I’ve connected with Josh Steimle this summer after watching one of his presentations on YouTube and followed his blog since then. Josh is teaching executives and entrepreneurs on how to become thought leaders and influencers.
Josh Steimle is a speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. He has written over 200 articles for publications like Forbes, Inc, Mashable, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, and Time, and is the author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work, which includes 29 interviews with CMOs from organizations like GE, the Harvard Business School, Spotify, Target, and PayPal.
Josh is the CEO of MWI, a digital marketing firm he founded in 1999 with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and the U.S. Josh has presented to business groups, industry associations, and at events like TEDx, ClickZ Live, Echelon, Ad:Tech, CommunicAsia, Social Media Week, and the Content Marketing Conference.
What are the most influential habits in your life and why?
There are a lot but let’s just focus on exercise. I’ve found that when I’m operating at 90-100% in one area of my life, I can’t operate at 50% in another area of my life. It produces too much internal conflict in my brain. I can’t be awesome in one area and let another area slide. But it’s hard for me to be awesome in certain areas of my life, so when I have trouble in those areas I don’t focus on them, I focus on exercise.
That’s something that’s easy for me to control, and as long as I stay in control there, it gives me the motivation and willpower to pull up my performance in the other areas.
How do you set goals and manage time?
My favorite “tool” I took from Michael Hyatt, and I think he got it from someone else, and it’s called “the ideal week.”
I use Google Calendar and create one calendar in purple. That is my ideal week. If I had no interruptions and could do everything exactly as I wanted to, this is what my week would be. Then I use another calendar and have it set to blue, and that is the reality of what I have planned. So, for example, I may put “book writing” on my ideal week every day from 9:00-9:30, but on Thursday I end up needing to schedule a meeting and the only time I can put it is during that book writing slot. That’s fine. The point isn’t so much that I stick 100% to my ideal week, it’s that if there is ever a time when I don’t know what to do, I go straight to my idea week and start cranking away on whatever is there.
If I find that I’m never doing certain things on that calendar, then that alerts me that I’m not going to accomplish the goal that task is tied to and that I need to change either my goals or my schedule.
How are you modeling your life?
I like Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice to find role models and reverse engineer them. If I want to reverse engineer someone or some part of someone, I “stalk” them virtually. I read everything I can from them and about them. I listen to them on podcasts, watch their videos, and try to get to the point where I feel like I know them and know what they would tell me in any given situation. If I can get them to mentor me directly in some way that’s great, but usually I get what I need from what’s publicly available. This is all similar to the virtual mastermind concept Napoleon Hill talks about in Think and Grow Rich.
But the biggest thing stems from my religious beliefs, which I feel funny calling “religious” because for me it’s just reality. I’m Mormon and we Mormons believe humans are literal children of God, and that when we “grow up” we become like God and live the life He leads. So God is my ultimate role model. Using others as role models helps me, but if all I’m shooting for is to get rich like Elon Musk or famous like Oprah, then I’m not aiming nearly as high as I could.
Can you describe your work process and thinking behind it?
Speaking generally, I set big goals, sub-goals, and then create more detailed task lists. I have all the big goals in a spreadsheet, a lot of the sub-goals as well, and then the detailed tasks end up in Wunderlist or on my Google Calendar.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Green smoothies, oatmeal, and occasionally pancakes. All made with as many whole foods as possible and accompanied by a lot of fruit, nuts, and berries.
How do you train your body and mind?
For the mind, I do lots of reading. I’d like to meet the person who spends more money on Audible.com than I do. I also listen to a ton of podcasts. I also spend a fair amount of time in prayer/meditation.
For the body, it’s mostly running these days, although I just moved close to a skatepark, so I’m trying to get back into skating. There are a lot of instincts, reflexes, and mental abilities that are awakened by trying to flip a skateboard around in the air and land on it without ending up with your face on the pavement.
How do you meet and connect with people?
I just moved to China and am loving WeChat. It has been so easy to connect with so many people in meaningful ways. I also try to go to as many conferences and network events as I can, but due to a tight schedule I mostly only attend events where I’m presenting or speaking.
What are your sleeping rituals?
If I had my way I’d be asleep every night at 8 pm and up at 4 am. I did that once, for about 8-9 months, and that’s when I felt the best and had the highest performance in my life.
Of course, that was before I started dating, got married, had kids, or started a business. Right now my wife and I try to get to sleep by 9 pm and up at 5 am which isn’t too far off my ideal. But there are plenty of nights where it all gets messed up, and I’m up until 1 am and then wake up again at 5 am.
What are your investing habits?
I have no financial investments other than my own business. I have no retirement plan. I’m not sure I want one. I read too much about politics and economics, and if I had a bunch of money in the stock market, I’d probably go crazy stressing about losing it all. I guess you could say I’m mostly invested in myself.
I’m not worried about surviving or doing well regardless of the economic circumstances unless there’s a zombie apocalypse. I guess I should invest more in shotguns and axes.
What books, people, experiences shaped your thinking?
My father is retired but had some entrepreneurial tendencies, but he also saw work as just a way to provide for the family, and the family was #1. I always felt that growing up, and it’s something I think about a lot as my kids grow up. Am I teaching them that family is more important than business?
I love anything that Clayton Christensen has written or said, and keep trying to learn more about him. Here’s this guy who is a distinguished Harvard professor, the best selling author a few times over, is seen as one of the most influential business thinkers of our time, and yet he’s one of the most humble, nice, gentle people I’ve ever met. He makes me want to be positive about everything rather than dwelling on the negative.
If you enjoyed my interview with Josh Steimle, make sure to read an interview with a world traveler and author Gregory Diehl, nomadic polymath Patricia Parkinson and creative entrepreneur Matas Jakutis.
Originally published at tomaslau.com on December 1, 2016.