(Life and Business Coach for Men Who Live on Purpose, He Built so Many Different Businesses and Sold one of them at Age 27 to a Fortune 500 Company)
With English and Arabic Subtitle
Businessman and Life Coach, Aaron T. Walker, has inspired many through his leadership, mentorship, and consistent pursuit of excellence. He enjoys helping others and believes experience is a great teacher. 35 years of entrepreneurship and marriage have given Aaron a wealth of experience. Aaron continues to reach new heights and broaden his perspective of the terrain by examining his experiences and growing from them.
Pursuit of Excellence:
For 19 years and counting, Aaron has taken classes from and has been coached personally by his friend, financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Spiritual mentors David Landrith and Bob Warren have impacted his spiritual life beyond measure. Two other disciplined mastermind groups, 48 Days led by friend Dan Miller and The Torch have played a role in his understanding of how to live a significant, successful life. Aaron incorporates education and learning opportunities into his daily routine, remaining informed of the latest tools and trends available.
It only took a few years as a partner with David Patton Construction LLC for Aaron to help take the business from doing one to two projects per year to a multi-million dollar company, voted number one builder for three consecutive years by Nashville’s House & Home & Garden Magazine’s People’s Choice Awards. He sold his retail business to Cash America USA, a Fortune 500 company. In addition to being the owner of eight lucrative businesses, Aaron participates in civic endeavors.
Through his participation in personal accountability groups, Aaron mentors 11 individuals weekly now and has for over five years. The Eagles Group, a collection of Nashville’s most respected leaders met weekly for over a decade. At his local church, Aaron is an active member, team leader, Deacon, and teacher.
Aaron values his time spent with family and friends. Sharing the past 35 years with his lovely wife Robin has been nothing short of spectacular. His two fantastic daughters and champion sons-in-law have given Aaron & Robin four beautiful grandchildren. When time allows, Aaron enjoys hunting, fishing, golf, and is an avid reader.
- What’s your background and why you decided to become a business consultant?
- What are some of the businesses that you have owned or been involved in before?
- From 1979 – 2014 you’ve been an owner for multiple businesses, then what happened you sold all these businesses or you are still involved in some and why you decided to move into consulting?
- What’s a Pawn Shop?
- How did you manage to sell your business to a fortune 500 company? And which business was that?
- If you would come back in time would you still sell your business to the fortune 500 company at age 27? Why you regretted this step?
- How did you get introduced to Dave Ramsey, please share with us the story of advertising? And then how the relationship developed into a master mind then?
- How your mastermind group works and how much it costs?
- What are the courses or coaching packages that you are offering, how it works and how much it costs?
- What are the nature of questions that use in your assessments to accept coaching clients and how much it helps you in your conversion?
- How do you market for your online business?
- Why you decided to choose the name view from the top?
- Why do you coach only men?
- How to discover what we really want in life to live on purpose?
- What are some of the questions that we should answer to get the life we want?
- What are the must do things to have life-work balance?
- Tell us about your coming soon book An Eagle’s View?
- Are your going to publish your book or self-publish it and why?
- What’s your plans for marketing your book?
- How much do you charge for 1 on 1 coaching?
- What’s one marketing strategy that helped you the most in developing your business in the current crowded consulting world?
- How do you network and create relationship efficiently?
- Tell us more about your other projects that you are currently working on or planning for the future?
- Share with us some of the tools or software that make you more efficient?
- What’s your daily life and work routine looks like?
- Which company, product or service made you most of your money?
- What are your other hobbies?
- Who are your top 3 mentors?
- The most important factors for success in 3 words?
- What’s the biggest failure moment in your life and what did you learn from it?
- What are the Top 3 apps that you use on your smart phone?
- What are the habits that you are trying to develop to stay efficient?
- What do you do to change your mood when you are depressed?
- What’s the best advice that you ever received?
- What’s your favorite quote?
- If you have the chance, what would you say to advice your younger self?
- What are your top 3 favorite books?
- What are the top 3 people that you are inspired by?
- Do you listen to any music when you work?
- Do you follow any routine to sleep?
- What makes you really happy?
- Is there’s any other question that I didn’t ask you and you wanted to talk about?
- How people can contact you?
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Hi everyone this is Ahmed Al Kiremli and welcome to be efficient TV the mission of this web TV show is to boost the efficiency of your business and life through tips and tricks from leading experts and today I have with me Aaron Walker he is a life and business coach for a man who wants to live on purpose and he has built so many different businesses and sold one at the age of twenty-seven two of Fortune 500 company welcome to the show Aaron.
Aaron Walker: Thank you, Ahmed thank you very much.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Pleasure, so what’s your background and what kind of businesses did you build and how did you start as an entrepreneur at such a young age?
Aaron Walker: I started very young I’m from Nashville Tennessee and I started working when I was thirteen years old and a local pawn shop and I think you had asked me was a pawn shop and it’s just a place where people bring merchandise and borrow money for a short period of time is just to kind of get you over the hump to get you over a shortage and financial resources just for a short period of time and we made small loans up to a very large loans just depends on what you need was so it thirteen years old my dad was in the construction business and he remodeled a pawn shop in Nashville Tennessee, I talked to the owner and asked if you need any help there and he hired me immediately on the spot. I was still in school and on Saturdays in the afternoons I would go there and I would work two or three hours in the afternoon cleaning the store. Well Ahmed I fell in love with that business it didn’t take me long to let the people to love the environment and the atmosphere and I fell in love with it. I decided to go to summer school and night school for two years while I was in high school I had enough credits to graduate high school in the tenth grade I didn’t have to go my junior and senior year I just wanted to work, so as a result of that I met a lot of really interesting people, to businessman that started buying diamonds from me and called for me making investments they owned the twenty-first largest insurance company in the nation and they had a lot of money to invest. So I approach them one day and made an opportunity for them to go into partners with me and they said how old are you and I said I’m eighteen years old he said you just a child and I said well I know this business and I would like to go into it so in two weeks I decided the amount of money it would take to go into that business and approached them and they agree to it so in 1979 to 18 years old they gave me a checkbook with $150,000 in it and I said go up in it and I did it was very successful, and three years we paid off a ten year loan that we had taken out to open the first store. I sent the money and went and bought a second store I repeated that four times, when I was twenty-seven years old the company in Fort Worth Texas called cash America approached me, they were growing through acquisition and they want to buy my store and I told them it wasn’t for sale and they left disappointed, they made another attempt I told him it wasn’t for sale, I just built this new building and I didn’t want to sell it. They made three attempts to buy my store and finally I said I know how I get rid of them, I’ll make an offer that will make them go away and so he said if you are going to sell your store how much would it take and so I told him I said this is what I’ll take and he said we’ll take it well I didn’t know what to do at that time it was frightening to me I was twenty-seven years old I didn’t really want to sell but I had made a commitment so I went home told my wife and she agreed she said well it’s a good opportunity for us, let’s also we did, in about three months we were retired, I thought I had plenty of money and wasn’t going to do anything else well Ahmed have you ever taken a break have you ever stopped working for any length of time?
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Yes you lose your purpose sometimes you don’t know what your purposes you don’t know where you are going but that time you are like having some knowledge in terms of how to invest the money that it will generate kind of an income so you can live financially free or did you start just spending the money?
Aaron Walker: Well I started investing the money and I was getting a good return, there was no problem with that the problem for me was I was bored, I had no purpose, I had no reason to get up and I was young I was twenty-seven years old, I was very energetic I had always worked very very hard I have a lot of grit and determination and I had no reason to get up so I was getting in to bed at the middle of the day because I was so bored and my wife came and woke me up one day and she said you have to do something it doesn’t matter what it is you have to do something, so I went back to the pawn shop and I made an offer to the owner but I work there one day a week just to let him take some time off and he agreed to that. I started investing money into his business because it was growing, well about a year to that process I had so much money invested in it we decided to form partnership, so for the next ten years I worked three days a week and my partner work the other three days, it was very good business was excellent and at that point I had met a guy named Dave Ramsey, he owns a radio show here and he’s on about 700 radio shows now I’m certain that you’ve heard of Dave Ramsey he offered me advertising for free.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Which year was that?
Aaron Walker: 1995. Twenty years ago. And I told him that I didn’t want any part in the radio show I had no interest in advertising and he said I’ll give you a week free if you’ll just try me.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: He was in the same city and he came to you like he knew your shop and he asked you that’s why?
Aaron Walker: He was speaking of the Chamber of Commerce breakfast in the city which my store was located and I went and heard him speak and he was telling about this new radio show he was going to have called the money game and he had a partner named Roy Matlock there were two of them and I invited him to see my store so I showed him the store and he said I would love for you to advertise on my show, well nobody had ever even heard of Dave Ramsey he was nobody he had just started and I refused, but finally I gave in I said I have nothing to lose, it will cost me anything if it doesn’t do good I’ve lost nothing so I tried it, Ahmed my business immediately took off very quickly the show was a hit here locally people of the show people started coming in daily buying merchandise selling things it was very very good for our business so I went to Dave and signed a contract an annual auto renewal contract within on his show every day for twenty years.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Until now.
Aaron Walker: Even now. We continually advertise on his show, out of that became a very good friendship so Dave Ramsey and I and our wives we went to Amelia Island and we took a vacation and we heard a speaker there named Bob Buford he wrote a book called Halftime, this book changed my life, I wanted to live a life of success and I wanted to make money but I also wanted to live a life of significance and purpose and meaning and I didn’t have success with purpose and with meaning I had success financially but I didn’t have the significance and I didn’t have the purpose so after I wrote that book I decided that I wanted to live more significantly I want to help other people more so fast-forward a couple of years in 2001, I was driving down a local highway here and a pedestrian walked out in front of me and I hit the pedestrian. It wasn’t my fault, it was an accident the pedestrian didn’t see me, but the pedestrian passed away, he lived for three days. Well Ahmad at that moment my life went before me and I said my life could be taken at an instant as well and I wanted to be sure I was investing in other people’s I can help them make a difference in their life that just for me not just for the success of me and having more money and more stores and more trips and bigger houses and more cars but about investing in other people so in 2001 I went to my partner and I said I’m going to retire I’m going to get out of this business completely and I’m going to get my head together and then going to decide what the future looks like so I took off for five years, I didn’t work for five years, I built a new house I took some time we traveled extensively and we decided what we’re going to do next. So I went into the construction industry.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Just before we jump, to explain to the audience more a pawn shop is like a small bank with less paperwork easier loans to get?
Aaron Walker: As long as you have collateral you bring the collateral and we loan you money for three months you come back in three months pay the loan off with the interest and get the merchandise back. 85% of the people that pawn pick their merchandise up.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you take something valuable or you put let’s say your house if it’s a big loan like with you you signed a contract or leave your watch really something like gold and you take a loan?
Aaron Walker: The main things we take in pawn our guns tools diamond gold silver, things of value and our stores are 10,000 ft.² our stores are big and we had 8 to 10 employees in each store, we made over 100 loans a day so we had very good stores.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And how much interesting usually take?
Aaron Walker: 20%.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Oh it’s high interest. 20% a year?
Aaron Walker: Per month.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Oh my God it’s like…
Aaron Walker: Is for short-term loans.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: It is. And then you sold these businesses?
Aaron Walker: I sold them I retired from that business in 2001.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: But when you stay as an investor or partner or you didn’t want to?
Aaron Walker: That some of my story looking back now I would, looking back now I didn’t have trusted advisors I didn’t have a mastermind group I didn’t have many that I trusted I made the decision on my own, I was twenty-seven years old and I was too stupid to know the difference.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you sold all the pawn shops at twenty-seven…
Aaron Walker: No, I sold out when I was twenty-seven, four of the stores, I’ve owned a number of stores but at twenty-seven I sold all of the stores and then I went back with partners and bought another store and then I had it for ten years and then I sold it finally in 2001.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And now you don’t think of going back into it again?
Aaron Walker: I thought about it a number of times it’s a lot of hard work, I’m really enjoying what I’m doing now, coaching men and helping them to succeed and I don’t need as much money anymore I don’t need the money that I need, my children are grown my daughter is twenty-nine and the other one is thirty-one, my grandchildren are five, six, seven, and twelve so I don’t need the money like I needed it then so I don’t want to work as hard as I did then.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And the Internet now it is much easier to find your purpose or do some things, you can do things forever for ten hours a day while you are sitting home and that maybe will fulfill your vision does the right thing for you. And then you move to construction.
Aaron Walker: Yeah we built a new house a beautiful new house up on top of a really pretty hell really nice setting and we enjoyed it for five years and in the process of building the house the general contractor was so good I asked him if he ever considered a partner that we could go into business together. Never considered it because he is not a businessman he’s not an entrepreneur and I suggested he continue doing what he does and I would take my business experience and we would take his business to the next level and he agreed so we did and we took that business from one or two houses a year, he was building very nice houses but we became the number one builder in middle Tennessee for three consecutive years we built very nice multimillion dollar homes in the Nashville area and so after a ten year period once again I became very bored because it was managing and I’m not a manager I’m a creator developer I like to grow things I like to take things from small to large and then after I do that the challenge is over for me and I’m ready to move onto something else.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you don’t like to be an investor?
Aaron Walker: I do like to be an investor but only in things I’m controlling. I don’t want to be an investor in something that I’m not in control of. I want to control my own money I’m a big real estate investor I love real estate, 50% of the money I’ve made in my entire adult life has been through real estate, I buy property, we set out, keep it, sell it, flip it, any sorts of things with real estate so real estate is really good in the US and I know it is in Dubai as well the property values continue to increase.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You like capital gain or cash flow?
Aaron Walker: Well I like cash flow but capital gain, taxes are low here now 15% so capital gains after a year is only a 15% tax but we can do 1031 exchanges and buy properties and bypass the taxes altogether so those opportunities here to make money in real estate through cash flow and through capital gains.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: And you get to management companies to real estate management?
Aaron Walker: I manage it.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you like the headache.
Aaron Walker: I don’t like the headaches but I would rather manage…
Ahmed Al Kiremli: With collection from the tenants?
Aaron Walker: Usually is with commercial properties I don’t like residential, usually its commercial and it’s very easy to get some unaffected in a commercial property it’s very difficult and residential, the judges here will side with the people that are residents because you don’t want to kick them out of their home there’s always a toilet leaking or roof leaking or a refrigerator that doesn’t work in residential and with commercial you don’t have that problem, the appreciation here is much greater and much faster and commercial property and I much rather deal with commercial property.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: By the way I forgot to mention I love your accent the southern accent is amazing.
Aaron Walker: Oh Ahmad I don’t have an accent you have an accent I don’t have an accident.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: No but like in the US you can sometimes hear different accents and I really love your accent.
Aaron Walker: Well thank you I appreciate that. I’m very country, very country.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Yes it is. You play guitar?
Aaron Walker: A little bit I’m not very good, Nashville is the country music Hall of Fame, all country music starts here. Do you like country music?
Ahmed Al Kiremli: I like it, yeah.
Aaron Walker: You know some of my clients George Jones I knew George Jones, Johnny Cash.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Johnny Cash love him.
Aaron Walker: They were good customers, he only lived about ten minutes from me where I live now is only three minutes to where he lived he doesn’t live there now he’s deceased but a lot of the country music stars live right here in Nashville.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Very cool. So construction you continued from which year to which year and also you sold the business are what happened?
Aaron Walker: Yes I did I retired when I was fifty years old I retired 3 ½ years ago.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: While you look forty now.
Aaron Walker: I turn fifty-four next week I’ll be looking for a birthday present from you, March 16, send a birthday present.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: March 16?
Aaron Walker: Yeah. It’ll be fun.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Done.
Aaron Walker: So I retired 3 ½ years ago from construction and I wasn’t going to do anything I decided the third time my final time I was going to retire well I have friends in a mastermind group we call ourselves the Eagles and in this group there are some very high profile men that own large businesses like Dave Ramsey Dan Miller Ken Abraham he’s a New York Times best-selling author has over 100 books in print these are all men in my mastermind group. And they encouraged me to coach they said you need to coach other men because you have thirty-five years of marriage and thirty-six years of business experience and the things that you can do and say would help other men to avoid pitfalls and you could coach them so I started mastermind groups which I facilitate now called iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another just as iron sharpens iron and I have one-on-one coaching. I chose men to coach primarily because I’ve been involved in mastermind group with men only for twenty years and I felt like I could say things to men but I couldn’t say to ladies.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So you don’t accept women?
Aaron Walker: I’m not against women but I don’t coach women I just coach men.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: It’s a niche. And with Dave Ramsey and the other best-selling authors mastermind is it still going on until now like for twenty years?
Aaron Walker: We just finished we just completed our time together because now we are coaching other people I have another group called the torch in which I coach young men so they come to my office there is six men that are under thirty-five years old there are six men over fifty because we can hand the torch off to the young guys right so we mentor and coach those people will there’s only so much time so I don’t have time to do all of these groups myself and then coach and then do the mastermind group full-time wouldn’t allow it to go any further so we all decided that we would take the knowledge and the wisdom that we have as older men and we would take it out into the communities and help other people.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So the groups are off-line masterminds and the mastermind that you run yourself is online how does it work?
Aaron Walker: I have one group that meets online it’s in the Zune video conference room and that’s the way we do it just like you and I are talking now, there are 8 to 12 men per group and then I have groups that I meet with locally here in Nashville Dan Miller has a group called forty-eight days to the work you love and there are about forty of us and that mastermind group we meet virtually every week and four times a year we meet in person.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: So how to join this mastermind that you have the forty-eight days something like that podcast?
Aaron Walker: That’s a closed group it’s not open, my groups are open groups, iron sharpens iron.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How much does it cost how does it work how many meetings a week?
Aaron Walker: We meet every week, we have a group starting April 7 a Tuesday morning at 830 Central time, the groups meet every week the same time online video conference room there’s 8 to 12 men in each group you meet with the same people every week it’s ongoing you don’t have to sign a long-term commitment you can join for a month if you don’t like it you get out. No one normally gets out because it’s so good it’s inspiring it helps you reach your goals it helps you establish your goals you hear from nonbiased people that can speak truth into your life they don’t tell you what you want to hear they tell you what you need to hear. The cost is $350 a month there is no commitment long-term. The value that you get though Ahmed is invaluable.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What’s the name of this group or mastermind?
Aaron Walker: Iron sharpens iron. You can get to it on my website view from the top.com.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: I’ve seen it but just to clarify to the audience when did you start the coaching venture? Which year?
Aaron Walker: I started two years ago, once I retired I get everything in place Dan Miller encouraged me to start coaching one-on-one first and then grow into the mastermind groups which we did now we have people in six different countries to participate in our groups I just finished a group 3 weeks ago and there were six different countries represented. So it’s a global process now it’s not just locally and we learned so much from people abroad just as we do locally and now the marketplace is not just our region geographically around us now we can have clients and prospects globally.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: But is it mainly for people who want to learn off-line businesses or online businesses or anything related to business online?
Aaron Walker: Anything at all related to business because we are not just training people how to do off-line or online, we training people to do what we call personal assessment and we go through your ideals we go through your identity we go through we establish the relationships you need we talk about your faith we talk about your career we talk about your relationships we get a real understanding of what you are as an individual kind of an introspective look at who you are, once we get through that process I’ve created what’s called what do I want and Ahmed most people don’t know what they want most people just live reactively every day they just put out the fires everyday.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: By default.
Aaron Walker: I teach people to be proactive I teach people to think if I could wake up tomorrow geographically there were no limitations and financially there are no limitations what would I do with my life? How do I want to breathe into my children how do I want to raise them and teach them the character traits and the qualities that they need because they aren’t going to learn that elsewhere they’re going to learn that at home. And we teach people how to do those things so there’s a thirty question questionnaire of what do I want my life to look like, we help people establish goals we help people establish their dreams and put those things into reality. And then practically speaking but I do as I’ve created a course called steps to a productive day, and what we do is we start up very early in the morning with your day and we create a task is kind of like a to do list on steroids, it’s nothing at your day, I’m very methodical and regimented and in order to be successful you need to have structure so I teach people to have structure so those are some of the things that we do in the mastermind group and the one-on-one coaching.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the questions that you usually ask people to accept people how do you accept people and other levels of masterminds they progress do you ship them to another mastermind?
Aaron Walker: Yes there are, there are want-to-preneurs, solopreneurs, and entrepreneurs that can really live in the same environment. Some of the questions in the personal assessment have nothing to do with your ability to be accepted or declined we want to accept everyone that wants to learn so I look at the people, their level of experience if they have one to five years of experience, they have businesses that range from $100,000-$3 million they normally have the same things to discuss. I have another iron sharpens iron grip it’s very expensive it’s for people that are in $1 million a year minimum they have to have a $5-$15 million net worth and it’s expensive to be in that group it’s $3000 a month to participate in that group, we have weekly calls to check to make sure you’re progressing, we get together three times in Nashville for two days to come together to explore to encourage to meet to build a relationship. We have a private page that those people only can go to and communicate because people at that level and very quiet secret of things to talk about but they don’t want the marketplace to know what they need advice, they need people that understand what they want to know and can breathe life into them give them ideas you may be looking for transition and maybe looking for a merger and acquisition company to help sell your business you make for a succession plan in order to go to the next level and retire and transition to it may be a generational thing where you pass the business to your children so they are much different things to talk about for that group so I made the decision as to which group I put you in based on your experience.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Now do you participate yourself in the master group and a mastermind group let’s say with people your level, New York Times bestsellers experts or are you just focused on coaching?
Aaron Walker: Well I’m still involved in those groups I will always be involved in mastermind groups because I will never have learned it all. Everyday I learned, I’m an avid reader, I read 2 to 4 hours a day and I want to learn so I can teach others. When I’m in the mastermind group it encourages me and they share new resources and ideas with me and that I’m able to share those ideas and resources with the people that I coach I don’t think we ever reach a point where we’ve mastered it are we learned always need to be fed so I will always participate, I have a coach in Fort Worth Texas there’s a coach there Doctor Kruger is my coach the head of Baylor University medical Center over psychiatry and it helps us to understand why we do the things that we do. There are certain reasons that we participate in things that we do respond the way that we do there’s a reason for that so I hired a coach to help me understand why we do some of the things that we do so there’s always I just hired a LinkedIn coach to teach me better how to use LinkedIn, I could figure it out but I would rather pay him $500 and let him tell me how to do it, it takes me there faster. There is a client I had in the pawn shop business in Rapid City South Dakota he was three years old, and I coached him for six months, I flew out there and I coached him for six months, he said I took them from three years old to ten years old and six months because I got him to do all of the things that he needs to do because of my twenty-seven years of experience in that business, I knew what to do and he didn’t. That’s what coaching does it takes the experience and accelerate your business. So Ahmed I will always be involved in mastermind groups.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How much do you charge for one-on-one coaching?
Aaron Walker: I have three packages, one is called base camp it’s where you first get started I coach you an hour a day one day a week four times a month it’s $1200. I have a package called scaling the cliff for more advanced, $1500 there’s an hour and a half of coaching unlimited email unlimited text unlimited phone. I have a package called the summit and that package is $2500 a month, two hours a week, virtual or in person unlimited phone calls and unlimited text. I have another package that’s very expensive called the stratosphere and it’s for a weeklong coaching and we meet in a remote place off-site where you can fly in, $12,000 for the week. And it’s every day six days eight hours a day.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: When you started the coaching career two years back you didn’t struggle with marketing, what did you do how many team members to do have how do you market yourself mainly?
Aaron Walker: We do a number of things and I do have a team we use what’s called hubspot, hubspot is a very good marketing tool that helps create a funnel that puts people into the funnel and I create content daily either through blog posts I’m writing the course right now and it’s titled how to live a successful and significant life will the marketing that, twelve videos and six different modules so you’ll be able to buy that so we’re going to market that as well. I’m on a number of podcasts, I’m on 2 to 5 podcast interviews a week every week so I really get the message out there I have two full-time assistants that do nothing but social media on Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Vimeo YouTube, we cover all areas of social media and we constantly are tweeting Facebook posts blog posts constantly so we’re very intentional about marketing.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Usually also those VAs pitch some other shows to be there other than some of the shows that find it to the content that you post online.
Aaron Walker: I do it both ways I have hired a VA that guarantees so many podcasts Jessica Rhodes she guarantees so many podcast interviews a week but I do it also I reach out, there was a movie producer and director from Los Angeles that food in Nashville we had breakfast the day before yesterday and he did an interview of me, doorpost and he is very noted movie producer and director at the start of the podcast but I reached him by reaching out to him myself we have to be very intentional about marketing and we are very deliberate, we do this daily, follow or connect around twenty-five people a day on LinkedIn and we reach out to eight or ten podcast is a day inviting ourselves to the show and as a result of being on more shows we get asked to be on more shows I was on John Lee Dumas’s, Entrepreneur on Fire twice and as a result of that he voted me to be in the top ten on his shows and out of that I get numbers of requests to be on shows now simply because he gets 1 million downloads a month and that’s a lot of people that are listening to his show and privileged to be on a show like yours.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Thank you.
Aaron Walker: And hopefully someone will see me here and invite me to be there so we are very intentional and very deliberate about marketing.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the techniques to use for marketing and who is your online coach?
Aaron Walker: I don’t know that I have one online coach Michael Hart is very good, Dan Miller is very good, Dave Ramsey is excellent so there are a number of people that I watch, Aaron Hardy is very good, Jonathan Fields, there are tons of guys that are role models that are very very good in teaching how to do online. Jeff Walker read a great book called launch and it really helps you to market new products there are just a number of people out there that I admire and I watch I don’t do any of it exclusively I take certain parts of it, Guy Kawasaki is really good he wrote a book called the art of social media that is really getting coaching and teaching, I’m an avid reader when it comes to like the million or messenger or essentialism was a great book business brilliant, you can go on my website and download a lot of the books that I’ve read I’ve got hundreds of books there that are available for you to read that can help you but I think that times change so fast we’re in a world of information and technology changes so fast but we’ve got a be staying up-to-date nonstop, what we did three weeks ago may not work in a month. A friend of mine came to us when we were in our Eagles group and he said the problem with men over fifty is you are too old to unlearn and I thought man that’s a really powerful statement because the way I did it when I was young is not done that way anymore and I want to be the thirty-five-year-old mind in the fifty-five-year-old body I want to do it the way it’s supposed to be done now so I would just say Ahmed that we have to stay abreast of the technology we have to continue to read and study daily.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What works for you the best in terms of conversion is at the podcasts or other techniques online and other than those 2 VA’s are there any other people focused on conversion email marketing other stuff?
Aaron Walker: Yes I have 2 people that are contract labor that help me do conversion and the podcast does help with that I’m writing a book right now called an Eagles view and we’re going to be giving a peek behind the scenes of my ten years with the Eagles to show how these successful men built their business as well as how I built my successful business. With the conversions they come through being intentional, following up, and following back the people that follow us and when people retweet us we thank them and we comment to everyone that posts so it would be like inviting someone to your house for a party and you open the door and invite them in well now they are in, but if you don’t speak to them or serve them some ice water or some punch then you’ve done nothing but when you engage those people and you go back and check on them and you talk to them and you thank them for coming, it’s just the same virtually. If you just get people to follow you but you never follow back or you never talk to them than you can’t convert them, our conversion rate is very high because we engage people.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You hire people through let’s say outsourcing websites, oDesk, elance? How do you hire?
Aaron Walker: I have actually hired people that are in my mastermind groups. The two full-time assistants I have actually are my daughters and then I have virtual assistance that do different tasks I have one virtual assistant in the Northeast I’ve never talked to her on the phone that never met her in person I don’t know if she’s twenty or fifty but we communicate through email she does the task I don’t have the headaches I don’t deal with the problems and she completes the tasks that I give her at hand. I have other virtual assistance that does other marketing strategies for us we pay them a fee we designate exactly what we want done they complete the task and send the bill we pay them through PayPal and it’s over. So there’s really good opportunities now for virtual assistance.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Is there a strategist or conversion expert that helps you from time to time to change your strategy in terms of conversion of marketing?
Aaron Walker: Today at 3 o’clock have a meeting with a gentleman named Bill Seaver and he is a strategist we have reached a point now where we need to implement a plan to go forward because of the amount of people I’m talking to there’s no way for me to continue to trade my time for money if I’m going to scale my business it has to be more through product and convert these people more to online because there’s only so much time one-on-one and a very selective in who I coach personally one-on-one I want to be very cautious and careful that I have clients that are really wanting to do well. I don’t want my time to be wasted. In this business we have to become more strategic in nature and also my meeting today at 3 o’clock is about.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Why did you choose the name view from the top?
Aaron Walker: Nobody wants a view from the bottom, everyone wants a view from the top and my son-in-law actually gave the business that name we were strategizing over names and he said you run with some people and business that have kind of a view from the top and when he said it, that resonated so much with me I owned at that time fifty-five domain names I had bought thinking I was going to use one of those names and I did a test and I said the names at all the people I trust and in that I put the name view from the top along with the other names, 67% of people chose view from the top it was the only name I own and I said oh my goodness now I have to see if it’s available, I went out on domain whole.com it was not available so I contacted the people and I said I’d like to buy the name, they sold me the name but it was $3500 to buy that name, but it was worth it, people like it. That’s why I chose it.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How do we discover we really want in life to live on purpose?
Aaron Walker: Well, why would you not want to live on purpose? Why would we not want to live intentionally why would we not want to blaze new trails, why would we not want to have the life full of gratification and empowerment encouragement and that doesn’t happen by accident so my tagline is live on purpose I get up every day not wondering what I’m going to do today because I do steps to productive day, I want to be intentional we only have a short period of time our life is so limited, I don’t want to waste today I don’t want to have regrets and that’s why I live every day on purpose.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: People don’t know that there’s something called purpose they just live how they see the people around them live, some people watch soccer other people watch, some people smoke you pick up these habits and that’s the problem is people that they don’t know why they don’t know, they don’t know why they are unhappy they don’t know what is happiness or fulfillment.
Aaron Walker: I think that people have to look within themselves and a lot of times my purpose starts with my faith and so I really gain a lot of faith perspective in stating that we are really put here for a purpose and that could be to help other people so for me it was derived out of my faith.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What other questions should we ask ourselves to have more purpose in life?
Aaron Walker: I think some of the things, it’s a very selfish motive to think that you are put here just for yourself I believe in being a servant leader not only to my community but to my family and my children and I teach people on a daily basis that when you enter into a marriage a lot of your purpose is to serve your mate and meet their needs. As a direct result of that they will meet and serve your needs, I think we should do that for our children to raise them up to educate them in your purpose as an adult to convey secrets of success to instill quality traits and integrity and morality and honesty and all of those traits in order to be a good citizen and I think that one of our purposes is to do that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the essentials or must have things or must do things to have the life work balance?
Aaron Walker: I think one of the things is having people that will hold you accountable to a schedule you implement. I have a group of men that me to my house on Thursday mornings at 6 o’clock we meet every week and it’s to make sure that I’m giving enough energy and effort to my business making sure that I give energy and effort to my wife and my children and my grandchildren so I think a lot of the time we think that balance is going to just happen arbitrarily. And balance doesn’t happen and I tell men to embrace the tension the tension will never go away you think that you are going to be exactly balanced in work and life, and it never happens because new challenges present themselves new opportunities present themselves and we constantly are in a state of flux moving left and right so if we are worried about the tension and we embrace that tension more than likely we’ll be doing the right thing more than if we don’t embrace the tension so I tell men all the time, embrace the tension.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Tell us more about your book, an Eagles view and I going to publish it or self publish it?
Aaron Walker: There’s two schools thought as you know as an author and I’m right at the crossroads of making the decision to whether the self publish and have total control or go traditional publishing and lose control so I’m right at the crossroads I have recently discovered there’s a hybrid that we can do you can work with a traditional publisher but have more control and I believe that the process I’m going to go with. The book is simply about my life and the grit and determination that I’ve used to Excel, it’s also about the successful people that are around me and how I’ve watched then use these great character traits that they’ve embodied to grow the business they are very generous they are very thought-provoking they are very energetic they are very intentional and I’m going to demonstrate every bit of that in my book, the book will be coming out in the fall of 2015 and it’s called an Eagles view, I would love for you to reach out and by several of those books.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: I will especially if there is an audio version because I just listen to books I don’t read books.
Aaron Walker: There will be an audio version.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: You cannot imagine how much I’m enjoying this interview and the value of the information you are sharing and I hope the audience really benefits from it’s amazing what you are sharing with us.
Aaron Walker: Well thank you Ahmed I appreciate that and I’ll tell you I’ll do an audio version and I’ll name it the Ahmed version just for you.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Thank you so much thank you. You always talk about how important networking and creating relationships are and now I can tell why because you are really very good at networking and a very pleasant man I’m really happy not talking to you and I can feel the chemistry I am in Dubai and you are in the US and that is one of the main reasons I think for your success in networking, can you share with us some of the tips about networking?
Aaron Walker: I would love to do that I don’t really know why I started doing that at an early age my dad was very relational he never made any money but he loved people so I watch my dad you would love my dad you would want to hug my dad you would say you’re so friendly and nice and I watched my dad is a young child and as a result of that I intentionally started reaching out to men on purpose trying to build a relationship with them not for what I could get out of the relationship but what I can bring to the relationship. So I started doing that and about eighteen or nineteen years old and I will call people now during the day just to check on them most people when they get a phone call people say hey Ahmed how you listen while I’m talking to you let me ask you a question and that’s the reason they called it wasn’t to check on you, I don’t ask the question I called to check on Ahmed, how are you doing wanted to check on you became across my mind wanted to see how your family was and now they are thinking Aaron is really interested in me a call to check on me. That gives a sense of camaraderie it leaves an indelible impression on people’s minds because they think he really cares about me and now I encourage people daily I will send emails out intentionally I will sit and write emails to congratulate people, glad your book is coming out I’m going to buy your book I’m going to support you I’m going to encourage you, while the reciprocity it happens as a result of that people want to do things for you naturally just because you are kind and polite and gentle and you really reached out to them. Life is so fun as a result of that because my motives are pure my motives are good and I want you to be my friend and out of that business happens. I can teach people how to make money it’s not that hard to make money what really matters in our lives are other people building relationships edifying one another lifting each other up and helping them so I’m very intentional about building relationships.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Which platform on social media do you like the most to build relationships online? Which would you prefer yourself?
Aaron Walker: Twitter. It’s short concise immediate don’t tell anyone I’m not a Facebook fan it’s okay but I’m not a fan I like Twitter I enjoy LinkedIn but Twitter is probably my favorite because you don’t have to say a whole lot, 140 characters you say it you get your message and its instant, people can reply right back and I love Twitter.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are some of the other projects that you are working on now for the future?
Aaron Walker: I’m building 2 right now the primary ones are the book we’ve already talked about and the other one is the course on how to live a successful and significant life that will be coming out and about ninety days and it will be very affordable it will be twelve modules, six modules with twelve videos.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are some of the tools or software that you use that makes you more efficient?
Aaron Walker: A couple of the things we use that are really really helpful to me are zilliondesigns.com, a great resource to help you design documents or logos, papers websites, there’s millions of things they can help you design, scrivener is a really good tool I used to write with, most of the authors are using scrivener it’s a great tool so those are two of the tools I really use, Evernote is really good I’m not as big and that, Google Docs is very good we use Google Docs everyday so those 4 resources would be good.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Take us through your daily life and work day, what do you do from the moment you wake up until you sleep?
Aaron Walker: I’m a very early riser I generally am up between 4 and 5 AM every morning.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: An eagle.
Aaron Walker: Yeah I’m an eagle, I sit in my chair for ten minutes and meditate and drink a glass of water get my coffee going I love coffee I spent time reading the Scripture I spent time meditating and praying I have 2 prayer lists that I go through for family and clients I pray for them each day I spent the next fifteen or twenty minutes being quiet just listening just being still trying to get my day centered and then I open emails to make sure nothing drastic is up and overnight but I need immediate attention to I generally spend the next 2 hours reading, I read I keep 2 or three books going nonstop all the time right now I’m reading eMyth for the second time I just completed essentialism, millionaire next door, business brilliant there’s a number of books that I’ve just completed and I’m ready to start the new ones, after that I write for a few hours, normally have 2 to 3 coaching sessions either in person or virtual each and every day I generally eat lunch with my wife each day my office is at my home and building a new office now to expand into that’s larger on my property, I eat lunch with my wife and then I write or check email again for an hour after that generally by then it’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I have coffee for thirty minutes with my wife in our sunroom, by then at 630 in the day is over for me and we had dinner and then we try to relax and unwind for the evening and I generally go to bed at 930 or 10 o’clock every night so I’m a six and a 6 ½ hours of sleep, historically weekends I try not to work I reserve them for my family, I try not to work I will do the necessary things related to social media just to check on those or the email for maybe an hour each day but generally I try to reserve those days for my grandchildren and my wife and my faith.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Through the days do you have a structure other than this for the day like blog post or writing for this book or create a product?
Aaron Walker: I will repeat but it’s not structured as saying at 9 o’clock and went to write on this project I’m not that structured I’m not that deliberate I would like to be more focused and have designated times and I probably will work into that but as of today I’m not.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: How do you remove the noise from your life and focus when you write to you write with no Internet?
Aaron Walker: I tell you what I do I found out this trick by accident my grandchildren were playing downstairs at my house one day and it was noisy and I couldn’t think and the noise was distracting so I put my headphones on and I love jazz music I love Kenny G and Kenny G was playing.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Saxophone yeah.
Aaron Walker: So I had my headset on and the music took me to a level I’ve not experienced before so all the writing I do now is the music, no words I can’t do the words I can’t hear somebody singing but I just listened to instrumental music primarily saxophone or jazz music like Kenny G but it really takes me to a level that I can write with no distractions. No Internet on no phone on I be distracted I have to be clear and I have to be listening to music.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Do you have a routine to sleep?
Aaron Walker: It easy for me to sleep I lay down and in thirty seconds I’m asleep and it’s over and I wake up at four or 415 no alarm I wake up on my own and my body has done that for so long it’s not hard for me to go to sleep at all.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are your other hobbies?
Aaron Walker: I’m an avid reader as we’ve already talked about I love to fish I love to play golf and I love to play with my grandchildren.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three mentors.
Aaron Walker: You probably won’t know any of them but Bob Warn is my top mentor he was a friend for many years before he passed away, David Landreth is my second mentor and that got picked three… Herb Berry would be my third mentor we’ve been friends for over forty years now he was the man I started with in the pawnshop business when I was thirteen years old, for four decades now we’ve been friends and to the best of my knowledge would never had a crossword so I would say he would be my third mentor.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Most important factors for success in three words?
Aaron Walker: Grit, determination and perseverance.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What’s the biggest failure moment in your life and what did you learn from it?
Aaron Walker: The biggest failure in my life and what that I learned from it? I would say selling the business at twenty-seven years old and would have paid larger dividends had I trusted advisors and mentors at an earlier age that would have kept me from making a mistake.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three apps that you use the new smartphone?
Aaron Walker: Top three apps, I’m not a real big app user but I would say Google does that count everybody has Google, I don’t know I give you top three I don’t really use that.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What are the habits you’re trying to develop to stay efficient?
Aaron Walker: Probably reading even more, the power of habit was a great book if you haven’t read it you need to read that book it helps to identify cues in your life to implement new habits and stop all habits so some of those habits, the other habit that’s really tough for me and I want to learn to do this better my wife keeps me in check but at a certain time in the afternoon any to be completely finished and I want to exercise that more my life where I pick a time whether it’s six or 7 o’clock and I don’t pick up any more electronics I don’t write anymore I don’t return any more emails I devote my total attention and time to my wife so that would probably be a habit that I need to implement and work on most.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What do you do to change your mood when you’re down?
Aaron Walker: I read very positive motivational writing, I listen to podcasts that are very uplifting and motivational and music is a very good thing for me to listen to.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Aaron Walker: The best advice I’ve ever received would simply be to fear missing an opportunity more than I fear of failure, I want to go for it doesn’t matter in my life what it is I want to win I want to succeed I want to be the best at it so I fear missing an opportunity more than I fear failure.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: If you have the chance to go back in time and advise your younger self what would be advised to younger self?
Aaron Walker: Build relationships even more than I do now and have trusted advisors in my life that I run past every decision prior to making the decision.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Your favorite quote?
Aaron Walker: Can’t couldn’t do it and could did it all and that came from my mom I’m a very early age she would not allow children to say can’t she said you may not be able to do what you’re attempting but you’re going to try so she would say repetitively day after day, can’t couldn’t do it and could did it all. As a result of that I have great self-esteem I have the fortitude within me to try things that I may not accomplish but I’m going to try.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three favorite books?
Aaron Walker: Essentialism by Greg McCowan, how to win friends and influence others by Carnegie, the Bible because it resonates with my faith, and the fourth book if I could give another one would be, you said three I’ll quit.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Top three people you’re inspired by?
Aaron Walker: Top three people that I’m inspired by, my wife, should be number one because she is always there for me the second person that inspires me would be Dave Ramsey, Dave Ramsey has been a very integral part and Dan Miller would probably the third.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: What makes you really happy?
Aaron Walker: What makes me happy is empowering others and helping them achieve their dreams and goals they never thought possible.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Is there a question that you think I didn’t ask you or something that you want to talk about?
Aaron Walker: Ahmed I think we cover the whole gamut I’m pretty sure we have I think of anything presently.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Last question how can people contact you?
Aaron Walker: View from the top.com, my personal email is there my Twitter Facebook anyway that you would like to reach me my personal cell numbers on there I would love to talk to you.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: Thank you so much Aaron I really appreciate this interview is one of my favorites that I have ever done.
Aaron Walker: Well thank you Ahmed I really enjoyed it it was a pleasure to be on your show and it was quite an honor thank you for having me.
Ahmed Al Kiremli: It’s my pleasure, thanks everyone be efficient and stay efficient and see you soon with another leading expert.
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