Give the Gift of a Memory; Steve Sims

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If you listened to last week’s, which was early part of December, I did a podcast on gifts that could be given for under $20. Now, I love doing that. You’ve got to think hard about what to give someone. If you say, “Hey, you can buy me anything, a horse, a plane, a Ferrari,” hey, that’s all lovely, but if you don’t have the money and you really want to create the impact, find out what someone loves and then give them something that escalates that passion.

If someone is into collecting sneakers, give them a sneaker cleaning kit. If someone loves shoes, give them a shoe horn. Someone loves wine, give them a bottle opener or a foil cap remover. Give them something that they can use with their passion, without trying to compete. What bottle of wine are you going to give a wine connoisseur? You don’t know anything about wine. Why should the girl at BevMo be any smarter than you? You’re both going to look idiots. So try and to think of the impact of something that you give that helps them within their passion.

Now, I told about that. You can go back and listen to that episode, but I want to tell you about something that involves my wife. You see, I’ve been married for 30-plus years. And there was one time, and I’ve mentioned this story before, I forgot her birthday. And what I did the following year was made a point of giving her no gift, no card, but giving her a memory, given her an experience. Now of course, we didn’t have any money at the time, so I think it was a picnic. I think it was a drive out into the country or down to the beach, something like that in Ye Olde England. It’s gone bigger over the years and there’s been some fun fantastical ones, there’s been some really cool ones, there’s been some cute ones. So it doesn’t have to base yourself on a price tag. I’ve always said, base the gift on the impact, never the price tag.

I've always said, base the gift on the impact, never the price tag. Share on X

If you’re in a relationship, business, professional, giving them a gift, $10, $15, $20, yes. Yes, yes, yes. Don’t go over $20. Under $20 is where the thought comes in. You really have to think, “What can I give this person that’s really going to help them?” But if you’re in a deep relationship where there’s love and commitment, you can have that with a business partner, you can have that with the relationship of a client, treat them to an experience. Get them a couple of tickets to a concert. Get them a signed something that again, will enable them to go on and meet the character or something.

My wife, for argument’s sake, ah, maybe I’m just a bit crazy. She likes driving things, and we’ve had her in Porsche cars, we’ve had her drifting, we’ve had her in a P-51 Mustang. This time, we actually got her into a company called Dig This in Vegas, where she drove a crane and a bulldozer. So she’s doing these different kind of driving experiences, but she got no card, she got no gift. That was the gift. The gift of a story, the gift of an experience. We thought about what she liked, she loves driving different kind of vehicles, and we gave her a different kind of vehicle for her birthday, as a surprise. If you really love someone, I’m urging, you do not buy them a gift, especially if you’re over 30, because if you’re in a joint relationship, hell, they can go and buy their own stuff. Focus on what they would like to do as an experience that gives them a memory, and more importantly, a trigger.

Focus on what they would like to do as an experience that gives them a memory, and more importantly, a trigger. Share on X

Any time my wife is driving down the road and she sees a bulldozer, she’s going to remember how she drove that bulldozer around Vegas and was digging stuff up. What else is she going to remember? She’s going to remember the guy that thought so much of her, that planned it as a unique surprise. Now, I know a few of you out there may be going, “Honey, don’t ever buy me a bulldozer.” And that’s fine. We’ve been married for 35 years and we’ve got on some weird shit. So, the experiences will change based on the person, but do something for them, rather than something that you can purchase and that they could potentially take back.

There have been a couple of experiences I’ve done for my wife, that I’ve surprised on her birthday and she’s gone, “Hell no.” But in 20-plus years of doing this, there’s actually only been, now that I think about it, one year when I got it wrong. And that’s fine, you will take that risk. But get this, she still loves the fact that I tried. Isn’t that it? You want to know about the effort you want to know that that person’s committed. So I’m urging you, for any business relationship, yeah, $15, $20, absolutely brilliant, stick to that number. For someone that you really love, do not buy them anything. Give them a gift, create a memory, give them a story, create a trigger that you’re the good person.

Anyway, we’re in holiday season now, and we haven’t really been able to connect with a lot of each other during this time. So, remember how hard this has been. Remember how painful it’s been for us not to be able to connect. And make sure that when those doors open up and we can go out and we can hug people again, we do it with love, empathy and passion. Let’s not get back into it when people say, “Oh, let’s get back to being normal.” Hell no. When we were rude? When we were Instagram, trying to find out how inadequate our life was? No. Sadly, there are going to be people out there doing it again, but I want you to remember what’s most important to you today, and I’m guessing it’s going out for a dinner with your favorite people, going out and sitting down and having a coffee, sinking a whiskey down and just chatting for different stories. Remember how important that is to you today. Cherish it. Look forward to it. And don’t forget what it’s like to have had that removed from us. I think COVID is a wake up call that we need people more than we realized.

All right, I wish you well during the holiday season. Stay safe, stay positive, stay focused. And hopefully, our paths will cross in 2021.