Adrienne MacIain 0:01
Hey everyone, welcome to the That's Aloud podcast. I'm your hostess Adrienne MacIain, and we are here with Steve Super. Please, Steve, introduce yourself, sir.
Steve Super 0:11
Hi, my name is Steve Super. I was born in England, as you can probably tell from the accent and I am 60 years of age. I'm an old duck, an old guy. So, I have a very interesting journey that I'd love to share with your listeners and obviously with you, and hopefully you find it interesting, and hopefully there's some lessons you can take away. I'm very delighted to be here.
Adrienne MacIain 0:35
Fantastic. So glad to have you on. So, we'll start with the usual question. Steve, what's the story you're not telling?
Steve Super 0:45
Okay, so, to put things in a nutshell, my brief story or the outline of my story is I came to America, about 27 years ago, and came here very open-eyed, wanting to live the American dream. And for the first 15 of those 27 years, that's exactly what I did. I had a great job, I started some companies, I recruited over 10,000 people in 12 year period and managed them all, and really build companies and loved my life here. Unfortunately, I stumbled across the year 2008. Now 2008 is a very, is a key date for me, because I was in the mortgage industry, and, as you know, the mortgage industry collapsed. So I went from having multiple houses, and a hell of a lot of assets, and never worrying about money in the space of six months, to being completely homeless, completely without friends, without money, without anything. And what I have, what I don't tell people when I recount the story is that prior to my being homeless, I was very arrogant, very self-centered, very me, me, me. And that was all I focused on to the cost of relationships, friendships. What's interesting is prior to me being homeless, when I was in a good position, I literally thought I had thousands of friends, I really did. But what I didn't realize is I was buying these friends, literally. I would take 200 people out for dinner in LA, buy a restaurant, shut it down, bla bla bla. I thought I was the most popular guy in the world. But when I became homeless, and I needed to borrow a shower, not money, never asked for money. What I did ask for, and this is something I know so well about homeless people, is that the thing that you need the most when you do become homeless is a shower. People don't think of that, but it's true. You want to be clean. Do you think I had one friend who said to me 'Steve, borrow my shower.' No one, not one. And it hurt me, it hurt me for a long time. But getting out to that position and into a much better position again, I began to study why nobody came to help me or offer anything, and just let me be. I became invisible. And I think a lot of that was due to my behavior prior to becoming homeless. Because a lot of people who have money are very arrogant, very self-centered, they tread on people, and there's such a thing as karma. And I'll tell you what, I know I'm talking a lot, but I always used to think when I was in my car, and, well, not when I was homeless after I lost my car. I always used to think that karma brought this on myself. Never blamed anyone but myself and my attitude and the way I looked at life. So, every story has a subtext and you just pulled mine out to me completely in about five seconds. You're great at what you do, yeah, you're really good. Okay.
Adrienne MacIain 4:19
So the next question I usually ask is where does it begin for you? But what's interesting is you kind of talked about the subtext here. And so what I want to ask instead is, can you give us an example of the kind of person you were before you became homeless?
Steve Super 4:36
Sure. Now, I'm not going to say in my defense, because this is pretty indefensible, however, and bear in mind, I was running very large companies, so if somebody couldn't come to work, if somebody had an issue, a personal issue, or family illness or some other commitment that was stopping them coming to work, I would be relentless and just make them come. I didn't want to know the excuse, I didn't want to know the reasons why, just you better be here, because if you're not here within two hours goodbye. And that's what I mean, there was no empathy, there was no sympathy, there was no looking at people like human beings, and we're all fallible. But I thought, because I was on such a ride, and I was so great, and I was making so much money, I could do anything I want. That's why, and this again is another subtext thing, that's why I tend to sometimes look at very rich and powerful people and understand why they do some of the things that they do. Because they do feel powerful, nothing can touch them. When you're talking about athletes, high-end CEOs, people who've made a fortune, they do have this element about them that feels their indestructible. And usually they get found out, by the way, just like I did. And I'm just thinking about the fact that I could be wrong. Not every CEO is a bad person, not every athlete is a bad person, but they do live in a different world to the world that you and I experience on a daily basis, if that makes sense. So I guess my foible, my weakness was, although I didn't think it was a weakness, which is treating people as if they were commodities that I could move around from place to place, if that makes sense. Woah, that sounds like a nasty person.
Adrienne MacIain 6:37
Well, then let's, let's move on. So when did the tide turn? Where did you, what was the point where you realized, Wow, it's not just that I'm homeless, it's that I need to change who I am to become a better person.
Steve Super 6:54
Would you be really impressed if I could give you two actual dates with that?
Adrienne MacIain 6:59
Steve Super 7:01
All right. So the first day was, I'm Jewish, by the way, so not highly religious, but I am Jewish, and one thing I do every year is I fast on Yom Kippur as Jews do, whether you're religious or not. So on this particular year, when I was homeless, it wasn't so difficult to fast, because to be honest with you, most days were like that, but I fasted all day for Yom Kippur. And I remember, when the fast ended, traditionally you always have a big meal, Jewish people have a big meal at the end of the fast. I couldn't even afford a cup of coffee. And I remember, and this sounds a little bit strange, but I remember talking to God, and I'm not particularly religious so please don't think I'm coming at you from that angle, and if you are religious, great, everybody's different. But I remember talking to God, and I remember saying on my birthday, no, on Yom Kippur, please just help me out in this situation, just give me one meal, I'll do anything you want, I'll become a religious Jew, I'll grow my hair long, I'll wear a hat, everything, I threw the whole book at him. And that was the first day. And funnily enough, although there was no response, which is what you'd expect, the following day I began to feel a little bit better. Even though I didn't have any food, the gloom kind of lifted. But it really moved me on my birthday. That was the key day for me. So I remember on my birthday, again, funnily enough, the two days I spoke to God in the six months I was homeless. So on my birthday, another conversation with him, but this one was different. So this one, I said to him, let's do a deal with each other, not that I'm in a position to do a deal, but here's the deal. The deal is this, if you help me get out of the situation, I promise you, I give you my word, not only will I be a different person moving forward, but I will go out of my way to find people in a similar situation to me and try and help them. Now this hasn't always been easy, just so you know.
Adrienne MacIain 8:59
Steve Super 9:19
And please understand, I'm not a saint, I'm not virtuous, I'm just, it was something I agreed with God, I did get out the car, and I've kept my word. Unfortunately, some of my friends, there are new friends now, and I have got friends, and I've got a beautiful wife, they're very skeptical. Because, typically, if a homeless person comes up to me and asks for money, and never say What do you want it for, or You need to get your life in order or What are you going to buy? None of those things. I put my hand in my pocket and give them. But I'm always surrounded by doubters. People say, Oh, they'll just take the money and buy drugs, or They'll go and buy cigarettes. You know what, that's up to them, that's their choice. All I can do is help. And, thank God, I'm in a position to do that now. I wasn't then, and nobody helped me, but I am in a position now. What do you think? I can see some thoughts going around in your head.
Adrienne MacIain 10:20
Yeah. I mean, I think that's beautiful. And I think it's wonderful that you've kept that bargain. The question of are you religious? I'm a very spiritual person, I will say that. My family is Jewish, but I didn't know that until I was 16 years old, so that's a whole other story. So I didn't grow up doing any religious anything. But I've always felt that God is within all of us, and that we have, we are, everything is one. Right? And so we are God, we are all God. And so making that bargain with God was like making that bargain with yourself.
Steve Super 10:58
That's true, actually, that's a very good point. It is a good point. It's a very good point, and I haven't even reflected on that, but you're right, you're right. And, thank God again, I'm not the wealthiest person on the planet by any means, but, thank God, I'm healthy, I have a lovely family, and I'm able to help people. You know, that helping makes you feel stronger, it makes you feel better, it cleanses you. One thing I know, before I came to the United States to live the American dream, I remember my mother saying to me "America is a tough place. It can either go two ways, you can either do really well, make a lot of money, live that American Dream, be happy ever after, or you can fail. And in America, if you fail, or you get ill, or you have issues or problems, it's not predominantly a socialist country, nobody's going to help you. You have to help yourself." And it's a different mindset, again, if that makes sense to you.
Adrienne MacIain 12:03
Yeah, absolutely. We're working without a net here.
Steve Super 12:08
Exactly, exactly. Which can be thrilling, but it can also be very, very frightening. Not everybody in this country is set up to deal with that situation, and those are the people that truly need help. And by the way, when I say I help people, not just homeless, people who I consider to be less fortunate, people who are having some sort of struggle, and I identify with them, because I've been there, you know, I've had it happen to me. And good things, well, bad things can happen to good people. You know, in 2008, when I tell people I was homeless, they go 'Oh, that's terrible,' but you know what, I was not the only homeless people. There were people that have been working 20, 30 years that had families and good jobs, but all of a sudden, everything went, and they didn't know what to do or how to cope with it. The sad thing is, and I hate to mention this and I don't want to be a bearer of bad news, but I honestly believe in my heart that COVID 2.0 is very much going to lead that way as well, only have a greater impact on the nation. I really do, and that's what scares me.
Yeah, I think this is probably just a trial run.
Unknown Speaker 13:28
I do. You know in the United Kingdom, they've gone back to their second lockdown. Did you know that? From COVID? I mean, I have two businesses, which I don't particularly want to talk about. One of them is a loan business, so we provide loans for businesses in need. I speak to business owners every day, and again, the stories that I get are heartbreaking. Literally, I've many times wiped my eyes, shed a tear, and you know, there's a lot of good people caught up in what's going on at the moment. And I think it's up to us, the stronger people, to really rally round and offer as much help and support as we can. And doesn't have to just be financial, or even financial. There are other ways we can help people. And I just think we've got to step up, I really do. One more thing I want to say before your next question is, one thing I will tell you is that I have changed the definition of rich since I've been homeless. So, rich to me prior to being homeless was obviously money and objects and things that I could keep and hoard and have. Rich to me now, I'm a very happily married man, I have two great kids, one of them's at university, one's about to go to university, and it's a house full of love. And that honestly, honestly makes me feel rich. And the funny thing is the businesses that I have have prospered, not because of focus so much on them, but I haven't focused on the money element, I focus more on the goodwill element. And again, please, I don't want to come across as being pious or virtuous. I'm not, I'm just a normal person like anybody else.
Adrienne MacIain 15:22
Well, the next question that I usually ask, you've just answered, which is how did this change you? So I want to go on to the next question, which is who needs to hear it? Who needs to hear this story?
Steve Super 15:36
That's a great question. You ask really great questions!
Adrienne MacIain 15:41
Steve Super 15:41
Who needs to hear it? Well, I think the first person that needs to hear it is me, obviously. And I think that there are a lot of people out there at the moment that are very scared and very fearful of what's going on around. I really do. And I know there are a lot of people who are looking at their wallets and their bank accounts and thinking the money is going to run out, what do we do, I have a family, how am I going to feed them, you know? I understand all of this. I haven't got any magical solutions. I mean, I do have a company that does credit repair and that does help a lot of people, but at the end of the day I think we have to come together as a community. I really do. And I think as a community, we have to look after our weakest people. And I don't mean weakest in a bad way, I mean weakest as in people who need that help and support. So if you're asking me who I think should listen to this, it's not the people who need the support, it's the people who should be stepping up, providing the support, if that makes sense.
Adrienne MacIain 16:52
Definitely, yeah. And I think everyone is that person. Everyone can help someone who's vulnerable.
Steve Super 17:03
Adrienne MacIain 17:03
Even if they're vulnerable themselves. I think sometimes, you know, my mother does a lot of work with homeless people, and one of the things that they say over and over is I just wish people would look me in the eye, I wish people would just acknowledge me as a human being, and respond to me, even if they say no, just to have that acknowledgement that I hear you.
Steve Super 17:27
But you know what, you make such a valid point? And I have to tell you, how can I say this without sounding bad? First of all, I love this country. I'm a United States citizen, proud to be a citizen. I've only been back to England once since I came here, and this is my country. I may speak with a British accent, but this is my country, which also validates me to speak about it freely. And I have to tell you, I think America is probably the place where homeless people are ignored the most, are made invisible. I've got to be honest. I know we live in a capitalist society, and we're not talking politics now, I get that. But it's again, it's the American dream. If you're making it everybody wants to be around you, they love you, they're your friend, they want to snip you. You know how it goes. This is why, if you take this a step further, look at the social media influences. Think about it for a minute. Everybody wants to be Kim Kardashian. They can't be, so they buy her makeup or dresses. I know it's ridiculous, but this is how we work in this country. Successful people are the idols, the invincibles. Everybody else, pretty much invisible. And that's the sad truth. And you're right, that's the biggest issue or one of the biggest issues that we're facing in this country. How do we deal with the homeless situation? We can't turn around and say, Well, everybody who's homeless is on drugs. I'm so tired of hearing that, and it's absolute rubbish.
Adrienne MacIain 19:06
And also, PS drugs. Being on drugs is a symptom of a problem that usually stems from trauma, right? So again, you know, because someone's addicted to drugs, that doesn't mean they're a worthless person or not worth helping. They're someone who's sick and needs help.
Steve Super 19:27
Do you mind me asking where do you actually live? What area?
Adrienne MacIain 19:30
I am in Seattle.
Steve Super 19:32
Are you in Seattle? Okay. So I'm I don't know how things are in Seattle, but I'm in LA, and here the homeless situation is terrible. And I have to tell you, everybody turns a blind eye, everybody. But not only a blind eye but also, you know, there's a lot of tent cities going on. I understand that. Believe me, I was, like, days away from finding a tent myself. Again, I would never criticize it. But we got to stop being critical and saying all these people are ghastly, you know, we've got to find real remedies for them and really help them, not just pay lip service to it, but we've actually got to do something. Anything I can do within my scope, then I'm going to try and do.
Adrienne MacIain 20:21
What do you think is the best solution to homelessness?
Steve Super 20:25
Oh, that's a great question. I mean, much smarter people have been trying to solve this longer than me..
Adrienne MacIain 20:31
I have strong opinions around this, this is why I ask.
Steve Super 20:33
Okay. I just feel that when we look at state budgets, when we look at the country budgets, when we look at the deficit, we look at everything else. Again, not to compare England to America, because I'm not going to do that. But there's two areas where England actually beats America. And I'll tell you two. First of all, and again, another issue to me personally, is the way this country treats it's vets. I hate the way we treat our vets. They go through hell and back for us, and they come back and they're another sector of society that's invisible. England will support and look after it's vets a lot better. That's number one. But number two, and here's the key point, in England, if you haven't got enough money, you can't afford to live, they will give you housing. The government gives you housing, either subsidized housing, or free housing. Now, there is so much land in this country, so much land that's doing nothing.
Adrienne MacIain 20:53
So many houses that are sitting empty.
Steve Super 21:41
There you go, let's start building for homeless people. Let's start helping them, let's start picking up our weekend off for, and putting an arm around them, and showing them that there's compassion around here, that people do care. Now, I'm just one guy in LA telling you this, I can't do it by myself. But if there's a groundswell of opinion, you can get things done. I really do believe that.
Adrienne MacIain 22:06
Yeah. I think there's definitely been some pilot programs, the Housing First model of saying, let's just put people into housing first and then help them get back on their feet, because it's really difficult to get a job, to get any kind of stability when you don't have housing.
Steve Super 22:26
I have a story for you. Okay, so here's the story. It's not not a particularly nice story. So, it's funny how I talked about Kismet because it is a is a Kismet-type story. So eventually, I got out of my homeless situation, and I guess if you're interested I can tell you about it. It's not that interesting, but I did get out of it. And the way that I got out of it is I applied for a job where they were looking for experienced people in a field where there was a lot of money being made. And I had zero experience in this field. But when you're homeless and you've got nothing to do and nowhere to go, you think to yourself, what have I got to lose? So I remember finding this LA Times in a Starbucks. When I wasn't living on the street, I was living in Starbucks, that's where I used to have a wash every morning. So anyway, I get this LA Times out and I'm going through the jobs section, I've got to find something, something's gotta break here. And I saw this great job. It's a company that sells metals, precious metals, gold, silver, and they were looking for experienced people and the one thing I knew is that as the stock market was collapsing, the price of gold and silver was going up and up. So these were jobs where people were making a lot of money. Only problem is, I had no experience. But I applied and made up a job and a series of experience that I didn't have. And it was enough to get me an interview. I fooled them, I got an interview. So I get to the interview, and I'm sat there, and there are two guys who own this company. So they're asking me these questions, and after about five minutes, I said, Look, guys, I gotta be honest here, you know, I have zero experience, but I'll work for you for nothing. Give me three months of letting me, because I thought at this stage what I got to lose, three months. I can be a junior, I can learn stuff. Now, bear in mind, I have 30 years experience of selling, of being a CEO are very high-up stuff. But now you got to do what you got to do. So I said, I'll be the office junior, you don't have to pay me, I won't talk to anyone, I'll just sit in the background and learn. Just give me that chance. So the two men who own the company looked at each other and the first one said, I like this guy. I like him. He's got balls. And you know what? All right, so he made it all up, but he admitted it, and I like what he's saying, I want to give him the job. Unfortunately, the second partner was completely the opposite, Well, I don't like him. He's a liar. He tells stuff that isn't true. What happens if he's like this with our clients? And I could understand that. So I'm in the middle of this interview and these two guys are arguing with each other, give him a job, don't give him a job, give him a job, no. Eventually, I got the job, which is great. Except, three days later after getting the job, the guy that liked me said that he was going away to France for six months on holiday, leaving me with the guy who hated my guts. So here's the second story, here's the second part of the story. So, every day I came in, you know, he'd call me on the phone, 'cause a lot of people worked there from home, and he goes, You better be working hard, because I don't like you, and you're probably not gonna stay. By the way, I was still homeless. So here's where I made my big, big mistake. I almost found someone who was willing to let me stay in an apartment for a short period of time. I still had some stuff that was all over the street and everything, so I asked my friend if I could borrow his car to put my stuff in, and I was going to go to work, and then after work I was going to go to the apartment, unload my stuff and stay in a new place. The only problem was that when I arrived nice and early for work, the other guy, the guy who didn't like me, pulled up right next to me. And he looked at my car, and he could see, he knew I was homeless. It was so obvious. He didn't say anything. So we go inside and half the day goes by and he calls me on the phone again. He said, Can you come to my office? So I went uh-oh. So I go to his office, and this is what he said to me word for word, he said, Steve, I want you to know that I know you're homeless. And I also want you to know, it makes no difference whatsoever. I do not like you, and I want to fire you. That's what he said, literally, that's what he said, that it doesn't make any difference. And now, here's the irony of the story. I was coming up to that three month period, so they would have had to pay me beyond the three months. And I really liked the job, I can really do this, I can make myself successful, and get back on top. And I thought, But they're probably going to fire me. As luck would have it, this is why Kismet or being bichette comes into play, the top sales guy in the company, who by the way, was the only guy that spoke to me in the three months I was there, saying, Hey, how're you doing, a really nice guy, he moved company. And I don't know why he did this, but he said to the new company, If you're going to take me you have to take Steve as well.
Adrienne MacIain 28:09
Steve Super 28:10
And the rest is history, and then from there everything looked up and up and up. But it's funny how many things happen to you in your life that you think back. And I bet, listen, I don't hold any grudges against the guy who didn't like me, is you know what, life moves on. Life is too short to be angry or to hate anybody.
Adrienne MacIain 28:28
Absolutely. There's a great lesson in there that I want to drill down on a little bit more, which is don't disqualify yourself for something before you've even tried. I think we often do this to ourselves, we see you know, that they're asking for experience, we don't have the experience, and so we don't even try, we just say Ah, forget about it. I love to tell the story of when I got a Fulbright scholarship, because I had no idea what one was. And I applied for it just thinking, Oh, this is cool, I can go anywhere and you know, do whatever I want, and just applied for it having no idea that it was prestigious or interesting, you know, to other people at all. And if I had known, if I had had any inkling that it was so competitive when I applied for it, I never would have applied, or I would have been like Oh no. I would have talked myself out of it, thought This is for super smart people, I'm not one of those people. Right? And I never would have had that experience of getting a Fulbright scholarship. And so I always say to people, you know, when you look at something, don't see the ways that you are disqualified from it, see the ways that you are qualified from it and build from there.
Steve Super 29:39
That's a great point. That's an awesome point. Yeah, again, a great point as well.
Adrienne MacIain 29:45
And good on you too, that was wonderful.
Steve Super 29:48
So I have a question for you. Okay. What was your moment? What was your moment when you sat back and started reflecting? Has anyone asked you that in your own podcast?
Adrienne MacIain 29:57
No, they haven't. There, there are many moments but, you know, so I wrote a book about an experience I had where I married guy, and it turned out very badly.
Steve Super 30:11
Yeah, I've been married.
Adrienne MacIain 30:14
On a Fulbright scholarship, I went to Africa. The rest is history. But I, so I ended up in a very, very dangerous situation while it was in Africa. And he and I really trauma bonded during that experience. And so then we ended up in this relationship that, I missed all the red flags, basically, because I was so caught up in the drama of what was going on. And I found myself in this really abusive relationship. And I had this moment where I almost died. I mean, he he almost killed me.
Steve Super 30:54
Oh, I'm sorry.
Adrienne MacIain 30:55
Well, hey, I'm fine now, right. But there was this moment where I realized I chose this. This is not like, you know, someone jumped out of the woods and grabbed me, this is the person I picked.
Steve Super 31:12
Adrienne MacIain 31:14
I chose this life for myself. Why am I allowing people to treat me this way? And it took a while, you know, it was definitely a process from there of figuring out and excavating these layers of this. But I realized in that moment, you know, you teach people how to treat you.
Steve Super 31:38
Ah, that's interesting.
Adrienne MacIain 31:39
And it wasn't just him. This was not the first time I had ended up in an abusive situation, and it would not be the last time, and I realized, little by little, wait a second, the common denominator in this situation is right here.
Steve Super 31:55
Do you think because, you know, it's funny, my wife is a coping advocate, she narcolepsy and seven different autoimmune diseases.
Adrienne MacIain 32:06
Steve Super 32:07
And she helps people who have chronic illnesses and stuff. And it's interesting by the way, just on a side note, you're talking about abusive people. And I was about to tell you this, but I own a credit repair company, and there are two types of people in particular we offer our services for free; one is vets that I've just mentioned, the second one is abuse of women, women have been abused. And the reason for that is my wife worked in a shelter for three years. And when I first met my wife, I knew nothing about this, I was so naive. And the stories that she's told me and the things that have happened to people, just so upsetting, it really is. Do you think, so mentally, how do you think you got out of that situation? I'm not talking about the relationship, but never being in that situation again?
Adrienne MacIain 33:05
Yeah, I won't give away the ending of the book, but I will say obviously I did get out, and from there, the process was one of recognizing, Oh boy, I don't like myself very much. I have allowed people to treat me this way, because I felt I deserved it. And because I treat myself not very well, and they see this. And they take their cue from that. And so the process of loving yourself, and it sounds so cheesy, you know, to say that like that, Oh, you need to learn to love yourself.
Steve Super 33:43
That is very American, that's the first thing I learned when I came.
Right? I hate that stuff.
England is completely different, you know. If you say to England you've got to love yourself, they'd probably hit you or something. Yeah, it is very American. But it's right also.
Adrienne MacIain 34:01
But it's really true, and that is, honestly, that's the first and hardest step is just to learn self-love and self-respect and self-acceptance. Because the thing is that what we want to do, especially as Americans I think, we do this thing where we're like, Well then, I have to achieve this or accomplish this so that I can respect myself or love myself. Well, guess what, in order to achieve that thing, in order to get to there, you have to accept where you are. You can't actually start from anywhere but where you are right now. And it is that acceptance, that ability to say, Hey, here's where I am, here's where I'm going, that allows you to form a plan.
Steve Super 34:43
So without being too personal, are you in a relationship currently?
Adrienne MacIain 34:47
Yes. And it is wonderful
Steve Super 34:49
Aww. So here's my question on that then. How did you change the parameters at the get go to make sure that wouldn't happen to you again? I'm curious, if you don't mind.
Adrienne MacIain 35:00
Yeah, well, and I'm actually writing a second book, we
Steve Super 35:04
Go buy the book!
Adrienne MacIain 35:05
But what I, what I tell people in there is, you know, like, learn from me, right? I missed all of the red flags. But one of the reasons that you don't see those red flags is because, again, you're looking at everything through rose colored glasses. You want someone to save you, you're looking for a savior, and so you see a savior in everyone that you meet. And so the trick is you have to save yourself first.
Steve Super 35:34
That's right, that's really helpful. My wife, by the way, because she talks a lot about this as well, is, always has been very, she sets boundaries very, very openly. From the beginning, you know, and she'll say you can do this, you can do that, but I don't want you talking to me like this. Or I don't like this because it offends me, and this is the reason why. I think as well, I mean, I'm an old guy now and I'm very lucky. My wife is lovely, as I said. But I never had these conversations in prior relationships that I was in. You know, I'm lucky, I found love at the age of like, in my 50s, I found love. But we work at it, we really, really do. You know, we do talk about boundaries. We do talk about how we react to each other at times, because we're not perfect, we're far from perfect. And we still shout at each other a little bit. But we have an agreement never to go to bed angry with each other, and, thank God, we've been together a long time. And we keep that, that's the one thing we absolutely.
Adrienne MacIain 36:40
It's very important.
Steve Super 36:43
And, this is just between you and me, and I don't want anyone else to say they heard this: cuddling. Cuddling is huge. Seriously.
Adrienne MacIain 36:52
So important, so important.
Steve Super 36:53
We have at least, and I know this sounds weird when we tell people, we spend at least an hour a day. Not not in one go, and I'm not talking about cuddling as in a sexual thing. I'm talking about cuddling on the couch.
Adrienne MacIain 37:08
Steve Super 37:10
Adrienne MacIain 37:10
Absolutely. It's huge.
Steve Super 37:11
The power of touch and the emotion and the endorphins it gives off, it can change your whole relationship. Wow, we've really taken it to...
Adrienne MacIain 37:20
I'm gonna, I'm gonna do two little tools, though, for the audience listening at home. These are two little relationship tools that have really, really helped me and you reminded me of both of these, what you just said. So the first one is about boundary setting. Because a lot of people misunderstand what a boundary is. A boundary isn't just saying, I don't like that, please don't do that. Because when you say please don't do that you're actually giving the boundary to the other person to keep safe. A boundary is when you say, I don't like that, and so next time that happens, here's how I'm going to respond.
Steve Super 37:52
Yeah, that's why she does it.
Adrienne MacIain 37:54
Here's what I'm going to do to keep myself safe.
Unknown Speaker 37:56
That's exactly why she says it.
Adrienne MacIain 37:59
Yes. And it's really important because it acknowledges, I recognize that this is me. I'm the one who wants things this way. And so I'm responsible for maintaining this boundary, not putting it off onto you. So that's number one. Number two is, oh, what was it? Now I'm gonna forget. Oh, yes. So you were talking about not going to bed angry and the power of touch. One thing I found is that if I'm having, you know, a disagreement or something with my husband, I take his hands in my hands. And we do not let go of each other's hands while we have this conversation.
Steve Super 38:42
That's so cool!
Adrienne MacIain 38:43
It really works. Because if you're holding someone's hand and looking them in the eye, it's a lot harder to yell or scream or slam the door or do any dumb stuff like that.
Steve Super 38:52
Wow. That's cool.
Adrienne MacIain 38:54
Yeah, it keeps that connection of like, No, no, it's me. And I love you. And I want to work through this.
Steve Super 39:00
Wow. That is really cool, that is really cool.
Adrienne MacIain 39:03
All right. Well, I want to get back on track here. So what would you say is the main message or take away from your story? “Don't be a dick”?
Steve Super 39:19
Yeah. Thank you. It was nice talking. I think it's very easy to be introspective when you're at the bottom. I'm not quite as easy to be introspective when you're at the top. I think if you asked me for one message, that would be it. And again, and I say this a million times, I'm far from perfect, but I'm trying every day to be a better person. Some days I succeed, some days I fail, but I'm trying in my heart, if that makes sense.
Adrienne MacIain 39:55
Steve Super 39:56
And I think that I measure people differently. I don't measure people by money or by conditions. I don't measure them by accomplishments or money, but more about the type of person they are and what they believe in and how they help people and how they really support other people. In other words, their life doesn't just consist of looking after yourself, it also consists of helping other people when you can. So I think the biggest message I would say is that if you are a strong individual, if you have got your shit together, that's the time to start helping people. And as you said before, you know, it's funny, in my life I've known a lot of poor people, I've known a lot of rich people. And again, not to make a sweeping generalization, but what's ironic to me is, when it comes time to dipping your hand in your pocket, it's always the poor people that give more. Ones that truly can't afford it are the ones that give, and give without resentment, they just give. That's who they are. So, you know, I just, I think 2020 is a year where we've got all the politics going on, we've got the debates, we've got COVID, we've got so many things going on. If we can't take a step back and look at ourselves as a people now, then we're in big trouble. Couse, I mean, I don't know if it's going to get any worse, it probably will, as we said. But, you know what, this isn't about how much money you've got, how many houses you've got, how many cars you've got, none of that. This is about knocking on your next door neighbor's door and saying, Do you have enough food? With a mask on. Or is there anything you need? Again, not to compare to England, my mother, now is 92 years of age. They're on the second lockdown, and she lives in an old age home with other people of a similar age. And she always tells me people knock on the door, hourly, saying, Is everything okay? Do you need anything? Is there anything you want? That's the kind of people we need to be, we need to be people who don't lock our doors, we need to leave them open like we used to, you know, probably before you were born. But, you know, many years ago, nobody used to lock their doors. And people used to just, your neighbor just used to walk in. Hi, how are you doing? We need to go back to those days. I know that sounds ridiculous, but we were different people then. It wasn't about Sally's got this or Billy's got that. It was Hey, how can we help? How can we look after you, you're in our community? By the way, there are a lot of people who do this on a regular basis, there are a lot of people who help the homeless, there's a lot of people who provide food, who go out of their way, many, many, many good people, and even build houses for the homeless. So we just need to have more people like that, rather than. I'm sounding a bit preachy aren't I, and I don't mean to.
Adrienne MacIain 43:13
No, you're not, you're not at all. And you know, what that reminds me of is that connection really is the thing, right? And I think when you have lost everything, materially, you really realize that. You really realize that. And what you're saying about that, you know, that poor people are often the most generous people, I think it's because they realize, Hey, it's just money. And when you get to this certain point of sort of poorness, you kind of realize, like, Hey, I'm still alive. I still, you know, it's like...
Steve Super 43:14
Adrienne MacIain 43:26
And you kind of realize, like, actually, I'm okay, like, the worst happened, and I'm okay. And you lose that fear of losing your money. And that's the thing that rich people I think just live with daily is that fear of losing it.
Steve Super 44:10
But you want to know something funny, and again, I don't want to get the conversation to go in a completely different way, but I came from, and I think about this a lot as well, I came from a very, very poor background. My father was a very, very hard worker, but we were, my father went bankrupt three times by the time I was 15. So we've also gone through a hard time. And what was funny was throughout my career, I don't do it so much now, but throughout my career, whenever I was successful, I'd buy big cars, I'd buy, you know, all the expensive toys and stuff. And this is the funny thing, I never looked after them and I didn't really care about them. It was the fact that I could get them. That was it. It wasn't the actual object. It was the fact that hey, you know what, when I was younger and all my rich friends had a, I don't know, a Porsche or whatever, hey, guess what, now I can get a Porsche. And I think it, psychologically to myself, it was kind of looking at my youth and saying, Okay, well, I wasn't rich then. So I couldn't afford all that stuff then. But now, look at all this worthless, useless stuff. As you said, it's just objects. I mean, if you lose everything, and so long as you're still breathing and you've got your house, you know what, you can still fight.
Adrienne MacIain 45:32
Absolutely. So I'm going to shift gears here. So at the end of the podcast, I always do this little exercise. Right? So I'm going to take you through a little exercise, and I'm very interested to see how this will go with you.
Steve Super 45:34
You're thinking this is the strangest guest I've ever had!
Adrienne MacIain 45:47
I love it. No, I'm thinking that you're wonderful. I love it.
Steve Super 45:50
Adrienne MacIain 45:50
Absolutely love it. Okay, so I have a magic wand. I have just waved it. And I have made all your desires come true. Everything that you really, really want, you now have.o I want you to look around your life and describe for me what this amazing, perfect ideal existence is like.
Steve Super 46:13
Oh, what a great point. Okay. Well, I can tell you that very quickly, because my wife and I talk about it all the time. So first of all, it's in Maui. Maui is our favorite place, we go there every year, I love it to death. So we are living in Maui in a large house. And the reason that it's large is we're going to be putting on a lot of conferences and support groups for people who are suffering from chronic illnesses, and really look after them and help them. And that's, that really is our ideal life. That's what we're working for, that's what we want, that's what we talk about all the time. So yeah, that basically is our ideal life. But it doesn't have to come with a Ferrari or, you know, a helicopter or anything. The only reason we want a large house was to house people who come and stay. And that's, that's really the game plan.
Adrienne MacIain 46:19
Yeah. So now, looking back from where you are in this beautiful house in Maui, what was the step just before this? What did you need to do to be able to create this existence?
Steve Super 47:29
What do we need to do? Okay.
Adrienne MacIain 47:31
Yeah, so you're in the future, you're in this beautiful house in Maui, right now. Okay. Now, look back in your mind, look back in your memory. What did you need to do to be able to create this?
Steve Super 47:44
Well, the first thing is not really part of a vision, it's more of a timing thing. My wife has, well, we have two kids, I'm a stepdad. So her ex husband lives in LA as well. Which means that we cannot possibly go to Maui just yet, because the kids are not older. One of them in particular is only 14. So it gives us another four or five years to plan this out. And I have a business called the Small Business Profit, and the idea behind that was we do business loans. I think I referred to earlier. And it's doing very, very well. The only issue that I have with it is I can't help as many people as I want to. Because when you're looking at loans, without getting too dry about it, loans have got to be underwritten, and they're either going to be granted or not. Doesn't matter if you're a nice person, if you've got 485 go, I'm sorry, there's not much we can do for you. So my wife and I sat down and thought about another business where we can help those kind of people. And that's when we hit on credit repair, because we know because of what's going on in the economy and everything, having good credit right now is just essential. It's not something that's nice to have, it's just essential, because if you run out of money, and as I said earlier, there's a good chance you will, where're you going to get money from Well, if you have a 700 credit score, guess what, you have access to a lot of funds, if that make sense. So we have embarked on a journey where we've opened a company called, ironically enough, Compassionate Credit Repair, where we are attempting, our mission as a company is to fix America's credit one by one. So approximately 80% of the population at the moment, you probably don't know this, have credit mistakes and errors that have led to them having very low scores which have led them being financially embarrassed, if you like. We want to put that right, person by person. So it is a fee paying service, but we try and subsidize it as much as we can. But as I said, if you're a vet, we'll help you for free. If you are down on your luck, and you really do have a problem and an issue, we're not going to charge you. We don't need to charge it, we'll just look after you. And if you're an abused, I'm not going to say abused woman, because funnily enough, again, without going too deeply, I've been in a relationship where I was abused, but definitely abused people we're going to help. Because, and my wife puts this very, very well, you know, when you're living in a shelter, or whatever, you can't live your life in a woman shelter. And very often these people have no credit or bad credit, and their partner has either used that credit for something or whatever, it's all part of the process. Those are the people we want to help, those are the people that we want to get to. So that's the goal. And we believe that rather than being money-centric, if we are passion-centric, and caring-centric, then everything we want to achieve in life will happen. And listen, you might think I'm full of fairy tales, but that's what we believe, and we believe it with all our hearts.
Adrienne MacIain 51:17
Well, I believe that with all my heart, too, and I will tell you that what I have learned in my life is that when you leap, the universe catches you. But you have to leap first, you have to have that faith.
Steve Super 51:32
I love that. I love that. I really do. Wow, wow. Hey, we could have been neighbors, you know, because when I first came over to America, I was offered two jobs, one in Seattle, and one in New Jersey. And I'd only ever been to America once before then and that was, don't laugh, to go to Disneyland. So I thought, stupid me, that all America was like Disneyland. Turns out that it's not quite like that. So anyway, I had a choice between New Jersey and Seattle. Now, the place in England I came from, and I know you've got family in Newcastle, the place I come from is a place called Manchester.
Adrienne MacIain 52:13
Steve Super 52:14
Manchester, England is famous because it has more rain per year, three times the annual downpour of Seattle. So I remember thinking to myself, if they think I'm going to leave one wet, dreary place to go live in another wet place!. And I ended up in Jersey. And if you're listening and you're from Jersey, I'm sorry to say this, but I made the wrong choice. Sorry, Jersey people. At least you're near Manhattan. That's a good thing.
Adrienne MacIain 52:42
But now you're in LA. So, good choice.
Steve Super 52:45
I went from Jersey to New York to Boston to LA. I've been all the way from the country. It's great. I love it.
Adrienne MacIain 52:53
So we're wrapping up here. Where can the folks at home find you?
Steve Super 52:59
Okay, well, they can find me in my house.
Adrienne MacIain 53:03
Stop by anytime?
Steve Super 53:04
Okay. Yeah, yeah. Okay, so the name of my company is Compassionate Credit Repair, it's pretty easy name to mention. Now, you can go to our website if you want compassionatecreditrepair.com. Or, if you want to go to Facebook, we have a Facebook group with loads of information. We have a LinkedIn page. Or you can call me if you want. If you want to call me, my phone number is 888-702-3426. And you know, if you want to call me and have a chat, I'm not, I don't charge by the hour. If you have a question relating to credit or your finances, or you just want to speak to someone, just pick up the phone. I'm not here to sell you anything, to make you get anything, but it's always nice to know that you have a voice on the other end of the phone you can speak to. One of the things that drives me nuts in this country is, you know, a company gives you a phone number and you dial it and then you've got to transfer to here, to here, to here. And that drives me mad. So one of the things that we do as a company is we only have one number so the phone rings for everybody and when you call it's always picked up by human being, never by, and you don't have to doubt 15 different digits to get to the person you need to get to. But there you go.
Adrienne MacIain 54:20
Steve Super 54:21
Well, you are great. You are really, really good. I really enjoyed this interview.
Adrienne MacIain 54:26
I'm so glad, I'm so glad. So is there anything else you want the audience to know before we wrap up?
Steve Super 54:34
Yeah, yeah, yeah, there is. COVID. I mean, I wanted, I don't want to be a worrywart, I really don't, but I just want to tell as many people as I can. I truly believe we're headed for a second lockdown, and that's regardless of who wins the election. So, I know that Trump is anti-lockdown, Biden wants another lockdown. I get all that. But I think that whoever wins, I don't think we're gonna be left with choices to be quite frank with you. And the one thing that scares me is that if we do have a lockdown, that means businesses are closed and suspended. That means jobs are lost. That means you haven't got money. So the one thing I'm asking you, you don't have to join Compassionate Credit Repair, you don't have to pay us to do this, but I am begging, if you're out there and your credit is less than stellar don't stick your head in the sand, please, even buy a book on how to fix your credit. There's enough videos out there and if you want to do it yourself, you can do. Just do it. Because there's nothing worse than waking up one morning and saying, We've got no money. We haven't got access to money. So again, I don't want to be a worrywart, and I'm not saying that you should all sign up with me, I'm saying please look after your credit. It's the most important thing you have when you go for a job, when you buy a house, get an apartment, get insurance. There's nothing nowadays that doesn't involve credit. And don't think if you've got bad credit you can't get good credit, because you can. And that's the key. Anyway, I guess that's enough about me talking about business, but I really enjoyed the conversation. I hope if anyone's listening, they understand my accent, by the way.
Adrienne MacIain 56:23
Oh, no, you have a very clear accent.
Steve Super 56:24
I did? Okay. Well thank you.
Adrienne MacIain 56:26
Well, thank you so much. You've been great.
Steve Super 56:29
And you're a star. You really are.
Adrienne MacIain 56:30
Oh, thank you.
Steve Super 56:31
All right. Well take care. Unless there's anything else you want to ask me or are we done?
Adrienne MacIain 56:37
I think we're good.
Steve Super 56:39
All right. Well, thank you very, very much. I hope you all enjoy this and give me a call if you want to. Alright guys, take care.
Adrienne MacIain 56:46
Steve Super 56:46