In Trust podcast EP 16: Interview with Brian DeSimone on Putting People and Relationships First

How do you build trust with someone within the first few minutes of meeting them? What does working as a photographer, a bartender, and an entrepreneur have in common?

We get the answers to these questions and many more in this deeply personal conversation with Oakland, California-based, award-winning photographer and brand designer Brian DeSimone. Brian is deeply committed to community building, design, and giving back to his community, and doesn’t hold anything back in our interview.

We’re happy to bring you this deep conversation that is a masterclass in building relationships. You don’t want to miss out on this one whether you work on the front lines or in the C-suite. 

Listen and enjoy this powerful, inspiring conversation with Brian.

Overview of Episode 16: Putting People and Relationships First with Brian DeSimone

Talking Points

  • Brian’s evolution and pivot from people photographer to brand identity designer over the course of the pandemic
  • How trust plays a crucial role in Brian’s photography
  • Brian’s love of the hospitality industry and how to meet customers where they’re at
  • How to create “regulars” for your business
  • Brian gives a masterclass on how to get better at knowing what people want so you can meet them where they are
  • Brian gets super real and shares where his generosity and want to create belonging for others comes from
  • Why relationships are so crucial to business
  • Brian’s struggle with trusting in himself
  • How near-death experiences can change your perspective and Brian’s dedication to helping others
  • Brian’s advice to anyone starting a new business or learning a new skill


“There’s only one way to get better at something, and that’s the grind.” – Brian DeSimone

“Every single person who comes through the door is an opportunity to make them feel really welcomed, feel really warm, and taken care of. And where that feeling comes from is a feeling of trust.” – Brian DeSimone

“My job is literally to take people who come, meet them where they’re at, and find a way to make them feel taken care of.” – Brian DeSimone

 “They become a regular because they went to a place, they had a specific experience, and they want to go and have that experience again.” – Brian DeSimone

 “A lot of communication is not done with our mouth. A lot of communication is done with… microexpressions, energy, body language.” – Brian DeSimone

“Word of mouth is the best way to grow a business. It’s probably the best way to grow a lot of things.” – Brian DeSimone

“There’s a lot of people in a lot worse situations than you, and if all you’re focused on is you and your survival – if you’re not in a life or death situation in that moment – you need to be at least thinking about, or at least putting some work into helping other people.” – Brian DeSimone

“We’re not all put on this earth just to fend for ourselves. Or at least this would be a very sad place if that were true.” – Brian DeSimone

“People and your relationships with people, in most cases, are going to drive a lot of your success.” – Brian DeSimone

“You could become the best at whatever it is that you’re doing but once you get there, if you haven’t made any relationships, where are you going to start?” – Brian DeSimone

“I don’t like to say “Fake it ‘til you make it,” but I think learning as you go is okay.” – Brian DeSimone

Show Notes:

This episode sponsored by:

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