If it’s on your bucket list, Steve Sims can deliver it.
His company, The Bluefish, is the world’s leading luxury concierge firm. “Unique, once-in-a-lifetime memories that are beyond imagination” is the Bluefish trademark.
Sims is the force behind world-class experiences like boarding a submarine for a trip to the Titanic, getting onstage with Lady Gaga, Formula 1 car racing experiences, taking cooking lessons from renowned chefs, jamming with celebrity recording artists and getting walk-on roles on hit television shows.
If you ask Sims what he does, he’ll tell you, “I make things happen. I get people to do what they dream and desire by using my contacts and connections to pull it off.”
That’s a little long for a business card, although I love his spirit. It got me thinking about how we have opportunities every day to match needs with resources. You’ve likely been a catalyst at some point — hearing about something a friend or client wants to accomplish — and then pairing that with a resource to provide a solution.
I love to do this. Our brains are always scanning, and it’s fun when we can discover match-ups that bring about results.
I learned about Steve Sims and other entrepreneurs in the new book, “Success & Something Greater: Your Magic Key.” Authors Sharon Lechter and Dr. Greg Reid interviewed various leaders and shared their “special sauce” success stories, along with unique content from renowned personal growth and self-help author, Napoleon Hill.
In Sim’s case, it begs the question, “How does one attain that level of influence? How do you acquire access to prestigious people and experiences?” In a nutshell, what makes Steve tick?
In his case — like many of ours — the roots began in childhood. He always wanted to get into places he wasn’t supposed to be in — and do things he wasn’t supposed to do. His uncanny ability to do just that grew into an art he’s perfected over the years.
He began using his talents in 1994 to get people into VIP events in Asia, according to authors Lechter and Reid. Today, he’s in Los Angeles, where he’s hosted Elton John and other superstars, along with tech geniuses and the man who would become our current president.
One of Sim’s unique skills is getting through the degrees of separation to find the one connection that can make anything happen. He’s known for cutting to the chase at lightning speed. “Steve lets everyone know who he is and what he wants up front. He hides nothing — exposing the good, the bad and the ugly to make things happen,” Lechter and Reid explain.
While this may seem counterintuitive to some philosophies on how to win friends and influence people, Sims says his straightforward approach is refreshing. “I have a direct policy,” he explains. “When I talk to people, I tell them what I need — and ask how I can make it happen.
“Whether the person is the head of the Oscars, the Vatican or NASA, I need to be an incredible master communicator and let them know quickly what I want, what’s in it for them, and why it would be good for them to do it.”
Sims says this quality of frankness has become a lost art and that we take too long to get to the point. While he has earned a reputation for being raw — even being described as “Ugly Sims” for his bluntness — he also says people know where he’s coming from, and that builds relationships and trust. “Respect grows when you remove your filter and get to the point.”
Think about our everyday desire for instant gratification by using Siri and Google. As Lechter and Reid point out, “Steve’s directness caters to people’s need for instant gratification because he tells them what he wants — and what they need to know before they have a chance to question his motives.”
It’s a style that Sims credits with his fast track to success. Here are a few of the tips he shares in the book:
- State the purpose of your communication immediately. Too often, people misconstrue what is being asked of them because it gets lost or watered down.
- Avoid excess verbiage. Being clear and concise shows you respect the other person’s time and does not cause them to question your motives.
- Let them know what’s in it for them. Make it clear how they will benefit by agreeing to your request. (In our marketing company, we used the acronym WIIFT — What’s In It For Them — when strategizing for clients.)
- Be authentic. People will notice when you misrepresent who you are — or what you want.
“Steve has built a world-class business around respect, trust and authenticity,” wrote Lechter and Reid. “Being ugly and raw is his claim to fame, but when we met Steve, we quickly realized there were no layers of the onion to peel away before we could get a glimpse into who he is — and the magic key to his success.
“It took no time at all to realize that his perfection was in his so-called imperfection, and through it he has created an engaging brand — one that attracts people to him and makes them want to help him.”
Note to self: I need to connect with Steve to get access to the Oscars in February.
It’s a lifelong dream I share with my best friend since kindergarten, Patty Johnston. This could be our year, Patty. I’m sure Steve could make it happen!