This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Aaron Walker. Aaron is an almost 40-year entrepreneur veteran. He started his first business at 18 and sold it by his mid-20’s to a Fortune 500. He went on to start over a dozen other businesses and started Masterminding 20 years ago with people like Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller and others.
This led him to start the Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind group – one of the most renowned and successful groups of its kind. Aaron is also the author or the best-seller “View from the Top – Living a Life of Significance.”
Aaron has seen it all, done it all, and has succeeded through grit and determination. But what also has made him so successful and one of the biggest reasons I wanted him to come on the show and to share his wisdom with you, is his straight forward authenticity. Aaron teaches in way to easy to understand, learn, and implement. And it’s the lessons he’s learned in building businesses and Masterminds that I've asked him to give you in this episode.
Aaron has lived in Nashville his whole life and has built all his businesses from there. He grew up poor in an 800 sq. ft. house with 4 kids. His dad was a general contractor, but not a great business man. Aaron started working at 13 and fell in love with business and decided that he was going to be an entrepreneur. He put in extra studies and night school and graduated at the beginning of his junior year.
He met some people with money to invest and opened his first store. He got married 2 weeks out of High School and he and his wife went on to build several success companies – selling the first one at 27 years old to a F500 company. That gave him the ability to do some other things and set him up financially. He then went back and bought the company he worked for at 13 and grew it by better managing it and better selling the services.
He was 40 years old, working 3 days a week. He had it made. One morning he was driving to the office and a pedestrian stepped out in front of Aaron’s truck and was killed. His life came to a halt. Aaron wasn’t at fault, but when you are responsible for the death of someone, it changed everything.
It devastated Aaron. He couldn’t handle the stress and the knowledge that, even though it wasn’t his fault and he was not arrested or anything, a man died by his truck. It ate him. Over the next few years, he sold the business, took 5 years off, moved to a different area, sought counseling, and really changed most of his life.
One day, his wife came in and told him he had to get going and do something. Aaron had gained almost 50 pounds. So, he did. He started a construction company, built it to great success and sold it at 50, retiring.
At that point, Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller suggested that he coach. He started helping other entrepreneurs and doing Mastermind groups and is now launching his 15th Mastermind in 8 different countries.
What do you think is the reason God/the universe, etc. put you in the situation with killing the pedestrian? What was your biggest takeaway after years of thinking about it?
Define what significance means to you and for others…
At the 25 min mark, Aaron talks about “Gratitude Day…”
What are your best principles and thoughts on how to succeed in business?
There is real truth in the statement that you are the sum of the 5 people you spend time with. The wrong people are an anchor around your success – get rid of them. Get people around you that encourage you, hold you accountable, point out your blind spots, give you the truth, and support you and help you.
Great minds talk about ideas, small minds talk about people!
What are some of the key components of a successful Mastermind Group?
How does someone start a Mastermind group and find the right candidates?
At the 49 min mark, Aaron shares some final pieces of wisdom…
Best Quote: “Can’t couldn’t do it and could did it all...”
Aaron's Misfit 3: