322. Building Relationships, Helping Men Grow in Community
At 27 he had already amassed a fortune, selling his pawn shops for a price he was sure the buyer would consider outrageous. Headed to the office one day years later, an elderly man stepped onto the four-lane highway right in front of his car, forever changing Aaron’s life.
Aaron Walker is a veteran entrepreneur as well as a life and business coach in Nashville, Tennessee. He started his first business at 18 and sold it to a Fortune 500 company nine short years later. Unwilling to rest on past successes alone, he started, bought and sold eight successful companies over the past 36 years. Having a strong desire for personal development has kept Aaron in a weekly mastermind group with other notable Nashvillians for more than a decade. Today, as president and founder of View from the Top, a premier life and business coaching resource, he spends the majority of his time helping men grow in success and significance.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I started working at a pawn shop when I was 13. When I was 15 years old, I decided that’s what I wanted to do for a living. So I worked there each and every day. Then, I met two guys that owned the 21st largest insurance agency in the country, and partnered with them. They took a chance on a young 18-year-old, and we opened a pawn shop.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Aaron’s life changed forever at age 40. He had already amassed a fortune, opening several pawn shops and eventually selling them at a figure he was sure the buyer would have considered outrageous. “I was headed to my office early, and a pedestrian was crossing a four-lane highway. He didn’t look my way, and I ran over and killed him. His name was Enrique. He was 77 years old, from the Philippines. We later found out he couldn’t see well. He just didn’t see me coming, and he stepped out right in front of me.” The trauma of the tragic death made Aaron see his life in an entirely new light. He asked himself what kind of legacy would he have left behind if he had been the one whose life was suddenly ended. “My legacy would have been, ‘He had nothing…he sold a business at 27…he didn’t have to work anymore…he had a few toys.’ That’s all I would have been remembered for. There was no significance in my life whatsoever.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I think the most important key ingredient, hands down, is building relationships. I’ll take that any day over any other tactical maneuver in business. My dad taught me a lot about relationships. He didn’t know how to make money. But when he died, every single person at the funeral said, ‘My life has been better as a result of having known your dad.’ They didn’t say he had a nice boat or car. They said knowing my dad made their life better.”
Steps to Success from Aaron Walker
1. Choose your friends wisely and surround yourself with positive people.
2. Be very intentional, strategic and methodical, and establish a disciplined daily routine.
3. Spend 10 to 20 percent of your day intentionally building relationships. It will pay off both professionally and personally.
On His Bookshelf
48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal, by Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by by Carol Dweck (http://amzn.to/29RBhXT)
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown
How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age, by Dale Carnegie & Associates
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, by Adam M. Grant
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, by Gary Vaynerchuk
Connecting With Aaron Walker
Three documents written by Aaron Walker have been made free to Discover Your Talent–Do What You Love podcast listeners, to help you live more successful and more significant.
- A Personal Assessment: 30 thought-provoking questions
- “25 Questions to Get the Life You Want” will help you understand more about what you can do to live life more intentionally
- Steps to a Productive Day: A To Do List on steriods to help you be very productive every day
Go to viewfromthetop.com/talent and download all three documents.
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