In the early 1990's, Steve Sims, author of Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen, was a brick layer. Fast-forward to today and his clients include some of the most powerful people in the world. In fact, 32 of his clients are "royalty."
However, you will never see any of the names of his clients if you go to his business website. Why? Because he's not looking to get credibility based on who his clients are, but rather, because of what he actually does.
What Does 'The Real Life Wizard of Oz' Do?
Forbes called Sims "the Wizard of Oz "to the world's wealthiest celebrities, professional athletes, and successful entrepreneurs."
According to Sims himself, "I make the amazing, possible." What that looks like in the real world is giving his wealthy clients seemingly impossible experiences. For example, he's taken his clients underwater to see the actual Titanic. He once closed a museum so a client could eat dinner at the feet of Michelangelo's David while being serenaded by Andrea Bocelli.
How did this happen?
How did Sims go from being a brick-laying laborer to creating "magical" experiences for the wealthiest people in the world? Well, first, he left his job as a brick-layer and became a "doorman" at a nightclub. In this position, he learned how to "mingle" with rich people at the club.
After a short period of time "mingling" with the rich people, he started promoting their parties.
Then, people started asking Sims to accomplish random and odd tasks. For example, he was asked by wealthy people to find a Ferrari they could rent. Or they asked him how they could get dinner with a famous person.
The requests became bigger and harder, and Sims became the guy who could figure out how to get strange, rare, and seemingly impossible stuff done. He mingled with rich people, they asked him to help them, and he figured out how. No matter how odd or strange the request.
For example, one person, Dan Fitzpatrick, wanted to meet the rock band, Journey. But Sims didn't just help him meet Journey, he actually got Dan on stage singing with the band live in concert.
Sims' Method for Making Magic Happen
In the case of Dan Fitzpatrick, how did Sims go about convincing Journey to let a random guy on stage at one of their concerts?
The answer for Sims is simple: Communication. You need to communicate well and create "win-win" scenarios.
When he found out that Dan wanted to meet Journey, Sims started investigating. He found out that Journey happened to be getting ready to go on tour. He also found out the the drummer of Journey's son had autism. Dan's son had autism. There was a key connection.
While Sims was communicating with someone related to the Journey band, he asked question after question to get more information. According to Sims, if the answer to any request is "no," you just need to change the question. Once you get the right question, the answer will go from "no" to "yes."
The only way to get to "yes," is to create a clear win-win, where in this case, Journey is getting what they want. Because if they don't get what they want, they don't care what you want.
Sims needed to make it both EMOTIONAL and profitable for Journey to meet Dan Fitzpatrick. After finding out that the drummer's son was autistic, Sims pitched the idea of making a Tour Announcement to include the idea of helping autism awareness. This could potentially bring more people out to the shows. But it also just mattered to the band on an emotional level.
Archimedes once said, "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." For Sims, the lever is emotional. If you can find the leverage point to create a win-win, you can have almost anything you want.
The key to finding that emotional leverage point is communication.
2-Degrees of Separation
Another important component of all of this is having a "credible introduction." According to Sims, there are two degrees of separation between you and the person you need to contact. So, in the beginning, you need to do some homework. Start asking around.
In the case of the example above, ask 30-50 of your friends or people in your network if they know anyone who has connections to Journey. Once you get that connection, then you need to find a way to get introduced in a credible manner. This may take time.
Again, according to Sims, if you get a "no" to your request, it's either because you asked the wrong question or you asked the wrong person. If it happens to be the latter, then you need to keep digging until you find the right person.
According to Sims, the best way to reach people in a compelling way is through "messy" communication. Don't send emails or texts.
Send postcards written in your own sloppy handwriting. Send video emails with yourself talking. Don't try to be fancy. Just be real and authentic. People will appreciate that, as they get plenty of requests in the traditional manner.
According to Sims, email is the absolute worst way to communicate and get results. It's played out. In the future, email will be the last thing that works, simply because it's the most popular thing. If it's popular, it's wrong.
Want to become the Wizard of Oz in your industry? Then start applying these principles immediately.
Create "impossible" experiences for your customers.
Get emotional leverage and create win-wins.
Don't communicate in the same lame ways everyone else is.