Steve Sims is the best-selling author of Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen. I'm saying this honestly, it is one of the smartest books on business and relationships I've ever read, and I've read hundreds of business books.
Steve is a sought-after consultant and speaker at a variety of networks, groups, and associations, as well as the Pentagon and Harvard.
Here's what's crazy about Steve, though. He makes the impossible, possible. That is what "Blue Fishing" is: turning an impossible idea into something tangible.
Steve works with people like Sir Elton John and Elon Musk, helping them turn their ideas into realities.
In full disclosure: I've worked with Steve, learned his methods, and am continuing to learn from him. However, I receive no compensation for writing this article. I'm simply writing it to share some epic strategies for making stuff happen.
If you're an entrepreneur or someone trying to make a splash or any form of influence, you need to become a strategist.
I love the quote from Strategic Coach founder, Dan Sullivan: "The bigger your future, the better your present."
If you don't have huge dreams that are stirring in your mind, then what are you doing with yourself?
Having HUGE dreams gives you something in the here and now to think about and work toward.
Dan said something else that was really good: "Personal confidence is built by making progress toward goals that are far bigger than your current capabilities."
I can attest to this as an organizational psychologist. Meta-analytic research confirms that confidence is the byproduct of goal-directed action. Anyone can build it. And once you build it, your imagination continues to expound.
Back to Steve. I interviewed him and asked him to provide me strategies for "Making stuff happen." Here are the four things he taught me:
1. The ROI in Relationships
The tallest tree on the planet is a Redwood, but they all start off as minute, millimeter-sized seeds. If we provide you with one of those seeds, you can do a host of things.
You can put it in your pocket, put it in your wallet, leave it on your desk, stick it in the ground, not care for it, not feed it, not nurture it, not prune it, and the result will be the exact same every single time.
Die, die, and deader.
If you focus on that as a metaphor for your relationships, you will learn that the early stages of relationships actually require the most attention. The person you briefly met a year ago is an association, not a relationship.
To build a relationship, you need to understand someone, know someone, and bond with someone.
A large tree can handle a bus driving into it and it won't move. You need to build such loyalty and commitment within the relationship, so that if a competitor comes along to steal your business, they're not going anywhere.
2. Give Them What They Need, Not What They Ask For
Never give a client what they ask for; give them what they need, dream, and desire. Most people will never actually ask for what they truly want. They will give you the answer that makes them sound the most intelligent, the most articulate, and the most educated.
What you have to do is use your inner Sherlock to find out the core of what they're trying to create.
Why do they want this?
Why is it important?
3. Sales and Sales Support
In today's fast-paced world, you've got to decide quickly if you're in sales or sales support, everything else can be replaced. When in sales, you need to be in the front line of making a relationship.
When in support, you need to assist those that are in the frontline with the materials they need.
Both of these need to work together.
Building a team effort is mandatory in all positions now, or you're just waiting for Amazon to take your job.
4. The Trigger
When you're driving down the road, a tune will come on in the car and transport you back in time; it's a trigger.
You'll be able to taste certain foods, smell a familiar scent, hear the wind, feel the touch; you'll be transported back to a time and a place that created an emotional bond to that tune. In today's market, we need to create triggers with our clients.
We need to make sure that when our client is walking down the street and they see something, hear something, feel something, they think of you.
Creating a trigger creates a tight bond that can very rarely be broken. What we need to do today is establish a trigger in the mind of our clients. We need to develop a bond, develop loyalty and a commitment, so we can enhance that trigger to make them want to do more business with us and refer more business to us.
If you're serious about making waves and influence, relationships matter. You can make the impossible possible.
First, you have to dream bigger.
Are your dreams big enough?
Are they big enough to lead you to go huge?
How big is your current imagination?
Next, how good are your relationship skills, both with influencers but also with your clients?
Do your clients love you?
Are they your biggest fans?
Are they loyal to you?
What about collaborators and even competitors?
"When you're doing innovative stuff, your competitors become your clients." That's another Dan Sullivan quote!
How big are you going to go?
How courageous are you going to be?
How much magic will you have around you?