Join us today for Part 2 of the Interview with Aaron Walker founder of the Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind...
This is Part 2 of the interview I had with speaker, mastermind founder, and serial entrepreneur Aaron Walker.
In today’s interview with Aaron Walker, Aaron and I talk with you about helping to transform others in a positive way. Aaron and I also talk with you about using masterminds to intentionally invest in others. Aaron also shares some tricks and tips on how you can scale masterminds to increase your reach.
Join in on the Chat below.
00:00:00 Thanks for joining us on episode 641 of the inspired stewardship podcast. Hi, my name is Erin Walker. I'm president and founder of the mastermind playbook. You know, masterminds are a great way to intentionally grow yourself and invest in others. And one way to be inspired to serve others well is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my good friend,
00:00:27 Scott Mader
00:00:52 I said, absolutely. He goes, why would you do that? I said, because I don't have a scarcity mindset. I have a, an abundance mindset. Welcome. And thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time,
00:01:11 your talent and your treasures for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
00:01:53 One reason I like to bring you great interviews. Like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from others. Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible,
00:02:14 go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from. And instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books. The same way you're listening to this podcast. Aaron Walker has founded more than a dozen companies over the past 41 years.
00:02:46 He attributes much of a success to having surrounded himself with his mastermind counterparts. Aaron spent a decade meeting weekly with Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, Ken Abraham, and five other amazing entrepreneurs. Aaron is the founder of the iron sharpens iron mastermind that now host over 15 groups with national and international members. Aaron, as the Arthur of the view from the top,
00:03:13 a must read to fully understand how to live a life of success and significance. Also the founder of the mastermind playbook and incredible resource for starting running and scaling your own masterminds. Erin lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Robin of 40 years. And he has two incredible daughters and five beautiful grandchildren. Yeah. Welcome to the show. Aaron Scott, Thanks for having me buddy.
00:03:41 I've been so looking forward to this and I'm excited that you're having me today as your guests. Well, and you know, I've, I've been, uh, you're one of those folks that's been on my list for a while of getting on the show. I love listening to your Facebook when you go and do the videos I like watching you out and walk in there and talking to everybody,
00:04:00 uh, you know, we've we were talking before we got started about some of the folks that we have in common and I I've heard great things that I know you're going to add tremendous value to Lister today. So I'm looking forward. Well, I appreciate that, buddy. Thank you very much. You're very welcome. So Aaron, one area that,
00:04:21 you know, again, listeners have heard me talk about over and over again, is this idea of at the end of the day, one of the things we've gotta be focused on is investing in serving and developing others. What are a couple of ways, two or three ways that you would recommend that people really focus on intentionally transforming and pouring into others' lives in a positive way?
00:04:48 You know, the, I think the very most important thing that we could possibly do is pour into other relationships. It's the number one tool in our toolbox and without developing longterm relationships, you know, we're really going to come up short in the end. And so we talk at length about building those relationships. Intentionally people ask me on interviews all the time.
00:05:11 If you had it to go over, what is the one thing that you would do more faster? And I said, it would be build relationships very intentionally. And the reason is, is because you only have one set of life filters. You only have one life experience. You can't see things different ways, Scott, even if you wanted to, but when you have people that surrounds you,
00:05:35 they can point out your super powers. They can point out your Achilles heel. They can point out your blind spots. And that's what catches us. These people offer different perspective. And for me, it's one of the most strongest reasons to join a mastermind group is because of the different perspective. Recently, we did a construction project at our home. We had the,
00:05:59 uh, engineers, we had the general contractors, we have the subcontractors, the vendors, we had everybody looking at this problem and we couldn't solve it. It was a construction problem that we could not solve. Well, two weeks later I was sitting on my patio on a coaching call and I was looking at the problem from a different angle and I solved it immediately.
00:06:20 You see, the problem was, is wasn't the problem. We were looking at it from the wrong perspective. And it's the same way in our lives today when you have eight or 10 people on a weekly basis, looking at situations that you're confronted with, there's always a different perspective. And I always get tickled. I'm like, why didn't I see that?
00:06:40 And you don't know what you don't know. And many times Scott you've had different life experiences that I've not had. And you're able to open the door to new ideas or new possibilities. You know, we've been going through some very difficult financial crisis here, all over the world recently. And you have to ask yourself, this is terrible, but what opportunity does this present?
00:07:03 And if you look at it with the right mindset, there are so many people flourishing today as a result of this, because they're not looking at it as a problem. They're looking at it as an opportunity. Well, and, and like you said, a lot of times, and I think we've all had this experience of, you know, you're beating your head against the wall with a problem.
00:07:24 And then you offhandedly mention it to somebody who knows you well, or maybe somebody with a different view of things or different background. And they go, Oh, well, yeah, that's obvious you just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, wait a minute, you know, but it wasn't obvious to you because you're so that's,
00:07:43 and again, that's where having a coach, having a mastermind group, these things are valuable because those are those, those outsiders looking in that sometimes because they're not in the middle of the forest, the pattern becomes a lot more obvious. Well, I'll tell you another thing Scott, that happens oftentimes is that a, we are making emotional decisions when they should be intellectual.
00:08:05 And when you're too close to the situation, oftentimes you can't make a intellectual decisions because our emotions override that. And when you surround yourself with eight or 10 people that don't have the same emotional context to the problem, it's much easier to solve, Right? Yeah. Yeah. It's uh, as, uh, I I've told people, you know, back in the days,
00:08:30 whenever I was, uh, in corporate and I was writing checks and it was the company's money. That's easy to write that track right there. There's no pain at all. Right. So last week we talked a lot about, you know, joining a mastermind for our own development, but let's turn that around for a minute. You know, if somebody has,
00:08:51 uh, worked on their own skill set, worked on their own knowledge, they something that they are beginning to feel like they want to start their own mastermind group and kind of organize people around themselves. You know, again, I know you're releasing this resource called the mastermind playbook, and that's part of what's going on with that. Would you share, why would somebody maybe want to develop their own mastermind?
00:09:15 Uh, you know, what would be the value add to that as well? You know, uh, when I retired nine years ago for the third and final time, my wife said I've retired more than the law allows, you know? And she said, are you really retiring? And I said, sure, I am. Well, the other night at dinner,
00:09:31 she said, you're working harder now than you've ever worked in our marriage. What are you doing? I said, Robin, I love this. And the reason I love it is because we've started 14 businesses over the course of 41 years. And we've been pretty successful at a few of them. And I'm very grateful. God's really blessed us, but I want to teach people to do that today.
00:09:51 I want to help other people accomplish their goals and dreams. And what I discovered in that automobile accident that I was talking about last week is that, uh, I was a taker. I wasn't a giver. And I started thinking, what would my legacy have been Scott? My legacy would have been poor kid from Nashville. Tennessee makes enough money to retire at age 27 and nobody cares.
00:10:16 And I said, I don't want that to be my legacy. What I want to be my legacy is, Hey, Scott's life is better as a result of having been around me and he's given me resources and he's helped me. And he's taken me to the next level. That's what I want my legacy to be. So when you change your mindset from a taker to a giver,
00:10:37 the natural reciprocity is everybody around. You wants to give back to you, Scott. We can't even answer all the emails today from the introductions to people that we get, because we spend a third of our time giving we're endorsing people all the time. We're writing reviews, we're doing podcast interviews. I'm connecting people. I love to connect people, man.
00:10:58 There's nothing that gives me more gratitude, uh, to the ability that I have today to connect people, Hey, Scott, you need to meet Billy. And here's why. And then to see what happens as a result of that. And I'm just eternally grateful that I'm able to sit back and introduce people today. Well, that's what you get in a great mastermind.
00:11:18 It's not about, Hey, what is it going to give me? You bring a mindset like Carol Dweck talks about in her book mindset, a growth mindset. How can I help you? What resources do I have that will take you to the next level? And you just watch how much faster your business grows as a result of that. And if you don't hear anything on this interview that I've talked about,
00:11:42 you've got to hear that your mindset has got to change and you've got to be the giver and not the taker. Yeah. I'm, I'm actually active in, uh, uh, business networking, international BNI, you know, what's their motto givers gain a, you go to Zig Ziglar. You know, if I help enough people get what they want,
00:12:01 then there's no reason that, you know, there's no way I'm not going to get what I want, you know, over and over again, that philosophy it's in the Bible, you know, everywhere you look, it shows up. And yet I think a lot of times that's an area that a lot of us struggle on is, you know, because it feels like if I don't get what I want,
00:12:23 then nobody else is going to give it to me. I've got to take it. Uh, we also sometimes think of the world as a zero sum game, you know, either I get it or somebody else does, what are some of the ways that you help people kind of reframe that mindset? Great question. Yeah. Let me tell you a couple of quick stories about that.
00:12:41 We owned a construction company years ago and we were the number one in middle Tennessee for three consecutive years and growing our construction company. And I don't say that to boast. I say that to make a point, uh, we had 10 competitors in our geographic area. And so we got together and we formed the master custom builder council. And you're like,
00:13:03 what did the world is that it was a council that we met with our competitors every single month for two hours. And we shared best practices. We shared, uh, vendors. We shared, uh, ideas. We shared contractors when we weren't using them, we would let the competitor using your life big. Hey, you've lost your mind. Let me tell you what happened out of that.
00:13:28 We started doing parade of homes and we were raising money and giving it to charity. And then everybody in the group, 10 builders in the group, we all increased a minimum of 10 to 15%. In the last year I was in business, we did $115 million collectively in that group in business. And everybody won. We would buy in bulk. And so we got a discount which made us more competitive.
00:13:54 When my framer wasn't being busy with my job, I would loan him to my competitor and he would use the framer. When we were competing on quotes on large multimillion dollar houses or small commercial. I knew that I was competing against somebody that was going to see me next Thursday at this meeting. And they weren't going to shortchange me. I knew the people,
00:14:14 we became friends. We went to Denver and play golf together. It was fun in your life. How could you do that? You're sharing the secret sauce. It's the same way in the mastermind groups that I have today, iron sharpens iron. I had a guy call me not long ago. And he said, big, Hey, I wanna join.
00:14:31 Everybody calls me big guys, big, Hey, I want to join your mastermind group, but I gotta be honest with you because I'm a man of character. And I said, okay, what is it? He said, I want to do exactly what you're doing. I want to coach people and I want to lead masterminds and I want to do it just like you're doing it.
00:14:45 Cause I love what you're doing. I said, praise the Lord, come on, man. I'll teach you everything. I know. And he said, are you serious? I said, absolutely. He goes, why would you do that? I say, because I don't have a scarcity mindset. I have a, an abundance mindset. And here's what's happened.
00:15:02 Scott, even after this people tell me now big a why did you put everything in the playbook? Well, I had people calling me because we were scaling masterminds. No one's ever scaled masterminds. Like we've done it. And people of influence and they were called me. He said, how did you do this? My daughter came in. She's the COO of our business.
00:15:20 Her name is Brooke. She came in and she said, why don't we create a playbook? And I said, what do you mean? She said, all these people are paying you these ridiculous sums of money. And it's taking you hours and hours and hours to coach them to do what you do. We've already got the systems and processes. Let's put it in place and we can create a product that we can sell and people can copy exactly what we're doing.
00:15:41 And I said, let's do it. And so it took us 18 months, God, it was ridiculous. The amount of work that went into it because there's 34 professional videos, there's a hundred worksheets and templates that are in this, but we take you from a to Z. If you never even heard of a playbook or a mastermind, you could use this playbook and start your own.
00:16:03 And people say, why are you doing that? Because you're going to give away their secret sauce and you're competing against yourself. You know, what's happened God, since we did that, we've increased our membership in the mastermind because we are sharing. Listen, there's 7 billion people on the planet. We only have a few hundred. How many more people are out there that could use what we're doing.
00:16:25 And here's what it's done. It's created a great revenue stream for people they're able to. Now they listen to Scott and you can have two groups and have a six figure income. Two groups we've developed a seven figure business by doing masterminds, only lead seven of the groups. You know, we have 11 groups that are being led by facilitators. I don't even have to go there and we still make money because we built this to scale.
00:16:49 Many people out there are coaches today. Well, no disrespect. And I'm a coach also, but that's just a job. You've got a high paying job with a mastermind group. You've got a business because when I go on vacation, I make money. While I'm gone. When I coach, I have to say, Hey, I can't meet next week,
00:17:06 Robin won't let me, that's just trading your time for money. But when you have a mastermind group, they continue on. Even when you're not there, that's why they're so attractive. They're a great business. But the best part is transforming lives. That's the part that excites me is people's lives are being transformed as a result of being in these groups.
00:17:31 So, you know, you've got me sold, right? We want to start a mastermind. Somebody that grabbed your playbook, they've looked at it. They're getting started on it. When they're looking at it the other way around your last week, we asked about, Hey, I want to participate. What, what should I be looking for in a mastermind?
00:17:48 What questions I be asking? What as the organizer, what should you be looking for in, in your participant? You know, how do you, because again, you've got to curate this group. You've got to be, you know, you're the leader, you're the organizer. What is it that we should be looking for in the participants? Well,
00:18:07 we even lay out very clearly in the playbook, the expectations of the participant, as well as the facilitator. And I really kind of messed up years ago when I first started, if you had the money and you said, I'm in you, you would get in. And we even charged two little years ago and what we found it was going to fail miserably because we didn't screen the participant.
00:18:30 So now there's a lengthy application that we go through because we want to be sure that Scott is the guy that we want in our group. We're going to be spending time together every single week. So we really dive deep into you personally. We want to make sure that your core values align. We want to know what your goals are, your objectives.
00:18:48 We want to know about your family and what you do professionally. We want to know what your hobbies are and what you would do. If you had more time, we want to know all about you, just like we want you to know about us. And I even encourage people. Hey, Google, Aaron Walker. If you want to know more about me,
00:19:04 you can listen to podcast until you're sick of hearing me and my story, check us out on the web, go to our references, you know, get endorsements from other people, find out about what you're getting involved in. And by doing that, here's what we've done. The life expectancy of one of our members that participate in our groups. Now,
00:19:24 normally it's a year or less. And most groups they get in, they get what they can. They leave. Ours is over three and a half years. We've got guys that have been meeting and women that have been meeting in groups. We have them now. There've been there six and seven years meeting every single week for that length of time. What if there wasn't value?
00:19:45 They wouldn't show up. And then we're in nine different countries. And they fly in from all over the world to live meetups a year. And we really lay out what the expectations are. And I tell people, listen, Scott, I'm just using you as an example. If you were making application to join our group, I would say, if you're not going to show up on the calls and you're not going to participate in the Facebook group and you're not going to reach out and introduce yourself,
00:20:08 hold each other accountable, come to the live events. Don't join my group because you're cheating. The other people like they're paying money to hear what Scott has to say. And if you're not there and you're not participating and you're not giving, uh, everyone loses. And that's the reason our turn rate is so low. I mean, it's ridiculous. Our turn rate is so low because we really hold you to a high standard and we really make sure that you're getting value.
00:20:37 And then we do expert interviews every single month with people that are just amazing. And we're always trying to think how we can add more value. And that's what the playbook teaches you. How to do from start to finish. We walk you through every one of these exercises with written systems and processes. We teach you how to onboard people, how to interview people,
00:20:59 what to talk about the best thing we have. One guy that's buying the playbook. Just for one document. We give you the themes, the book questions, the reading assignments to run your groups to meet every week for 30 months, two and a half years, you don't have to create any content. We give everything to you to run the groups.
00:21:20 And so we've just laid it out in a fashion to where we teach you how to do the live events, how to run your calls, how to enlist members, uh, how to do press kits and teach you how to do marketing. We've created lead magnets in it that we give you that are blank. You put your logo on it, and now you have lead magnets that you can use to attract other people.
00:21:42 It's really a business in a box. We've given you proforma calculators, that you can see how profitable you're going to be prior to even starting give you all the expenses. It's really closer to a franchise than it is. Of course, Ray Edward said the other day on an interview I did with him. Those that know who Ray is. He said,
00:22:03 it's the best course slash playbook he's ever taken in his career. They Ramsey endorses it. We've got a live endorsement from him. His whole team has gone through it a number of times. And they said, it's amazing because it helps take you from the infancy stages all the way through scaling. Well, and, and when you think about scaling, uh,
00:22:25 you know, your business and that kind of thing. So disclosure for you, Aaron blitzers of the show, know it. One of the things that I do is I'm part of a group of coaches. Uh, and we have a mastermind that we all come in together. It's a group. In this case, it happens to be financial coaches. I'm the head trainer and facilitator for the group.
00:22:46 And then the organizer, the founder, you know, he runs different groups and very similar to a lot of the stuff you're talking about. And, you know, philosophically a lot of the similarities too. I was laughing when you were talking about pouring into other people, cause we're literally the name of the group is coach connections. Why? Because we're coaches,
00:23:05 you connect with each other. Um, and so we tell people all the time, pick up the phone and call us, you know, if you need help pick up the phone and call us even people that aren't in our mastermind, you know, that just pick up the phone and calls people don't believe that, um, you know, that, that people would be absolutely.
00:23:24 Um, and you know, I've answered hundreds of hours worth of questions from new coaches. Cause they've got questions. They're not yet part of our group, but I look at it as well. They may be one day and if not, Hey, we're getting another good coach out in the world. You know, the most, very important Way today.
00:23:42 It's not marketing it's educational material. If you want to market your business today, you got to quit pitching and you've got to start educating. Right? Yeah, I know. I agree. Um, so you've talked a lot about scaling the mastermind, how I don't want to say how do you scale it because that, that kind of is, is not necessarily the best question,
00:24:09 but how can you use, you know, cause you, as a facilitator can only own one mastermind at one particular time. So how did you replicate yourself and use that to be able to continue to grow the masterminds, invest in more people, you know, develop more people in, in that sort of way. Well, I contend that you can have multiple mastermind groups simultaneously.
00:24:32 I do, uh, you know, I, I personally facilitate seven of these groups that we have and what we do is we train people. You have to be in our organization at least a year and been under my leadership. And then, uh, we offer you opportunities to lead and we do, uh, you know, profit share with the facilitator.
00:24:53 So it's a revenue share model and what most people, the reason they don't start masterminds is they think Scott, that they've got to have all the answers and they think they're the only attraction. And it's the biggest myth that there is what people don't have that they need is the framework. That's what makes people the most nervous. I don't know what I would do.
00:25:13 I don't know how I would get the people. I don't have the systems and processes. I don't know how to market it. I don't know how to do the live events. I don't know how to set up the, you know, the video conferencing and we walk you through all that. And so we eliminate all of the fears by giving you the framework in what we've done in all of our groups is that we have the same theme and all the groups every month.
00:25:36 And I provide the book every month that we're going to read, you know, we're going through Mike McCalla, it's book profit first right now, next month, we'll be going through Brian Moran's book. The 12 week year books just continue to go. And in our groups, we provide all that material in our VA, send it to the people. Uh,
00:25:54 so you don't have to do anything. You get in, you pay one price and everything's included including the live event. I mean, we put you up at the Marriott here in Nashville and Gaylord has a property that I lease out all that's included in your tuition. So I pay for the whole life of being your food. I pay for your hotel.
00:26:12 I pay for the speakers, everything Pete Vargas came in was our spokes person, uh, back in our last event. And the ones before that Mike McCalla woods came, Brian Moran came, uh, Dan Miller. I mean the grit, the list is endless. The people that we invited to be the speakers, you get an opportunity to meet those people.
00:26:31 So we set all that up. We teach you how to do that. And the reason that people don't start masterminds more as they think, well, I'm not the smartest tack in the box. I'm not either it be like you, me inviting you to my house with 10 other people. And I answered all the questions well that wouldn't be very fun.
00:26:50 See the value is in all the people. And the other thing is, is they're your best salespersons because Scott you're like, you want to invite your friend, Billy and Tommy would want to invite Steven. And so they all like, Hey man, this is good. You got to get involved in. So now we're growing organically because of the value that we're adding.
00:27:10 And so we teach you that model as well. We have a course within the course that teaches you how to train facilitators. We have an onboarding course that walks you through how to automate onboarding. And so it just, it eliminates all of the risks. That's the reason franchises are so successful, Scott, 87% of all franchises because they develop the model.
00:27:35 And that's what I've poured 21 years of my life in, and being in a mastermind group every week for 21 years, we know what works and this is not hypothetical. I mean, we have social proof that says with, you know, 19 groups, this works and it works long time and it provides a very predictable income that you can budget from.
00:27:55 It's like recurring revenue because it's month after month. And we set the payments up on automation. And now you can build a business because you have recurring predictable income. And so we've just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars perfecting this and figuring out a way for this to work for you. Awesome. Thanks so much. So is there anything else Aaron, that you'd like to share with me?
00:28:21 The listener, you know, when I was a child, my mom had a saying that I didn't like it at the time it was can't, couldn't do it and could did it all. And I've adopted that as a mindset and a mantra for my life and people are afraid to fail. And I used to tell my daughters failure is in not trying,
00:28:43 not in, not succeeding. And so I would say fear missing an opportunity more than you, fear of failure and adopt a mindset of you can do something and you too can be highly successful and significant on this journey that we call life. Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast, as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively,
00:29:18 listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode, please, please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate. All one word iTunes rate. It'll take through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed until next time,
00:29:53 invest your time, your talent and your treasures, develop your influence and impact the world.
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"I want to do exactly what you are doing" he said and I said "come on praise the Lord I'll teach you everything I know. Why? Because I have an abundance mindset." - Aaron Walker
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