My new YouTube channel “Human Contact with Derek Stern” was developed as a way for those to connect to others. I have seen many become a bit reclusive after the initial quarantining from when COVID-19 reared its ugly head, and most are desperate for a distraction from the poisonous levels of our politics. Lots who I speak with claim they have been more accustomed to just staying home and seeing what is on Netflix more than ever, even after being vaccinated. I aimed to bring a channel to the masses to re-introduce everyone, and I am constantly looking for different characters, different walks of life, different occupations, different hobbies and interests.
I was introduced to Steve Garfield through a mutual online connection when Steve and I were listed in a group to help attempt to locate a missing little girl (she was later found deceased and her step-father was indicted). Steve is a presence with larger-than-life goals and aspirations.
My first impression was as how I have been conditioned to feel—Steve has incredible wealth so he is unapproachable. This was the farthest from the truth! When I originally reached out to Steve, it was to pitch an app I have been dying to develop (I still have to contact him further regarding this), but we hit it off immediately. We spoke off camera and off the record, which those conversations will always be protected.
One thing I can assure you of is, when Steve is on camera, what you see is what you get! He is rugged looking, well built, bright eyed, interested in the small details of what is happening around him (he even noticed we both have identical reading glasses), sporty, quick witted, and has an ounce of sarcasm mixed with just the right amount of self-depreciating humor. Steve has major celebrity neighbors (his next door neighbor is an A-List rock star), but is completely warm and approachable. He wanted me to understand that this interview is rare; he simply does not do personal interviews. I am beyond flattered that he allowed me into his life for a moment.
Once the interview starts, I can always feel early on how the interview may unfold. I knew Steve was guarded, but willing to talk. My questions centered around what everyone would like to know about multi-millionaires; what does it feel like to them, what changes in someone’s life when they have an abundance, and what ends up being important to them. We also touched on some current issues and business models. Steve made it very clear that he goes by what I (tongue in cheek) call the “three F’s”: Family, Fitness, and Philanthropy.
Steve is very generous. He has given away tens of thousands of dollars in cash, purchased wheelchairs, computers, Peloton bikes, etc. for so many. Most of those purchases were made for those in need, and he has donated his time to Special Olympics tryout athlete @TankSchottle, even flying out to help him train.
Some see Steve’s online presence as showboating, as his fleet of supercars seem to goad haters into his timeline, but Steve made it very clear that super cars are his hobby, his passion. His latest purchase was Kobe Bryant’s Lamborghini that he ordered before his death, including yellow interior leather and purple paint (Lakers colors)! We all flaunt our passions online, we all share our hobbies. His salary is exponentially larger than most, so why not show his hobby?
We spoke of having great wealth and how the public perceives this. He wanted to make it clear that he has worked very hard from humble beginnings to get where he is at, and has no problem that he pays over 40% taxes on what he earns. He is self-made and pays what those may consider his “fair share” of taxes. He said the real issue is pursuing billionaire status, whereas those like Jeff Bezos pays no tax whatsoever.
I had truly a great time with Steve. We spoke and laughed for quite a while before and after the recording of the interview.
I am glad to have met him and thrilled to have him as a connection. Watch the entire show HERE.
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