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A Candle and a Fish: The Motivational Meaning Behind Josh Steinberger's Tattoos

What to do when life makes you want to throw in the towel.
A Candle and a Fish: The Motivational Meaning Behind Josh Steinberger's Tattoos
Image credit: Josh Steinberger
A mastermind group for top entrepreneurs
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Josh Steinberger, founder and CEO of Driven Acquisitions real estate and NextGen Restoration roofing and restoration company. It was condensed by The Oracles.

Who was your biggest influence growing up?
Josh Steinberger: My dad was my biggest influence when I was a child. He worked a lot and was gone most of the time. He taught me the invaluable importance of work ethic. Sitting around and watching TV has never been normal to me. Everyone who knew him professionally used to refer to him as “the man.” He died right after I graduated high school. People at his funeral told stories of crazy things he would do while grinding out at work.

The second influence would be Grant Cardone. I saw Grant at a roofing seminar and talking to him drastically changed my life's trajectory. He told me to find a mentor and train daily toward my goals. He explained to me that a mentor doesn’t have to be in person — it could be books or online videos. People put out tons of free content.

What are you more skilled at than most people in the world? 
Josh Steinberger: One of my “top secret” skills is my intuition, my gut instincts. I have a keen ability to predict things in business that haven't happened yet. Before we ever sail into a storm, we’re sailing around it because I’ve already corrected our direction. We always manage to stay a step ahead by being proactive.

What excites you the most about your business right now?
Josh Steinberger: Our growth excites me most. We recently added another business stream with insane opportunities. We will always stay strong on our “superpower,” but buying seven- and eight-figure properties is exciting.

What’s your favorite quote? 
Josh Steinberger: I live by two quotes with parallel meanings. The wise Dory from “Finding Nemo” said it best: “Just keep swimming.” When life makes you want to give up and throw in the towel, that’s what you’ve gotta do.

My other favorite quote is from Grant Cardone. “You are not a candle, so you can’t burn out.” People often refer to burnout because life can get overwhelming. This quote reminds me that I’m doing things with a purpose, not just sitting on a table burning like a candle. I actually have tattoos of Dory and a candle on my arm.

What was your biggest, most painful failure? 
Josh Steinberger: My most painful failure would have to be moving on from a business partner because I couldn’t make it work. We ultimately had to split a company and I opened a new one in a competing market. When entering into a business relationship, define your roles and exit strategy together early on.

What’s the biggest common leadership mistake?
Josh Steinberger: The biggest thing people miss — including myself — is letting your team fail. When a problem arises, which it inevitably will, it’s easier and faster to quickly handle it ourselves. The problem is that this approach isn’t scalable. We need to permit controlled chaos from time to time. That’s when the most learning happens. 

How do you hire top talent?
Josh Steinberger: Like attracts like. The real art in hiring top talent is finding people with different strengths than yours. We accomplish this using social platforms.

People can’t follow you if they don't know you. Being well-known is one of the biggest influences on whether people will choose to work with you. If they feel like you’re well-known and the expert in your space, they will be more attracted to you and want to help you fulfill your mission.

How do you prevent burnout?
Josh Steinberger: When we feel like we’re burnt out, it’s simply because we have lost sight of why we're doing what we're doing. If we never reset the target we’re moving toward, we get lost.

It’s frustrating when you’re lost driving in circles. Picture a car that has to travel one mile. It has no map, so it takes 10 hours to get there (even though the driver knows it’s only a mile away). Now picture a car going 700 miles. It takes the same 10 hours to reach the destination, but the driver isn’t nearly as frustrated afterward. That’s because they were focused on the end target and could count down until they arrived.

What are three things you would like to be doing in three years?
Josh Steinberger: I would love to be more involved with some of the charities we work with. We regularly give back and contribute the time that we can, but I’d like to have more time to get involved in deeper things.

I’d also love to spend a month bouncing from place to place in Europe — without any hiccups in my businesses while I’m away. Finally, I’d like to get my mentees to crush their goals. I'm a firm believer that it's impossible to attain everything in life without helping others attain their dreams and goals too.

What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Josh Steinberger: I'd love to be known for being “the man,” defined as my true best self. Ed Mylett talks about when he dies and is standing at the “pearly gates,” the best version of himself will be revealed. When that time comes, I don’t want to be a stranger to that person.

Day in and day out, my goal is to be the best version of myself I can be. I hope at my funeral people will tell stories to my kids about how I was “the man” and they loved working with me and being around my energy.

Connect with Josh on Facebook.

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