A picture of Lea and Smiling Steve at a public speaking and fundraising event

The Influencer's Influencer

A cropped picture of Smiling Steve™
T he screenshot is of an article about Smiling Steve in April 2001
This picture shows Smiling Steve seated at the head of the table, right after being a guest speaker at a breakfast club for entrepreneurs
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About Smiling Steve™

To begin my story or the About Smiling Steve section of this website, I must tell you my name, Steven Peter Burke.

I ended up with the Smiling Steve nickname the honest way, which means I was often grinning in photos, especially at parties.

Professionally, I have been coaching entrepreneurs for 26 years, and before that, I was always selling a service to entrepreneurs, which often meant advising them.

In addition, I have been an entrepreneur for most of my life, starting my first real business 41 years ago in 1982. Clearly, I am experienced.

My specialty is helping entrepreneurs realize that how they make big money differs from how they think.

If you had shadowed me for the last 25 years, you would have often heard me telling several stories, including the one about Ray Kroc, the man generally referred to as the founder of McDonald’s (even though it was the McDonalds brothers).

After a talk to the college students at a business school, Ray agreed to go to a bar with the young men, where he had a drink and talked with them. Suddenly, he asked, “What business am I in?”

The answer seemed evident, so they laughed. Then Ray said, “No, really, what business am I in?”

Finally, one of the young men said, “Why, you’re in the hamburger business, Ray.”

He nodded to indicate this was incorrect and said, “I am in the real estate business!”

Of course, the movie about Ray Kroc is out, though the talk at the business school did not make it into the film. However, the masses did learn that Ray, played by Michael Keaton, controlled the real estate of the McDonald’s franchises he sold, eventually putting the McDonald’s brothers in a position of needing to sell to Ray.

The point? Ray made his first fortune in real estate. Eventually, he would have made another fortune on McDonald’s stock, but by then, he was already very wealthy.

There is a lesson in this for influencers, mattress and bed outlets, dentists, local veggie farmers who sell directly to the public, and anyone who deals directly with the public in the B2C (business to consumer) sector.

The trick is in knowing what the angle is!

Speaking of business schools, none of the professors are like Ray Kroc, and if they were, they wouldn’t teach because there isn’t enough money in it.

In other words, you can only learn this stuff outside of business schools, and most entrepreneurs need as much clueing in as you do, partly due to receiving a similar education to the one you did.

Here is the truth: Your income potential is far greater than a teacher’s!

It also means you have to figure out an angle either by trial and error, which might take a decade, or by learning it from someone like me.

It has been almost three decades since I learned this little-known fact, and I don’t have to charge you for sharing it, which is the best part.

I can make money while increasing your profit.

Interested? You should be.