Would You Stick it on Your Desk?; Steve Sims

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Hey, how are you doing? Welcome back to a another episode of The Art of Making Things Happen podcast with me, Steve Sims, and for any of you that’s watching this video, you can see me all cozy in my Norton lace jacket, because I’m going to tell you what I got up to last week at the Norton headquarters in Donnington, England. You see I bought a Norton motorcycle a while ago. Many of you know I kind of like those things and the founder actually saw me posting about the Norton and we kind of got in touch and he made the mistake by saying, “Hey Sims, if you’re ever in the U.K., come on up to the factory. I’d like to give you a tour.” So I’m sure he never thought it would actually happen with me being here in L.A. but I was actually speaking in Marbella, I had to stop over in England, caught him up, took a couple of my friends and we went up to Donnington House and had a tour of the Norton factory.

I say factory and kind of feel a bit strange for saying it because it was more like a part museum, part art gallery in quality that he actually put together. But as I was getting a tour of this premise, CARB2 floor, maximum bikes being built by hand, maybe six. So it was a very intimate, hand-built environment, but as we were going through, I was introduced to a gentleman by the name of Skinner who designed every single one of the Norton motorcycles. As we were going through the different areas, there were trays and little, I suppose little boxes that were suspended holding different parts and each one of these pilots was beautiful and Skinner got out a headlamp bracket. Now this isn’t the most exciting thing you’ve ever heard of, a headlamp bracket and it’s not something that you should be excited about.

I was introduced to a gentleman by the name of Skinner who designed every single one of the Norton motorcycles. Share on X

He passed it to us and this thing had welds that could win awards. It was light, it was beautiful. It was something, I didn’t recognize. It literally looked like a piece of art and he said that everyone that designs a part for one of the motorcycles has to put it on their desk. And I said, “Well, why is that?” And he said, “Well, if you’re not proud enough to actually display it and be proud of what you’ve done, then surely it shouldn’t be on the bike.” This got me thinking. Now, of course, once I had that information, I was looking at the brake brackets. I was looking at the calipers, I was looking at everything that you normally would not look on on a motorcycle to decide, is that beautiful? Would I display that on my desk?

While I had a fantastic time in the Norton headquarters, I came home on the train for about two hours to get me back to London and all I could think about was would I expose my work on my desk proudly. Now we all do a lot. We have services, we have coaching, we have products, we have many, many different ways we make money, but if you could contain it in a product, in a statue, in some form, would you be proud enough to actually stick it on the desk? Are you proud of what you do or does it make the money to keep the lights on? There’s a different state of mindset when you’re proud of something bigger. There’s all of the intricacies and the baggage that comes along with your normal day to day. It subsides. When you’re doing something you’re beautiful of, maybe you don’t think about a budget as much. Maybe you don’t think about the wait, whatever it is kind of goes secondary to, “Am I proud of that moment?”

So I’m going to ask you quite simply to ask yourself, are you proud of what you do in your day to day existence, and would you be honored and invigorated to stick to on the edge of your desk? I’ll be honest with you. I am, but it was in such a format that they put it and the way they actually put it, it even got me thinking, and there was a couple of things I thought, “It could be prettier, I could be prouder,” and when you take pride into your work, you provide a value above what the client and the customer is paying for. At the end of the day, if you give them more value than you’re charging on the price tag, you build up loyal commitment and a community and you stay in business. So this is me talking about my little [inaudible 00:04:32] trip up to the Norton headquarters and how it had such an impact on me outside of my motorcycling world, but I wanted to share with you, be proud of what you do. Imagine would you stick it on the desk. Ask yourself, and if the answer is a big fat, “Hell no,” then change it. Anyway, this has been another episode, short and sweet of The Art of Making Things Happen podcast with me, Steve Sims, and I urge you to be better. All the best