There is absolutely no way to do marketing nowadays without going social to some extent. Is there a silver bullet to social media marketing? The answer is deceptively simple. Joining Steve Sims to talk about this and more is Dan Fleyshman, the Founder of Elevator Studio, a man who holds many distinctions, including that of the youngest person to make a company public. He’s a master of marketing and branding, and probably the most connected man you’ve never heard of, having worked with such big names as Steve Aoki and the Kardashians. In an engaging conversation, Steve and Dan take on diverse topics ranging from charity, going viral, social media, and the cancel culture to effectively use social media for marketing your business. In the complicated and uncontrollable social media sphere, Dan believes in keeping things simple. Listen in and learn how you can do it yourself.
Listen to the podcast here:
Dan Fleyshman: Master Of Marketing And Branding
I have a good friend of mine, Dan Fleyshman, who’s going to chat with you about everything from social stars in our businesses, the new digital world that we’re all in and the Wild Wild West of the marketing that brings. This guy is probably the most connected guy that you’ve never heard of. Everyone from Steve Aoki, Dan Bilzerian and to the Kardashians worked with this man to have them polish their brand, their marketing, their digital presence. He’s also the youngest guy ever to take a company public, so he knows what he’s talking about and he knows how to do it cheaply and impactfully. This one is one to be read, action it, and enjoy. Here’s my interview with my friend, Dan Fleyshman.
Dan, thanks a lot for taking the time and welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me.
For anyone that doesn’t know you, if I’m in a bar and someone says, “Who the hell is Dan?” you are the most connected, successful, unknown person that I’ve ever met. You play in the shadows and control a lot. If anyone was to name your clients and your relationships, they’re everyone from the Kardashians, Dan Bilzerian and Mark Wahlberg. You can name a name, and more than likely, you’ve worked with them and you know them well. How has that happened? Give me the basics of where you started from to be in as connected as you are.
The main secret is I pay them money. My social media agency, we spend $60 million a year paying influencers and celebrities for brands and products. In between that, I throw all these live events that are mostly free. That’s my excuse to get ahold of these celebrities, influencers, big business people, speakers, authors and people like Steve Sims. I’m like, “Steve, come and speak at my events.” You’re like, “You’ve got this person and this person. I’ll come to speak at your event.” I’m either spending money or creating experiences and it causes this whirlwind where because I’m getting those people, they start introducing me to other people because they want to provide them with money or experiences.
There’s a lot of depth here. I want to give a shout-out to our mutual friend Greg Reid, which is where I first met you. Greg was throwing an event that he called Secret Knock. He had one in Downtown Los Angeles. I was speaking at it, you were speaking at it as well and we did a box. It was for the SPs coming up. Someone had said something about, “Dan’s got his charity. Would you mind doing this?” I had someone bow out of the box and we donated the box to your charity. That’s how we first met.
We raised $24,000 in three minutes.
It was great. Your charity was an impactful one. There are a lot of charities where you donate the money and you don’t know where it goes to. You buy and put together a cool backpack and then go down to place like Skid Row. We’ve got a huge homeless issue here in LA and you give out these backpacks. You can see directly that when you give a dollar where it ends up. Tell us about that charity.
We make backpacks for the homeless with 150 emergency supply items inside. Half of it are food and drinks. The other half are sunglasses, a watch, poncho, blankets, sleeping bag, etc. It’s a 0% charity so I cover all overhead forever. $1 comes into the charity, $1 comes out of the charity, and nothing goes to overhead. I pay for everything. For me, it’s my passion project because I wanted something people could see, feel and touch. I would raise $141,000 for this charity and then I never hear from them again. I raised $200,000 for this charity and I’m like, “I feel great.” I never hear what happens. It’s not that I want the pat on the back for what happens. I want to know. If I raised a couple of $100,000 for you or if I donate $500, I want to know and feel it. I realized I couldn’t cure cancer and I can’t cure AIDS. That takes billions and billions of dollars.
People have probably already cured it. I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole, but those need to be cured. I didn’t want to go down that. I realized I wanted something simple and straightforward. If I make backpacks with fourteen pounds of supplies and I give it to people, they will feel something and they will have something. Is it going to change their life forever? No, it’s a temporary fix. I started adding in things. I started adding books and cell phones. I started adding in things so that it can help them with their jobs, life and mindset. I wanted something that people could see, feel and touch from a donation site as well. I’ll donate the backpacks and go out and give it for you or I’ll ship them right to your house or office and you give it out.
Why the homeless?
I wanted something visual and it’s more about the fact that I want people to be able to replicate my charity themselves anywhere in the world. It happened because I had gone to India and it was insane. You’re on a freeway, which isn’t a freeway, it is dirt. There are 600,000 people on the side of the road. That’s where they live. There are no toilets and no huts. There’s nothing and they’re just there. I watched it because on the other side of the road where the meeting I was going to was in a gorgeous high rise with a Nobu at the bottom of it. You’re walking over this and it’s still burned into my brain of like, “How simple is it to cure that side of the road?” They don’t need much. It’s shelter, food and water. Everything else is a cherry on top, but the basics of it are they don’t have shelter, food or water. I wanted to practice. For me, the backpacks are practice for later. When I have enough money, I have more relationships and access, I’ll be able to come out and say, “I’m going to buy warehouses in Downtown LA or India or wherever. I’m going to buy apartment buildings and fill them up with humans.” I want to physically help fix the thing that seems so basic. They need food, water and a hut. They’re not looking for a mansion or a condo. They’re looking to feel like a human. That’s how it all started.
You’re in a position where you can pay lots of money to influencers. I can understand that side. A lot of these people are great advocates of yours and quite simply friends. We live in Hollywood and we know the word ‘friend’ can be easily abused. The friendship ends when the checkbook runs out. We know that. You’ve got a lot of friends because of the person you are and you’re doing charity. I’m not going to say that’s easy to do, but it’s an easier choice to make when you’re in a position of strength. You are registered as the youngest person ever to take a company public. Is that right?
Tell us about the millionaire lifestyle that you led before you launched a public company. Give us the grit of where you came from.
In my childhood, we didn’t have any money. A family of four living on $24,000 a year in Los Angeles is not simple. Right out the gate in middle school and high school, I was working multiple jobs at the same time. I was selling candy and little cereal boxes at school and I was saving up money so I could start a company or pay for college. Over those 3 or 4 years, I saved about $43,000 to go to San Diego State University. I was always giving my mom money and whatever I could do to help. She was also vice versa. Whenever she had scrapped anything together, she would help me cover my costs to buy the cereal boxes or candy to be able to flip at school. At seventeen years old, I decided to trademark the catchphrase, “Who’s Your Daddy?” From 300 products, all of a sudden, I have a booth at a convention and I have samples of clothing and travel expenses.
My $43,000 has gone fast. I thought I was going to have enough money for two years. It didn’t last me two months. It forced me to sell. I came from working three jobs at high school simultaneously selling peanuts and Cracker Jack’s at the stadium and working for a stockbroker under the table. I did everything like writing people’s essays for them. I would do anything to save up money to be able to not impact my family. At the convention, I write over $1 million in orders. It sounds like a good problem. You need $300,000, $400,000 or $500,000 to manufacture these clothes. I didn’t have anywhere near that. We were kids. We were 17.5 years old. I realized that I was onto something. People liked the name, the clothing. It was basic and straightforward. It said, “Who’s Your Daddy?” in big letters. It made me evolve into an adult fast because I started hiring 40, 50, 60, 70-year olds that were the real clothing entrepreneurs and clothing executives in the space.
I got screwed left and right because 17, 18, 19 years old kid who shows up with $1 million, $2 million, $10 million, and by nineteen we had $9.5 million in orders. We were babies. Everybody was like, “Our samples cost $60,000,” when it should have been like $3,000. It was a great learning experience. I don’t know a single zillionaire friend that started with money. That’s thousands and thousands of people on my phone. I can’t name one. It’s strange. That part was exciting to me. I love the fact that I had to do it, and that’s also why I still have sleepless nights now working so much because I know the other side of it. I know what it’s like when you don’t have the money and you feel like you have to carry the world. At nineteen years old, we were doing $9.5 million. At 23 years old, we take public on the stock market. In the next four years, we got us into 55,000 retail stores in America selling our energy drink under the same catchphrase name.
I woke up out of it after many years from 17 to 27 doing the same company. I wanted to put another feather in my cap. I started an online poker site. I didn’t know what that meant. I knew I had to be living in Malta. I put on a backpack and I flew to Malta. I had a hotel room and a backpack and I stayed there for 2.5 years. I built an online poker site, signed Danville’s area, and Steve Aoki, all these characters before social media was a big thing. This was Myspace days and Twitter was getting started and YouTube was becoming cool. There was no Instagram, Snapchat or any of these things. Within ten months, we’re the third biggest poker brand in the world and everything was amazing. We’re doing mid-eight figures and then it all goes away in one day. Something called Black Friday happens in America where my competitors get shut down by the governments. FBI, Feds, seizing and banking council all over. I don’t even get a knock on the door. I don’t even get a letter. I didn’t do anything wrong.
By default, I become one of the biggest brands in the world because my competitors are all dead or in jail. I don’t want to win like that. I know what happens next. They’re going to find a reason for me to be a bad guy. Over the next four days, I paid back 41,000 people so that I could sleep at night because my competitors weren’t able to pay anybody back. That was the best, hardest decision when it wasn’t even a decision. I knew that was the only decision. By doing it, I became the good guy in the space. I started getting consulting gigs. I got hired by land-based casinos, by Morgan Stanley. I lost this huge eight-figure company overnight with no direction of what the heck to do the next morning. You woke up that morning and like, “Everything’s going to be fine.” All of a sudden, your whole company was gone. That was the turning point for me that I would never have all my eggs in one basket again. That’s when I launched a social media agency.
I became an Angel Investor and started throwing these free events called Elevator Nights to start to get my network together because I never had a reason to interact with them. I was a poker site guy living in a foreign country by myself and I’m back and I needed to get back in the mix. My way to do that wasn’t anybody could do this. You can throw live events for inexpensive. My first Elevator Nights were upstairs at a jewelry store with 120 people. I had all my rich friends inviting other rich friends, inviting athletes who wanted to meet rich guys, rich guys who want to meet athletes, and then invite these important businesswomen in town. My event, which only costs me $800 to throw for food and some alcohol, that was it. I was the guy that throws Elevator Nights. I evolved that into big productions. For everybody reading, you could be in Chicago, Milwaukee or New Mexico and throw an event with a couple of hundred dollars and become the man or the woman in your city.
I remember those Malta days, funny enough, because they used to incentivize with these big competitions. I remember probably about 20% of my business in my old concierge firm. It was that big. People were like, “Can you have a private box at the Grammys?” We were supplying a lot of that and I remember when they all went down. I wouldn’t have been surprised at it back then if we’d have crossed paths and we thought about your brand. It’s a small world. You shut all that down and you went into social. What year was that?
Everything shut down in 2011. The agency I started dealing within 2012.
Socials did exist strongly during that time.Social media is only going to get much stronger. It’s like a snowball; once started, you can’t stop it. Click To Tweet
It was getting started. Instagram was right there. It wasn’t a real thing yet. People were getting paid for tweets at the time. I wasn’t a full-fledged agency yet. I was doing paid posts, direct one-offs like, “We want Khloe Kardashian to post this on Twitter.” She would get a crazy rate back then for one tweet. “We want ten people to post this and have all your people retweet it.” It was that at first. In 2013 and 2014, I became a full-fledged agency.
I remember we were speaking together at Travis Chappell’s event in Vegas. I always love listening to you speaking as a speaker. I also like to go to these events to listen to the other speakers. We spoke about life based on an excuse to do something cool. I get paid to speak at an event, but I also get paid to listen to other people and to get smarter. You went up on stage and you went over the layout of what makes someone famous. Let’s be serious, those can be a matter of years. Sometimes the old days can be six months ago. You were talking about how to be famous, you’ve got to be on TV or you’ve got to be a movie star, but that’s not nowadays platforms to be famous. Go over that. How did you come up with that?
What’s fascinating is there are certain platforms from your iPhone or Android, you can become famous now, not tomorrow. While we’re sitting here, you can make things go viral by utilizing certain tricks, timing, and you don’t have a choice what happens after that. Meaning you push the snowball down and it turns into an avalanche. You can’t stop it. I’ve watched this happen on tweets and Instagram and it’s most fascinating on TikTok. My wife on our 4th or 5th post, she had a couple of 1,000 followers. Instagram is big or TikTok was nothing. I filmed her outside. She was reaching out to touch a wall and put her hand down and then reach out again. That video got 1.6 million views. She’s not talking. She’s not being sexy. She’s putting her hand out to touch a wall twice. That’s it. That means TikTok and some of these platforms can create viral sensations, but then it’s what you do with it after that. There are plenty of people that have gotten famous and then we never hear from them again.
There are other characters that take that fame and turn it into a business. I’ll give you an example. There was a kid named Woven, who made a silly video where he’s talking about nothing and it’s this crazy little catchphrase. It gets 1.4 million followers. He makes some money for two months because I’m paying him for posts. I’m making him put funny videos with Dan Bilzerian and all he says, “Got him.” That’s all he says. Everybody’s reposting him and he’s the funniest character because he’s a fun guy. That guy now sold his account for a tiny amount of money because he needed some money and didn’t ask me because I would have given him more money. He doesn’t exist anymore. On the other side, there was that little girl on a show where she went to Maury Povich where she said, “Catch me outside, how about that?”
That girl now has the top ten songs on the radio back to back. That girl owns pieces of large mainstream rappers like Kodak Black. She owns pieces of their songs, publishing royalties from their songs. She’s getting $30,000 per post. This little girl turned into six figures a quarter. She’s probably making over $1 million a year from stuff. She hasn’t said that line and she won’t say that line in the last couple of years. She took this insanely silly scene that went viral and made it into an actual business, career, fashion, and music but you and I haven’t seen of her or thought of her since then. What’s fascinating is you have these different examples of a wife that can get 1.6 million views touching a wall. I got a silly kid that says, “Got him,” and gets millions of views but then doesn’t use it for anything and now he’s broke again. A 12 or 13-year-old girl that’s bad. What she did was rude and audacious, turns that into a mainstream career, and now is a top ten artist.
We’re seeing it openly, the platform and where people are looking, especially the younger generation. They’re not looking at TV screens anymore. They are looking at computer screens. My youngest is fourteen years old. He’s got a great TV in his room.
Has he turned it on?
He never turned it on. He looks at everything on the screen and everything is Netflix because they don’t want adverts or anything. They are watching YouTube and TikTok and all these platforms. Will that change or will that get stronger?
Social media and looking at your phone is going to get much stronger. There’s little reason to look at the TV screen, although we respect the TV screen more than anything. It’s what we talked about at the event. The social media influencers, King Bach and Amanda Cerny and Christian. These kids that are getting 200 million views in a month on social media would die to get on a TV show that gets one million views. Physically, sleep outside, go to castings, and spend months of stress to get on that show that has 1.041 million followers. They get one million views in seven minutes. They get hundreds of millions of views in a month. Christian was here and he was like, “I’m up to 300 million views on TikTok.” How long ago did he launch TikTok? That’s right about a few weeks ago. Three hundred million views, that is America essentially. A number of humans in America have watched this kid’s posts. He has thirteen posts in total. The whole time we talked was about him going to castings because he’s obsessed with wanting to get into a TV show or movie, get onto a Netflix show. The respect is still on the TV screen.
We respect Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and those characters infinitely more than a social media influencer. Even though Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio don’t have 200 million views of anything that they do ever, and they won’t. They don’t have 200 million humans going to watch a movie, no matter how big it is. Mathematically, it doesn’t happen. It can’t because humans have to then go to a movie theater or wait six months until afterwards and watch it on a TV screen that they don’t watch. However Christian, Amanda Cerny, King Bach, all these types of characters, it’s on our phones in real-time. While we’re sitting here, we can consume the content fast and effectively at our pace. The reason Netflix does well compared to TV, it’s when we want to watch it on demand. The reason that Postmates, Uber, and all these things work well, it’s on-demand. Amazon trained us. That stuff should get shipped the next day. Amazon’s going to start delivering with drones while we’re sitting here. It’s going to show up while we’re ordering. We’re in an on-demand society and that is not going away. We are becoming spoiled little brats.
There’s a bunch of questions there. The first question, and this is a loaded question. TikTok, this is a new platform and everyone can sit there and say, “There can’t be enough but we’ve got Facebook and Twitter.” All of a sudden TikTok comes along, disrupts, and goes, “You can be new and you can dominate.” What’s your opinion of TikTok?
There are 560 social media platforms out there and you can’t name more than ten. The reason that TikTok is crushing is it’s easily shareable on every single platform, which other platforms should learn from. If you try to post an Instagram link on Twitter, it won’t work. If you try to talk about Twitter or Facebook on Instagram, your engagement will get suppressed. They are battling each other when they shouldn’t be. They build each other up, everybody wins, including themselves the most. What TikTok did is, you can post from your TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, any platform you want. I message and email, share it any way you want, and share TikTok and they want to market. Why they were able to stand out is they have a beautiful, fast platform and they have infinite money behind them. A platform coming out has positively no chance without serious backing behind them. TikTok was Musical.ly. It got bought by this huge Asian company.
A multibazillion-dollar company bought Musical.ly and changed the name to TikTok. It already had the backend part of it and already had the meat of it. They then came into America and they spent almost $300 million in paid posts with celebrities and influencers. They went aggressive and then they stopped because they need to anymore. They paid Kylie, this girl, and that guy. All of a sudden, Will Smith jumps on TikTok. That wasn’t paid. The Rock jumps on. These big characters jump on TikTok because they have to be and they want to be. They don’t have to be paid for it anymore because there are 1.3 billion humans on TikTok so they have to be on there. TikTok will not go away and it will figure itself out to continue to improve on all the little details and it has been quickly because they have so much money behind them they will iterate. They’ve been able to iterate and to improve on it and you can start doing links on there. You can start buying clothing on there that’s going to make the brands start spending real big money there.
The bottom line of it is if you don’t have a TikTok account, you need to get one?
It’s a freeroll. What’s your risk?
I remember one of the things it used to. There was gold you gave at Travis’s event and there was that comparison between the social and the TV. You’re right, we all respect the TV. We all want to be on TV. I’ve been on TV many times and the trouble is you can’t share it. You have to send everyone to the TV shows website, which you can’t then lose control. If you do it on your own platform, you have control. You can respond, engage, comment. We respect the TV but it’s not the one that’s the most powerful to us. With all of these social campaigns coming up, you’re also talking about things run out. I remember Gary Vee ages ago was going, “Just jump on every platform, then find out the one that works for you and then focus on that one.” You came up with something which I thought was cool. As soon as you can, buy the website domain of anything you even partly have an interest in, especially your name. I’m Steve D. Sims everywhere because someone bought Steve Sims many years ago. You’re a great believer that the social platforms, the internet, that’s where you should be focusing your energy on.
It’s all real estate because that Steve Sims got it before you, or if you’re frustrated and you would offer him money if you could to buy it from him because it’s important, the real estate to you. Just like a beach house home is, there’s only so much beach house property. There are only many beaches. On the internet, there are only many social media platforms that are the beaches. TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, these are the main beaches if you will. That beachfront property, once somebody owns your name, you’re screwed. Either you’re never going to get it or you have to buy it from them. Like real estate, it goes up because of demand.
Like what I said at Travis’s event, what if like an axe murderer takes your daughter’s name? What if a plumber or a bowler or somebody that takes your daughter’s name and when she’s eighteen and she wants to get a job or is going through her college admissions, they’re like, “You’re a professional bowler or you’re an axe murderer?” When they google it, which everybody does, or they look up your social media, which everybody does, she comes up as that’s the name that you gave her, somebody else did earlier. I say take the real estate on every platform whenever anything big comes out. It’s free. It cost you $0. It takes 1 or 2 minutes. Register the name, makes a bio, put up a photo. That’s it. I would like you to post content on there too, but if you don’t, just own your name. In case you ever want to post on there, but also to prevent the axe murderer or the plumber.
Unlike the web, TikTok and Instagram are strong at the moment, but there was a time when Friendster and MySpace thought it was invincible. Those do come and go but your name is a dot-com. That’s a small beach. You’ve got to focus on that. Working on the social aspect, and I spoke about this at one of my events. I’ve always said that your social platforms are where most people search to find out about you. People have websites. They do a wonderful website where they spend, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000. You can do a wonderful website for $500 or free, no one cares, but you don’t update it a lot. The website quite simply is your puff piece. It’s to, “Look at me. I was on this TV station and I was there. I got this accolade.” If people want to get to see you and know you, they go to your social. There was a big app war because a company searched on someone’s social platform when someone applied for the job and there were people saying, “You shouldn’t be able to do that.” If you put it up as public, people are going to see it. Are we that ignorant and dumb to think that people aren’t looking at our social feeds to get to know about it before they talk to us?
Yes. The masses are ignorant and dumb. They know they’re eating poison, but they still go to eat poison at huge fast-food chains. They know that cigarettes hurt them and the masses are still doing that. That will evolve though. At some point, people will realize like, “Meth is killing me. I’m not going to take meth anymore. This type of food is killing me. I’m not going to eat that anymore.” 2019 was that wake-up year. A lot of it was overboard. A lot of it went too far. People got too sensitive, etc. We are getting well-informed and fast. You have to sift through the fake stuff because there’s a lot of fake media, news, and versions of whether it’s from veganism to politics, etc. There are fake parts of it too. However, 2019 was the setup year for 2020, which is going to become the explosion. In 2019, we saw the outrage culture and cancel culture, people learning and people realizing that the masses were uninformed or ill-informed over the years. 2020 will be the explosion where a lot of things are going to shake out because the power inside of our phones is massive and fast. You say one wrong thing, the stock market can crash.
One of our speakers at our event runs a humongous company. He has a well-known TV show and his stock dropped 20% over a tweet. That wasn’t even what he said. His tweet was, “If you support, then you don’t need to shop at our stores.” They turned that tweet into, “If you don’t support Trump or you don’t support something.” The tweet, he was talking about in his message was about a racist. A full-fledged swastika racist. They made it seem like, “If you don’t support our president or something, then we shouldn’t shop there.” The stock dropped 20% and the stores got hurt. You can see the tweet. He didn’t say that. Another example, there are a few TV shows that I watch and there was a show that Jeremy Piven was in. It was cool and it’s called Sourcing the Crowd. It’s about how to catch criminals by sourcing the crowd. We all pull out our phones everywhere and we all talk to each other. It’s canceled.
Jeremy Piven got #MeToo, and the girl said that he #MeToo-ed her. The show gets canceled. A hundred or two hundred jobs are fired. It’s terrible. Tens of millions of dollars were lost. A few weeks later, the case gets dropped. It didn’t happen. He was innocent. What about those 200 people that got fired? What about that show that we enjoyed watching? It’s canceled because this girl says he did something. He was falsely accused. Nothing happens to her, but all these people are impacted all over. We’ve gotten to a point where the cancel culture and the belief systems and whether it’s from new documentaries to #MeToo situations, to politics, to everything, it’s happening fast and people aren’t even reading into the facts or waiting for the results. They’re buying into the beginning and they’re automatically assuming that because she said something or because this documentary said something or this person did something, it’s automatically fact. We’ve taken it overboard that immediately that person is dead to us. Let’s cancel their show, cancel their life. It’s touchy. 2020 is going to be an explosive year.
Social has given us the ability to connect. It’s given us the ability to overreact too quickly. We all agree on that. We’ve seen a couple of times when people have gone, “I’m disconnecting. I’m getting out of it.” There’s the thing that everyone was complaining about. We’re not complaining but stating that on Facebook. Now that my mom’s on Facebook, it hasn’t hurt Facebook.2019 is the wake-up year for everything bad that’s come out of social media. 2020 is going to be an explosion. Click To Tweet
There are two billion people on Facebook. Fifty percent of the people in the world that have the internet have Facebook.
Everyone thinks that they’re disconnecting. Can we live if we disconnect?
There are people way happier than us living in Montana, in Bangladesh, and in the outskirts of China that don’t have a cell phone. They’re way happier than you and I. They’re never going to be a zillionaire. They’re never going to have access to the world. They’re going to not learn a lot of things, but they live perfectly happy lives and they don’t even think twice about it. Honestly, the majority of humans in the world, they don’t need a cell phone or that need social media. It’s not for them.
A lot of it has become an addiction.
It is an addiction. The numbers are staggering.
Are we going to see something change on that?
No, and there’s no way to change it either.
It’s the snowball you were talking about. It’s been held down and now it’s out of control.
It’s a full-fledged avalanche and you can’t stop an avalanche.
It’s a game that we’re playing. The only choice we have is to how much we play.
It is our choice. There are wake up calls that can happen. We can tell people, but even when we tell people, that didn’t stop cigarettes, alcohol, meth, drugs, and car crashes and why you should wear a seat belt. We know we should wear a seat belt.
In a world of growing AI, technology, disbelief and fake news, I believe that the one thing that we need to focus on is that ability truthfully and authentically to be able to communicate with each other. We’re in a world of distrust. I hate to put this example, but a rape society that you call someone, you scream rape, true or false. It’s hard to get out of that. You’ve given the example of Jeremy Piven and there are a lot of people that have had that.
My roommate’s dead over it. He’s a famous football player. He got accused of rape. He was at a fourteen-page spread in ESPN Magazine of him wearing his huge orange jumpsuit and goes through a trial for months. During the trial, she finally admits that they’d been dating for seven months and he didn’t date rape her that night. He got dropped from the NFL team. He crashed on the back of a bus in Santa Monica and he’s dead. The reason I have the passion for the whole fake date rape culture and #MeToo stuff is my roommate’s dead over it and it spiraled. That impacts a lot of other humans. He had tens of millions of dollars. One of the most famous NFL defensive players of all time gone into his twenties.
How can we protect it? It’s hard to where we’re having to force the truth out there when we’re susceptible to the fake news.
There are no repercussions to fake news or fake accusations.
There’s no consequence, is there?
She can make that accusation that ruined his life or whether it’s a girl with Jeremy Piven. When I say girl, it could be a male too. I’m not saying it’s women, it’s just that’s the scenarios in the #MeToo Movement. Those people that are making those accusations at a celebrity, at an athlete, or anybody, it doesn’t have to be somebody famous. There is no repercussion when it’s a lie. It’s a freeroll for them. They can either get money and get a settlement and get a secret paid off or get famous over it. There’s no repercussion when they’re lying and because of that, it can’t stop. Why would it stop? It’s a freeroll for them. If she knows or he knows that they can make this accusation like, “What if somebody says, ‘I got injured at Starbucks and I slipped on a banana peel,’ and then there’s a video of them placing the banana peel down?” They should be in trouble for making this false accusation and going down this legal process. They’re not. There need to be repercussions for people that are lying and there’s not. That’s the frustration because that’s the only way to fix it.
To boil that down, that’s harming our ability to communicate. We’re getting terrified to communicate. I’ve found that we’re getting overly sensitive to saying something because we’re double guessing what we’re saying and how it’s going to be portrayed, how it’s going to be received. That’s damaging our ability to communicate with each other. That needs to change.
It’s damaging our brands, culture, homes, offices, the way we think and live when we can’t express ourselves in our thoughts. You can’t fault somebody if they want to be Republican or Democrat or left or right or an alien. That’s how they grew up and that’s what they want to be. You can’t fault somebody for saying, “I’m passionate against this situation because somebody in my life died over it. I’ve watched this happen.” You can’t fault somebody for what they believe and think. In this day and age, we’re making it not only can we fault them, but we can also cancel them. We can end their lives and their career. They should be homeless, broke, and dead if they believe something. I don’t agree with what people think about Trump or this person or that person. I’m never going to post about it and never going to talk about it. If I don’t agree with it, that doesn’t mean they don’t or they’re not right about it. In their minds, they’re right about it.
If you grew up in a household in Texas and you grew up thinking that the KKK is the right way, how can I tell you it’s not? I know that it’s not in my heart, but you grew up in KKK. What would happen if I grew up there? I’m Jewish. What if I wasn’t Jewish and I grew up in Texas and I grew up in the KKK family? I would probably be in the KKK. What else do I know? I grew up in that culture. That was my parents. My parents are my God and that’s how I lived. You can’t be upset at somebody that grew up that way. Do you have to agree with them? Of course not. You don’t have to agree with them, but you also don’t have to interact with them. The problem is people are following people that they hate or following people that they want to and dislike. They’re following the Kardashians to talk crap to them about them. They’re following these people that they are passionately against. It’s like they want to have that cancel culture. They want to have that fight. They want to be trolls. It’s a strange thought process of what’s going to happen.
Joe Polish said to me about the power of brevity. I’ve always been short with my communication because of the shorter communication, the less the chance of confusion to come up into it. We’re splicing a conversation to find a couple of words in it to piss someone off. I’m focusing on that. You can’t even use brevity anymore. In a situation now where you can’t even talk. That’s a dangerous place to be.
When comedians can’t be comedians anymore after decades of decades. If Chris Rock wants to say this, he should not only say it. He should be able do a cartwheel saying it. He’s not going after one culture or one niche, not talking about gay or African-American or this or that. He’s talking about everybody. They’re doing it in a comedic fashion. They have been for decades. It’s insane to me to try to censor art and artist. It’s the whole point of freedom of speech. You can’t say we have freedom of speech and then not let Chris Rock say that or Joe Rogan say that. That’s not how it works.The power inside our phones is so massive that if you say one wrong thing, your business and personal life can fall into pieces. Click To Tweet
This is getting deep. I want to ask a question quite directly. Do we have freedom of speech now?
No, of course not. Not even close.
The whole point of what I talk about in the show and everything is all about a power communication that needs to refine communication. My conversation with you on this show, I thought it was going to be about the power of social and how we can do more social and it’s ended up focusing on how little freedom of speech we have. That’s going down a different path than I expected. If someone is trying to grow a business and they want to use social because they should, because it is the banner of everything that we’re in and they want to use that to get that message out. What would you say was three steps to be able to do it? I can imagine a lot of people reading this and going, “I’m shit scared to even do it. I’m terrified to even say something.” I’ve had people yell at me when I say something. As my wife says, “I’m her favorite Neanderthal.” I will talk and then think afterwards and sometimes you get in trouble for it. What would you give anyone out there that is moving into this social world?
The main thing I tell people is never ever post of your business or personal brand. Never post about politics, religion, or race. Here’s why. If a Republican is talking to a Democrat and they’re arguing, has there ever been a situation in life where the Democrat goes, “I’m going to become a Republican.” Has somebody that’s Muslim argued with a Jewish person or a Buddhist, and said, “You are right. I’m going to become Buddhist instead.” It has never happened. It never will happen. You prevent that situation by not having that fight. You can’t fight that. Not only can you not rationalize with crazy, but if you’re having a fight with somebody that’s grown up in something their whole lives, you are not the one that’s going to change them and you shouldn’t. Why would you? For all businesses, all influencers, all personal brands, if you sincerely, in my heart of hearts ask you, don’t post about politics, religion, or race. You will never win. You will always alienate 50% of the people at least. Nothing is going to change. It’s futile. What you’re doing is not going to do anything. From a brand perspective and from personal or business, you need to be set up on every social media platform. Same bio photo, same bio, same registration website and a way to get your email address and we’d be able to contact you.
The reason it needs to be the same across every single platform is the human eye and the brain is getting 3,500 logos and impressions per day, so because of that, we’re bombarded by so much content that we need some to be able to easily remember who you are. If you’re Steve D. Sims here, you can’t be Steve D. Sims 644 over here. We won’t put the two together. If you’re wearing the black sweater here, don’t wear a yellow one over here because I might not realize that’s you. If you have the show headphones on there, having one over here and I’ll recognize you every single time on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok. I’m going to see you wherever I see you. If I see you again, I’ll remember the headphones and the black sweater. It’s important for you to have the exact same bio, photo, and imagery across every single social media platform and you have to register all of them free. They’re all free. Your risk is nothing. The bio you can copy and paste.
Everything is simple. It sounds overwhelming like, “Dan and Steve said I’ve got to have eight different social media platforms and do all these things.” Make your content for one main platform and repurpose it on all the other platforms. Meaning if you make your content for Instagram, take that 48-second video and post it on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter, etc. That works on all the other platforms. It’s fine. You can upload your image and content right to those platforms. If I told you, you had to make unique content for every single platform, that would be overwhelming. The only times that you might want to make special content is YouTube for much longer-form content or TikTok for shorter form content or LinkedIn for business content. However, on your Instagram or Facebook, which is the main platform you should create content for, take that video. Whenever it’s business-related, throw it up on LinkedIn. Whenever it’s shorter, fun or interesting, throw it up on TikTok. You don’t have to spend all your time creating for every platform unless you’re a social media influencer. Does that make sense?
It does. That’s helped a lot of people in there and I’m hoping that they’re going to give permission to be themselves and not be fighting off the trolls because let’s be blunt, you’re going to get trolls. You’re going to get haters. I get hate mail. Every time I do something with an affluent client, I’ll get hate mail going, “How do you sleep at night?” I can’t help that. Hopefully, being involved with foundations and charities like yourself, that’s my participation and that’s helping me. You’re always going to get trolls and haters. I often say, “Be successful you have haters.” That’s a good one there. One of the key things that I tell people is to communicate. One of the other things I’m prominent on is to make sure you’re in the right bucket. You spoke about it, we’ve all been in a situation where on Thursday night we’re panicking because we can’t pay payroll. How are we going to keep the lights on? How are we going to afford them? We know what that feels like.
I’ve always told people to keep it with you because it keeps the hustle in you. Even though you got worried about paying the mortgage this month, remember what it was like that time when you couldn’t and be thankful that you’re not in that situation now. Don’t forget that pain because that’s what drives you forward. There’s a bunch of people that we used to hang around with then that were the naysayers. They dared you and said, “You can’t do that.” Nine times out of ten, those are the people that are terrified you’re going to show them up, that you’re different to them. The one way to be able to support your growth, your creativity is to make sure you get in a decent bucket. We met through Greg Reid. It’s a great bucket within Secret Knock there. I have my own Speakeasy. You’ve launched an aggressive and ambitious club, which you did an event. I know probably about 90% of the people that were both onstage and paid $100,000 per person. Is that correct?
To be part of The 100 Million Club, can you tell us what that is and why you did it? What’s coming out of it?
All my events have been free. Elevator Nights have been free for years and years. I turned 37 of those, 300 to 1,000 people per event free. That’s my excuse to give back. The monetized version, which I didn’t even know I was going to do. I had it in my head for the last couple of years, but I was waiting to find the right partner and I finally found that partner named Joel Marion.
He’s a great guy. We both know him. He’s a solid man.
$650 million business, nineteen million-person email list, the numbers are crazy, but he likes experiences. I approached him about the fact like, “I want to do this thing called the 100 Million Mastermind Experience. The word experience was important to me because I wanted to make it unique and special. We crafted this concept and he took my concept that I had laid out and made it into a business and much more efficient on how we could execute it and make it even grander. It’s three weekends a year. It’s expensive. It’s $100,000 and we have little over 100 people inside of that group and everybody has a 7 or 8-figure business and the instructors all have a nine-figure business to be able to train 8 and 7-figure. The concept was if these people have done over $100 million in sales or spend over $100 million on ads or have been seen by over 100 million people, they would be good instructors that nobody would question the teachers for something expensive.
What I didn’t want to do is my whole life’s been free and then all of a sudden, I come up with this super high ticket, an expensive $100,000 experience. I want to make sure I completely overdid it. The opening weekend, we had Mark Wahlberg, Magic Johnson, Kris Jenner, Tyga, Nick Cannon and Chris Tucker. There were many celebrities and fun attributes to it. Also, the experience part, which is what you’re amazing at is, I did it on the Porsche Experience Center, the racetrack. I built eight basketball courts on a racetrack and brought in Dennis Rodman and all these characters, all these NBA players to train and teach with these guys before they walk in. Magic Johnson is teaching them right before Kris Jenner and all these women are then teaching after that. It was a diverse weekend. January, we’re launching the 100 Million Academy, which will be the $100 a month version of this for everyone. People can watch a bunch of our courses, which are normally $500, $1,000, $2,000 type of courses. They’re already included in $100 a month. You’re already getting value from our courses in there.
Also, we’re filming lots of new content with instructors that are part of the group and also with this type of celebrity, this business person like, “Steve Sims, will you film videos for us?” which thankfully you agreed to. We’ll then have content like that with the inside of it so people will want to be inside of it. It’s Netflix for entrepreneurs. There’s a bunch of different speakers, and business people, a mixture of celebrities, athletes and influencers as well. We’re also going to be doing live streams every single day so that people can jump on and watch. Live at 6:00 PM, there’s Steve Sims. Tomorrow there’s Tyga and then the next day there’s Joel Marion teaching about email. The next day, there’s Dan Bilzerian. It’s jumping back and forth so that you want to be a part of this Academy. The way I do all my events, the way I did the mastermind was I go to many events. I speak at so many events as you speak at many events and you see what people would like okay with and dislike.
I looked at, “What happens at this mastermind? This was the price point. This is how often the events were. This is how the weekend goes. It’s for 2 or 3 days.” I analyze everything about it. I did that with the Academy. I said, “This is what’s happening with the other online recurring membership sites. This is $40, this one’s $100, $109, $197. What happens? What do they get? How do I provide more value?” That’s how I do everything in my life as I look at. I stock my competitors. Whether I’m competing with them or not, other people that are in the space. What’s this character doing? What’s this guy doing? What’s this lady doing? Seeing it, whether it’s the hoverboard space, the energy doing space, when I did that, whether it’s live events and masterminds, I’m always analyzing, “What is everybody else doing?” Figuring out, “What are people saying in the comments. What are people saying on Yelp? What are people saying on Amazon? What are people saying that are at the videos and experiences?” Seeing what do they like and dislike and then scale on what they like and then remove what they don’t like.
For anyone that’s reading this, they need to know that I’m doing this show from your office down here in West Hollywood. I walked past a film crew setting up one of the Academy recordings. I’m thrilled that you asked me to be on there, but I’m going to be joining this thing. You’ve got to make sure for anyone out there, any entrepreneur and it’s only the entrepreneurs that read this, to be honest with you. If you feel you slowly don’t fit and you want something better for your life then, “How are you as an entrepreneur?” You’ve got to make sure that you surround yourself with people that challenge you and push yourself. You come out a little bit of the shadows and bringing some fairly powerful and influential friends into someone’s room for $100 a month. I don’t know if I can label on that as enough of an advert, but I’m quite grateful to you doing that because that’s incredible content. Thank you for doing that. I want you to finally talk about your charity. I want people to get involved in it because you came up with a concept, which is primitively insanely stupid. Those are the most beautiful ones, the Give and Take shelf in. Talk about it.
You’ve got to see the first one for anybody in the world, honestly. It’s a Give and Take. It’s a closet that has cubby-holes in it and we placed them at churches and temples outside in the parking lot. The local community can come by and drop off clothes, books, food, water, blankets, socks, etc. The inside of these boxes looks like a big IKEA closet and it says “Give and Take” on top. The community can come and give or take. There are no questions asked. There’s no management involved. There’s nothing to do or say. It’s a big closet in a parking lot with clear in mind that the local community can drop off their extra food, clothes, and blankets, and the people that need it in town can walk by and pick it up.
You haven’t patented this closet. If someone’s in Chicago or Miami, they can go, “That’s a great idea. I’m going to do that.”
My perfect dream is everybody knocks me off. That’s what I want in my charity. That’s what I want in my events, that’s what I want in my Give and Take. All my stuff, I put it out there openly and I explain the exact playbook. I want everybody to knock me off in their own version. They might make a better version than I make.
You’ll knock them off. How can people find out about you?
All my social media accounts are all the same. It’s @DanFleyshman. That’s important for you to do the same thing. Your name should be the same on every single platform.
You’re contactable. I noticed that when people reach out to you, you’re engaging. You chat with them.
It’s important because they become lifelong supporters and whether it’s my charity, my events, my books, my this, my that. It doesn’t matter if it’s monetizable. I want them in our circle because if they’re following me then they start following Steve and they start following this. Stuff happens and I like it when all this different stuff happens because there are so much bad negativity and drama in the world that I feel like if I put out charity events, toy drives, closets, books, and do this and podcasts, I want people to focus on the real stuff to move their life forward.In this age, not only can we fault people for what they believe in, but we can also cancel them – we can end their lives and careers. Click To Tweet
I appreciate it. Dan, thanks for your love for coming to the show and I’ll hang out with you again soon. Cheers.
That was another episode. I hope it helps you and action it. If you love it, share it. If you hate it, send me an email or Ask@SteveDSims.com. If it’s an interesting email, I’ll respond. If it’s vulgar and abusive, I may still respond. If you like what’s going on, share it around with your mate. Ready to make the next step? Come and join us at one of our Speakeasy. Look after yourself. Until next time.
- Dan Fleyshman
- Greg Reid
- Secret Knock
- Elevator Nights
- Joel Marion
- 100 Million Mastermind Experience
- 100 Million Academy
- @DanFleyshman – Instagram
About Dan Fleyshman
Dan Fleyshman is the youngest founder of a publicly-traded company in history. At the age of 23, after selling 15 million dollars worth of clothing in six department store chains and surpassing expectations with his 9.5 million dollar licensing deal with STARTER apparel, Mr. Fleyshman launched the “Who’s Your Daddy” energy drink into 55,000 retail stores. He later went on to launch Victory Poker, which became 1 of the top 5 online poker brands internationally. Along the way, Fleyshman became a very active Angel Investor and advisor to 29+ companies that range from mobile apps and tech companies to travel sites and celebrity clothing brands.
As a serial entrepreneur, some of the successes include launching a media site to garner over 300,000,000 views in the first year, a hoverboard company to $5,000,000+ revenue in 4 months and multiple subscription box companies to over $48,000,000 in combined sales. Currently his social media agency “Elevator Studios” works with over 600 influencers and manages campaigns for a variety of large companies. The agency has also hosted 30 live events called “Elevator Nights” which has helped 1000’s of entrepreneurs learn from and network with investors in multiple sectors including cannabis & cryptocurrency.
Playing poker as a hobby, he’s managed to win multiple championships and more importantly use the game to be able to raise millions of dollars for various charities by organizing dozens of poker tournaments around the world. Over the last 7 years his main passion has been his charity www.modelcitizenfund.org which creates backpacks for the homeless filled with 150 emergency supply items inside.