It would be safe to say that Aaron Walker is a veteran entrepreneur. Having started over a dozen businesses during his four-decade journey has been pretty awesome.
Beginning at 18 years old and selling to a Fortune 500 company just nine years later set Aaron on an adventure of a lifetime. The secret sauce for Aaron can clearly be identified with these four attributes: grit, authenticity, determination and perseverance — and the glue that holds it all together is his weekly involvement in Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind groups.
Aaron started masterminding 20 years ago with Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller and several other notable Nashvillians.
Today, he spends time with his wife, two daughters and five grandchildren.
Coming In and Out of Retirement
Aaron has had the opportunity to do something that many people has not been able to — to retire and come out of retirement for a staggering eight times.
He’s been working since he was thirteen so he kept telling himself that he’d retire after just one last venture — although we all know how that went.
It was during one of those retirement attempts that Dan Miller told him something that he’d never forget that eventually changed the course of his life.
Starting a New Chapter
When Dan Miller found out about his retirement, he called it “a selfish move.” He said that the world needs mentors, and by retiring a “final time,” Aaron is keeping other people from benefiting from the wealth of knowledge and experiences he has accumulated over the years.
Dave then invited him to do “Innovate” (a coaching program) and handle its EntreLeadership Mastery course. He initially thought it was not a bad deal considering how it was easily worth $10,000 at that time, but, surprisingly, he enjoyed the program a lot more than he thought he would, and attendees of the event even called him later to ask him to mentor them.
Dave encouraged him to give it a go, he did, and the rest is history.
Living a Life of Significance
You’d think someone who’s had a very colorful business career as Aaron has wouldn’t have any room for doubts, but when the idea of writing what would eventually be his book, View from the Top: Living a Life of Significance, was pitched to him, he didn’t really want to do it because he thought that no one’s going to read it.
However, Ken Davis, author of ‘Fully Alive,” changed his mind by telling him that he’s writing for the wrong reason. That even if only one person’s life changed for the better because of his book, then it’s definitely worth it.
Working for the Greater Good
“Do for a few what you wish you could do for everybody,” so says one of Aaron’s favorite quotes, and he tries to live by this tenet as much as he can —applying it not only on his personal life but on his business as well.
“People think we need to do multiple things to be successful, but we just need to narrow our focus.” Look at the greater good and find ways to make the most impact on the most number of people possible.
Maintaining Razor-sharp Focus
Aaron says that “If you’re really going to be successful, you need to have extreme focus.”
The problem is people tend to put too much focus on the goal instead of focusing on the task at hand — leaving them even more distracted than ever.
To avoid this trap, Aaron recommends taking things one step at a time. Set your priorities, plan your course of action, then implement. If you keep working on each task with the same razor-sharp focus that you use on the others, you’ll exceed the goals you’ve set before you even realized.
Dealing with High-Stake Situations
Of course, this is something that can sometimes be easier said than done, especially in situations where important things are at stake; however, no matter what the problem is, Aaron says that communication is always key, and to do that, you need to develop a level of empathy.
“People only remember you for how you made them feel.” Every conversation has something of value to add, so take time to listen to what other people have to say.
Aaron can say this because he’s a living example of how much you can learn from other people regardless of whether you’re actively trying to do so or not. Because of this, he’s been able to look forward to each and every day because of its potential to change someone’s life — and for that, he’ll always be grateful.
Like many others in the expertise space, Aaron highly recommends “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. He explains this is because it teaches people how to genuinely care about others and it should be required reading for everyone