Join us today for Part 4 of the Interview with Aaron Walker founder of the Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind...

This is Part 4 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 his definition of stewardship.  Aaron and I also share some tips for really making an impact on the world.  Aaron also tells you what he hopes his legacy will be that he will leave behind.

Join in on the Chat below.

00:00:00 Thanks for joining me on episode 651 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. And I said, we don't have to wait until we retire to do something significant. I said, I think the concept should be live a successful and significant life all the while, regardless of your age, there's a percentage of your time that could be donated towards significance. Welcome, and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast.
00:01:05 If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling and 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. In today's interview with Aaron Walker, Aaron and I talk with you about his definition of stewardship.
00:01:42 He shares some tips for really making an impact on the world. And we discussed the legacy that Aaron hopes to leave behind. 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,
00:02:04 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. 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.
00:02:29 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. He attributes much of his 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.
00:02:58 Aaron is the founder, the iron Sharpens iron mastermind that now hosts or 15 groups with national and international members. Aaron, as the Arthur of the view from the top, 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,
00:03:25 Tennessee with his wife, Robin of 40 years, and he has two incredible daughters and five beautiful grandchildren. Welcome to the show. Aaron Scott, Thanks for having me, buddy. 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.
00:03:52 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, 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.
00:04:11 Well, I appreciate that, buddy. Thank you very much. Awesome. So being inspired, stewardship and stewardship is for me, not just kind of a brand thing, it's actually a filter that I run pretty much all my decision making through at this point in my life. So I'm again like leadership. I've also figured out that I keep using that word,
00:04:34 but it doesn't always mean what I think it means at least not to other people cause people have their own definition. So how would you define stewardship both personally, and then as a business leader, as somebody who's running these mastermind groups in a leadership position and what impact has it had? Well, this is really ironic that we're discussing this. And quite honestly,
00:04:56 I didn't know we were going to discuss this, but it's something that I've been kind of struggling with and I'll just be totally transparent with you. Robin came to me about a year ago, year and a half ago, and we had a very Frank talk. She's not scared of me. And so she'll, she'll ask questions straight up. And she said,
00:05:13 I got to ask you a question. And I said, okay. She goes, what's your motivator? What do you mean? She said, why are you working so hard? And I said, ah, I don't really understand what you're getting at. She said, well, you don't really have to work this hard. And I said, no,
00:05:27 no, I really don't. But Robin, you know, I love this. And she said, I know you do, but literally you're working harder now than you've ever worked in our marriage. And I said, I know I said, but I feel like we have a great message that people need to hear. And so I even went to some spiritual advisors and I said,
00:05:44 let me ask you a question. When can I quit? And I said, what do you mean? I said, well, I could kick it in neutral right now. And I could go down to the Caribbean and get a little place. And we've got some recurring revenue coming in and I really physically don't have to work like this. And I said,
00:06:02 they said, well, why don't you? I said, well, I don't, I don't, I haven't felt released. I said, what do you mean? I said, because I've got a talent of encouragement and helping other people accomplish their goals and dreams. I just don't feel really released in saying that I've got enough for me. Good luck to the rest of you.
00:06:21 And I think that's a stewardship issue. And I think that God gives us talents to use. And I don't think it's solely up to us to decide when we can finish using those. And so for me, these past 10 years, I retired at 50. I'll be 60 on my next birthday. But the life transformations that have happened in our community really is what gets me up each and every day,
00:06:45 yes, we've made money and people say, well, you wouldn't do it for free. No, I wouldn't do it for free. I mean, I've got to take care of my family as well. And I hate it when people with money go, money's not important. I want to go. It is important. It's really important. And the reason it is is so I can be a better steward over my finances because I love to help people.
00:07:06 I love to help my children and my grandchildren and people that need help or need financial aid. Uh, you know, we're big supporters of our church and I love to do that. Mission trips, things like that. You can't do that. If you're broke, if you're going to be a good steward, you've got to make money. My friend,
00:07:23 rabbi Daniel Lapin said that people give you certificates of appreciation for work well done for a job well done. And it's called Benjamin Franklin's their money. And then you can use those to bless people. You can use those for really good things. And so I think being a steward over the possessions that God has given you, or the resources or your influence,
00:07:48 I think we have to be a great steward over our influence because I coach a lot of people all over the world. And I got to really think through Scott, what I tell them because a lot of the times they do it. And so I've got to be certain that I'm prayed up and that I think through it, and I really listened to them because I don't want to be the cause that they go do something and it didn't work out well for them.
00:08:11 And so there again, it's being a steward over your influence. And I think that as a leader, you know, scripture even take teaches us for teachers that you're held to a higher degree and there's going to be a, a, there's going to be consequences for some of the things that we tell that maybe didn't pan out exactly right. If we're not really focused on,
00:08:31 on the clock. And so I think stewardship is a big word. I think this is a very important part of the interview. And I think we've got to look closely at how we steward over the gifts that we've been given. And, and you know, it's funny that you talked about retirement a couple of times in that. And, uh, that's another one of those words that,
00:08:51 uh, people have, uh, you know, we, we think of it as people say, well, I were tired. And like you said, I'll go sit on the beach and the Tahiti. Yeah. That's not necessarily what that word means either. Yeah, no, I'll tell you something else. If, if you're listening to me right now and you're working to retire,
00:09:11 stop doing that, man. You need to get involved in something that has purpose and meaning this chain, listen, I've retired three times. Literally I retired at 27. I retired at 40 and I retired at 50 and you can only golf so much and you can only fish so much and you can only just hang out, watch Andy Griffith so much,
00:09:29 listen, get something that you're passionate about. Gifts get involved in something that gives you energy that you're motivated to do. Listen, I was bored out of my mind all three times when I retired. Right. I'm just telling you, it's not what it's cracked up to be, but really get involved in something that's moving the needle for somebody else. One of my,
00:09:51 uh, uh, another friend of mine, Darryl lions, uh, here in San Antonio, he has a great book right now called pivot. Uh, and, and it's that idea of stop thinking about retirement as retirement and start thinking about it as what are you going to pivot to in your new phase of life? That it's not really a destination,
00:10:09 it's just a different goalpost that you then move down the line and you know, you're just going a new direction. Maybe Scott, I don't know if you know this or not. You may, but Daryl and I are good friends. No, no, I didn't know. I didn't realize that's another contact. Yeah. Yeah. Daryl and I are good friends.
00:10:24 We were in a mastermind together for about five years. And, uh, Darryl's a great guy. Love that. Yeah. Yeah. He's a, it PAX financial is my wife and I, there are advisors and Daryl and I've gone back a few years and running certain circles together. And, uh, yeah, he, it, and he's been on the show a couple of,
00:10:43 uh, uh, probably about five months ago from the time that this releases. So when we think about, you know, what you just talked about, that you're struggling with a little bit around this stewardship idea and what it looks like. And, you know, we just talked a little bit about retirement. One of the things that people really set out to do a lot of times is make an impact.
00:11:05 You know, Steve jobs put it as making a dent in the universe. Right. And you've talked about, uh, that idea for yourself. Again, what are some of the mindsets or philosophies, principles, resources that people can focus on if they're wanting to continue to grow their own impact? Yeah. You know, you said something that kind of reminded me of a story years ago,
00:11:30 uh, Dave Ramsey and, uh, took our wives and we went to Amelia Island and, uh, there was a guy there named Bob Buford that wrote a book called halftime and Dave, and he were friends and he said, I want to introduce you to Bob. And I went up and I had heard of the book, but I'd never read it.
00:11:48 And Bob gave me a book and, uh, I brought it home and read it. And I loved the primary concept of the book. And it was how to go from success to significance. Right. But, but there was something in that that didn't resonate with me. I liked the concept, but that the tagline that we've used is how to live a successful and significant life.
00:12:15 And so I called Bob Buford up and didn't get him. But I was talking to the guy that ran his organization and I said, can we have a pretty Frank conversation? He said, absolutely. And I said, I love the book and I love what Bob has done. He's a great guy. I love what he's done, but I disagree a little bit with the premise and he kind of chuckled.
00:12:36 He goes, well, okay, this is going to be interesting. What is it? And I said, we don't have to wait until we retire to do something significant. I said, I think the concept should be live a successful and significant life all the while, regardless of your age, there's a percentage of your time that could be donated towards significance.
00:13:00 And it really resonated with him. He said, you know, I'm going to talk to Bob about possibly doing another version of the book and put in exactly what you said. Well, unfortunately, uh, less than three months later, Bob passed away. And, uh, so I just want the audience to, to resonate with that, regardless of where you're at in your journey.
00:13:24 If you're 20 years old or you're 75 years old, you can be very successful. And we teach people to be very successful financially and be significant, uh, all along the way. So it doesn't have to go from one to the other. You can do both. Yeah. So have you heard, uh, how John Maxwell describes those two words, success and significance share with me?
00:13:49 So John w says that you can be successful alone in isolation, but to reach significance, you have to surround yourself with others. That's great. And you know, again, echoing back to a lot of the things you said about isolation being the enemy and how you know, that can hold us back and the power of what you've been talking about with masterminds and all of this.
00:14:11 I think that resonates a great deal with that, that same philosophy. And, and by the way, he would agree with you that you can reach significance without reaching retirement. I've heard him say that too. It's like, if you're waiting until you get to a certain point before you aim for significance, why, you know, You know, it's pretty cool.
00:14:32 Also, Scott, if you think about this logically, you had a retirement age, historically, there's a set amount of income that you have coming in, but you think about how much more significant you can be in the lives of other people financially, if your revenue stream continues. Right. And so get something that you enjoy doing. Listen, life would be miserable to me.
00:14:55 If I was stuck in a position that I hated to go to work, like when I wake up and I'm not exaggerating, I can't wait to see what the day is going to bring. And I sincerely mean that. And if I couldn't do that, I would be working an angle to get out of what I was doing, because life is way too short to dread going in to whatever task or job that you're doing each and every day,
00:15:19 you are so much more effective. You'll be better at it. If you'll get involved in something that gives you that energy. So one of the questions that I like to ask is, you know, you talked about standing in front of your mastermind group back in 2015 and projecting 2020. Well, I'm going to go a little further than that. If you could travel into the future,
00:15:42 let's say a hundred, 150 years, and you're looking back at your life. What impact do you hope you've actually left and had on the world? Yeah. Well, that's a great question. And one that I really think more about now than ever because of my age, you know, when I was 20 or 25, you know, legacy mean anything,
00:16:03 you know, the significance. And I was worried about paying the mortgage and feeding the girls, and I was doing that. But as you get older, you know, you start thinking about your legacy and the impact that you can have. And I'll share it this way with a story. In 2006, my dad passed away. My bad was my best friend.
00:16:24 My dad worked in one of our companies of the last 10 years of his life. He lived on the same street that I lived on. He loved it out where he was a contractor himself, and he loved it out where we had, uh, had a house built. And actually he built that house for us and he loved it there. So he purchased a house and we fished together every week of my life.
00:16:44 And we were just the best of friends. The difference is, is my dad really didn't care anything about success. I was raised very poor. Um, my dad was an honorable man, high character, uh, but he didn't really care anything about scaling a business or making a lot of money. Well, but my dad, Scott loved people. And Scott,
00:17:06 you would have loved my dad. When my dad walked in the room, the room lit up. He was a magnet to people. People love to be, he loved to have fun. He was energetic. He was complimentary. I mean, he was just an amazing guy. So they opened up the visitation when my dad passed away. And I stood with my family at,
00:17:25 uh, at the receiving line. And, uh, it was an hour and a half wait to get to see the family and the line, uh, went down the hall, out the front door, in the parking lot. And around the building for six and a half hours, we stood there over and a man that never made over $15,000 a year in his life.
00:17:48 And every person from 10 years old to 75 years old, that came through that line said, let me tell you what your dad did to me. Let me tell you how your dad was always there to help me. Let me tell you how your daddy encouraged me. Let me tell you how your dad, you fill in the blank. You name it,
00:18:04 not one person, Scott, not one person in six and a half hours said your dad had a nice house or a nice boat or a nice car. Everything that people said was the relationship. And I find it very ironic today that we spend 95% of our time trying to possess more possessions things that are going to rust and decay and go away. But every person said your dad was a great man,
00:18:32 a man of character, honesty and integrity. And if I can live up to half of that legacy that my dad left, you know, I'll leave this world, you know, financially better than my dad did, but I don't know if I could ever measure up the level of relationship that my dad poured into people. And so I just want to encourage your listeners today to think about the level of time that you're investing into things that are going to decay,
00:18:59 things that are going to go away, but those lasting relationships, those stories, the memories, my dad's been gone 14 years now, and we still talk about him. Like he was here yesterday and I can't go anywhere that people are not commenting on my bad. And so I just want my legacy to be that I made a difference in other people's lives.
00:19:20 They remember me like they remembered my dad. Hmm. Well, and that echoes so much with what we were just talking about about the success versus significance idea too. It sounds like he truly had reached significance in his life, regardless of any, you know, quote, external measures that we would call success like money or, or, you know, fame or anything like that.
00:19:42 I asked him on a fishing trip. I asked him on a fishing trip towards the end of his life. We were on a little private Lake and uh, asked my dad cause I could ask him anything. And I said, dad, I said, uh, how do you feel not having been real successful? And he looked at me, he said,
00:19:57 what do you mean? And I said, how do you feel not having been real successful? He said, I've been very successful. He said, you just have to know what to want. Mm. And I thought, man, that is so true. Wow. Now that's a powerful sentence. And, uh, again, he's been saying, how do you define the word success?
00:20:19 We've maybe we've been talking about leadership and stewardship and all these other words that people have, different definitions, successes. Sure. Another one on that list, isn't it? Yeah, absolutely. So what's coming next for you as you continue on this road. I mean, y'all for at least the mastermind playbook, but uh, you know what, what's coming next for you in the next few years,
00:20:37 you know, we're really excited about that This, uh, we're going to be opening up new groups in the future. Uh, there's a possibility of having other, uh, we're really invested now in masterminds for women, my wife and my daughter, and another lady named Sonia are leading those groups. Uh, we have, uh, a new division set up for emerging men.
00:21:01 And so for 20 to 25 year old men, we're doing some special things for them. And I just think about the value and people having a safe place, uh, that they're not isolated, uh, that they can go and share their needs and their desires and help other people accomplish their goals and dreams. Why would I ever want to stifle that?
00:21:22 And so we're just really excited about what's coming down the pike for that. The other thing that we're equally as excited, if not more so about is the mastermind playbook. And if you're interested in that, you can go to that website, the mastermind, playbook.com, and it teaches you how you can transform lives. Like I've been so fortunate and able to do all the while,
00:21:46 making a very, very handsome income, uh, in perpetuity, you know, as long as you're running these groups and you've got the framework, you can develop exactly what we've done. Listen, Scott, I've got a high school education. I'm like, I'm not in college. I didn't have a silver spoon. I've already told you. I came from a very poor family.
00:22:05 Listen, if I can do it, anybody can do it. And that's the reason that we created the playbook. Awesome. Thanks so much. So is there anything else Aaron, that you'd like to share with 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,
00:22:29 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, 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.
00:23:09 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, listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, please, please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate. All one word iTunes rate.
00:23:41 It'll take you 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, invest your time, your talent and your treasures, develop your influence and impact the world.


In today's episode, I ask Aaron about:

  • Why in the world he does a podcast about reading...
  • How to find mentors, even those that you might be overlooking...
  • Resources for self-development and get a ton (see below)....
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

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 We don't have to wait until we retire to do something Significant.  Live a successful AND significant life. - Aaron Walker

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Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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