Josh Steimle – Founder of 7 Systems

Josh Steimle has turned his belief that entrepreneurs benefit from writing books to into a business to help them do just that!

What’s your story?

In 2013, I began writing for Forbes and the exposure from my articles led to over $10M USD in revenue for my marketing agency, MWI, in addition to a book deal, paid speaking opportunities around the world, and attention in other publications.

After turning management of my agency over to my partners, I began coaching executives and entrepreneurs on their personal branding and thought leadership using a framework I developed called the 7 Systems of Influence. I now use that framework in my Published Author programs to help entrepreneurs publish a book and build a thought leadership system around it.

What excites you most about your industry?

My industry is thought leadership, with a focus on book publishing. What excites me most is how easy it is to get results, and how outsized the results are compared to the cost and effort.

This past week I began talking with an executive at Square who thought she only wanted some PR assistance, but when we talked about writing and publishing a book, and how she could hire a ghostwriter to write it for her, she caught the vision of how it could help her career, how easy it could be, and she got very excited about the possibilities.


What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?

In The Founder’s Dilemmas the author, Noam T. Wasserman, talks about two types of entrepreneur. One is motivated primarily by their dream and control of it, and the other is primarily motivated by money. I’m the dreaming type. My dream is to impact the world in a substantial way, and if I can help hundreds or thousands of entrepreneurs to write books they otherwise wouldn’t have written, maybe that’s a way I can make the impact I’m looking for. That pushes me to focus on helping my clients write great books and get them into the right hands.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

Typing! All thanks to Ms. Nunez, my 9th grade typing teacher, who made me learn on an old-fashioned, manual typewriter.

After typing, perhaps the most useful skill I have learned, and continue to learn, is how to connect with people. Connection, or powerfully connected relationships, is what gives life meaning, and the ability to connect with others quickly in meaningful ways is what has led to any success I’ve experienced. Any failure I’ve experienced I can trace to weak or nonexistent connections with other people.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received recently comes from my friend Ben Hardy in his book Who Not How (co-authored with Dan Sullivan). The basic idea is that when you have a problem, rather than asking “How do I solve this?” ask “Who can solve this for me?”

For example, instead of asking “How do I write my book? I don’t have time!” ask “Who could write this book for me?” You may be able to find a co-author, and you can certainly find a ghostwriter to do it for you, or provide the assistance you need.

Who inspires you?

My parents, my siblings, and everyone—there’s nobody in this world I can’t learn something from. However, one of the people I look up to a lot is the late Clayton Christensen, who wrote The Innovator’s Dilemma. I had the privilege of meeting him a few times, and he was such a humble, kind person, despite being amazingly successful and accomplished. This is someone people like Andy Grove and Jeff Bezos looked up to, but if you met him you felt like he cared more about you than he did about himself and that he would do anything for you.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

I recently went through the Kolbe assessment as part of Strategic Coach, a program I’m in. My Kolbe score showed me where I should focus my time and what I should turn over to other people. In a way, it was disappointing because I wanted to believe I’m great at everything and can do anything. On the other hand, it was liberating because it gave me permission to stop doing things I’m not good at and focus on my unique ability.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

If I could go back to 1999 when I started my marketing agency, with the knowledge I have now…well, I might start an entirely different business! But if I were still inclined to start a marketing agency I would have got it up and running and then found the right partners to take over and run it long-term. I waited 15 years to do that. Better late than never, but I wish I could turn back the clock and do it the right way. Of course, then I wouldn’t have learned all the lessons that make me who I am.

How do you unwind?

Reading books, running, movies, and walks and games with my family. Also skateboarding. I’ll be 46 years old this year, but I can still do a kickflip.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?

In my 7 Systems of Influence, System 6 is “collaboration.” It came from the realization that unlike competitive sports, where it’s a zero-sum game and winner-takes-all, I can thrive better if I see partners where others see competitors.

For example, Scribe Media, run by Tucker Max, is a “competitor” to my Published Author program. But is it, really? Or can I somehow work with Scribe so that we both benefit? (short answer: yes)

Whenever I see a competitor, I now catch myself and ask, “How could we work together and both win?”

Everyone in business should read this book:

The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch, although this is a difficult question for me to answer. Other recent favorites include Atomic Habits by James Clear, Big Potential by Shawn Achor, and Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller.


Shameless plug for your business:

If you’re an entrepreneur or executive and want to write a book to grow your business then come check us out at!

You can also check out the Published Author Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and anywhere else you find podcasts. This is where I interview authors, literary agents, publishers, editor, cover designers, marketers, and everyone else you can learn from to write, publish, and market your book.

How can people connect with you?

Social Media Links?

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