In this episode, I finally get on the mic and share with you a bit of my story, but not just my story, but some big lessons learned in entrepreneurship and business. I hope you enjoy this monologue!


Aaron Spatz  00:00

You’re watching America’s Entrepreneur on Youtube. Welcome to the show. I’m your host, Aaron Spatz. And each week we interview entrepreneurs, industry experts, and other high achievers as a detail their personal and professional journeys. Before we jump in, hit the subscribe button and be sure to hit the bell icon so you’re notified every time we release a new episode. Friends, thank you so much for tuning in. This is a very unique episode, in that I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my own story. And so I’m going to actually spend a little bit of time talking to you about a variety of different topics. And I’m going to go and just preview that for you real quickly. And I have a bunch of notes that I’m going to be referencing. But one, I’m going to kind of cover a little bit of my journey. In terms of career military, I’m going to almost in some ways, answer some of the questions that I asked a lot of my guests, and then kind of go off on a couple of different tangents. After I’ve done that, I’m going to spend some time talking to you about some of the biggest tools that are so important for entrepreneurs to utilize to maximize. You can call them habits you can call them beliefs, whatever, whatever you’d like to title those. But I have three main headers that I want to talk about. And there’s multiple points underneath each of those that I think will be very, very helpful. And hopefully insightful for you in your own journey wherever you happen to be. And then lastly, I’m going to cover just I’m going to cherry pick a few episodes in the lineup, and maybe point you to a couple that I think are impactful. It’s like trying to pick your favorite kid, you really can’t. Like I’ve enjoyed speaking with so so many amazing people. And it really is impossible to pick out the best ones. But there are certainly a few, actually more than a few there are there are a lot of really just solid episodes. And it really it just really depends on what you’re after, I think is probably the better way of saying it. So depending on what you are searching for, and the answers and the advice and the insight that you’re that you’re seeking to glean. You can find that in in certain episodes. And so I’m going to try to help direct you with that. So, one, this is incredible. It’s incredibly awkward for me, because I’m used to doing all the questions I’m not I’m not used to doing a whole lot of the talking Believe it or not, you may or may not actually believe that I’ve been featured. As a guest on multiple podcast, I’ve talked to a lot of different people where I’ve been on the other side of microphone, every time it is uncomfortable for me, I I don’t mind it, but it is very uncomfortable. And so it takes a little bit of effort for me to do this is why I’ve waited so long to to do an episode featuring me. And I don’t like the spotlight to necessarily be on me either believe, believe it or not. So I say to for episode 123. Part of that is because I feel like one of the themes of my life has just been building and learning. And I just feel like 123 Is that progression of growth of movement forward. And so for whatever reason, I just I just decided that that will be the one for me. So anyway. So real quickly for me, like, you know, quick background of my story. Where do I come from? Why did I join the military. So for me, I grew up in a navy household, I grew up in the Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach area. Just a really lovely area of Virginia, I call that that’s really that’s my home, that’s where that’s where I’m from. Spent, I spent the first 13 ish years of my life there before we moved, then we came back and I spent spent another year there. Before my father retired. My father was an enlisted guy in the Navy got out as a Senior Chief, he’s a Surface Warfare guy. And so I was exposed to the Navy from a very young age and I have I have a ton of fond memories of, of boarding the ship of checking out the Chiefs mess, where you know, where my father slept, where other people worked, and just kind of getting to, like, I can still remember the smells of the ship years later when I when I was doing some training with the Navy as as a Marine officer, just a flood of memories coming back. And so it’s really, really, really neat. I still I still remember saying goodbye on the countless deployments that that he went on. And so like it was just that was that was my story. And so I was exposed to the military at such a young age. And I knew for me that that was going to be a part of my of my story whether or not I was a career guy or a four years and done person. I knew that the military was going to be where I ultimately ended up and and sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. And so when he retired, we moved to the landlocked state of Utah there’s really not much story there besides the fact that my family and my my my to be wife’s family we all move there at about the same time and we have all since scattered and so we we all share Christian beliefs. So the first question that you normally get asked as well you know, are you remember the LDS church? Are you Mormon? I’m not I don’t have anything against those people I love I really did love our time in Utah. It is a very unique place, you can do a lot of amazing things outdoors, from skiing and snowboarding to a whole bunch of stuff during the summertime. And so I mean, I could talk to you forever about about some of the adventures and things that you can do there. So it was a really good time, I entered the military by way of the NROTC program. What was really funny though, is I actually delayed entry programmed, initially into the Navy. And what happened was, I signed up. So my mother filled me in on the story, I wasn’t even aware of this detail until I was recounting part of this to her a few weeks ago, we were talking about something. And there’s a big detail the story that I have left out when I’ve talked about this before, that I was not aware of, and it blew it, like blew me away that that this happened. So I was really anxious to get signed up to get going. And I submitted my NROTC scholarship package, and didn’t hear back forever. I mean, I was like, I was expecting an acceptance or rejection letter. I didn’t know what it was gonna be. But I’m just like, Man, I’m waiting around forever, and I don’t want to wait around forever. And so what I ended up doing, and this is the part I didn’t realize, I did this all on my own, I did not talk with my family about this beforehand. But I went down to the recruiting station, I ended up signing up with the Navy, I was actually gonna be delayed Entry Program. As a as an AV nuke that was that was gonna be my, my path. I did all that I actually went to Maps did the entire process. They’re like, all the way we swore in I mean, the whole nine yards did all of that on my own. And that was this all happened, it was the day. And I can remember because it was around a holiday. So it was the day before Thanksgiving. We had Thanksgiving. And then it was the date literally the day after Thanksgiving, this big thick packet in the mail from department, the Navy opened it up. And it was Congratulations, you’ve been selected to in ROTC for your scholarship program. Here’s the you know, you’ve got to you’ve got to get entry into your school got to meet all these other requirements, basically a contingent offer assuming I passed all the medical and all the all the different things that that have to happen. So that was insane. So called up Navy Recruiting Command, really that to them. And it was no problem. And so that my the enlistment contract I signed, went away. And then I went to university, Utah. So I did that for four years. About halfway through that, through that journey, I made the decision that I really would prefer to join the United States Marine Corps. And so you have to go through an entire separate process to make that happen. And so it’s not it’s not a gimme. But for those of you that remain not as familiar with with the military, there are there are multiple paths to going into the military. So you can enlist, which is what I essentially done. And then you ship out to boot camp and and then you move on to your schooling, then you move out into your unit there. And then there’s officer programs where you can, if you’ve completed college, then you can go through Officer Candidate schools, depending on the branch of service, they all have different links and formats. And then there’s also the service academies, which everybody knows about US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, US Military Academy for the army, there’s even the US Merchant Marine Academy. There’s, there’s there’s a few of those options available to you. And then there are in ROTC programs, which are essentially programs designed for you to commit to the military, but you’re going to a local college or really, I mean, I could have went to any college so long as I had gotten accepted to that college. But but you are a student. And you’re also you also have a commitment to the military. And then every summer, you’re shipping out to do a period of training, I want to say was like a 30 day training block during the summer. And you’re in you have classes that you have to attend in addition to your degree program. And assuming you you pass everything, all the other screens and all the other things that you need to do. Then at the end of that then you receive your commission as as an officer as either an ensign or second lieutenant, and in our in our US military and then you move on and do your other trainings and so forth. So for me, I’d gotten exposure to the Marine Corps from it from a very early age again, being being in a navy family. There’s there’s a Marine Corps as part of the Department Navy, my father and I will share jokes about that and read each other about Marine Corps being the men’s department. But we we I always been exposed to marine culture from a distance and sometimes up close depending on my father’s assignments. So I’d had a lot of different exposures to that and then even during the summer trainings as as a as a then Navy option. I just really felt pulled and drawn to that branch of service didn’t know if I would make it didn’t know if I get accepted, but I want to give it a shot. So I had to submit a completely different application package. Got that approved. Thank God I was really I was really just thrilled for that. then the very next summer I shipped out to Officer Candidate School, Marine Corps regardless of who you are. Just because you graduate doesn’t mean anything, you have to complete Officer Candidate School. So I went through Officer Candidate School completed that completed completed college. And then I was commissioned and so went, went out did that I was a field artillery officer, served for four years I was based in Campo Jun, North Carolina, did that for a period of time I deployed overseas to Afghanistan, I worked for one star general as a part of his task force. So I worked in a in a in a building that was basically filled with all sorts of technology and TV screens and, or monitoring all sorts of stuff. And I can save that for a separate time. But there’s just, there’s a lot that I got to do in a more non traditional way than what I was expecting. And so that was a bit of my story. of military and and so I guess, kind of speeding the story up a little bit getting us to today. So the question I’m going to answer is another question. I asked a lot of people, which is, you know, where did the origin of the entrepreneurial bug come from? Like, where? Where was that? And my answer to that question simply is, it’s always really been a part of me. And so I think a lot of young people explore and evaluate business opportunities. When they’re kids. I was very, I was a very ambitious, very industrious kid and growing up, so I had my first business. I mean, my parents lent me the equipment, but I was doing, you know, lawn mowing, in Virginia, we have a ton of trees. And so it, those trees, in the fall will will shed their leaves and your gutters can get just completely clogged and just full of leaves. And this is like, you know, 20 plus years ago, before they’ve invented other technology and stuff to cover your gutters. But so I mean, I’d climb a ladder and pull all the mucky pine needles and leaves out of out of people’s gutters. And so that was that was really my first business. It was a it was a solo gig I didn’t have didn’t have employees or any type of help. It was just made, but it was a great, it was a great opportunity, a really good learning experience. And then even when I was in the military, I would always kick around ideas like I was, I was fascinated with shows like Shark Tank, right? I was always fascinated by just the experience of others have taken an idea whether it was a brand new idea, or whether it was just simply making a mousetrap better than somebody else or offering it a little bit differently. I was always fascinated by that. So I I, I joined a couple of different startups as more or less like a remote contributor. But I learned so much. And so after the military, we moved to Houston, Texas. And that was the beginning of my civilian career. And so while I was there, I had the opportunity to work in the oil and gas industry, I traveled the world multiple, multiple, multiple times. And while I was doing that, as well, I like I said, I pursued a couple things at night. And it was just it was just great exposure. That that’s really the best way of saying it. So great exposure, that there’s so much more to the story that I would share with you, I just don’t want to I just want to bore you with a ton of details. So if you want more details, drop me a line Aaron at Bold media.us. And I’m happy to happy to talk more about this with you. But you know, there’s multiple other steps in the journey, whether it was church, church work, right, working in ministry, whether it was working with another small company, we ultimately ended up moving to the Dallas Fort Worth area and I took a took a roll up here, which is where which is where we are now. So I had opportunity to work for a couple of other companies here, doing more project management, a little bit of leadership and I had a really good opportunity with one company to help kind of start a company from scratch. And so had there’s a lot of learning in that a lot of pain. But there’s also a lot of growth that that happened through that and so had a great opportunity on the tail end of that experience to really dive into business for myself. And so there’s there’s a lot of factors that all kind of converged all at about the same time and it was enough to get me off the starting block and to go pursue it. And I don’t know if the circumstances weren’t the way they were, I don’t know if I would have really taken the dive. So I took the dive a jumped in. Got really it was two businesses getting them just going so we could survive right so we could make money, pay our bills, get our basic needs met. But during that time, and I’ll spend spend little bit more time here talking about this, this journey and this is some of the things I’m going to talk to you about what what in terms of tooling and things that you need to be successful. One I just want to say it’s it is it is a journey you are learning, you’re growing. There’s no stop to learning, and you’re going to find out where you’re at weak, you’re gonna find out where you’re strong. And so for me, it was a struggle I but I loved it, it was the it was the heart it like it is one of the hardest things I’ve done. But it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve I think I’ve ever done. And so but it comes with a ton of challenges, a ton of setbacks, and you’ve got to have the endurance to see it through. And so I had been in a position where I, I felt like I was doing all of the work of the company. And I had outsourced a few things here and there, like I had gotten a little bit of help. But it’s really different when you’re starting something and you need every available dollar for your own your own personal budget, and we’d stripped our budget down to the bare bones, I mean, bare bare bare bones, it’s it’s difficult, this is just my experience, this may not be yours, this may not be other people’s experiences. But for me, it was very difficult to make very clear level headed decisions, while under that financial scrutiny, or that financial pressure rather. And so I’d taken a couple of just various odd jobs, a couple of various opportunities that have popped up just to supplement and give give me a little bit of breathing room that came at about a year into that into that journey. And so that’s kind of kind of where I’m at. So where we are now is so I have two companies, waypoint technologies, which is a which is an IT service company, does it consulting, it troubleshooting some of the architecture work behind like, how do you design systems, and I mean, whether it’s like wiring up a building, in getting a small office moved over, or whether it’s troubleshooting technical issues, we’ve done, we’ve done a lot of the work there. My primary company, however, though, is bold strategy group. And bold strategy group is a company that helps other companies get clarity around their vision, their mission, their values, getting an actionable plan that will help take them through their business objectives, and really just help give them a basic framework and a basic format to work with. And then really were were a massive value add beyond that, which is, which is a huge value add for companies, it’s just having clarity, is then executing part of that, like part of that roadmap. So if it’s the if it’s the marketing plans, whether it’s managing social media, whether it’s developing websites, or relaunching redeveloping websites, we’ve helped with that. And this isn’t meant to be commercial, I’m just simply sharing with you what, what it is that we do. And so that has been, like immensely rewarding work of helping companies. And I mean, I have one of my best clients right now. I mean, we have, we have helped open up some massive opportunity for them. And I’m so freaking proud of the work that we’ve done, and to see their demeanor change over the months of developing relationship, but then seeing the performance, and they’re starting to see some of the fruits of all of that effort. And it is it is tremendously rewarding. And I love when I see companies grow. And, and I like to think that we had a small part of that, of that success. So really, really thrilled to be able to do that. And so today, really, it’s like, focus on learning and focus on growing the company and getting others around me. So I’m going to transition now into the second part of this after I finished coughing my brains out really quick. I’m going to transition now into some of the some of the biggest tools, the biggest value added items that have really impacted me as as a as an entrepreneur, and things that I think will help encourage you in your own journey. So whether you’re an entrepreneur right now, and you are, you are basically in the same situation as me, maybe you’re further along, or maybe you’re working at a corporate job, and you’re and you’ve been toying with an idea of just getting something going and you just don’t know quite how to what to do and how to do that. I’m hoping some of these some of these lessons learned some of these tips will really, really help you but but I will tell you, some of them will make sense to you right away depending on but it’s gonna depend on where you are. So if you are in the journey, right now, there’s a few points I’m going to talk about that will absolutely resonate with you, I promise. Then there’s other points that if you are not in that journey right now, it’s not really I mean, you’ll understand it, right? But it’s not going to have a personal meaning like this attachment is like this reality to you. And so I give you that upfront because it there, it’s quite the diverse lineup of things that I want to share with you. So, and this is not necessarily in any particular order. But these are just, these are just things that I think are really important. So you hear this one all the time and it’s mindset. And mindset is is is everything and I know it sounds so cliche, don’t like don’t turn this episode offers or move on to the next video because I just said that I’m telling you, it really it really impacts everything. For me it impacts on just mean impacts my family. Right? So how you believe in yourself determines everything. And so there are so many different things that we battle that I’ve battled. Whether it is a in these are more like self limiting beliefs. So one and before it before jumping in that these are things that you may not even realize you’re doing to yourself. And I think that one of the hardest parts about mindset is recognizing where you are in the mindset. You could you could have a perfect mindset, growth minded, very positive, and you’re in, you’re moving forward. And then then there’s others of you, and I’m probably more in this boat right now, where you think you’re there. But you actually have some other things that you’re working on that you don’t even know that you’re working on. And so self limiting beliefs, right. So whether it is I mean, you can pull up articles about this one, you know, imposter syndrome, right? So thinking that you’re not adequately suited to do what it is you do. And that is it. That’s a big one. Another big one is just not feeling like you’re worthy of the success that you’re pursuing. And I’m telling you, it’s a stretch, some things are very strange, but they they are very real. Once you start to dive into a few articles, again, just Google it like Google imposter syndrome, Google, limiting belief of worthiness. And there’s several others that you can research. But you’ll notice that it really will hinder your ability, because what you’re going to do is, then you’re going to cap yourself, you’re going to you’re going to start to make some progress and start to achieve breakthrough. And then the tendency could be that you’re going to stop yourself, right? And it’s very strange. But you, you’re either you’re there, if you’re afraid of success, you’re not necessarily afraid of failing, you’re almost afraid of doing well. And all the things that come with that. And then and then there are and then there is the other side of that just afraid of just not doing well. So there are there are a million factors. I mean, you could you could go and read, read up on those. And I would encourage you to, and I would encourage you to read up on some of these, what what they’re called, you know, self limiting beliefs. Pull up a bunch of those self limiting beliefs related to entrepreneurship, Google App, do some research and understand, really try to pay attention to what you are feeling when you read those. Again, I know that sounds so freakin Kumbaya, and so touchy feely, I’m telling you this, this really impacts a lot of things. And I’m speaking from personal experience. So and I’m in a totally, totally unique journey that I did not ever think I would be on with that. So take a look at that, in terms of mindset. Next, related to mindset is habits. So what are your daily habits and this, this informs your mindset, this informs your beliefs that rather is probably the better way of saying that. So what are your daily habits, there are so many things that we can do in the morning, that will impact the rest of our day, right? So I mean, really silly example. But if you roll out of bed in the morning, and you get met with bad news, or maybe you and your wife or you you and your spouse, or you get into an argument of some sort, so it doesn’t have to be something major could just be just a short little skirmish, or your kids are being just psychotic when you’re trying to get them to school. I mean, any number of things, you could have gotten a message from a friend or from a family member or something with maybe not so great news. If you’re not careful, you can let that like that will color your day and like taint your day. And it’s going to it’s going to impact a lot of other things that you’re doing. And so it’s it’s very important to have habits sets that will help put you in the proper mindset for that day. And I am and I’m a huge offender of this. So like this is advice, not just for you, this is advice for me. And I’m taking all this on board too. And so taking the time to understand where you are with your journey. So one and again, this is some of the things that that that I consult companies with, which is having a vision. What are you working towards, like what is your what is your goal? What is your objective? Like, what and then not only what is it that you’re after? But why are you after this? So if you’re if you’re wanting to start a new business, like what, why do you want to do that? And when you have a very compelling why it really does help. So if it’s, if it’s something like well, I just wanna make a lot of money, okay. That’s one thing. But if it’s another thing of like, you know, I really want to impact the lives of others I want I want to help other people attain breakthrough, I want to, I want to, I want to see the light bulb go off in their head, I want to see that breakthrough. And so there’s a there’s a deeper level of satisfaction. So for me, that’s my That’s more or less what it is for me. Right? So it’s, it’s helping other people attain breakthrough. And for me that that gets me excited, like that starts get me excited and then realize that there’s gonna be a whole whole nother slew of side effects and benefits that, that, that come as a result of that. So, but some of the habits though, so for me, and again, this isn’t gonna apply to everybody, but me having a faith background, having time for prayer, having time where I’m reading the Bible having time where I am, I am, I am devoting in spending time and worship to God, that gets me centered and puts me in the right frame of mind for the day. And it gets me going. And, and I know, and I noticed when I don’t do those things, so for you, that may not look quite the same. Right. So you’ve heard some of the common, some common conventional wisdom, which is a watered down version of this, again, this is my my opinion, is having a gratitude journal, right? Having these things that you’re thankful for? re like, reflecting on again, the why for what it is that you’re doing. And then And then more and then getting more practical here. What are the what are the what are the times a day that you are most alive, that you’re most energetic, that you’re most creative, that you’re at your best, that’s those are the that’s the time of day that you want to save and devote for the for the heaviest lifting, the most creativity type moments. And so for me that that is generally more in the morning, the more mundane routine, kind of brainless or less creative stuff would maybe be in the afternoons. And then. So recognizing that, then I’m going to stagger, I’m going to structure my day, so that I’m doing those things at the right time. And, again, and I’m sure some of you can relate. But I mean, do you remember, like a time when maybe you’ve, you’ve written a paper like so I remember when I when I was in college, writing, say like a 10 page or 20 page paper, and I am in it’s like 930 at night, or 1130 at night, or maybe it’s even the next the next day already, in the early hours that next day. And have you ever noticed that your creativity just for me, it sucked. It was horrible Progress was slow and painful. And it was just drudgery. And it was just it was very, very difficult. And then when I realized this, then I would go to sleep. And then I’d make sure I wake up early like earlier than I needed to so so I was able to get it done. But my brain was firing I was I immediately recognize whole entire sections of the paper that were just wrong or not worded very well. Or I could pick up on a thought that I had started and I could just keep running with it. And so think about how that’s going to impact you, it may require that you completely restructure your day, it might just mean that you maybe you might want to consider just tweaking little elements of your day, where it’s structured in a way that is going to play to the, to your strengths for that day. So that that’s mindset. For me, another another tremendous tool has been mentors. And again, mentors, there’s so like, there’s so much I can share with you here. But one, just the selection of mentors. And this can be a little bit difficult. But one, finding people that you want to be like, is very helpful. So there’s, there’s, there’s like, there’s a few different types of mentors. So there’s people that you look up to that are maybe in your industry or in your space in your geography that you would like to be like more or less, that are experts. Pursuing relationship those people is definitely worthwhile, it’s going to take a lot of effort may even take some money. But to be able to get to that point would be ideal. If you’re not at that point, then another really great thing to do is just simply surround yourself with people of various experiences, try to find a few people that are experienced in what it is that you do. And just ensure that they’ve been in the industry or in business a lot longer than you that they’ve that they’ve attained some level of success. So they have a track record that you can that you can look on and in glean from and then make it a point to regularly meet with those people. And so for me, a lot of this happened during the pandemic. So we would do zoom calls every couple of weeks or every month. And just great, great solid people that were there to pour into me. And it was a little a little awkward at first but these are people that are there to help you gain the clarity that you need for your own breakthrough get some vision gets get unstuck answer some tough questions like man, you know, I’m really struggling with this in my business right now. What have you seen and then to realize that oh man, Aaron, we’ve seen that like I’ve dealt with that multiple times in my career and man like this is how it’s played out for me so they can encourage you. They can inspire you, they can give you just a small little boost a small, thought provoking word. And sometimes it’s maybe it’s corrective, right, maybe it’s a little bit more instructive. Or maybe it’s simply encouraging. So depending on where you are, and what the needs are, and just how it all works, I’ve noticed for me, it’s, it’s been all all over the place, when I’ve met with my mentors, and I’m telling you, they have been absolutely invaluable to where I to where I am now. And I’m still a long ways off from where, where does I want to be, but I’m telling you, I would not be anywhere near where I am now, had it not been for just some great people that I can talk to that I can that I trust, that that aren’t looking to get something back, they’re there they’re getting back, is just the satisfaction of pouring to somebody that’s younger than them, that’s earlier in their journey. And it’s a way for them to give back. And so for, I would encourage you to pursue those relationships, they’re, they’re huge, they can help hold you accountable. But set it regularly. And I want to tell you this, it is your responsibility, as the entrepreneur, to pursue those relationships, to continue those relationships, maintain and manage that it is not their responsibility. It’s great, of course, when they reach out and when they when when maybe they practically do something, but it is on you to set those meetings, to maintain the communications to do to do all that legwork. It is on you. And so take that seriously. And don’t take it for granted and make sure that you’re incredibly appreciative and grateful for the time that they’re setting aside that they don’t need to set they don’t have to set aside for you. But they are choosing to do that. And it is a tremendous gift. And so embrace that, be grateful for it, it is it is a it is a huge blessing. Lastly, before we move on to the final segment is so you’ll notice that these are all M’s like all the all the points. So the first one was mindset, we talked about beliefs and habits. Second was mentors. And three is Mind your business. And what I mean by that is, there’s a phrase that I that has always stuck with me since I was in the military, which is brilliance in the basics. And so many people will do amazing things. And oftentimes, the biggest single biggest difference is having a mastery of just basic fundamentals. I mean, I think I think even Michael Jordan commented on that, at some point in his in his career, but mastering the basic brilliance in the basics, mastering the fundamentals. And so again, it goes back to basic habits. Are you sleeping in every single day? Are you getting distracted by social media, by your phone by other distractions? Maybe in your home? Or in your office? Or you get distracted by hobbies? Are you getting pulled away into other things? Are you doing things that are lower value? Are you doing things that other people could do that you could simply outsource to somebody else. But But focusing on the basics of how we how you communicate with somebody. And then the basics of your craft that kind of leads into the next point which is learning your craft, right, you don’t have to necessarily be an expert in the doing in the in the know how of the actual execution what you do. So let’s say you lead a cybersecurity firm, I would not, I would not expect you, as the leader of that organization to be the only or to be the subject matter expert on everything, like incredibly, insanely technical in detail in nature. However, I would expect you to have a very, very good knowledge of what it is that you do, how it impacts your customers, and in having some level of knowledge into maybe a little bit of the technical details. But you certainly don’t have to have a technical mastery. And so there there is a there is a difference. But you certainly do need to learn a craft you there is a phrase, right, that says, surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. And I and I do I agree with that. I agree with that to the point that however you you, you yourself need to have a basic level understanding, or at least an intermediate level understanding of what it is that you do and what you deliver. Otherwise, how can you hold people accountable? And how can you get the best and how do you know if you’re not being told or informed of, of accurate information, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for you. So definitely spend some time investing in the in the actual execution of what it is that you’re doing. But depending on where you are in your journey, you may you may be that person in you and often you are if you’re a solopreneur if you are if you if you own your own job, you are the subject matter expert, but if you’re looking to grow your company, you’re going to have to bring other people in into the fold which is my third point or third sub point, which is build your team and your processes So this, this one took me, it’s not that it took me forever to understand, I certainly understood it. I’d read it, I’d read up about it all day. But I had a hard time executing it. And it’s something I’m actually still working on right now. But I’ve since grown my team I have, I have several people that I lean on to help me with certain scopes of work in certain elements of what we deliver to our clients. I’m really more talking about bolt Strategy Group in the way that we execute, vision mission values, assessments, and how we help how we help facilitate those discussions. A lot of that is work that I do personally. But then there’s a lot of other secondary work that happens, whether it’s research, and then whether it’s the whether it’s the execution of websites, social media, I have, I have amazing people that are incredibly talented, that have the bandwidth to focus on that. And so, but build your team, build your processes, and this will this will come when you’re able to build a little little bit of revenue base. So again, I am not insensitive to that dilemma. And so there’s a great book, I think it’s over my shoulder here. Yep. The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. Some of the information is is a little dated, there’s certainly going to be some some things in there that are like, okay, like, how does that apply in present day, but I promise you it does there, you can take some of the lessons learned or a lot, a lot of lessons learned in that book, and overlay that onto your, onto your situation. And so one of the main premises of that book talks about building a building a company that you could franchise, even if you don’t plan on franchising it even if you’re not planning on making a you know, McDonald’s, or Chick fil A or or a national franchise of some sorts, but think about and treat it as if it was something you would do. What what does that mean? What are some things that you need to do to make that possible? And that’s gonna, that’s going to be, hey, I’ve got to have processes in place, whether it’s accounts receivable, accounts payable, whether it’s the actual execution of what we’re doing. So I mean, you can take from accounting, to operations, to administrative, there’s a ton of different things involved, that you need to really articulate and it is it of course, it’s going to change, it’s going to evolve. But how can you? How can you write a job description for somebody, how can you give them a scope of work to complete when you don’t really have a process laid out. And so it’s important to spend a little bit of time developing that developing your processes that way, you have a very clearly defined seat for your team. And so it it helps eliminate ambiguity, right? I mean, and that’s the whole point. That’s the whole point of helping companies establish vision and mission and values is helping eliminate ambiguity, establish clarity, so that you, you have a clear sight of where it is that you want to go, it may take you years to get to where you’re trying to go. But at least you know where it is you’re going, instead of it being this broad horizon. Now you have a point on the horizon that you’re marching towards. And so it makes it makes a huge difference. And so that’s true, internally as well. And so developer processes, spend a lot of time networking as your networking in terms of business development, network for talents, that’s something I should have started much sooner. But it’s probably a really big lesson learned is, is network for the talent also. And a lot of that will actually come from your network of people that you develop over time. So and that’s probably another whole nother point that could talk about that. I’m, I don’t know, maybe I’ll spend a couple minutes talking about networking. But taking time to build out your team is very important. And for your team to be successful, they need to have clear processes, clear expectations, clearly defined roles, that way, they’re as effective as possible. And I don’t care where they come from, they could come from the other side of the globe, they could come from right down the street doesn’t matter to me, I’m looking for the best talented people that I that I can communicate that I that I know, like and trust, just like in business, people want to do a deal with you, they’re going to do a deal with you, primarily based in people that they know like and trust. And when that when that happens, it’s it’s an absolutely amazing thing. It takes time. So hire well hire, right, do it right. And in and be patient as as you go about it. So I will add that fourth point here, just kind of on the fly. When it comes to networking, there’s there are some misconceptions related to networking. And there’s even things that I’ve learned just in the last year of what it means to network. And so in this ties a little bit into business development, but taking the time to meet people, whether it’s over zoom, whether it’s a coffee, so if you’re doing work in the same geography, then it’s a lot easier to get in person meetings. But if they’re on the other side of the country, it’s gonna be a little more challenging and so it takes takes deliberate action and focus and consistency to to get meetings with people, but then to also grow a network of people that know like and trust you. And that is that is the way that you’re going to grow business. Can you grow business through transactions? Can you go business through manipulating people through a, through a very cleverly designed script, I’m not against scripts, by the way, I’m not against processes, I think I think I actually think those are very important to utilize. But if you’re using those to manipulate into corner people into making a decision, sure, you might get a short term win today, but you’re not making a long term client or, or customer you’re not, you’re definitely not making a repeat customer, it becomes a very, just a very cat and mouse type of type of situation, again, that might you might be comfortable with that that’s not something I’m looking to do, I’m looking to partner with companies and with people that I that I like that I know, like and trust, but then also people that know like, and trust me and trust that I’m going to do a great job for them and take care of them and help them get the clarity that they so desperately need and, and get a vision and a strategy mapped out so that they can, they can achieve their business goals. And so but you can’t do that, through just blindly messaging a billion people, it’s, it’s very difficult, and you’re gonna you’re you’re gonna you’re gonna burn bridges in the process that you didn’t have to that you that you did not have to necessarily, some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned have been from people that I call connectors. These are people, there’s a few of them in my life that I am absolutely blown away, and amazed at their ability to connect with and relate to nearly anybody. And there’s there’s one person in particular that I’m thinking of right now that I’ve spent probably a grand total of like, 10 minutes, no joke, 10 minutes talking to this person, but I’ve known him for probably a year and a half at this point. And that’s what that’s the way that he rolls. He will he will, when you meet him in a social setting. He he will talk with you for two minutes. And he’s busy introducing you to other people that he knows he’s like, Okay, this is zones over here. This is zones over here, you need to talk to him, he’s he does this, he’s a good friend of mine, tell him that I sent you to him. He’ll definitely he’s worth your time. But and like and he’ll do that. And he’ll he’ll work the room. And he’s just so busy connecting people, getting people to have a great time. And it’s it’s absolutely amazing. And it’s something that I seek to emulate. And there’s another another friend of mine who does this, but he does it kind of on a different level. Where then and this is kind of this is really what I’m what I’m working towards, is looking to figure out how he can help you solve a problem. So let’s say you and I are talking at a networking event, right? You may have a very specific problem in your business that MIT you know, you and I small talk a little bit I’ve gotten to know you, you gotten to know me just a little bit. We’re being very efficient with our time with each other. And then I and then I asked like, hey, you know, what’s, what’s one of the biggest things that you’re dealing with right now? Like what’s, what’s one of your biggest challenges? And you can ask that question, once you’ve established a little bit of rapport with somebody, and they’ll open up with you like, you know, Aaron, I’m, I’m actually struggling right now with some of my payroll processes on my HR stuff. Like it’s just, it’s a bit of a mess where we’ve been growing. And I just feel like I’ve got a lot of just crap going on. It’s a little bit disorganized. And so rather than me trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole, and I’m trying to think of ways, well crap, how can I? How can I steer this conversation in a way where I can talk to with him about business strategy, marketing strategy, and the importance of getting your message known and seen by people? Instead of doing that, and not making about me, I make it about him. So then I’m thinking this whole time while he’s talking, I’m thinking, okay, crap, that really sucks. Who do I know that could potentially be the remedy for that. And so and then I refer to my network, if I know the person off top my head, I’ll be like, hey, you know what? So and so would be the perfect person for you. I’m going to set up an introduction for you right now. And you know, we’ll exchange information. And then I’ll make sure that I do an email introduction, or a phone call or or a meeting of some sort, so that these people are connected. And I’m telling you, it’s the weirdest thing. It’s so cool. People remember that. Because it’s so unique. They remember the fact that you unselfishly, were looking out for their best interest in that yours, and it makes it you don’t realize the impact it makes, it makes a tremendous impact on people. And that that will that will reap dividends for you later. And so they’ll be talking to somebody, but you know what? I hear what you’re saying their friend, like, I know you guys have been having a lot of growth in your company lately. And you’re kind of struggling with where you’re going or you just bought this business from your father. It’s kind of in this accidental success that you guys are doing really well. But you don’t really know where you’re going. There’s a guy I need to introduce you to he can absolutely help you with this. I’d love I’d love to introduce you to like it’ll It’ll come back to you and that way. And and I don’t mean that in this, again, not a touchy feely way. But when you’re spending time in or investing in other people’s problems and their relationships and his relationships, and you are figuring out ways to help other people, they’re going to figure out a way to help you as well. And shoot in that same conversation. He may ask you like, oh, you know, what? What is it that you do? Like, I’d love to, like you’ve been so kind to me? What do you do? Like, how can I help you out and then and then take, take him up on, on on that offer? And don’t make it long and weird. Just talk, just talk really briefly about why you do what you do and the results that you help people get. And that’s it. And then, and then when if he has other questions you guys can talk about further. But that’s something that that person will file away. So anyway, think of networking as opportunities to help other people. And I know, there’s no, I know, it sounds so cliche. And there’s a lot of really great books, there’s a, there’s a series of books written by a man named Bob Berg I’ve had, I’ve actually had him on the show, tremendous guy. But he’s written a series of books called the Go Giver. And there’s a few different titles with that same variation of the title, I would encourage you to read those. They are, they’re written more of like a parable. But they’re really great illustrations and examples for how it is that we can interact with others, much like the way that I’m explaining it to you right now. So I would really, really encourage you to pursue that. So again, to recap, before we start to move to the tail end of this of this time, you know, I share with you my life story, a very, very limited version of that. But then I also share with you some of the biggest tools and important things to note as entrepreneurs, which we covered mindset, beliefs and habits, we covered mentors, how to select them, meeting with them, having them hold you accountable. We talked about minding your business, brilliance in the basics, learning your craft, building your teams and processes and how important that is. And then lastly, it was a it was a it was an on the fly call. But talking about networking, and how that works and how it works with business development, and how to, in my opinion, how to do it the right way, rather than being a vulture, as I like to call it. So last, I’m going to just quickly, I have my phone open here, let me cough again, I’ve been trying not to cough onto the mic, and I’ve coughed a couple times. Now hold on. Getting over the last bits of a cold no idea. But I’m going to scroll through my phone here and and cherry pick a few titles of a few episodes that I think would be valuable to you. Again, I’m going to tell you right now, just in my opinion, probably 98% of every of all the shows that I’ve produced, I would I would refer you to there’s very, very limited exceptions. And there may not even be any that I would not refer to there. There are there are golden nuggets to be pulled from every single one of these guests. It just depends on where you are in your story. So the very first person I ever had, on the Show Episode One was Rico, Miller and Rico talked about faith, purpose and perspective. And honestly, it’s a great it’s a great story of how he found his His purpose and His perspective and the faith that he has, as a result of that, in the faith that he endured through all that and some of the ups and downs that he went through in his business career. And it’s been it’s been a it was a really fascinating story. And again, I’m like I’m like, I’m like skipping over people that I really want to talk about. And they’re like athlete, tremendous people. Friend of mine, based on Morris, he’s been on the show, talked about bouncing back from unemployment and losing a job in middle of a housing crisis. Just a whole bunch of things there and then how he has grown his business, and always looking for ways to help people. Really, really, really awesome conversation there. You know, I talked with some other amazing people Scott as Scott Husing, he’s the author of the book echo and rimane he’s a Marine Corps veteran. One of the big things that he talked with me about was just knowing your value. Like don’t, don’t feel like you got to give everything away. Know what you’re worth, know what your time is worth. And stick to it. Like there’s nothing wrong with charging somebody for what it is that you know, like, Sure you might make some exceptions for friends and family. But if you have a very constrained schedule and you have very limited time and every one of those are the majority of your minutes are devoted to revenue generating activities then don’t be afraid to do that. At the same time though then but but like there’s a phrase like that, that I’ve heard that I will steal but it’s you know, when you’re going to give give and when you’re when you’re going to sell, sell, and don’t muddy the two up. So if you’re going to give and donate your time, whether through a nonprofit or you’re mentoring, like it’s, it should be very obvious that that’s what you’re doing but when you try to cross the two kind of at the same time it’s very odd and very kind of kind of weird. Talk with Kimberly sell hammer Kimberly is a Veteran of Hollywood It’s not everyday I get to talk to Hollywood executive producer and writer and I mean she’s, she’s been in industry for over 20 years has had a very successful career. She she talks about overcoming odds. I mean, her story is full of so many challenges and ups and downs. And it’s it’s amazing to hear and see how she’s endured and what she’s done to get to where she is today. A good friend of mine I had on the show, I’ve had her on the show twice. Now April sprints, she was on Episode 14, back when the show was audio only. And then I had her on recently, probably a couple months ago, now she just released a book called Magic Blue Rocks. And she’s such an inspiring, creative, just just very just very much full of life. Like she’s such a giving and just generous person. She, she leads what’s called the generosity culture. And she has a company called driven outcomes. That helps that helps companies achieve greater results. So really inspiring story of again, overcoming some really difficult circumstances. And there’s the breakthrough the clarity that she’s had in her life. And the way that she’s giving back is just absolutely tremendous. I spoke with Ted Terrazas. Ted. So if you’re interested in government contract work. He he was one of the implementers of TRICARE when it came to the military, and so he worked in the Air Force, and it was responsible for helping lead some of those projects. And then when he we, when he left the Air Force, he started a company that was basically a medical consulting firm, to to the US government. And so he built a very successful business. Really fascinating conversation. A couple of my favorite, there’s like three episodes in a row that I absolutely like I love all, like all these guys, I talked to such impactful conversations, and I would encourage you to listen to all three of these. One was Bill Militello. Next was Ty Smith. And the next one was Jay Rogers, Bill Militello shares such a great story. And he’s such a great communicator, love this guy love the way that he that he talks, and how he shares a story. But he started out on Wall Street, after he left the military, and started doing financial advising. He’s trying to grow his financial advising firm, and basically getting you to sign up through you know, it’s like all these other big companies and you have financial advisors out there that are probably messaging you on LinkedIn right now, to set to set up an appointment and to try to sell you on making them or make on you making them your financial advisor. And so he talked about how he had become a professional visitor. And he was making no headway whatsoever in how he that the switch flipped for him when he realized kind of my point earlier about helping people out. So he had a prospect. At the time, it wasn’t even a client that was interested in in a real estate deal. And Bill basically did the do some of the due diligence work behind that for his client, and or soon to be client. And so at some point, he was able to weave into the story what it is that he does, and and ended up in getting that person as a customer. And so he realized that he needed to speak entrepreneur to entrepreneur, and speak the language that people understand that’s most relevant to them. And so really, what how I take that as like meeting people where they are, there’s another great analogy of some of some of these great football coaches, right. So these great football coaches, no, systems, like they have systems, they have their way of doing things. And there’s a story of another great football coach of how he takes the he takes the opposite approach to that. His approach is that every player receives feedback and receives coaching differently. I’m going to adapt my style and my coaching in the way I communicate all that differently player by player in order to maximize their results. And so Bill kind of realize that while he was speaking with people, and so again, it’s a great lesson and something that I’ve that I’ve strived to take into my own businesses is learning how people tick like what what makes it what makes them tick. What are the biggest challenges, right, what are the biggest needs that they have? And how can I help meet those, again, whether it’s not me actually delivering that or getting money from that, but helping point them to somebody else that I know, that can help them meet that need. So really fascinating conversation. And then I mentioned Ty Smith, he’s a retired Navy SEAL Senior Chief. Absolutely a very emotional and very high impact conversation that I absolutely treasure. We talked about his his experience as a seal both as a trainee in going back to the schoolhouse as an instructor, and then the impact that leadership has had on his life and how he strives to impact others and just his views on the state of our country right now in his in his This is a record. I mean, that was recorded middle of last year. And I’m telling you the message that he shares there towards the end of our time is still as relevant today as it was then. I mean, it’s absolutely impactful. It was almost a year ago that I spoke with him. Jay Rogers leads a company called Local Motors. And just it’s a very, he’s such, such a genius of a person. If you’re if you’re fascinated by the future of technology, and where, where tech is going, autonomous vehicles, things of that nature. beat beat, like, fasten your seatbelt. Pun intended, but really, really awesome conversation. I’m trying to speed up here because we’re starting to run run out of time. Brandon Shelton, Episode 32 talks about grit, persistence and perseverance. Brandon is a guy man that has worked his face off to get to where he is today. And he has worked so hard in every area of his life, at every at every turn, and somebody that that you can really look up to and model yourself after to see like, hey, if he can do it, there’s no reason why I can’t like like he very inspiring story that I would encourage you to check out. Alexander Coons, he’s another former seal. He addresses pride and ego, right. It’s something you wouldn’t expect to hear from, you know, high caliber tier one type special operations people. But Alex talks about the importance of addressing pride and ego and how that will absolutely cripple your success and your ability to do well in business. An app like very, very impactful conversation that you’ll love. I mentioned, Bob Berg already had him on the show. Jake wood, he’s the CEO of Team Rubicon, I had him on the show, he talked about how to thrive in chaos, is really awesome conversation. Let’s see. There’s a few more here. I mean, there’s just there’s just there’s so many that really are spoken to Alaska, if you’re if you’re curious about how he how he denim company, get started, I had Joe on the show twice now. I’ve had several guests are related to cybersecurity and technology that you could check out. I’ve had David Melkote on the show a couple of times. I’ve had a few I’ve had a few other people on that topic, as well, that that I think you’d really enjoy. But really, I’m the big takeaway. And there’s there’s one more that I wanted to get to before, before we close. But there’s, if you’re curious about just leadership, licensing deals in business, and just business growth in general BRABUS, Brown had him on show he’s episode 75. We spoke at length about that, Courtney, really great, great, great guests, she is a she’s a leader in the cyberspace. And again, she talks to the importance of mentors and how and how impactful mentors have been on her. And just some of the ups and downs of her career and a very inspiring conversation, especially if you’re, if you’re a woman in business, she’s, again, I think she’s just a great role model. To really glean from somebody you should probably try to reach out to. I’ve had Peter Gudmundsson on the show twice now. And so his is really fast. And we talked about turnarounds growth, business strategy, and this is the guy who’s been in business a long time he’s seen some just he’s seen some really crazy things. And he has such wisdom through some of the things that he is experienced. And he spent a lot of time in he was a former CEO of Beckett media, it for those of you that were baseball card collectors, you’ll you’ll you’ll recognize Beckett’s name, who co higher military he founded higher military, or sorry, he may not have found it higher military. I know he sold he sold he helped sell the company though. But he has a very impressive background that you look, you should really check out and then listen to both his episodes. We had him on twice because I had to I had two separate podcasts before I consolidated this into one as you heard him in one of my announcements several weeks ago, but the content from those episodes is very different. So it was really really, really cool. Having two conversations with him was very different. Very different takeaways. And I think that’s probably where I’m going to leave it for now. I’m just again, I’m just thumbing through this really quickly and making sure I’m not missing anybody. These are all my notes. If you’re interested in mergers and acquisitions, I’ve had a few people that talk about mergers and acquisitions. Really, really brilliant guest that that’s just that’s a topic that I’m that I’ve been fascinated with. And so I enjoy hearing and learning more about that. But that I think I think that’s where I’m I’m going to leave it so is episode 123 And I cannot believe it’s been over a year now a year and a half that I’ve been producing the podcast so I’m just I’m so incredibly grateful for you being They’re for you listening for your for watching. And I really would, I would so encourage you to engage. So if there are episodes that really impact you share those out. I I’ve used those as conversation starters with people and like, man, you know, I think this would really help you. And I’ve had people tell me that they have used other episodes as introductory pieces for other people that they’ve really wanted to talk to. And, and I’m always available to speak with you like, you can drop me a line literally Aaron at Bold media.us I would love for Aaron at bold strategy group.us It goes to the same place. I would love, love to hear from you. And if there are any episodes that that that I didn’t talk about that you that you’d love to talk about, let me know. And if there’s guests, and there’s other things that you’d like to see the show more thoroughly address. Again, I would love your feedback. And I always love speaking with you. So thank you so much for being there. I hope that this is a great encouragement to you today. And I just want to wish you the very best. Thank you so much for tuning in. And again for 123 episodes, so honored and humbled that we’re here. And so anyway, have a have a great week, and we’ll talk soon. Thanks for listening to America’s entrepreneur. If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review or comment on your preferred social media platform. share it out with friends, family, coworkers, others in your network. And of course you can write me directly at Erin at Bold media.us That’s a Ron at Bold media.us So next time

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