Never Underestimate The Power of a Great Mastermind! with Aaron Walker
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
“Small minds talk about other people; great minds talk about ideas. If you surround yourself with trusted advisors that will give you candid feedback, … you can live a life that’s amazing.” -Aaron Walker
What are you doing to live proactively? In this episode, Shirley sits with Big A, Aaron Walker, author of View from the Top. They dive deep into what truly makes life amazing and meaningful. Life is about forming satisfying and beneficial relationships. Aaron speaks from experience how surrounding yourself with great minds can significantly change your life. He also speaks about the importance of being transparent in relationships as early as possible, putting money in its right perspective, and accepting feedback constructively. Books can make us knowledgeable, but experience can make us wise. The best thing about it is, it doesn’t have to be first hand. Tune in for more golden nuggets to help you be wiser in your business and in life!
03:02 From Broker To Convict To Coaching
07:58 Experience Is The Best Teacher
14:43 Principles And Boundaries In A Relationship
20:49 Balance View Of Money
27:29 Come As You Will Be In 2023
34:39 What Do I Want?
03:16 “Relationships matter most.” - Aaron Walker
08:20 “I don't know of a teacher that's better than experience… We want to be able to encourage and help other people with the experiences that life has dealt us along the way.” - Aaron Walker
15:04 “Isolation is the enemy to excellence. If we want to go to the next level, we have to be in the community.” - Aaron Walker
17:09 “When we offer ourselves to the highest level of the other person, we're going to receive the purpose and the meaning in our lives.” - Aaron Walker
18:39 “Money is a tool- It's a tool that we use to live our lives.” - Aaron Walker
28:25 “Prioritize your priorities first. Keep your head down and focused, so that you can accomplish the things that really matter in your life.” - Aaron Walker
32:15 “Procrastination is our biggest enemy… To be successful, we need to have consistency each and every day.” - Aaron Walker
36:29 “Small minds talk about other people; great minds talk about ideas. If you surround yourself with trusted advisors that will give you candid feedback, … you can live a life that’s amazing.” -Aaron Walker
Connect With Aaron:
Aaron Walker has founded more than a dozen companies over the past 41 years. He attributes much of his success to having surrounded himself with mastermind counterparts. Aaron spent a decade meeting weekly with Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, Ken Abraham, and five other amazing entrepreneurs.He is the founder of Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind that now hosts 15 groups with national and international members. He's the author of View from the Top, a must-read to fully understand how to live a successful and significant life. He is also the founder of the Mastermind Playbook, an incredible resource for starting running and scaling masterminds. Aaron lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Robin of 40 years, and he has two incredible daughters and five beautiful grandchildren. Aaron incorporates education and learning opportunities into his daily routine, remaining informed of the latest tools and trends available, which he shares with the men on ISI Mastermind Group.
Watch it Live!
Shirley Owens: My guest today is Aaron Walker, “Big A” as he's called. Aaron has founded more than a dozen companies over the past 41 years. He attributes much of the success to having surrounded himself with mastermind counterparts. Big A spent a decade meeting weekly with Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, Kim Abraham and five other amazing entrepreneurs. Big A is the founder of Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind, which now hosts 15 groups with national and international members. He's the author of View from the Top, a must read to fully understand how to live a successful and significant life. Also the founder of the Mastermind Playbook, an incredible resource for starting running and scaling masterminds. Aaron lives in Nashville, Tennessee, one of my favorite places, with his wife, Robin of 40 years, and he has two incredible daughters and five beautiful grandchildren. Welcome Aaron.
Aaron Walker: Hey, Shirley. Thanks, man. I really appreciate it. Don't worry about my name, everybody butchers it so it doesn't matter. That's okay, that's okay. I do that when I'm interviewing people too and finally I just learned, Hey, we're all different. We've got different pronunciations and we're going to roll with whatever you say. So it's all good.
Shirley Owens: I'll just call you Big A.
Aaron Walker: There you go. Alright, Big A. Big A here to serve you. Okay.
Shirley Owens: So I am super excited to have you. I don't think that I've done a show on masterminds at all yet, and it's definitely something that I'm looking forward to. I'm wanting to create one myself so this is kind of like you coaching me today so I'm excited about it. And I just found out that we have the same book publisher, Dave Hancock, who I love. And apparently, you love it so great so we just made a connection right away.
Aaron Walker: Shout out to Morgan James right out of the gate. So yeah, we love David Hancock.
Shirley Owens: Amazing people. My whole business is relationships. So this podcast is called, Get What You Want. To get what we want, really all boils down to who we're being in our relationships.
Aaron Walker: 100%.
Shirley Owens: I wanted to talk to you about, tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you end up to be who you are today? Kind of like a text version or you can give me the whole hour, I don't care. I'm loving your accent.
Aaron Walker: We'll make it brief because it's not about me, it's about your listeners. I'll give you a little background for context. First of all, when you said it's about relationships, you really resonated with me because we have five core values. Our first core value is relationships matter most. So a hundred percent, we've built 14 businesses over the past 42 years on the backs of relationships. It is absolutely the thing that's most important to me. I grew up, Shirley, as a very poor kid in Nashville, Tennessee. I've got great, amazing parents, it's just that my dad wasn't a good businessman. I wanted better for myself so I went out when I was 18 years old, started my first business. I enlisted two partners to start this, and I was able to sell out to a fortune 500 when I was 27. So nine years I went from broker and a convict to being able to retire, and it was just an amazing adventure. I thought, this is the American dream. And it was for about 18 months, and then I realized that I was very depressed. I was bored. I didn't have anything to do. I had gained 50 pounds in 18 months. My wife woke me up from a nap one day, and we got married two weeks out of high school. She walked me up nine years later and she said, this is not what I signed up for. You need to go get a job. You need to buy another company. I don't care what you do, but laying around all day is not going to cut it. Because you can only play golf and fish so much.
So I went back and bought the company I started with when I was 13 years old. We grew that company four times the size it was over the next 10 years and absolutely had a blast. And I had the dream job. I mean, I was working three days a week. My partner was working the other three days. I had all the tangible things that I thought were going to make me happy. Until August 1st, 2001, I was headed to the office. It was a Wednesday morning, and it was hot here in Nashville in August. I was tooling along on my way to the office, and I ran over and killed a pedestrian that was crossing the street. My life literally came to a screeching halt. And I won't take you through that entire exercise, but it was devastating on me. Matter of fact, it was so devastating that I couldn't handle the pressure. I sold my business and I took the next five years off. I didn't do anything for five years. We built a new home. We kind of traveled the world. I was grateful that I had the resources to kind of work through that. I gained 50 pounds again, Robin woke me up from another nap and she said: "Hey, here we go again." And I said: "I know." She said: "You've got to do something." So I did the company that built the house for me while I was taking this sabbatical off, so I fell in love with their process. I bought half the company, and we grew it and became Nashville's #1 general contractor, three consecutive in Nashville. So after a short stand of about five or six years in that, I retired, and that was 10 years ago. In my mastermind group, Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller, suggested that I coach. And I didn't want any part of it, but I agreed to do it. So I started coaching and Shirley, I absolutely fell in love with coaching. Started doing podcast interviews and our business just exploded. I was coaching people all over the world, teaching them how to grow their business, how to live a life of success and significance, continue to do interviews and God just kept sending amazing people to us. So today, we're here, we're about to launch our 21st mastermind group.
Shirley Owens: Wow.
Aaron Walker: We have members from about nine different countries now. I'm probably having more fun today helping people live an extraordinary life, personally, professionally and spiritually. And it's the reason I get up each day to do that over and over.
Shirley Owens: I love that story. I love it. I know that I too grew up very poor. I think that there's some kind of wisdom that comes with that, like surviving and doing what we have to do to navigate the world at a different pace than other people do. And tragedy, when tragedy happens, it's another thing that wakes us up. Something that I realized a long time ago is that we don't grow from comfortable places. We don't grow from gaining 50 pounds laying in our bed.
Aaron Walker: Right.
“Relationships matter most.” - Aaron Walker
Shirley Owens: I feel like, but those downs are like the beginning of, they teach us something. There's something that we learned from uncomfortable situations. I think that I love coaching so much because of that too. It's kind of like everyone that comes to, you can say I've been there. Oh, I get that. I understand that. Let me tell you how to get through it. I think that's been such a joy for me too so I totally connect with you on that.
Aaron Walker: The reason, Shirley, is because people read things in books, but when you've experienced it firsthand, people want to know what you've got to say. Robin and I helped many people work through challenges that we've experienced in our marriage over the years. Or people have been in automobile accidents and they find out that me being a thought leader, will contact me and they'll say, Hey, how did you deal with that? And I've been able to walk them through that process. I don't know of a teacher that's better than experience. And so we want to be able to encourage and help other people with the experiences that life has dealt us along the way.
“I don't know of a teacher that's better than experience… We want to be able to encourage and help other people with the experiences that life has dealt us along the way.” - Aaron Walker
Shirley Owens: That is so true. I know I've coached over 400 people. And I remember when I was working in the MLB coaching players, and GMS, and their families, and I remember people saying, so what is your degree? What did you do? What is your degree? And I always say, life. My degree is in life. I've done a lot of stuff, and I've had a lot of failures, a lot of experience, and I do think that that is the very best. I always kind of equate it with, I have a daughter who I can say was now, she just graduated from ASU. She was a scholarship athlete gymnast. I always ask people like, who would you want to learn from? How to do it to [inaudible], something that could break your neck if you do it wrong. Would you want to learn from somebody who's just read a bunch of books and thinks they know what they're doing? Or would you want to learn from someone who's actually fallen a hundred times and figured out how to not fall again? Because once that pit of foam is gone, you can't fall. And I think that it's important to learn from experience so I'm grateful for your experience, and I'm sure that all of your clients in Mastermind Groups are great, that you bring that to the table.
Aaron Walker: I'll tell you a funny story and I equate this to this, and I got in trouble over it quite honestly, I graduated from high school two years early. I didn't have to go my junior and senior year because I'd gone to night school and summer school. That's that grit determination and perseverance. I knew what I wanted to do, so I didn't go to college. And so later years, I was in my 40's, probably I wanted to go back to college and get a couple of classes behind me. So I was taking an economics class and the professor was up there, and I'm 40 something years old. You know, those young people are 19, 20, 21, 22 years old in class. I felt like their father or their grandfather and not their peers. But the economics teacher was up there teaching one day and she was teaching about property acquisition. I've earned 50% of my income dealing with real estate over the course of my career. She was teaching and I raised my hand and I said: "What you're saying is inaccurate." She said: "Well, Mr. Walker, would you like to explain to the class?" I said: "I'll be happy to. I may do it from here, or I may come up there." She said: "No, from your sit will be fine." And so I said: "Well, you don't even mention recovering depreciation. And it's a big part of the real estate acquisition." She said: "Well, theoretically, you're right." And I said: "No, practically, I'm right. I do this everyday." And she paused and the kids started laughing like, you just did. And I said: "No, no, I'm not trying to embarrass her." She said: "Well, Mr. Walker, to be honest with you, you're right." And I said: "Well, why don't you teach these kids how to really do it?" She said: "Because it's not in the textbook." And I said: "Do you realize how much money that's going to cost them to learn that?" And she said: "No, you're exactly right." And I wasn't trying to be arrogant or condescending in the class, it's just that the experience had done this countless times. And that's what we're talking about in coaching. People go out there to coach and they want to do this and that. And they just don't have any boots on the ground. They don't have any experience. So always look for mentors, coaches and people, like your daughter had a coach that had done this 10,000 times, right? So we just need to be very careful at the advice that we get to be sure it didn't come just straight out of the textbook.
Shirley Owens: That's so true. So I'm married to a doctor, anesthesiologist, and he is very, I mean, all of his 14 years of schooling was textbook. He has a few things that he remembered along the way that someone, a professor would say, or someone who gave a speech and say, and it's been really interesting because over the past five years, he's really gotten into coaching, he had private coaches.
Aaron Walker: He's the most important person in the room. If he doesn't bring you back, it doesn't matter what the doctor did.
Shirley Owens: Exactly. And he felt like he was just solid. He loved his job. It's very good money. It's a very prestigious position. But he just kept telling there was something more, something more, something more. He's allowed me to coach him a lot, which I'm so grateful for. And now he coaches me back the same stuff. But what he's realized is that, not only can he just go in and do what he does, and he's one of the best at it. He can also change people's lives while he's in there, even for five minutes. He's constantly coming home with stories now of how he's created a relationship with those people, with his patients. And we get cards, and plants, and all kinds of things because people appreciate just that special touch. And I think that--
Aaron Walker: Relationships, we were right back to relationships.
Shirley Owens: Yeah. And it's beyond books, it's beyond, yeah. There's a lot of really good stuff that you can learn in books. But beyond that, being able to make physical, emotional, spiritual connections with people is so important. I always say that it's in every single thing that we do, right? Everything, like our relationship with our car, you have grandbabies. My relationship with my grandbabies, they trump everything.
Aaron Walker: Hundred percent, they do Trump everything.
Shirley Owens: My daughter recently had a baby at 30 weeks, a few weeks ago and it was a huge traumatic experience for our family. Every time she calls me, because she has to go everyday to be with her baby, and I get to have the other two at my house and I'm like, Oh, I'm canceling my interviews. They trump, everything, like relationships are everything. And because I have a relationship with my guests, we also understand that certain relationships trump others. I think that I kind of want to circle that back around to creating a mastermind group. Talk to me about the relationship that you create with your group, you have 21 now, right? So how do you continue to keep the relationship with these people? it just man-- Yeah, that's a great question. No, we have women as well. We have women as well. We have 15 groups with all men and then we have four groups with women. We have one emerging man, 20 to 25 year old, and we're about to launch another women's group. And we've got two man's groups planned on the heels of this so we're just constantly growing because there's so many people reaching out. Because isolation is the enemy to excellence. And if we want to really go to the next level, we gotta be in community. And during this COVID situation, this pandemic that we're in, it's really heightening people's awareness of why they need to be in groups. I can't even imagine going through life and business today, trying to make decisions without a group of peers around me to help me.
“Isolation is the enemy to excellence. If we want to go to the next level, we have to be in the community.” - Aaron Walker
Aaron Walker: But what really changed it for me, Shirley was, when Dave Ramsey invited me to be in his group, I'd never even heard of a mastermind, this was decades ago. And when he invited me, it scared me at first. It's like, I don't want to go in there. Dave's all up in your face and he's in your business, he's rough. I'm like, I don't want to go in there and be vulnerable, and transparent, and authentic in a group. I don't want them to know that Robin and I actually fight. And my teenagers are not always perfect. And my cash flow is not always right, I don't want to get in there and talk about my finances and expose myself because I want them to think I've got it all together. Well, the truth is, Shirley, you're just like me. You and your husband have disagreements. Your kids don't always behave. You've got cash flow issues at times with your business. We all have those things that we go through. And the faster that we're transparent with a small group of people that are unbiased, trusted advisors, the faster we can work our way out of it. There's always somebody ahead of us, right? And doesn't matter, Robin and I just celebrated 40 years. And I suspect you and your husband is not been married that long and you've got some things you could teach us, but we've got some things in later life, with grandchildren and older adult children that we could help you with. Same way in business, you've got a successful business, but we've had a number of successful businesses. There's a few tidbits of information that I could pass along that would help you. So you got to bring an attitude of being a giver not a taker. And you can't hold your cards next to your vest, you gotta be willing to land down and let everybody see, you got to share the secret sauce. And the more that we do that, the more successful that we've become.
And really, our own purpose in life may be obscure. But when we really offer ourselves to the highest level of the other person, that's when we're going to receive the purpose and the meaning in our lives. And that's just what we need to do. And so I've just discovered that the more I surround myself with these trusted advisors that I can be totally honest with, it just helps me bypass all the landmines that are out there in front of us today that we're having to deal with. I can't imagine making these decisions alone. Because who knows, this pandemic, and what we're confronted with, and the financial crisis, and all the social distancing that we're having, it's taking a huge impact on our world right now and we've got to learn to navigate that. So we really get in people's personal life, it's not just their business life because people call me all the time, want me to coach them how to make money. And I'll say, well, that's a portion of it. If I can't coach you in every dynamic of your life, I'm not interested. Because I came home decades ago with a pocket full of money to a house full of strangers. You see, I don't want to do that. And I want to coach other people to know that you've got to establish boundaries, because the relationship does matter the most. And you only get one go through with those kids, you don't get a do over. It's like, Hey, the office will forget.,I can make more money, I can start more companies, but God's given me these girls and I've got to make the best of it because I don't get another chance. And so I just don't want to have the regret someday of laying there going, I wished I had spent more time with my girls, with my grandkids. Money is a tool. We don't need to worship it. We don't need to make it our God. It's a tool that we use to live our lives. And these are the boundaries and the principles by which we teach our mastermind members. It's like, wake up and pay attention.
“When we offer ourselves to the highest level of the other person, we're going to receive the purpose and the meaning in our lives.” - Aaron Walker
I had a guy call me recently from New Jersey. He heard me on a podcast interview. I was talking about similar situations as we're discussing today and he said, he reached out to me through email and he said, Hey, I'd like to talk with you. I called him up, and he's a very successful Attorney in New Jersey. He said, I've won every accolade that there is to win. I've won every thing that you can possibly win, I've won it. He said, I've got more money than my kids' kids will ever spend. And he said, I feel very hollow. He said, I feel very empty. Because he had tied his identity up into the wrong thing. He had placed his values on possessions and titles. Things that melt, get destroyed, decay and go away. And when we do lose our job, or when we do lose our money, then our identity is erased. And it's just the wrong way to live our lives. So we just encourage people to really focus on, you're enough as an individual, you don't have to prove yourself, you don't have to earn the respect of other people as far as financial possessions and accolades are concerned, we don't have to do that. It allows us to rest and live our lives and put money in the correct perspective. And that is using it as a tool that we can effectively live our lives.
“Money is a tool- It's a tool that we use to live our lives.” - Aaron Walker
Shirley Owens: Okay, I feel like you're just speaking my language, like you're inside my head and I have never met you in person. I didn't know the relationship matters, and I was preparing for this interview and I thought like, it's going to be really fun to teach about masterminds. Is that something I'm getting ready to embark on, right? But everything that you're saying right now is so much more important than just creating a mastermind, or just creating a business, just creating money. It's like, I speak this everyday, I live the way that you're talking right now. And I think some of it comes from, when you grow up, it's kind of like us and them. Us for people and those people that have money. And although we want to have that, you also might kind of have a bad relationship with it. I had a bad relationship with it. I kept thinking like, I don't want to be like them, I want to be me, but I want to have money.
Aaron Walker: You can do that.
Shirley Owens: And so a few years that I've actually realized what you say and that is, money buys freedom, money helps me help others, money lets me travel and have more experiences to teach from. It helps me to have more time with my family, more time with my friends, more time with my grandbabies, all of those things. So I love that. That's part of what you teach, because it's really like this whole pie, and money is just a piece of that. I think that our society puts money so high on a pedestal that they don't realize that right next to that are five other pedestals.
Aaron Walker: I always tell people too, and I hate it when people with money go, money's not important. I want to go, you're a liar, it's really important. Let's take it away from you and see how important it is. And Rabbi Daniel Lapin is a friend of mine, he wrote a book called Thou Shall Prosper. And this is a must read, I recommend it all the time. It's an amazing book, and it helps you get a different perspective. He's a rabbi, a Jewish rabbi. He helps you get a new perspective on what money really is. And money is the tool that we assign a certain value to. And you've gotta be careful of the value that you assign to it. Now don't get me wrong, I love to make money. I want to make more money. Money can do incredible things for you. It provides me a good living. I can take trips with Robin. We can buy new cars, I love that. I'm not saying at all, I'm not saying it's not important at all. It's just not God in my life. It's not the first in my life. What's first in my life, first of all, I'm a Christian by faith, so my faith is first in my life. Second of all, it's the relationship with my wife, and then my kids, and then my grandkids, and then business. And I want to keep it in the right perspective because those relationships matter most. And when we keep it in the right perspective, it's amazing how, when you have a servant's mentality, and you're a giver and not a taker, how the natural reciprocity other people want to serve you. They want to give back to you. They want to share with you.
We introduced so many people because I'm a huge connector. I can't even meet all the people that other people introduced me to. It's just the way it's supposed to be. We've got to have an outward focus. And when I was a young guy, I was pretty cocky and arrogant. And you wouldn't have had me on your show for a minute because I was starting to believe my own press clippings. And when you start doing that, you're in trouble. A lot of life happenings humble me. And when I almost lost my family, because I wasn't paying attention to these things, it really woke me up. And then when I had the automobile accident, that really woke me up because what I'd realized, Shirley, that one day, that could have been me crossing the street and how life can blindside us, how life can change in the moment, how one phone call can change our whole life, how one experience can change our entire life and that I thought, what would my legacy have been had? Has that been me to kill that day? My legacy would have been a poor kid from Nashville, Tennessee, makes enough money to retire at age 27 and nobody cares. And I said, no, that's not what I want my legacy to be. I want Shirley's life to be better as a result of having known me. I want to be remembered by the guy that brought the light to the room, the connector, the person that helped me, that edified me, that encouraged me, and as a result of that, we do more business and we get these certificates of appreciation called money, that people will say great job. And it's a lot more enjoyable to do business that way rather than trying to make the sale. If you'll try to add value, the sale will make itself. And so we just need to get in the right mindset in order to do life and business the way we were designed to.
Shirley Owens: I try everyday to live my life as if it's my last. I really think about that almost everyday, which people think that I'm morbid about that, but it's like, does everyone that I love know that I love them? Did I treat everybody kindly today? Does my husband feel fulfilled? Do my kids feel loved? Do the people around me, do the people that I'm coaching, I literally think about that every single day. I know that if something happened to me today, I feel at least, and I try to ask the other people, what would my legend be to you? Who would I be in your eyes? So I do try to, and that's what my book's about, it's what I teach. It's like, who am I being in the world that would have anyone see me as anything else, but kind giving, loving, a servant. So I do see that, and feel that, and believe that with all my heart. The other thing is, when I coach people, always a hundred percent of the time. If their business is failing, if they're not making enough money, if something is not right in their life, it's because they're not right with themselves, or they're not prioritizing home. When I was working with major league baseball players, like on-field performance always had to do with off field. When you are doing what's right, when you're being--
Aaron Walker: In your zone.
Shirley Owens: Yeah. When you are being loved, kindness and servant, the outside world is beautiful. And if it's not, it's okay because you know that you're doing your part. You don't get to choose on, you can only choose how you are. So thank you for sharing that, that is so important.
Aaron Walker: Shirley, if you take everything that you just summarized, it would be an amazing mastermind group. We talked about forming a mastermind group, everything that you just described is exactly what we do on a weekly basis. We have a video conference where 10 people come together and we talk about the things that really matter. We're doing an exercise right now called, Come As You Will Be in 2023. And you have to stand up before your group, and you have to talk about the major areas that are the most important. And we dictate those out by personal, spiritual, relational, financial, areas of your life that you want to excel in. And what we do is we build a framework by which we do Brian Moran's 12 Week Year, where we overlay that on your goals. And we work on the task every single week until you reach 2023, and then you will have accomplished your goals. It really gets you focused on the things that are important. You prioritize your priorities first, and then you really discover your core values. We create a mission statement, you work through that. And then you say, Hey, this is what I'm going to do. And we allow you to not have the shiny object syndrome, but we keep your head down and focused so that you can accomplish the things that really matter in your life. Because at the end of the day, most people don't know what they want. We help you understand. We help you get clarity on what's really important. I use the analogy of a drill. Nobody wants a drill, everybody wants a hole. And you really don't want to hole, you really want to shelf, that the hole provides an anchor for you to set your trophy. So what we really want is a place to set our trophy, we really don't want to drill. But most people think they want money. But really, there's something deeper than that, and we help you discover what that is.
“Prioritize your priorities first. Keep your head down and focused, so that you can accomplish the things that really matter in your life.” - Aaron Walker
Shirley Owens: Wow. Everybody should do this mastermind thing. I love it. I love everything that you're saying. I feel like everything that's kind of behind what you want, that's my podcast so that's what it's about. What you want isn't always what you think you want, and I love that. It takes a bunch of baby steps sometimes for people to, it's really easy for us to say, Oh, in 2023, I'm going to be this, this and this, right? And then the sun comes up, and the sun goes down. Everyday happens to you, instead of you happening to your day. That's where coaches come in, that's where people like us come in and we're like, what are you going to do today to get to that goal? What are you going to do tomorrow to get to that goal? What is your intention going to be before the sun goes down? Because it's going to happen. Everyday is going to come and go, it's either going to happen to you or you're going to happen to that.
Aaron Walker: We can't live reactive, we gotta live our life proactive. That'd be very intentional, right? We've designed, don't you want to live an amazing life? Don't you want to be adventuresome? Don't you want to go out there and maximize your life? I brought a C home once when I was in the seventh grade and my mom said: "Never again will you bring home a C." And I said: "That's average." She said: "Average is just as close to the bottom as is the top and you're above average. You can do above average. I know you've got it in you. If you didn't have it in you, I wouldn't say anything, but you do." And it really helped me understand how to have a mindset of accomplishment. She would say, can't, couldn't do it and could do it all. And it developed a mindset in me, Hey, I can do this. And it built that self esteem, it built that confidence. And then people started talking about, well, if you try that, you may fail. Well, you might, it might not work out, but you pivot and change. And I just say, fear missing an opportunity more than you fear failure. And that you develop that mindset of I can do, and nothing is going to stop you at that point. Yeah.
Shirley Owens: I think it's funny because I can say that I have failed in so many things, but no one sees me as a failure, except for maybe I have seen myself as that a few times, but that is just such a word. I tell my kids all the time, Yoda, there is no try, only do. And there's like, Oh, we don't want to hear that.
Aaron Walker: You keep saying it, mom, because that's going to push them.
Shirley Owens: I have come from so far and worked so hard to get to where I am today. It doesn't happen just sitting around and trying, or say, you're going to try.
Aaron Walker: That's the reason these masterminds are good for everybody is because you're making a proclamation of things that you're going to do. There's a level of accountability that they hold you to each and every week. And let's face it, without accountability, oftentimes we kick the can down the road, we'll get to it tomorrow. Procrastination is our biggest enemy. And if we really want to be successful, we gotta have consistency each and every day. We've got to work on the things that matter. If Seth Godin says, do the things that matter for people who care, and we need to do that every single day in whatever we're doing. And I think that's where our rise and shine is consistent. If I say, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it consistently until I reach success. I'm going to build momentum until I get there. If it doesn't work, I'm going to pivot and change until I do figure it out. Because listen, as we said, this is not a trial run. This is it. I mean, we're living our life today. And I want to ask your audience, what are you doing to live proactively? What are you doing surrounding yourself with an unbiased, trusted advisor? Or are you making these decisions alone? And I just want to encourage you, we're designed to be in community of some form. Whether it's mastermind groups, group coaching, accountability groups, peer advisory groups, call it whatever you want, but we've got to be meeting with the same people on a regular basis so they learn our patterns, they understand who we are, they can give us great advice. Otherwise, they're giving you a blanket opinion that may or may not apply to you. But when they know who you are, how you think about your family, your previous decisions, they know your filters, they can then give you good advice that is applicable to you. And these mastermind groups have so done that for me for over two decades now.
“Procrastination is our biggest enemy… To be successful, we need to have consistency each and every day.” - Aaron Walker
Shirley Owens: That's great. I feel like we're living in just such a ME generation and there's this whole trend right now to work on yourself. Everything is individual. You have to be a whole person before you can marry someone. I'm always like, I do not believe that. I believe that two people make a whole, or 40 people make a whole, or we can't do this life by ourselves and nothing living does. I just had this conversation with my husband the other day, he listens to a lot of podcasts and he just keeps hearing this, you need to be a whole, you need to be a whole, you need to work on yourself, we shouldn't be working together on something, whatever. But I'm like, babe, it takes a ground, and sun, and water to grow a tree or a plant. Every single thing that exists on this planet that is alive, is not there by itself.
Aaron Walker: No, and we will never be successful by ourselves. We certainly won't stay there by ourselves.
Shirley Owens: Right. I'm so with you on this, I think it's so important to have that. I always ask my guests, and I think that your answer is going to be amazing already, what piece of advice can you give others, our listeners today to work towards getting what they want through this conversation, through mastermind, through whatever. What's the stuff that they can take today?
Aaron Walker: I think first and foremost, I even created a document called, What Do I Want? It's been downloaded tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of times, you can get it on my site. I've taken the price off, it's free. So there's no charge, I'm not trying to sell you anything. You can go there and get that. It really helps you discover the things that you want. Like, how much money you want to make? Where do you want to live? The people you want to help. The kind of life that you want to live. Your bucket lists of places to travel. It just really prompts your thinking on thinking, Hey, I really can design a life that I want to live. There's another document there called a Personal Assessment to where you really start focusing on the people that you're surrounded with. And Jim Rohn said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time. I don't think there's ever been a comment more true than that. And a lot of you've got friends that you need to get rid of. Quite honestly, this sucking the life out of you. They're not helping you get to where you need to go. Now, if you're being called to mentor that person, that's a different story. But if these are people that you are electing to be around, Robin and I choose to be around certain people, I want to be around people that are influential to my grandchildren, to my children, that encourage them, that edified them, that hold them accountable, that will call them out, that will be honest to them. I don't want to be around eeyore that sucking the life out of the room. I want to be around people that have given me inspiration. I want to be around people that are talking about ideas, not about other people. Small minds, talk about other people. Great minds, talk about ideas. We're very intentional who we surround ourselves with. And I think that if you take your time and you evaluate the kind of life you want to live, you surround yourself with those trusted advisors that will give you candid feedback. Now, you have to be willing to subject yourself to their scrutiny. You can't go kicking and screaming. You've got to say, Hey, how do you see me? When I show up, do I do this? How can I meet these people? How can I grow and excel in all these areas of my life? And you don't take it personal, but you're just taking it as constructive criticism so that you can get better. I mean, don't we all truly want to get better? And if we're willing to do that, if we're willing to do these things, Shirley, we can really live a life that's amazing. I just don't want to settle. I just don't want to go through life settling for the average, it's just not what I want. So it takes a great amount of intention. And if you do these exercises, you'll have a very successful life.
“Small minds talk about other people; great minds talk about ideas. If you surround yourself with trusted advisors that will give you candid feedback, … you can live a life that’s amazing.” -Aaron Walker
Shirley Owens: Thank you. I think that is amazing advice. So tell us a little bit about how we can get in touch with you. Also talk a little bit about your mastermind, playbook.
Aaron Walker: I appreciate that. We really didn't get a lot about masterminds. Maybe you'll have me back and we'll have an in depth study about masterminds. But the easiest way to find me is that viewfromthetop.com, that's with a V, viewfromthetop.com. And I'm pretty easy to find, my phone numbers are there, my personal phone. People say: "You put your personal phone number on there?" "Yeah. I want to talk to people. I want to help you." My email is there so I'm very accessible. We created The Mastermind Playbook and it's to help people understand how they too can create a mastermind. Whether you've even done one or not, we put the systems and the processes together. People all over the world are having unbelievable success with this tool. And it's to help transform the lives of other people all the while, making incredible money because masterminds are a very, very profitable industry. And you only need a couple of groups with 10 people to make six figures a year. And this takes only a few hours a week to run these groups. The reason it only takes a few hours is because I give you the framework. I give you the tools, I give you all the steps, the swap files, the lead magnets, I give you everything. I give you all the content to run your groups for two and a half years, and we walk you through a three month program while we hold your hand to help you launch your mastermind group. So either way, viewfromthetop.com or themastermindplaybook.com.
Shirley Owens: Awesome, thank you. I know that we didn't get to talk too much about your mastermind, we talked a lot about relationships. I have watched, listened and read so many testimonies about you and about your masterminds so I encourage everyone to go to your site. And I don't know, I just think that you're amazing. If I'm sitting here thinking, I probably need to get in one of his mastermind groups.
Aaron Walker: We'd love to have you, so I'll introduce you to Brooke and we'll get you onboard, and we'll continue the conversation. There you go, there you go.
Shirley Owens: I'm super grateful to you and I can't wait to learn more about you.
Aaron Walker: Thanks a lot, Shirley, we'll see you. Have a good rest of the evening, bye.
Shirley Owens: All right, you too, bye.