SPS 189: Go For Stupid & Being Authentic In Your Book with Steve Sims

Posted on Jan 28, 2023

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Chandler Bolt [00:00:03] Hey, Chandler, Bolt here. And joining me today is Steve Sims. For more than two decades, Steve’s and the go to contact for the wealthiest people on the planet. This guy creates crazy, unique experiences. Or at least that is a core part of his business for for a while through his company. Now he’s a speaker. He’s a coach. He’s the author of multiple books, including Blue Fishing and Go for Stupid. That’s his newest book. And I think we may be met way back at Mastermind Talks maybe.

Steve Sims [00:00:36] Yeah.

Chandler Bolt [00:00:36] Jason early on at my I don’t even know if you know this about me. Steve Just like early, early on, my hustle was I couldn’t afford to go to some of these conferences. I would just volunteer, say how, sweep the floors, I run the mics, whatever. And so I think it was when I was volunteering at Mastermind Talks, we originally met and then now it seems like we’re speaking a lot of the same events and somehow never ran into each other. And so is it really fun to have you on the podcast? Welcome.

Steve Sims [00:01:03] It’s a pleasure to be here and very smart you for doing that to begin it.

Chandler Bolt [00:01:07] So I guess for starters, why did you write your first book and why have you made books? What? It seems to be a good part of your your brand and your business.

Steve Sims [00:01:18] So this is the answer that absolutely everyone’s going to frickin hate because there’s a lot of people like I did for my second book. The plan wanted desired to have a book. I didn’t want to write a first book. I thought it was the dumbest fucking idea in the planet. I was literally at a party and I was telling a story and someone introduced me to someone else. Then I went up to New York. Someone introduced me to someone else. Bang. A week later, I got a fax. Can you believe that? This was only five years ago. But I got a fax. Not an email, but a fax contract from Simon and Schuster asking me if I wanted to buy the book. And I’m like, and here’s the thing. I didn’t even know Simon Schuster was I phoned up a friend of mine and I said, I’ve got a fax here from Simon Schuster and they want to do this. And he’s like, You kidding? So a lot of people try to do books. I didn’t. It landed in my lap. And so I’ve always said when you know great people and you’re in great rooms and you know this, when you surround yourself with great people, great things happen. That was the first book and when it got written, I had so much naivete. I didn’t know what I was doing. I found out that this was a massive, great production house. I did the book and I thought, Great, I got paid well. I’ve got the backing of a major publisher. It’s now gone out, right? I didn’t realize that the book writing is only one part of it. When it gets released into the world, my God, that opens up all the doors. So I was very naive and I didn’t really have a lot of people that helped me at the beginning. Can I go, Hey, are you ready for this? Because, you know, I clearly wasn’t. The book did incredibly well. The second book, I was able to plan off of all of those misrepresentations, misrepresentations, losses of media. I was able to make sure my second book was a lot more prepared than my first one.

Chandler Bolt [00:03:22] And so the second book being more prepared, what did that look like? How was it just planning ahead? Was it more time writing? Was it prep for the launch? Was what were kind of the key changes or differences that you you did for a book going about it?

Steve Sims [00:03:37] So for a start, I thought, why in a book? That was the whole job. You know, that was that you start writing the book, you wrote the book, you checked out the design, you released a book, you approved it, and then you went home and just got ready for the millions to land. You very quickly realized that no one makes a million out of writing a book. And a good friend of mine, Jay Abraham, said to me, You’re not going to make you’re not going to get a beach house from my in the book. But what the book lead you into will have you picking out drapes on the beach house. So I thought the book was everything. But then afterwards it was a case of, Hey, I saw your book. When you speak on stage. I saw your book. We had trained my team. I saw your book. Will you do an online course? I had no idea that the book actually that well became the beginning of everything and that was it. So when the second book I got aggravated enough to do the second book, I was like, All right, I now know that this is the beginning, so it’s got to lead into this. I’ve got to make sure it opens up the doors for this. I’ve got to put hoax in the book for it to be able to do this. So I was prepared. The second book was actually step one of 20 steps, so I actually planned accordingly. I did more speaking gigs as a lead up. I made sure my community was strong. I made sure my distribution was strong. I made sure my marketing to media was strong. So I made sure those things were prepared for book two, which I really hadn’t paid attention to for Book one.

Chandler Bolt [00:05:11] Got it. Now it looks like. So you talk about the first one being with Simon Schuster, and that was the second one. Was that self-published?

Steve Sims [00:05:19] Yeah, it was self-published. And I’m friends with Tucker Mac, so Taka helped me out and I went through Skype for those guys.

Chandler Bolt [00:05:26] Cool. So what was what was kind of the difference in experience? It’s interesting because I felt like almost your your perspective in spirit and experience is maybe flipped for most people. It’s like the traditionally published book that they did, they really planned and it was big launch and everything. And then the self-publish, sometimes because it is self-published, it’s like you just put it out and that’s almost like the the floor is the way that you look at it is you don’t plan is as well ahead. So how did that flip for you and what was your difference in experience between self-publishing and traditional publishing?

Steve Sims [00:06:01] So, first of all, I knew nothing. That was that was the first year I knew not so I had nothing to compare it to. But I’m a selfish guy. I want to make sure needles are moved. Otherwise, that was the point. I’m not an ego guy and I’m not an extrovert. If it’s not making a point, I don’t want to touch it. So when the first book came out, as I say, I thought that was all of everything. They gave me a ghostwriter. I had a team. I had a marketing team, wink, wink, that never went anywhere. I had all of these promises. Everyone was like, Oh my God, Simon Schuster, get done. Give me one great relationship with the guys. Thank you very much for what you did. But there were some points that never came to fruition, and it was a case of, you know, build it and they will come. And a lot of them didn’t and so on. Some aspects people think that having a self-published book, hey, you’re more credible, you know, also having a major publisher publish your book, you’re more credible. But here’s the tough thing. For most readers, they don’t know the difference between self-published and published. If you think you’re focused into doing a good book and he’s got a good cover and he’s got a good design and he’s got a good layout, 99% of the planet are not going to know the difference. If it’s Penguin or you self-published it, that’s just not going to know. It’s the ghostwriter. It’s the layout and the attention you pay to the book. But what I did notice, and it was a friend of mine actually taught me the difference. You have more control over self-published. When is published, you’ve sold the baby. You know you no longer own it. You want to do a course on it. You got to split the fees. You want to suddenly start releasing parts of the book. You’ve got to get permission. All of a sudden you have no control over this anymore if you want to do something with it. Oh, no, no, no. We don’t want to do that. It’s already been published. He’s done yet with a self-published book. You can update it, you can edit it, you can stick in links, you can sticking QR codes. You have more control over your distribution. But I didn’t know that until Simon Schuster did my first book. Very, very proud that I did my first book. They did a phenomenal book and machine on it, but there was certain things that just didn’t come through that I was able to see the gaping holes and make sure they didn’t happen in this one.

Chandler Bolt [00:08:33] And so I would assume that’s why you self-published the second book. Looking back, are you glad that you did? If you ever do a third book, do you think you would self-publish it? Traditionally publish? How would you look at kind of that decision?

Steve Sims [00:08:45] So book self-published. Well, for a start, don’t want to do a third book. I actually I hate my books. I hated white and blue fiction. There were nights I was I couldn’t sleep going, oh, my God. It was like a therapy session with yourself as the doctor. It’s very intrusive. You feel very uncomfortable. And I didn’t like it. And then I had to do the audiobook. One of the worst experiences of my life, you know, sitting in a room, reading your own book, it was just, Oh, my God, you know, it’s like reading your own accolades and stuff. It’s just horrible. And of course I’ve just done it, but a second one. And I came home and just had a sink, a couple of whiskeys, just a bloody calm down. So the idea, the idea of me doing a third book is on an even par with me growing a full head of hair. You know, I just have no desire, no contemplation, don’t care. But if it ever comes up 100%, without a doubt, sell, publish. Hey, I love you, Simon Schuster. But I think the planet has changed, so it’s got nothing to do with the publishing house. I certainly don’t want a bastion. Without those guys wouldn’t be where I am. But 100% the world’s changed and I think you have more control over self-published.

Chandler Bolt [00:10:07] Got it. So Steve’s approach to publishing books mirrors his approach to growing hair. You heard it here first. Yeah. So you mentioned the audiobook, which is that I think the worst day of your life or the worst thing you’ve ever done. Why? And are you glad that you did it in retrospect or no?

Steve Sims [00:10:28] Thrilled I did it, which was the only reason I just recorded this one on audio for some reason. And I now know why most writers don’t read that one book. They get other people to do it. But when you read it. You’re telling your story. You emphasize certain areas that a narrator wouldn’t do. It comes from you, you verbiage, you tonality, you excitement, your passion. It comes through in the words because, hey, no one can read you better than you can read you. But the experience of standing something which is basically like standing in a poor, a toiler with all of these little rubber cones staring at you to reduce the sound. Reading your book. And there’s nothing in there. You know, I remember the first time I turned up, I had these cargo pants, and I just sound silly to say, but I have these cargo pants. And the person who was doing the audio, she went, Are you muslin? I mean, what she said, I can hear them. It was my trousers. It could pick up on the bloody mike. Then I had these cargo pants on. I had a lot of women put jeans on. So it was just weird the that had to happen. And you had no light, no natural flow in air. It was just I was in this dark box for two days and it got to lunchtime the second day and she said, We have a break. We’ll only need a couple of hours in the afternoon. And I said to her, If we break now, I’m not coming back now, so let’s not do the break. Let’s continue. And we got it done by like 2:00. And this one I said to a friend of mine that owns a studio. I said, I’m going to turn up at 9:00. We’re not going home until it’s done. And I was there from 9:00 in the morning. Thank you for helping me. We were there until 9:00 at night, and I knew that if I went and had a break, I wasn’t coming back. But there’s a massive difference when you read your own book.

Chandler Bolt [00:12:36] I agree. I completely agree. And I had a very similar experience where it’s it’s for me, it was you kind of get to imagine because it seems like we’re very I mean, we both do a lot of speaking and it seems like we’re similar in kind of this this external feedback loop. And when someone’s nodding their head, it’s like, Oh, this is engaging. This thing that I’m saying is interesting. When you’re in the booth, you don’t have that. And so I almost imagine, kind of imagine right behind the mic is someone just smiling and nodding their head while you’re while you’re reading the book and kind of imagining it’s like you’re delivering it in front of an audience. Like, it was helpful. But still to your point, it’s you’re in a box that’s hot and there’s no light, natural light and and all that stuff.

Steve Sims [00:13:25] Stuff. It’s very, very tough. But as you and I have both said, if you’re out there and you’re buying a book, be prepared to a lot of people and I’m on about 40% of your crowd and your tribe want to listen to it on audio Waldo on my and so make sure you do the audio. You do it with your voice, your tonality.

Chandler Bolt [00:13:47] Yeah. And they can, they want to hear from you and it just makes a big difference and especially yeah. I mean podcasts are one of the best ways to help books like this. Right. And, and I think it’s good if you’re on podcasts, those people listen to audio content. They will probably want to listen to your book versus. And so just like this is there’s people hearing you to ask Stephen, they’re like, Oh, cool, I’m going to get that audio book because I want to hear he’s an engaging, funny guy. Like, I want to hear him read this. Yeah. So it makes makes a big difference.

Steve Sims [00:14:21] Mine’s got to be edited, so I don’t think mine’s coming out for probably a couple of months. I’m sure we’re going to do some called bundle deal, you know, when we know it’s coming out. But it’s it’s it has been done, but it’s still a way off.

Chandler Bolt [00:14:36] Hmm. I know you’ve been doing a lot of speaking, and I’m sure some of that is part of the launch of the book. But how have books helped to grow your speaking business or the speaking side of your business?

Steve Sims [00:14:50] Well, it’s a it’s a complete dovetail. You know, your book, people read your book, they love your stories. And then they need to see social proof that you’ve been on stages so that that eliminates the risk. Then they ask you to speak on stages. And then when you speak on stage, it it sells more books and it starts the cycle again. So being an authority, the first word of authority is author. So when you an author of a book, you’re now an authority in that subject that does help and dovetail you in again, more stages.

Chandler Bolt [00:15:25] Love that word of authority is author your newest book. Go for stupid. What’s. What’s. Oh, yeah. There we go. If you’re watching on the YouTube channel, you can see it here. Go for stupid. The art of achieving ridiculous goals. What what are some of the core concepts of that book? And how can author specifically use some of the concepts in that book to be more successful with their books?

Steve Sims [00:15:52] That’s good. All right. So the concept of the book is to get people to do more stupid goals. People today are living within their means, settling with their standards, going for what they feel is achievable. Whereas everyone we were revere Steve Jobs, Disney, Henry Ford, Elon Musk, Richard Branson. They all had stupid goals and they went with me. In my life, I’ve always gone for stupid goals. Okay, I like this. How can I make it ridiculous? What massive concept can I come up with? And I always believe that today in a gotcha society and in the cancel culture, we’re not frightened of trying things and failing. What did you find to be laughed at? So the whole book goes to examples of what I’ve got up to in my life and how I’ve changed my mindset to go for stupid goals, and then how the biggest people we revere from the Steve Jobs to the to the Edison, they went for stupid goals and how they achieved and how you should emulate it. So that’s the concept behind the book. And then how I’d laid out how I’ve done the podcasts, how I’ve done my book launch, how I’ve done the videos, how I’ve done the audio should be a good copycat for people to see how they do books, how to how to put it on a website, how to make sure the appropriate landing pages of how to make sure the correct funnels are set up. How to constantly keep adding fuel. To the fireman flame of the book. And again, launching is one thing. The lead up build up your community is one thing. The launch is one thing. The after launch is another thing. The perpetuation is another thing. Understand that this is chapters going through and how to keep it going. It is not a one and done. You don’t release Young Tuesdays at 12:00 and then stop picking out your drapes. It’s a constant burn that you’ve got to keep going. And if you don’t pay attention, it’ll fizzle out. And someone else pip you at the post of the the attention.

Chandler Bolt [00:17:50] Hmm. Yeah, I completely agree. So I call that the one year launch. A lot of people are doing the one week launch, and you really need to do that when you’re launch and dedicate that that first year. And it’s I’ve mess this up on mods for my books. It’s because it’s easy to just drop it like it’s higher and move on to the next thing. And even just, you know, you and I talking before this interview is like, man, it’s exhausting. You’ve just been on weeks or months of just speaking gigs. And so it’s, it’s it’s it’s very easy to move on to the next thing.

Steve Sims [00:18:22] Yeah, it’s very, very no, you’re right. And look, we all learn out of mistakes. You know, I learned that there was stuff when the first book came out, I didn’t even have a landing page when the first book came out. I thought, you’ll get it on Amazon. I didn’t even have a landing page. Well, I wasn’t capturing that traffic. I wasn’t capturing that communicate, not making the same mistake. Now, if you look if you want an example, go for stupid dotcom. Look at how I’ve set it all up. It’s set to the Sims Dotcom. But you’ll see how I’m running. Two different tacks. Look at those pair and emulate it for your launch.

Chandler Bolt [00:19:00] That’s great. Check it out. Emulate it. Steve, what would be an example, maybe of how you’ve gone for stupid with this, with the launch of this book or an example of the way that an author can go for stupid with their book.

Steve Sims [00:19:14] So you’ve got to understand what your goal is. You know, if you if your goal list, you have no idea if you achieve that. So are you going for distribution? You know, do you want to sell 10,000 copies? Do you want it to drive traffic to your coach and program? Do you want it to help you? Investment Project? You’ve got to know your goalposts. And I had three goal posts. Okay, two of them I’ve already achieved. I wanted to make sure I was a best seller on the list. Well, we all know how that can be created, so I needed to make sure that was done. I needed to get good distribution so it would go wide. I did that and I needed to make sure I had a clear funnel back to my front door. And that was one of my keys for my coaching clients, the Sims Dot Media. For any of my other projects and speaking gigs, I need you to make sure that this was a lead back to my front door. That’s what you need to focus on. You need to make sure what is in it for you. If you release releasing a book and you don’t want to do speaking, then don’t put it out to people that are going to want you to speak on stage. But if you do want to speak on stages, make sure the book is tagging all of those events that you should be speaking on.

Chandler Bolt [00:20:27] Mm hmm. Great. So begin with the end in mind and emphasize. Stephen Curry would say and and it sounds like connect it to the end goal that some people might say is stupid. And that’s beyond the book. That’s not just publishing in the book.

Steve Sims [00:20:42] Yeah. You know, you’ve got a lot of luck. Imposter syndrome. Terrible. I spoke to you about it, about driven, which is Perry Belcher’s new community. I’m on the faculty. I’m one of the trainers and I’m sort of next like brandie god, Perry Belcher, Kassam Aslam, Eric Huberman and the imposter syndrome is very easy to go, oh my God, I’m nothing compared to these guys and I’m pretty much nothing against them. I have a different perspective and a different viewpoint, but understand this to somebody out there, you’re some big shit and what you’re talking about is going to change my life. So speak to those people and and get it out there. Where can I find more? Those people understand that you are something to somebody.

Chandler Bolt [00:21:26] That’s got this great encouragement. One thing I wanted to ask you about, Steve, is just noticing from your social media posts, from you speaking at events, from even just how you talk on this interview and the title of your book and all that. I feel like you’re an extremely authentic person and that’s something that I’ve always valued and tried to do as well as what you see is what you get. But like you said, it’s hard because people are afraid of getting canceled or getting laughed at or whatever. How do you remain authentic? And was that an always thing? Like, it’s always been like, Hey, what you see is what you get. Was there a moment where you said, All right, screw this, I’m just going to be me? Like any encouragement for people on that authenticity piece.

Steve Sims [00:22:10] So I grew up ignorant and stupid and didn’t give a fuck. So, you know, this was May. This was as good as it gets. You like it? Great. You don’t go away. And then I started to deal with some of the billionaires in the planet and started getting connected. And I changed. I started kind of like, you know, take I took out my savings, I covered my tattoos. I tried to speak a little bit more eloquently, and I suddenly realized I was a fake and I didn’t like that. I hated me. It bothered me how to punch me up. So I didn’t want to be that person. And I realized that to be successful, people have to hate you. Now, this is a weird thing to say, but I can guarantee you now on this podcast with you, there is a group of people that are sitting there cheering God, Steve, Sam, Jerry, do I want to point out to. But I want to have a beer with that guy. This guy is awesome. He’s cool and is is I love him and I guarantee it as people are probably already hung up going can’t understand what the guy’s saying, don’t like him, don’t want anything to do with him. I don’t like that guy. But there’s nobody on the fence. There’s nobody confused. There’s no one sitting there going. She now, I just don’t know about that guy. And in today’s world of distraction and distortion, you’ve got to be crystal clear to your audience. Make sure that they love you, they hate you, but there’s no one confused. And so for me, it’s easiest marketing in the world. If someone reaches out to me, they’ve seen a video, they’ve read my book, they’ve heard a podcast, they’ve seen me with you that can I get what they reached out for from what they saw? And there’s not going to be any confusion. Let me give you an example. Real estate agents now do a lot of speaking of real estate events. How many times do you see these realtors and they’re trying to look uber sexy, leaning up against this car? You don’t want to you don’t want to go out with him. You want to buy a house. Then for some reason, they get confused and they put up a this. And when you do, finally me. I’m not 30 years older than the picture they used. Whenever you meet those people, you get this sense that you’ve been cheated. You know you’ve been lied to. It’s like a website. You see someone, you hear someone, and you go, Oh my God, I really like what they stand for. And when you meet them, you realize that they couldn’t have written that copy. They got someone, you know, those big words to do it. And you feel cheated, you feel folded. So with me, I want to be the person you always end up with. I don’t want to leave it open to game. Let’s be serious. It takes zero effort for you to be you.

Chandler Bolt [00:24:53] Hmm. Hmm. Zero four.

Steve Sims [00:25:03] Hmm. That’s called a mix up moment.

Chandler Bolt [00:25:08] Look, I’m like, okay, on one hand, it does take no effort. But then on the other hand, I almost feel like the fighting, the internal.

Steve Sims [00:25:16] Oh, shut up. Here we go. Here we go. The problem is, you are now talking yourself out of being authentic by letting that little devil in the back of your head actually have an opinion. Hmm. You just said it yourself. It takes fuckable effort for you to be you. But I’m scared of how people will look at me, interpret me, think about me. Can I do that? They won’t dare to be me. Just show up. You know, don’t listen to that little devil in the back of your head. People are going to dislike you for your shirt, your hairdo, for the cologne you wear, whatever. And the other people are going to love you for those reasons. So just let it happen naturally. Don’t fight it. Because here’s the downside. I’m going to give it to you direct, Chandler. If you adapt, change, tweak, falsify who you are to attract people, you’re going to end up with people that you have no connection with. Hmm. They just turned up because of your persona. And then they finally meet you. How many times have you been on a date? And you’re like, This person’s really cool. By the third date, you’re like, Oh, my God, that’s the devil incarnate. How. How did I ever go? And how many times that also happens when you interview someone for your job? You know, you interview them and you’re like, I like this person. And then like four weeks later, there are method and you don’t know how they got through the door. The bottom line of it is you want to be able to make that decision as fast as possible. Whether or not they should be in your sandpit or whether they shouldn’t. And don’t let your little devil talk yourself out of it.

Chandler Bolt [00:26:59] That’s great. Steve, what would be your your parting piece of advice for the Steve from how many years ago before you got your first book and all the other Steves out there who were thinking about writing their first book.

Steve Sims [00:27:11] Do it. It’s an uncomfortable, unnerving, horrible experience. But I’m I couldn’t be prouder than when I get a dream or I get a tweet from someone that I never would have connected from someone on the other side of the planet that says, Hey, if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have got X, Y, Z, done X, Y, Z, or been able to, you know, conceive x, y, z. There’s no better feeling. Don’t sit there watching your bank balance, suddenly thinking you’re going to be buying yourself a zoo or a country that ain’t going to be happening. But the impact that you can generate from what you do if you focus on that truly can’t be replaced.

Chandler Bolt [00:27:52] Steve was great and really great. Where can people go to buy a copy of your new book to learn more about what you’re up to? All that good stuff.

Steve Sims [00:28:03] Daisy I’m Steve Sims. I’m everywhere. Steve Sims day for dashing and only one name in Sims. Instagram, Twitter, wherever you get your social. I’m at Steve Sims. You can go to stevedsims.com and actually see the book there and you can search it up on Amazon at go for stupid or even just go go for stupid dot com and you’ll see my final there.

Chandler Bolt [00:28:27] Awesome. https://goforstupid.com. Check out the book, y’all. Steve, appreciate you.

Steve Sims [00:28:33] Thanks for having me. And thank you very much for pushing people to do books. You do a simple system that works. Congratulations on your. And more people should be listening to you.

Chandler Bolt [00:28:43] Thanks, man. Books change lives.

Steve Sims [00:28:45] Yep.

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