February 20, 2019


Do you have what it takes to build a business from nothing? Can you be not just great, but extraordinary at what you do? Brandon Steiner has been mentoring people and helping new businesses and charities move forward for thirty years, all while running a successful sports memorabilia company and booking athlete appearances to build his own business.

In today's episode we will talk about:

  • What will get a potential client's attention
  • How to be good at what you do
  • Negotiation strategies


The most important thing you can do to get people to want to do business with you is to ask what they want and get it for them. To get in front of someone you want to do business with, know what value you can provide. It's not about what you want to sell. Listening is very important. Then know what value you have to offer. People talk about what they want to do, but not the value they can provide. Value is what you can do for someone but they can't do for themselves. Your job is to figure out what they need help with.

For example, early in Brandon Steiner's career, he dealt with athletes' fan mail. He opened up letters from kids requesting autographs, brought forward letters that he felt were important for the athlete to deal with personally, and kept it all organized. He did what he had to do to help busy people even when it wasn't glamorous.

It's important to "play the long game"

  • You need to love what you're doing and not just be making a money grab. To be a good teacher, you need to love teaching kids more than you want to be a teacher.
  • If you want to be a good coach, you have to love coaching kids more than you want to be a coach.
  • When you do good things, it will lead to you doing well financially.

Do the most important thing for the most important people

  • Figure out who the most important people are in your life.
  • If you want to stay married and have kids that like you and grow up to be successful, then make them important.
  • If it's just about money, you will wake up one day with a lot of money, but your closet will be empty and your kids will hate you.

Brandon Steiner's North Star is his wife and kids. He learned early on that he needed to make them important. The other thing that became important was his health. You need energy, clarity, and perspective. Without those things you can't bring the energy and consistency vital to your A-Game.

Stay Active on Social Media

  • It keeps you connected to other people so you can see who needs help with what
  • Social media keeps you current with people's needs
  • It will make you accessible to others


Do not chase the money! Chase the thing that makes the money. When you're with an extraordinary person, don't get caught up in the hype. Find out how they got there. 

  • Have a purpose
  • Be "coachable" and curious and always willing to learn
  • Know who you are up against and be committed to being the very best
  • The minute you think you know a lot, you know nothing.

Read books about your business. Watch videos about it. If you want to be a better business person, have you watched every Warren Buffett or Oprah video? If you want to be a basketball coach, have you read every book about basketball in print? Do you know everything about your competitors so that you can learn from them and do better than they have?

Brandon Steiner once visited Coach Bob Knight, who won 902 NCAA Division I men's college basketball games. Among all of his trophies and memorabilia were hundreds of books about basketball. They had clearly been read and studied at length. Coach Knight was always learning about his business as part of his commitment to be the best.


Brandon Steiner has written a 22 step guide to negotiations available on his website. But he was willing to share a few of the important points with us. 

  1. Be a good listener. Figure out what the other party wants and what is important to them, then deliver it. If you can give them what they want, they will give you what you want. 
  2. Timing is important. There really are better times to ask for things than others. Pay attention to what is going on and pick your moment. 
  3. Know what is important and be specific. Make a list to stay organized. 
  4. Never give an ultimatum. This is a sign of weakness.


If Brandon Steiner had to start his company over again today, he would do some things a little differently. His online game would be the most important piece. He would bring the story of the pieces of memorabilia to the forefront through things like more video content, making buying more engaging and fun. At the end of the day, isn't that what you want? To have been engaged and had fun?

Through the entire interview, the one thing that came up over and over again was the importance of listening. If you can listen well and then act on that information, you can be successful.