Twenty years ago, Steve Sims was bored. “I was automatically depressed before I left the house. I realized that there was no fun, no passion, no excitement. There was nothing beyond getting a paycheck. Eventually I said, f*** no,” he remembers. The East London construction worker and motorcycle enthusiast talked his way into getting a bank job, which transferred him to Hong Kong in 1994. “I came on a Saturday and was fired by Tuesday,” he laughs. Stranded in Hong Kong and straddled with debt, he began working at a night club. After gaining clout within the nightlife community and high rollers, he developed a password in order for people to gain admission into his exclusive parties. The password was Bluefish, which would go on to become the name of his company, a group that creates customized concierge experiences. Around this time, he found his governing principle, “If there’s no passion, there’s no point. I actually have it painted on a wall in my office,” he says.
Fast forward two decades and this principle still guides his life. A large component of this philosophy deals with presenting one’s authentic self at all times. He recalls that he toned himself down for a bit, opted for a Bentley instead of a motorcycle and a suit instead of his normal garb. This ended up negatively impacting his business and no one could understand why. “When I changed back into my normal self, the clients returned. They couldn’t even put their finger on why they had stopped doing business with me,” he remarks, “Being me is so bloody easy, it takes no effort for it to be me.”
An additional component of his philosophy involves keeping the entrepreneurial fire burning by only doing the things he likes. “I do what I like and outsource everything else. I focus on doing just what I’m good at. When I do this, I go from maybe 10% productive to 60 or 80% productive,” he claims. Steve is also very aware of the people he lets into his space, citing that he will only interface with people who are incredibly passionate. He often opts to perform The Chug Test. In short, if a client was across the street, he assesses whether or not he would run across the road to catch up with the client and possibly chug down a coffee or beer, “I have turned away clients if they fail this test. I also ask my team members to put our potential clients up to this test.”
While entrepreneurs may view this as unreasonable or hard to maintain, Steve argues that it’s just like building a habit, like jogging or some other form of exercise. Just like the password became a filter to ensure that only the people who he liked could get into the parties, this test ensures that he only works with people who share his sense of passion and purpose. “This may come off as rude but that’s not my intention. This is my life; I’m going to die one day and I want to enjoy every single minute I’m alive.”