An Interview with Speaker, Author, Life Coach and Entrepreneur Simon T Bailey

I had the distinct privilege to sit down with Simon T Bailey to discuss his timeless book, “Shift Your Brilliance“.

I met Simon in March of 2020 when he gave a keynote address at a conference I was attending and his infectious manner and positive energy, drew me in. I had to interview him and find out more about this man.

In this interview, we explore his book “Shift Your Brilliance” because it is so incredibly timely with what’s happening in the world today with COVID-19, so many people furloughed from their jobs and so many companies going under with the weight of an almost non-existent economy due to social distancing.

I hope this interview provides some real life guidance to those of you who may be a little lost at the moment and not sure what you next move might be. If you can shift your brilliance in a new direction, you’ll surely come out on top when the dust settles.


Simon T Bailey:

Simon’s Website: Simon T Bailey

Connect with Simon:

LinkedIn Personal:

Simon’s Books:

“Shift Your Brilliance”

“Release Your Brilliance”

“Be the Spark”: Five Platinum Service Principles for Creating Customers for Life

“Brilliant Living”: 31 Insights to Creating an Awesome Life

“Success is an Inside Job”: Brilliant Service is the Bottom Line

“Releasing Leadership Brilliance”: Breaking Sound Barriers in Education

“The Vuja de Moment”: Shift from Average to Brilliant

“Simon Says Dream”: Live a Passionate Life

Podcast Music By: Andy Galore, Album: “Out and About“, Song: “Chicken & Scotch” 2014

Andy’s Links:

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Joe: Welcome, everybody. I’m really excited today to have Simon T. Bailey on the show, Simon and I met in March of this past year, but it was very briefly was passing in the hallway at a conference in Colorado. I shook his hand, told him how I loved the talk that he had just given the group. And then I was lucky enough to get him to say yes to come on to my podcast. So, Simon, welcome to my podcast. Thank you so much.

Simon: Hey, Joe, good to be with you. Thank you for having me.

Joe: Yeah, so I have one question before we even start,

Simon: Sure.

Joe: Why Simon T. Bailey?

Simon: Because the “T is for terrific, you walked  into

Joe: I

Simon: It

Joe: Said,

Simon:  there,

Joe: Damn, I should have guessed, I should have guessed.

Simon: Though, the T is is a family name that my father gave to me. It stands for Theopolis, which is great. So

Joe: Wow, OK, I was just wondering.

Simon: It’s a branding thing as well.

Joe: So we are definitely going to talk today about your very timely book, which was published in 2014 called Shift Your Brilliance, Harness The Power of You Inc. Super interesting. I’m an audio book guy, so I listen to the audio book part, which for me is even better because I love your voice. Your laugh is probably the most infectious laugh that I’ve heard in such a long time. So that was great for me. But before we get into it, I just kind of want to lay a little groundwork about who Simon T. Bailey is. I know that from the book and from your talk that you gave out in Colorado, and I know you speak all over the world, that you came from the corporate environment. So you can start as far back as you want. I know the book covers some of your childhood, so it’s completely up to you how far back you want to go. But I want to just lay a little groundwork so they know who you are and then we can get into all the other stuff.

Simon: All , so give us two in a minute and a half or less, because it’s important to what I’ll share today, 14 years of age, mom and dad took me to Bennett High School or McKinley High School in Buffalo, New York, where I grew up, went out for football, basketball, got cut, went out for track and field. They said you’re too slow that summer, attempted to commit suicide, didn’t go through with it. Sophomore year, brand new high school teacher says to me, write a speech for the entire school. Absolutely changed my life. Ended up being class president. I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, dropped out of college after my first year, went back to college, took me ten years to finish my undergrad degree, started at a decent hotel making five dollars and ten cents an hour as a front desk clerk. That was about 30 years ago, fast forwarding got hired at Disney after a ten interviews over a ten year period. I stayed at Disney for seven years, left Disney after turning down for job same and a job saying that I wanted to be or I did an interview saying I wanted to become the number one guy at Disney that was put in front of that didn’t quite work out. So I thought it probably best for me to find my happiness elsewhere. After

Joe: But.

Simon: Being married for twenty five years, went through a divorce and a video was posted to Facebook about me telling that story. That video has over 90 million views to date. And then from there I went through a bout of cancer. I am a cancer survivor, thank goodness. I have two amazing children. Twenty one year old son, eighteen year old daughter. And today I’ve worked with almost eighteen hundred organizations in forty nine countries just teaching a very simple concept that you have to shift your brilliance in the midst of uncertainty. I’ve written ten books, I’ve worked in forty nine countries and three of my courses are linked and learning. So that’s just it in a nutshell.

Joe: Man, oh, man, I’m tired just hearing that’s amazing, that’s truly amazing. And there’s some of those things, obviously I didn’t even know so and what I love about you besides the talk that you gave and how infectious you are and and it’s and I even said it the other night, we were having a conversation and how I was having you on as a guest is that you’re you’re so positive. And it’s it’s and you you smile all the time, like every Instagram post, everything. It’s just it’s part of who you’ve become. And I think when I when I listen to the audio book and I heard you talk, I feel like you were the person at Disney that you’ve you’re now trying to get at least the business people. Not like there’s regular people that I know that this book and what you talk about attracts. But you were that person at Disney where it was just heads down working. And I think you even talked about a sport where you didn’t even know the people that were part of your team or you didn’t like you talked about getting reviews or something to that, where they just said if you actually knew the people you were working with and they knew you as a person, it would shift things for you.

Simon: Totally, totally, I was so busy trying to climb the ladder of perceived success, in the words of Dr. Stephen Covey, only discovered my ladder was against the long haul. So I was the boss with an agenda instead of a leader with a vision.

Joe: Yeah, it’s it’s really amazing. Well, I appreciate you giving us the background, I think now the people that are listening to this, they’re in for a real treat. So I can let you just take take it from here and then I’m going to try to sneak in some of these things that I want to sneak in. But I really want you to get into the fact that you wrote this book in twenty fourteen. And literally it’s almost as if you you could have written it in the beginning of March knowing that covid-19 was coming, because when I listen to it, it’s, it’s literally that, that everyone needs to be poked and say this is the time to do this, this is the time to shift your brilliance and figure out what it is. I keep preaching. No one’s coming to rescue us. We’ve got to do this

Simon: That’s

Joe: On our own.

Simon: That’s totally yeah, so when I when I wrote the book and it’s so appropriate for now, I was holding on to the way things had always been going for me as my business. When I left Disney, I started speaking Friday in training consulting and I was thinking that’s the way it was always going to but as you can imagine my entire world has been disrupted as as everyone else. And what I recognize is sometimes we have to let go of what is comfortable and convenient in order to embrace what wants to emerge. So everyone  now is experiencing what many will call V.U.C.A., volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. So you have 40 million people that have been laid off. You have millions who have been furloughed. You have companies that have gone under. But also in the midst of that, there are some companies that are totally shifted what they have been doing and moving into a whole other direction. I was interviewing a company out of Baltimore and they are whiskey company, but guess what business they are in now, hand sanitizer, because they understand there’s an opportunity to shift. So everyone is listening to us, has to begin to say, what about my career or my business? I could be doing this now for 18, almost 18 years since I left Disney. And I have to tell you, Joe, I have reinvented I’m on my fifth reinvention in 18 years because I have to shift. So I wrote that book from a deep place with this is one concept, and that is we have to implement vu ja de If deja vu has been there, done that, that’s pre covid budget day is going. They’re doing that. It’s seeing the old and the new. The new and the old.

Joe: Yeah, it’s just really incredible, it’s literally like the book was, I don’t know how it did when it came out in 2014, I’m sure it did great because I was just so captured listening to the stories that you told in it. But, man, it’s just like it was written for now. It’s just unbelievable. Is it OK if I ask a couple of questions about it? OK,

Simon: Absolutely!

Joe: So there’s a line in there that you talk about where you say we are spirit beings having a human experience. And I heard that and I was like, wow. So could you elaborate more on that?

Simon: Yeah, so when I first started out years ago, I was invited to an event where Dr. Stephen Covey, the late, great Dr. Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was the opening speaker, Libby Sartain, who at that time was the chief people officer for Yahoo! And I was the closing speaker. And I just wanted to sit in and hear Dr. Covey because I was so fascinated. And he made this statement, which was originally, I think, quote by Wayne Dyer, and he said, We are not human beings having a spiritual experience where spirit beings having a human experience. And when I heard a joke, it was like a joy bomb, like BOOM!. I was like, what’s that? And what I begin to recognize is all of us, we have a spirit. But how we show up into an environment, we either are hugging people with our words or we’re tearing people down with our words and and words impact our spirit because words carry energy. And so we are spirit beings having a human experience. I believe what we’re going through  now is everybody is being spiritually reset. Whatever spirituality means to everyone, they are thinking about meaning, not just money. Yes, money’s important, but they’re thinking about is my life really meaningful to thinking about power, not just or they’re thinking about purpose, not just power, but that I think the other part of the spiritual reset that’s happened is that people are also thinking about moving from success to significance. And that’s so important when you’re on the spiritual journey.

Joe: And then there was another line in there, and again, I remember now that you brought it to my attention that Stephen Covey had said that and you had heard it in that that event. But hearing it from you gave it a different meaning when I listen to the audio book. So I had to bring it up because it was just like, man, I got to remember that and just keep that in the forefront of my mind. But then there was another one which was live from the inside out.

Simon: Mm hmm, yet when you look from the inside out, you break the cycle of fear and worry because see what happens is  now uncertainty and worry has driven up stress and anxiety. And when a person is stressed out and they are living in fear and worry, it actually slows down the human operating system. So when you live from the inside out, what you’re saying is, I’m not going to allow the outside circumstances to dictate how I what I produce, how I show up, how I thrive or survive. I’m going to take control of the steering wheel of my life and drive into the future and not be driven by all the news around me that’s living from the inside out now. Yes, we need to be informed. Yes, we need to be well read. Yes, we need to pay attention to significant notifications that hit our phones. When you live from the inside out, what you realize is life is not a remote control. You can change the channel on your tell-a-vision. So when I live from the inside out, I am literally forecasting my future instead of living in the predictions of the day.

Joe: When we talk about the book, but what’s the audience that really needs something like this?

Simon: Yes, so the book is written to that person who say twenty five to fifty five and they have either been furloughed or they’re back at work, they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop because now there’s massive pressure to do to do more with less and working now might be working remote. So they’re having to deal with the new world. But it’s also written to that entrepreneur who says, I’ve done X, now I need to do Y and Z. How do I begin to harness the power of what we’ve done to be relevant for where things are going? It might be that solopreneur or that person who said, you know what I’m thinking about this is the time to go for it. And literally, I give you the tips and techniques on how to shift your brilliance, because it’s my exact story when I left is the question. My entire for one with significant housing stock took out a line of credit on the house. So when I wrote “Shift Your Brilliance”, I was probably already 10 years into my business. But I was thinking what had made me successful ten years in 10 years would make me successful in another 10 years. And I was wrong.

Joe: Again, I keep thinking that people just think the Calvary’s coming, you know,

Simon: Oh, no, no.

Joe: It’s.

Simon: Listen, every industry that literally can be turned upside down is being turned upside down. When you hear about retail like Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus filing for bankruptcy, J.C. Penney. These are these are brands that you thought would be around forever. And they are they’re just going to look different,

Joe: Yeah,

Simon: ?

Joe: Yeah, and by the way, you would know Neiman Marcus because I’ve seen you dress, so I know that

Simon: Good.

Joe: I know they love they love seeing you walk in the door because I’ve seen sharp and really sharp. It’s funny because I met you there because I own management booking agency here in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. And then we expanded into Colorado last summer. I spent six weeks there developing all these relationships to take what I’ve done here with success and move it out there. So I’m in the same boat as you. There was nothing going on. I’m just starting to put some entertainment back in the resorts. But when I work with these destination management companies who you know well through the corporate world, who books entertainment to the level of someone like you, they’re starting to come to me going, OK, what are the virtual options? And so have you been doing some virtual speaking?

Simon: I’ve done about 25 virtual events in the last 100 days,

Joe: Wow, that’s

Simon: And

Joe: Amazing.

Simon: It is it has been just a rewarding experience and now I’ve told the team, hey, let’s get it down. I can do two to three a day, you know,

Joe: Yeah,

Simon: Let’s go.

Joe: Yeah,

Simon: Yeah, let’s go.

Joe: And where are you doing them from? Are you doing  where you are now or.

Simon: Really  that  now and every now and then, I will put up, depending on the setting, I will, you know, just change my screen there and .

Joe: Exactly, exactly.

Simon: This is the world we live in. And, yeah, it’s been a great experience. I really love this virtual setting and I can’t wait for life to come back, but I’m totally fine with doing the hybrid.

Joe: Yeah, I was just wondering, because I know that’s how we met, so I was wondering how you’re faring through all of this and how many times you’ve done the whole virtual the virtual experience. So and and while we’re talking about live, when you did give that talk, I noticed that you very rarely stood on the stage. And I don’t know how do you know the number of people that were there were like 15 or 18 or twenty five hundred.

Simon: They were expecting to lose about twelve hundred.

Joe: Twelve hundred, OK, so for me and someday I aspire to maybe public speaking, so we’ll see if that happens, but that’s why for me, it was so interesting to watch you and you were on the floor most of the time. And so why do you when do you choose to do something like that?

Simon: So, so many times everybody is looking at the stage, the stage on stage, and what I really believe people really want is a connection. And can you imagine that was probably the last presentation that I’ve given with that amount of people where there was no physical distance yet we had even heard of social distancing.

Joe: .

Simon: . So what I like to do is I like to have a conversation with people. So me coming off stage allows me to be almost like a jazz artist in the moment. I can reflect. I know where we need to go. I’m going to I’m going to stay on time. But I also get to do things on the fly in the moment. And it can only happen if I’m looking face to face with the human being.

Joe: Yeah, I thought it was really different because there were so many people there and I was close enough to the front and towards an aisle, so I was happy. But I think some of those people in the back might be like, I can’t really tell what he’s doing or where he is,

Simon: Which

Joe: But.

Simon: Is why they’ve got the IMAX, so

Joe: Yeah,

Simon: I knew they had and they had the cameras and

Joe: Yeah,

Simon: They would project me on the screen

Joe: Yeah.

Simon: And good on the video as well, because on a video, if I’m only on stage, you don’t see the audience. So for your purposes to come off the stage, you see the audience. It is spontaneous and it’s in the moment.

Joe: Yeah, it was great, I was captivated the entire time. I love listening to you talk, conscious mind versus unconscious mind, that also hit me when I was listening to the audio book. And I understand it because I work on at least my own. I try to do meditation when I can remember to. It’s tough. I was in a really good routine at one point and I slipped a little bit. At least I’m doing yoga almost three times a week. So it’s

Simon: Very.

Joe: It’s at least a little bit of a balance. But can you go into that a little bit more?

Simon: Yeah, so one of the things I really believe is, as you know, in the unconscious mind, we just do things automatically, like if you get in, you drive in your car, you’re going to go the way you always go. It’s just unconscious. But when you become conscious, you’re paying attention to what am I thinking? Thoughts, what am I saying? Words, and then what is the habit or behavior that I’m doing? And then what? It’s that slight adjustment that I need to course correct in order to get better. So I’ll give you a prime example. I’ve been working on losing weight and this has just been an ongoing battle for 20 years. So I decided during this COVID-19 time that my health coach sent me a Fitbit. So I got the Fitbit and it’s monitoring my walk. So I go on a walk every morning. I get in at least seven to eight thousand steps within forty five minutes. But then I come. I came back home and I started doing push ups. Just ten push ups and sit ups will now up to 40. Now, I don’t say that to be braggadocios or anything, but here’s the deal. When I became conscious that I really want to lose weight, I start I stop focusing on losing the weight and focused on a healthy lifestyle, some conscious of that. I work out that I sleep. Did I drink my water? I got my water here. Did I actually take my vitamins? How am I eating better? So it’s becoming conscious to say there’s something I have to do every single day to move towards where I’m going. And I’m happy to say that I lost ten pounds over the last six weeks, but I have a good 10 to 15 to go and I’m excited about it because it’s a conscious, healthy lifestyle instead of I have to lose weight because now the emphasis is on losing instead of maintaining and being healthy.

Joe: No, well, that’s great, congratulations, And see, and that’s what I like about your post and when I watch your videos and is that you take things that so many of these people have been hearing for years and years, but there’s a way that you word things and you shift things in your speech or you change the way someone thinks about something. And it’s sometimes just that shift alone helps people to then understand it better and say, I can do that. And it’s

Simon: This.

Joe: It was it’s literally doing the same thing, as was mentioned five hundred other times, but it’s the way it was said or the way it was presented. And that’s what’s cool about you. That is. Yeah. Another thing that popped out and stop me at any time where you want to dig in deeper to anything in the book. These are all the things that just jumped out at me. So information to revelation, that’s a strong phrase.

Simon: Yeah, so what I have discovered over many decades of studying, researching and really being mentored by very, very wise men and women, is that information is knowledge. OK, but then the next level below information is understanding, which is comprehension. So, for example, when I go to get my driver’s license, I have read everything that I need to know to get the license. That’s information. That’s knowledge. But it’s the understanding that if I don’t stop at the stop sign and a cop sees me, I’m going to be pulled over and given a ticket because I ran through a stop sign. So now I have understanding to stop at the stop sign, to stop at the red light. It’s not just information, but then the next level down is revelation and revelation is application. So car example, if I’m in my car driving, as my dad used to tell me, you have to drive for the car in front of you and the car behind you. I grew up in Buffalo, New York. So dealing with snow all the time. You know, if you’re driving, you don’t want to pay attention to the snow bag because somehow the car is going to veer over. So. So you have a revelation that I want to look straight ahead.

Simon: I don’t want to end up over there, but it’s it’s like that causes you to drive straight ahead and avoid an accident. So when I talk about my information revelation, it’s really understanding that sometimes we can have information that is a mile wide but only an inch deep. And when I moved to revelation, I have the ability to go three to four levels down in in whatever I’m working on. So when we look through this COVID-19 time. All , let’s just look at it from a revelation standpoint. So the first is PTSD is going to be at an all time high because there’s fear, stress and worry on the planet. . We also understand that that the magnetic fields, climate change, everything is just being turned upside down. We also then recognize that industries are collapsing and being reinvented. The fourth level is we also realize that during this time that corporations see this as an opportunity to furlough and to lay people off and never bring them back, because we are in a world of automation, algorithms, artificial intelligence like never before. But the fifth level, which is so I think even more powerful, we also see the companies that have cash who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting.

Simon: They’re going to poach and buy up companies. So if you remember, just a few years ago, Apple had over one hundred and seventy billion dollars in an offshore account. And due to the Patriot Act, they could bring it back and not have to pay as much. But when you have that much cash, you could go and buy companies. Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, they have over a hundred billion dollars of cash sitting and waiting. So when everyone is running scared and worried as as a good friend of mine, a hedge fund investor, he said, Simon, the money is made in the dip. You don’t make the money at the top of the mountain. You make it when everybody is running scared. So when you think about revelation, it’s going five levels deep, saying, what do you see that others don’t see? What what are you noticing? What’s the budget day? Because we will hear of companies that will literally come through this that time. And we’re like, where do they come from? Because they decided to play another game. They shifted their brilliance and what the opposite direction. So everyone was zigging. They were zagging.

Joe: Yes, so let me ask you this, when you wrote this in 2014, what sparked it? Like I can see you writing it now, like I can see you writing it on March 15th going well. I need to write this because we’re in some deep stuff  now. So if I really put my head down and I can get this done in 30, and that’s another thing I’d love to do some days, write a book. But if you put your head down, you could have maybe finished it by April 15th and now it would be out. But it makes total sense now. And that’s why when I listen to it, I was like, gosh, this is like he he knew it was coming. It’s like, well, what made you write it in twenty fourteen.

Simon: My business had dried up. I was holding on by a thread

Joe: And what was

Simon: Business

Joe: That just

Simon: Wise, and

Joe: Was that

Simon: Yes,

Joe: Speaking and

Simon: I was

Joe: Coaching?

Simon: I was I wasn’t getting the bookings at the feed that I needed, because when I quit my job, my wife, my then wife didn’t work outside the home. So everything was on me. And we had young kids, mortgage, private school, the whole nine yards. So the business wasn’t coming in and and the book sales weren’t moving. We had a consultant project that had come to an end that had kind of given me a buffer. And so literally it was dry as toast business wise. And I said, you know what, I got to shift what I’m doing. I’ve got to think differently. And that’s when I began to realize I’m not in the business. I’m in the content media distribution business. And the money is in content. That’s what I remember at Disney. So I recognize if I didn’t shift my my brilliance and reinvent and let go of what had been working and move into another direction, I probably wouldn’t be here today talking to you. So what I realize is I can always do the speaking. But then I started adding coaching. I started adding training, I started doing online learning. And that’s when I got connected with the folks over at then it was was called LinkedIn Learning Now and they said, you need to put your course into micro content. I was like, what’s micro content? And there they’re like three to five minutes of the snippet where you don’t give it all away, but you chuck it down and people can access it. Twenty four, seven, three sixty five. Joe I had never heard of it. I was like what? I’ve always delivered on stage. But now all of a sudden a new opportunity came out of nowhere. And it’s kind of like when Netflix had an opportunity to be purchased by Blockbuster and Blockbuster didn’t see it will look more. Netflix is now and Blockbuster. ? So I had five when I wrote the book. Do I want to be Netflix or do I want to be Blockbuster?

Joe: Wow, and did you is it basically the book, did it come as you were making this transition yourself? Were you take would you take everything that you sort of did and put it into the book as you were physically working on yourself and mentally and emotionally and whatever your transformation is, basically this book during 2014.

Simon: So you ask a very important question, what a lot of people know, the book that came out in twenty fourteen was actually a book that I had written back in 2008 during the financial meltdown,

Joe: Wow.

Simon: And it was a different title. So the book has gone through three title changes and twenty five rewrites over almost two to three year period because I had to live through the shift. So the reason some of the words pop off the page from a just an energetic standpoint, because I wrote it from a deep place I was living, I was in the thick of it, so I was phoning it in. It was literally my life. I had to change the title because when I went to a publisher there, “Vuja de Moment”, that’s, you know, that’s like esoteric. What the great  for the average person could understand

Joe: .

Simon: It. So what if we do this together? Like, no, Shift Your Brilliance. And I said, OK, that’s what I’m living. But I had to live through it in order to write about it.

Joe: Yeah, that’s incredible. It’s and you could tell and I really hope a lot of the listeners and viewers of the YouTube channel will go in and get the book because I’m doing it like obviously I have no choice. So it’s so funny. I’m a musician at heart. I actually went to school out at Fredonia. Out where?

Simon: Oh.

Joe: Yeah. And and I played a lot in Buffalo. I played at the Lafayette Taproom. I don’t know if that was there when you were there. I don’t know.

Simon: We

Joe: Yeah.

Simon: Got a good.

Joe: Yeah, I got a I got a buddy that lives in Williamsville. Yeah. So when I found out you lived in Buffalo, I think man, when I picked that school to go to college and I was waking up at eight o’clock in the morning to go to theory and walking through four feet of snow, I was like, what were you thinking?

Simon: Wow.

Joe: Gone to Miami or somewhere. Oh, this is a great phrase. Broadband results on a dial up network. I love that. I heard that. I was like, gosh, I got to make signs of all of these things and just put them around my office.

Simon: You have to evaluate how often are we upgrading what we’re doing and here why this is why this is important for everyone listening to us from the time Apple releases the iPhone. OK, over many years, . The iPhone had 18 upgrades from two thousand seven to twenty nineteen eighteen upgrades. Every upgrade of the iPhone, a camera was better. More storage on and on. But what’s interesting, if you look at that over 12 years, 12 times, 12, 12 years, 12 months is one forty four, one forty four divided by 18 upgrades simply means every eight months Apple was upgrading what they were doing because if they didn’t, everybody else out of the market would catch up. So when I made the statement, we sometimes want broadband results by using dial up methods. It’s the challenge that if I’m not upgrading my mindset, my skill set, my will set, then there’s somebody else that’s catching up when I’m asleep.

Joe: People should make that sign and just put it somewhere, especially during this time  now, you know what I mean? Just trying to get the word out to say this is this is like of we’ve been given. What did I say? I said something about where you thought you had a deadline March 1st for some assignment a teacher gave you and the biggest gift and you totally hadn’t done a thing. And the biggest gift that you got was the teacher gave you six months to get it done. And I

Simon: That’s.

Joe: Feel like this period of time, I don’t know if this will ever happen again in history. Like I went through 9/11 with an office in New York, like I owned the company. I was on 38th Street and Broadway. Everything shut down just like this. And now obviously we got hit a lot harder than the rest of the country because New York just stopped. The rest of the world, paused for a moment and then started to pick back up. New York just stopped. So I’ve gone through that. And then, like you said, we’ve gone through the 2008 crisis and then now this. And when each time these things happen, I was less stressed because I I knew that I would just figure out a way and shift and change and pivot and move on. So I never even though I my company was just slamming up and told when we were out in in Colorado every couple of days, I’d get a phone call from another client because I book a lot of resort entertainment here and it would come in little dribs and drabs and say, hey, I think we’re going to have to cancel the music. Things are starting to get a little weird here. And I’m thinking, OK, and then it just hit. And then everyone call like within four days and said we’re I need everything canceled until further notice. I was like, oh my God, now. And but I never stressed about it because I knew I was going to pivot and do something different. And I was able to finally start my podcast, which I had put down on a piece of paper. And I think in twenty fifteen. So here we are, twenty twenty. And I finally have the opportunity to get it .

Simon: That’s so that hey, that’s so good. Same thing with me. We had over six figures worth of business disappeared seven days

Joe: And.

Simon: That night and some of it canceled, some of it moved to next

Joe: Mm

Simon: Year.

Joe: Hmm.

Simon: Some of it they just we never heard back from that. They just and then we also had to refund about five figures of of money back to folks who just wanted their money back. You know,

Joe: Yeah.

Simon: And what I recognize, I can either stay bitter or I can get better. And I was already working on some new things that I said are, let’s hit the gas. Let’s go.

Joe: Yeah, yeah, I hear you, man. OK, here’s another phrase that I heard in the in the audio book, Make a U-turn. I don’t remember the context of it, but I’m hoping you do.

Simon: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, so I’m sitting at the beach and on the way to the beach with my family because living here in Florida, we’re really big beach people. And you know how you see a sign that says you’re so many miles away from the destination? Well, I thought, hey, I know a better way how I’m going to get there. Well, I went almost 30 to 40 minutes in the wrong direction, so I had to make a U-turn to come back because my my my wife had said to me at the time, you know, you should turn there. And I’m like, no, I got, you know, typical guy, . All directions.

Joe: , , .

Simon: So clearly, I’m sitting up, sitting by the pool the next day and I got a little drink with a pink umbrella and it hits me what happens when a person is heading in a direction and they never make a U-turn and see what I say, U-turn. It’s not just the letter U. It’s YOU u turn. Because when you turn, that’s when you notice all the opportunities and possibilities that were waiting for you to make a turn. But if you never make the turn, you can miss it.

Joe: And it’s so funny because I think having GPS now has saved a lot of arguments in cars with the guys because we’re always , we’ll go out of our way to just say, no, we didn’t miss any turn. Fail forward…

Simon: Yeah, you know, in the dictionary, failure comes before success, and I’ll never forget I went to speak for the CEO Council of Tampa Bay, and during the debrief time, one of the executives said that he had he gets out of failure award every quarter. And the failure award is to encourage his team members to fail. And I happen to go back and talk to them again. And I said, do you still give out the failure award? He says, no, we changed it. We changed it to fail faster. And what he was saying is so many people walk on eggshells at work. They don’t want to break out and do anything that’s out of the norm because they want to play it safe. And real breakthroughs comes when you walk on the edge, when you do something that you haven’t done before. That’s where the breakthrough is. So failure comes before success. If you go to the dictionary, fail faster because failure is not a bad word. It’s only feedback. And the quicker you fail, then you can quickly see what won’t work. Listen, I have failed more times than I can count on both hands. ? But I can tell you those failures have informed some of the successes that we’ve experienced as well.

Joe: Yeah, so it’s too bad the word has such a bad connotation to it, because you’re , it’s just it’s just a flare. It’s just, hey, this this wasn’t  or something didn’t work. But instead, it makes you feel as if you’re less of whatever you’re trying to do, whether it’s less of a human, less of a father, less of a business person, less of whatever. And it’s too bad it has that that feeling or that label attached to it.

Simon: Yes,

Joe: You know, and

Simon: Yes.

Joe: Like you just worded it, it’s it’s you need those things in order to know if you didn’t have those signals, how would you know that something was wrong or that you need to change? .

Simon: Exactly.

Joe: Ok, you’re going to have to help me on this one because it’s Chapter seven. And all I put was it’s about today. I assume it’s about the time we’re living in. But I didn’t put any more than that.

Simon: Yes, so what I was really getting at about today is so many times we are future focused that we forget to be present in the moment today. And if we focus on today, tomorrow, it’s going to take care of itself. But who we are today goes into our future, waits for us to get there and says, welcome, we’ve been waiting for you. So what are you doing today? Is this the highest and best use of your time today?

Joe: Are you in your space  now with what’s happening and the pivot’s you’re making, the changes you’re making, how much different do you feel than you did when things were rocking and rolling in January of this year?

Simon: Yeah, you know what, I have to be really, really real with you. I struggled for about a good thirty to forty five days when this first first of the year I was rocking and rolling. I was in my groove. I was great. Life was wonderful. I’ve been home since obviously March 13th. And for a few of the weeks, I just was down in the dumps. I was ticked off. I was like, oh my goodness, woe is me. What’s this virtual thing? What, what, what, what, what. And then. And then I said, Wait a minute. Hello, buddy. You know, a little of your cooking, if

Joe: The.

Simon: Not a little bit. So I got up and I looked at my wounds and stopped crying  over spilled milk and all of the contracts that it cancelled and realized entrepreneurship is not easy. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it,

Joe: A man,

Simon: But.

Joe: Gus.

Simon: You know, you don’t earn your stripes, entrepreneur, when you’re on top of the mountain in the valley, when no one is coming to save

Joe: .

Simon: You, the phone is not ringing and you’re looking at your bank account and say, I need to make a payroll.

Joe: Yeah,

Simon: And so we mentioned the IRS,

Joe: Yeah,

Simon: . It’s a real brother.

Joe: Yeah.

Simon: It is real. And that’s what I just said. OK, I’ve got a choice to make. First quarter got second, third quarter, it’s going to look a little bit different, so I told our team we’re not going to dial for dollars to try to get business. We’re just going to love on people and help them understand that serving is the new selling. So who could we serve? So we just reached out to clients and say, hey, we’ll do a free virtual whatever you need, bring your team. And I just started doing a ton of those. And it’s so rewarding. And then almost counterintuitive, we started getting calls for business

Joe: Yeah.

Simon: And it’s just like we weren’t even setting out to do that, but it just happened. So, yeah.

Joe: Yeah, and I was curious because, like I said, you never know what’s going on behind the curtain with anybody, ? And you

Simon: Yes.

Joe: And I don’t know each other that well, but there’s something that just comes through the screen, comes through on the videos, definitely when I’m there in person with you. And to me, I would have been that person that had gotten down and I flowed  through. Like people were just like how people are calling me How, because I, I, I think we sent out probably over one hundred, ten, ninety nines for twenty nineteen because we have so many entertainers on our roster and it’s literally everything across the board and they’re all reaching out. How are you holding up. Because they knew everything dried up and I was like man and I know people think I’m nuts, but this was such a blessing for me because I just needed this time to do other things. And, and and I have I have not stopped with someone as positive as you. I wanted to just kind of get a feel for how does Simon T Bailey handle a situation like this to me? He’d be like, oh, we got this. And so I was just wondering if and and I appreciate you explaining that you aren’t the superhero that I think you are, that you did have your moment, which is very human. But like you said, you you lick your wounds. You stood back up and said, OK, now it’s time to get busy and stop crying. . Or whatever.

Simon: And you know, when I came out of this fog, I realized I needed to start cooking, so I started cooking. I’ve learned how to cook a little bit enough to survive. I stop binge watching on on everything. That was all. I turn the TV off. I started reading. I started writing, I started thinking and I started doing Zoom calls, almost like as a mastermind with different people from different areas of business, just getting input insight. And all of a sudden I was like, OK, wow, OK, here’s what we need to do. And once I got into the groove, because I love all things business and I love what I do, I just start seeing all the opportunity. You and I said, OK, we’re going to have to come to this. But probably the most important and I would be remiss if I didn’t say this COVID-19 and my my my prayers and heart goes out to all of those who’ve been directly impacted in either losing a loved one or have been impacted by it. But for me, it has been a time for me to get closer to my children. I’ve got a twenty one year old sophomore in college, Daniel, a daughter who graduated. She’s the COVID-19 graduate, you know, graduated from high school to head the college. Interesting time of life. Two kids in college, ? So I’m like, OK, I’m writing checks  now.

Joe: Oh.

Simon: It’s just like in school you go to school at seventeen thousand dollars a year. I’m like, oh,

Joe: Oh,

Simon: Like,

Joe: Man.

Simon: Yo. But here’s what I did during this COVID-19 time. I hired both of them as my research assistants. So every Sunday night they have to read a book that I have purchased for the different books, business books. They have to listen to a podcast, listen to a YouTube video, watch or view an article, and then they have to write a summary and answer seven to nine questions. They have to turn it in by Thursday at five p.m. I pay about twenty dollars a day. They could take Friday off and we’re already seven weeks into this. And it’s all the things that Dad said you should know. Now I’m paying them to learn because it’s actually research for another book that I’m working on, but it’s probably closer to my children. This is your covid-19 time, so I’m just eating it up.

Joe: That’s awesome. Are they going to school there where you can see them? So they’re going you’re in Florida, ? You’re

Simon: Not in Florida,

Joe: At.

Simon: So so my son is online and my daughter, believe it or not, she’s actually going to go to campus, the private school, private college, and she’s going to their class ratio is maybe one professor to 20 students. So they’re just going to practice physical distancing and she’ll start in the fall. But I’m excited for them. But we’ve gotten closer

Joe: Yeah, that’s great.

Simon: And so it’s been good.

Joe: Yeah, are your

Simon: Yeah.

Joe: Beaches open or closed?

Simon: The beaches are open, you know, here in Florida, we we kind of march to the beat of a different drummer and we love our beaches.

Joe: I don’t blame you, I I grew up on the East Coast, so I’m from New York originally, so.

Simon: Oh,

Joe: Yeah,

Simon: Yeah.

Joe: I don’t blame you. Brilliant versus average.

Simon: So average living is dead, as we would say here in the south, that dog won’t hunt. So the days of doing average work with an average attitude is gone um average people show up to collect a check. Brilliant people show up to add value. What I discovered after interviewing top performers, those who got promoted, who were promoted over time, they discovered that a paycheck is given to people who show up, but opportunities are given to people who work and think beyond what they’re paid to do. That’s a difference between average versus brilliant.

Joe: So you can help me with this, because I I and I was there like I’m not I don’t ever see these things as if I had all the answers. I’m fifty eight. I’m I’m a late bloomer, like, you know, I’m working

Simon: Young

Joe: Now.

Simon: Man.

Joe: Yeah. I’m working on this stuff as if I’m reinventing myself. And I feel like so many people get stuck in thinking they can’t do things and I don’t know where that comes from. I know it’s fear is part of it, but there’s got to be a way to say, listen, all the people that use you look up to or you see or you aspire to become or they all they all have to figure it out the same way we all put our pants on one leg at a time type thing. . So how is it to how do you try to get people to shift their their frame of mind to say, listen, you can do this just as much as anyone else. It just takes hard work. But other than that, some of these people are like lifelong learners, but they literally don’t do anything . They take course after course, conference after conference, seminar after seminar or whatever, and they just don’t do anything with it.

Simon: You know, it’s it really comes down to something so simple and not to be simplified, but there’s a Yiddish proverb that says the only person that likes change is a wet baby. And what I’ve discovered, the reasons people don’t go for it is because they don’t want to change. So think about it. When you first learn to ride a bike, probably you fell, ? You perhaps started your business. You started had some success, but maybe experienced a little failure. It was a change that you had to make. Just look at this whole virtual world like everybody now understands Zoom. But when they first heard Zoom, you’re like, no, no way. Or you could get changed. All of a sudden you’re telling other people, did you know that you can go in the chat and you could do this? You could do that. So until people are willing to take just a little step, I don’t have any entrepreneurs in my family. I’m the first one in my family to leave a nine to five and venture out into these uncharted waters. Why do I why did I do it? Well, first of all, it was a dream, but a dream until you put feet to it. And it’s just something in the sky. You got to move every single day. And until people are really ready to change, they don’t want it bad enough. You got to be hungry and go after it.

Joe: Yeah, I guess that’s just it, , it’s not it’s not even the fear, because if you want to bet enough, you’ll push the fear aside.

Simon: Anything you want, your first car, your first home, your first job, you become laser focus and you go after it.

Joe: Well, this brings me to the last thing I had on my know, which was and this is perfect shift or be shifted, ?

Simon: When you look at that work shift, shift, if we were to break that down, simply means see how I fit tomorrow, see how I fit tomorrow shift. That’s the acronym. So if if I don’t shift, see how I fit tomorrow, I will be shifted by everything in every one. So let’s look at a prime example. How many malls are going to survive after this? COVID-19 malls are going to forever be changed. But guess what? If they don’t adapt and come up with a new model, the Amazon of the world is literally going to shift and replace them. And if it’s that simple, so everyone listening to us  now, they have to say, don’t wait for the tap on the shoulder or the phone call with your boss. You shift before you shifted. So how do I begin to look at my workplace through a fresh lens if I’m an entrepreneur? Who are the top 20 percent in my field? What are they pivoting to? What are they doing? How do I begin to ask a different set of questions that allows me to shift before I’m shifted?

Joe: Yeah, and that’s , this is what we’re talking about now, the Calvary is not coming . You have to shift, you have to do it on your own or you’re going to be shifted for sure. And it might be wherever.

Simon: Yes.

Joe: Yeah. Is there anything else about the book you want to talk about before? I don’t want to keep you we’re just about at an hour. And I know you’re a busy man. So is

Simon: One

Joe: There.

Simon: Thing, there are exercises in the book that I encourage each person to go through, and also we have an online course called “Shift Your Brilliance” system that people can walk through to take their teams through it. And we’ve gotten rave rave reviews from people who’ve gone through the course, and it’s at

Joe: Awesome, so I’ll put all of this stuff in the show notes for everybody so they’ll have all the links. What is the best way to get in contact with you?

Simon: Yeah, they just go to, “T” for terrific,

Joe: Exactly.

Simon: As we really

Joe: Love it.

Simon: Got to.

Joe: So my my middle initials, P. So I can’t say P for perfect, because that’s not going to fly.

Simon: P for Powerful.

Joe: There you go. OK. I like that, OK. Like I said, I’ll put all of that in there. I can’t thank you enough for doing this. I you know, I respect you so much. I love watching all your videos, Instagram stuff that pops up. So it’s super inspiring to me. Someday if I can get my speaking act together, maybe I’ll ask you for advice someday on how I get my first one and how I

Simon: Oh.

Joe: Can get to the point. And maybe we’ll share a stage someday before I take a dirt nap or say.

Simon: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Joe: Thanks. Thanks a lot for coming on here again. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate your time. And it was an honor to speak with you.

Simon: Thank you, Joe.

Joe: Ok, man, you take care of yourself.

Simon: Take care.

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