say, “I found you interesting and compelling that I wanted to chat with you.” I’m being transparent. You said about the people blowing smoke up your butt, they probably want something from you, we can guarantee, you’re right.
I don’t like the way they’re doing it because it’s not genuine.
If they tweaked it, everyone loves flattery. They may be good at some of the parts, but I sense the thing that they’re missing is they’re not bringing the value. If someone’s going, “You’re wonderful. You’re beautiful. I’ve got a tip on how you can make your hair glossier. I’ve got a tip on how you can be taller.” There’s an interest. A lot of people, they come along, they think, “Flatter me, that will get me everywhere.” No. People are smarter than that. We’re smarter than that because now we’re more suspicious than we’ve ever been. If you can say, continuing that, “You were engaging. I love that time together that I contacted the host and spoke to Mary about you and she told me about your two bakeries. If you don’t mind, can you tell me why the first one went pop? I want to see if there are any nuggets in there that could make the next one go through the roof.” You’re bringing some care into it. You’re bringing transparency into it because you’re asking direct questions.
I’ve gone up to celebrities, famous people, and the first way I start a conversation is, “How are you doing? My name is Steve Sims. You don’t know me.” That’s obvious, but the funny thing is it lowers the barrier because you’re stating the obvious. You’re getting the elephant out of the room. You can follow along with something like, “I’m not a stalker, but I do like the charity that you’re a part of. I came up with a couple of ideas on how we can increase the traffic to that. Would that be of interest to us to chat about?” I did that, I ended up working with Sir Elton John for about eight years. I did the exact same thing that I’m talking about.
I turned out with an opinion on how they could get more people into the event and I bought it to the table and it worked from there. That’s the bottom line. You’ve got to step up with value. We mentioned Greg Reid at the beginning of this conversation. Greg would phone me up and it was one of those challenging moments. He would phone up and he would go, “Why are you doing that, Steve?” I’d be like, “I’ll tell you.” He’s like, “That sounds great. What about your energy being here? Have you thought about this?” I can’t meet Greg without Greg turning around and go, “Are you working on this now? How did that go?” He wants to know. He cares. That’s why we have the relationship we do. That’s why you can enter into any relationship on the two understandings of, 1.) Do you want it? 2.) What’s going to make them want it?
That’s powerful and simple. What’s in it for you? What’s in it for them? Add that value. You said a lot of interesting things in and around this. We don’t know the backstory of you. What made this area of communication being and connecting with celebrities? One of the things that you do, if I remember correctly from when we met was, you make dreams come true. You organize these amazing opportunities for people and you find the obscure. Tell us more about that and how and why you decided that that was an area for you to specialize in?
Not sure I decided. It was one of these things that you have the stars aligned. It found me and drag me through the mud a few times. Like all entrepreneurs, we know more times that we don’t fit than we do fit. I remember as I was growing up, as a fifteen-year-old in England, working for my dad’s building site, I was like, “Is this it? I’ve left school early. Is this life? It’s not much fun.” In the early stages, I got into a lot of distress. I would go to work in the morning for a new job at 9:00. 2:00 in the afternoon, I’m like, “That doesn’t challenge me. I’m walking off.” I would leave. My mom was like, “You’ve got ADD.” Bear in mind, in the ‘80s and ‘90s they were giving you tablets for it. She’s like, “You’re ADD. You can’t settle.” It was a self-path. My mom thought I’m going to go to jail. “He can’t sell. His head is all over the place. He’s going to get in trouble.” I had nothing to challenge me. I had no mentors that I could look at. I had no one I could go, “I want to be that person.”
As I bounced around the walls, one of the jobs I had was a doorman. Long story short, I was in Hong Kong because I had applied for jobs in other countries. I was starting to think, “Maybe it’s the country. Maybe England got nothing.” I applied for a job in Hong Kong, it lasted one day and I got fired. I ended up working on the door and I played a game. It was weird. I played a game because no one talks to the doorman because the doorman is there to punch you in the head. Everyone is always nice as they come in. I’d have a couple of beers and get leery.
I played a game, I would stand there and I would look at how people acted with each other and how they acted with the waiters, waitresses, the bar staff, and everyone else and I would go, “I want to be that person.” Once I picked who I wanted to be, then I thought, “I wonder if I can talk to him.” Even at an early age, I knew that I’ve got to bring something to the party. As the doorman, you knew what nightclubs were going on in your area. You knew who special celebrities were turning up. You knew what special promo nights were going on.
I walked over these guys and I go, “How are you?” At first, I used to get a lot of people looking at me and go, “We’re not in trouble. Did we do something?” I’d be like, “Calm it down. You guys look you like a good time. On Thursday night, there’s a private party up the road. If it’s something of interest, you’re the kind of guy that I’m sure they would like there. If you want to go let me know and I’ll see what I can do.” It became an excuse, a reason for them to talk to me. I’m having conversations about their nightlife.
You are the combination of the people you hang around with. Click To Tweet I went from party promoter to doing my own parties to ending up working with everyone from the Kentucky Derby, New York Fashion Week, Sir Elton John’s Oscar party, starred Polo, Formula One in Monaco. It grew from there, but it always had the same reason behind it. I wanted to be able to communicate and associate and circle with affluent, powerful people because of the classic line, “You are the combination of the people you hang around with.” All of my friends were broke-ass bikers.
If I could game to a room full of billionaires, then guess what I would end up becoming. That’s how it started. The funny thing is, this will make you giggle, it doesn’t take too many seconds to speak to me to realize that there’s nothing that I wouldn’t ask for. I’m not embarrassed about asking for what I want. I told my wife that once I built up this network, I would ask them for a job. The whole concept was that I would be asking them to help me. It never happened. I built my own industry where they needed me more than I needed them.
Were you ever feeling insecure? There’s that thing inside all of us, whether we’ve got it under control or not but there’s this thing, this deep core, we’re not enough. If you’ve ever been bullied or had a parent who put us down, from kids, this either gets bigger or we are able to keep it under control. Did you ever feel that way and feel like, “I can’t approach them?” Were you always on it and ignoring that inner feeling sometimes?
I wasn’t ignoring it, but I was ignorant to it. I didn’t recognize it. The funny thing was, from birth, I’ve been on motorcycles. I live here in Los Angeles. I don’t own a car. I haven’t owned a car for years. I’m always on motorcycles. When I lived in Asia and when I lived in Switzerland, I always had motorcycles. I would turn up to my client and I would turn up, black leather jacket and a crash helmet in my hand and start working with them. It was the thing that happened. People used to say, “When he turns up, you’re going to have to have some way for him to park his bike because he doesn’t have a car.” People are, “Really? He doesn’t drive cars.” It became my thing that they would always expect me to turn up with a crash helmet. I remember going to an event that I was asked to go to. I turned up in a car, in a taxi, an Uber thing and they went, “We wanted you to walk in with your crash helmet.” They went and borrowed a crash helmet from one of the bell staff so that I could walk in with a crash helmet, so I had the full effect.
It doesn’t mess up your hair?
Sometimes. Sometimes I think, “To hell with it.” That’s why it’s scruffy because it’s too early here. You don’t know when this little bug is going to pop out of your ears. I remember I was seven years into doing what I was doing. I had already some of the richest, most powerful people on the planet as clients. I was flying around the world, going to stately homes to see clients, heads of governments. It was crazy times. One day, I woke up and I went, “I can’t keep turning up on a motorcycle. That’s stupid.” Of course, then it happened. I bought a Ferrari. I bought tailor-made suits. I went out and I bought an expensive Audemars Piguet watch. I bought all of these things for you to be impressed with me. I didn’t buy a new Ferrari. I bought a 1971 classic. I was more of a connoisseur of vintage Ferraris. My suit had waistcoats and stuff. I was trying to impress you. The funny thing is all of this stuff was baggage. All of this stuff was weighing my shoulders down. My wife said that when I talk to people, all of a sudden, like, “Yes. Hello. How are you?”
Your real self wasn’t coming out.
Communication is the key to productivity and saving time. Click To Tweet Everything died. I’ll give you the full story. I threw a party in Monaco, massive, great yacht, and I was with the Ferrari. I stepped out of the party and we moved the Ferrari over to the boat next to me because the boat next to me was bigger than the one that I was throwing the party on. I got my photograph taken outside of this yacht, in this Ferrari. The head of the heads on my yacht, but for some reason, even then, it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t big enough. I went back to my home. I got the photographs. It was one of those days where you took the roll of film out of your camera, you sent it off. Anywhere within the next three years, you got your pictures back. I remember sitting in my office one day. I wasn’t doing bad. I had a penthouse in Geneva and I’m flicking through these photographs of this guy trying to do his best Don Johnson, Miami Vice, leaning up against the Ferrari. I realized I wasn’t in these pictures. It wasn’t me. It was some jackass that had sold himself to try and impress you.
These people had already come to the party because they knew me. They had already paid good bucks to be there. The deal had already been done. I had shown up as someone else. I couldn’t look dumber if I turned up like some football player mascot with a big furry head on. It upset me enough that I locked the door and I went into a drinking binge for about three days. It was a dark moment in my life. I came out of it. Funny enough, we put all the suits in the closet because I thought, “It’s a suit. You never know when you need a suit.” That was in 1997. I think about 2006, before the recession, I was living in Palm Beach. We opened up one of the boxes from our place in Geneva and I found all of these suits and they went to Goodwill. They never got worn again. The watch got hocked because the watch company wouldn’t take it back. I got rid of everything and went back to who I was. I was thinking, “I will sell anything in the world that benefits you, but I will not sell me.” Thankfully, I caught that early.
I’m a strong guy. I have a strong mentality. I’m a strong character. If I want something, I’m going for it. We got a British bulldog here, and my wife says that’s my spirit animal. Whatever he wants, he goes for it. No one can ever fight against that little doubt, that little unconfidence, that little insecurity. Sometimes you’ve got to bring it out. You’ve got to sit on the other side of the table and go, “What have you got? Why should I be insecure?” I hadn’t asked those questions. I had to go through that to realize that I didn’t need to be picture perfect. I didn’t need to be wearing elegant suits. Hugh Grant was the big name at the time. I didn’t need to be Hugh Grant. I needed to be me. I could be me easily.
What would you advise people who are caught in that place? For some people, it might have been from youth. It happens for a lot of people like what happened to you. It’s not always like, early on, “What the hell?” You take all these risks and you put yourself out there and you plow through. I feel like that was the way with me as well. At some point, it crept up on me.

TBT 118 | Good Communication

Good Communication: Your fear causes you to hesitate, and all the hesitation you have will cause your worst fears to come true.

How old are you?
You can’t ask me that.
You look 33. Let’s get that out of the way. When did it come up to you? When did that doubt come in? What age?
We have a lot in common. I lived in Zurich, Switzerland and I built up an IT business. I built it up myself and hired people. I built it up to a multimillion-dollar business and sold it to a public company and it was after that. Even though in my head, I knew that I did it once, I can do it again, but there were all these expectations that I didn’t have before. All of a sudden, I have these expectations of myself and I believe others have these expectations of me. Maybe fear, those different types of feelings come up, like, “Maybe I’m not good enough.” I can’t get to the next level. It was a fluke. Imposter theory, I fell into it.
There are a lot of people that experience it also after an initial success and not only before. It’s a common thing. I know you said you went into it and you ask yourself some questions. Is there a specific question that shifted you? Do you have a great metaphor? I love your metaphors so far because they cut right to the chase in our brain too. Our brain and our conscious mind can’t block that metaphor to go right in and break up some of that BS that we’re telling ourselves.
First of all, the danger is you think if something is dedicated to the youth. You think that insecurity and instability and not knowing what’s going to go on with my life, you think that’s something you only get when you’re 17 and 18 years old. The funny thing is, in both of our examples, they both crept in during and after great success. We had already established ourselves as good, and then we had doubt. It’s weird that you get that similarity there. What you got to understand, it is there. The first thing you’ve got to do, I try to detect it when I’m working with my people, is you’ve got to be aware that it’s there. You go around the corner expecting the mode to be a little bit rough. You expect things to happen. You expect there to be a pothole when you go around a blind corner. If it’s not there, great. If it is there, you’re prepared for it.
You’ve got to understand and recognize that self-doubt is 9 out of 10 inside of us. Once you recognize it’s in there, you might not see it yet, but one day you can start preparing yourself. I went through it. It cut me to the core. It nearly ruined my relationship with my wife and my kids and everyone. It hurts. You can recognize it now. You can recognize the telltale signs. That is when you start questioning yourself. The trouble is, when you’re questioning yourself because of that doubt, you’re only questioning yourself on one side of the argument, “Am I good enough? Am I good looking enough? Am I smart enough? Can I do this?” The other side then needs to step up and go, “Why can’t I? Hang on a minute. It’s been working so far. It doesn’t matter about my height since I’ve already built this business.” You’ve got to start bringing the other part to the argument.
That’s a great way to look at it. I agree with that. I used to work with Tony Robbins. I was a coach for Tony Robbins. One of the methods that he uses that we would work with people all over the world is exactly that. If you’re blaming somebody, look at the other side and blame them not just for what they did to you, but what you got from it, how it changed you and made you better. You have to see all perspectives before you can take it in and decide what meaning you’re going to give it. That’s great advice.
We could talk forever. I love chatting with you. We’re going to have to bring our session to a close. You mentioned something that you played a game while you were at the door. You were playing a game. What struck me as we were talking is that at some point when it becomes too serious and we’re not gaming it anymore, playfully, joyfully working it in that way, it becomes too serious. For me, that is when the doubt crept in, when I took it too seriously, I took myself too seriously, the circumstances too seriously. I’m not saying that we should make light of everything. It’s in that perspective.
I’m going to quote something and you said that I love metaphors. My wife says that my education has come from metaphors and quips. I don’t like to read long dialogues. I love those little impactful things. We can gather impact on those quips from the strangest places. I don’t know if you’ll remember this. I was watching a movie one day. I was a young lad. In this movie, there was this famous scene and they were about to do a bank robbery. It was typical. It’s probably one of the most typical men movies, big bro kind of movies out there. On the bus, and I’ll leave it because I’m wondering how many people are reading this who’ll go, “I know that movie.”
I already know what it is.
There’s this guy called Bodhi and he turns around to Johnny Utah and he says, “Fear causes hesitation and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.” I was watching this movie as a lad with what I’m thankful now is my wife. I sat down and I missed the rest of the movie because this had hit me so much that it wasn’t the fear that creates the problem, it was the hesitation. We’re in a Coronavirus pandemic at the moment. Coronavirus is not the problem because they’re fighting it. They’ve got intelligent people working it. It’s the idiots that are buying toilet rolls and clearing the shelves. The pandemic of stupidity, that is going to be the aftermath problem because you can guarantee they’re going to find a cure for this. We’re going to find a vaccine. We’re going to get over this, but we’re not going to get over stupidity.
The fear itself is never usually the problem. Funny enough, people don’t always recognize fear. You can play with fear. I ride motorcycles. I used to fight, kickboxing. When I used to step into the ring or when I’m on a motorcycle and before the green light goes, every molecule of my body is alive. I’m terrified, excited, thrilled and pumped. It’s that moment when you come alive. I’ve seen some dynamic, creative entrepreneurs because they’ve gone, “Green light is about to go, I’ve got to get ready.” I’ve noticed that people have to recognize it. The fear should never be the problem, it should be the fuel.
Insecurity isn't only for the youth. It follows you however old or successful you are. Click To Tweet We joke about this in my family, we have to giggle about what we get away with. We’re sitting here at the moment, drinking our old fashioneds, having conversations all over the world via Zoom, closing deals, and none of that was ever taught to us at school or at college. I left school at the age of fifteen years old. I’ve lectured at Harvard twice. There were only two times I went there. I remember the first time going in there going, “This is absurd.” When they invited me back the second time, I went, “Are you serious? You want me to come back?” They were like, “Yes, we’d like to.” You’ve got to be able to have a big smirk with what you get away with. Entrepreneurs are there to challenge and to see what fun they can have along the way.
That’s a great place for us to end it. Our conversation has got into a lot of different directions and many nuggets in your wise words.
I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.
Thank you all for being here. If you didn’t catch it, go and read again because sometimes it’s not the first time that you read something that you catch like Steve did that one quote. I knew right as you were telling the story, the big bank robbery, I knew exactly which movie you were talking about but I’m not going to say what it is. Those of you, who are reading, let us know if you know what that movie is and we’ll keep you in suspense on that. Thank you all for being here. We’ll see you next time.

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About Steve Sims

TBT 118 | Good CommunicationDo you know anyone that’s worked with Sir Elton John or Elon Musk, sent people down to see the wreck of the Titanic on the sea bed or closed museums in Florence for a private dinner party and then had Andre Bocelli serenade them while they eat their pasta – you do now

Quoted as “The Real Life Wizard of Oz” by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine, Steve Sims is a best selling Author with “BLUEFISHING – the art of making things happen”, sought-after consultant and a speaker at a variety of networks, groups and associations as well as the Pentagon and Harvard – twice!

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