Mr fix-it to the rich and famous, Steve Sims has lived at the top, so what has it taught him about the meaning of life? Daska Davis chats with man who makes things happen
Wealth, luxury, lavish lifestyles. They used to be the pinnacles of success. And they still are, but there’s a new rich list wish in town, and it’s leaning increasingly towards out-of-this-world experiences.
To put it another way, when money is no object, every object is accessible, but when you want to have dinner at the feet of Michael Angelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, with Andrea Bocelli as the evening’s entertainment, there’s probably only one man who can help – Steve Sims.
Sims’ exclusive, membership-based concierge company, Bluefish, has made more, ‘I’ve always wanted to’ moments a reality for the world’s wealthiest, including a visit to the International Space Station, a submarine trip to the Titanic and spending a weekend in Monte Carlo, pretending to be James Bond.
It’s all a long way from Sims’ start in life, which began in East London as the son of a working class, construction family with, as Sims describes it, “aspirations of making it to middle class”. Knowing a life on a building site wasn’t for him. Sims talked his way into a job in a stockbroking firm, before transferring to Hong Kong.
His financial services career was short-lived as he was fired, four days after landing in the Asian city. Instead of retuning to the UK with his tail between his legs, Sims started hanging around the city’s nightclubs, organising parties and events.
As his reputation grew, so did his clients’ requests for him to arrange access to prestigious events and conjure up ‘out there’ stuff. Sims realised that he had a knack for coming up with the goods, and that his reputation for delivery and no-nonsense approach could be the bones of a business idea.
Fast-forward 15 years, and today Bluefish provides a hugely successful, elite concierge service. Members have to apply to join and, once approved, pay an annual fee of $5,000 – that’s before they even start to present Sims with their bucket list. Sims rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, travels the world pulling the impossible out of the hat at their request.
What’s out of keeping with this picture is that, off duty, Sims prefers to live a modest lifestyle with his family. “I live the wealthiest life in the world,” he says. “I met my wife when she was 16, we have three beautiful kids and three rescue dogs. I’ve found my pace and where I’m comfortable – just hanging out with them at the end of the day is exactly where it’s at for me.
“We spend our lives thinking we’re not successful if we don’t have a Ferrari or wear a £5,000 handmade suit, but I’ve had those things and I’m just as happy and successful driving my truck and wearing a black t-shirt. I am what I am, I do what I do, and people know I am real and authentic.
“Twelve years ago, I got a big offer for Bluefish, and I realised I don’t need money as much as comfort. You have to get to a point in life where the goal is one you want, not one that someone else puts out there. As long as you can pay the bills and do what you love, you have achieved success. If not, sell it. I haven’t felt like I’ve been in business for quite a few years, I’m just dancing around the planet and enjoying life.”
As he does so, I wonder which he thinks are the dreams that really are worth pursuing? “It’s subjective to the individual, and I have gone off to organise some pretty weird things,” he says, “but when a client has so much blind passion for an idea, I go along with it and it’s their momentum that makes it so amazing. The perk of my job is to see the peak of those dreams.”
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