View from the Summit

A Decade I’m Grateful For: How To Look Back With Love and Compassion

Posted by Aaron Walker and the VFTT Team on Dec 14, 2020 5:38:09 AM

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” (1)

You know, 2020 has been such a difficult year for so many that we aren’t hearing much this year about “the dawn of a new decade,” like we normally do. I remember when the 1990s turned into the New Millennium, it was all anybody could talk about.

 

But leading online masterminds fills my life with a rich sense of history, because it’s hard to forget about all the good people God has brought my way over the last decade. It was at the beginning of it, in 2011, when that famous conversation took place at the Eagles Mastermind.  Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey blindsided my “retirement dreams” of checking out on a tropical beach, and told me, “You need to coach.”

 

If you’ve ever had one of those moments where you simply sit back and let things go where they might lead, this was one for me. Dan invited me to one of his Innovate conferences, and I accepted. I’ll never forget the text he sent me afterward, saying, “Big A! Did you see how those young men at the table were leaning in to listen to you?”

 

A few weeks later, I told Dave about what had happened, and he offered to gift me entrance into his EntreLeadership Master Series. It wasn’t long before I was in my element again - seated at a table surrounded by younger men, leaning in to hear what I had to say. Two of them - Bret Barnhart and Matt Miller - approached me about coaching them.

 

You have to understand - I was not “trying” to make any of this happen. I wasn’t even aware of what these men saw or heard when I spoke. There was no agenda here, other than exploring. But it’s not uncommon for God to operate this way. He’ll put a bunch of people, all of them needing you to play an important role in their lives, right under your nose. Make a note somewhere of this, because the chances are strong that the same thing is happening to you right now. In front of you are situations that need you to show up the best way you know how.

 

In those early days, there was no Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind like there is now. But I’d been part of the Eagles for 20 years, so I knew enough to get started. Today, that handful of experiences extends to men and women, with over 20 mastermind groups and growing. Click here to apply, if you’re interested to learn more.

 

Why I Made My Business Coaching Services Accessible To Many

 

Matt and Bret weren’t the only younger men interested in learning to see the world the way I’d come to see it. Word soon spread, among like-minded men with families and businesses. I quickly reached a point where growth would have become a burden that robbed me of spare time, and wondered how I could make up the difference. I definitely wanted to reach more people … but there was only so much of me to go around.

 

Using the model of online mastermind groups, however, I learned there was a way to “multiply” the momentum that gathered. I could create a structure for one meeting, but hold it with multiple groups. Now, all I needed to do was offer it to the waiting list of men I knew looking for a coach or mentor. Several of them leapt at it without hesitation.

 

The more I followed this trail, the more incredible people and opportunities kept showing up. Strong individual leaders within the groups emerged, like Scott Beebe, Anthony Witt, Derek Champagne and Kevin Wallenbeck. With these men, I discovered I could add groups without participating directly in the weekly discussions. We established profit sharing relationships, and I delegated leadership to them.

 

Not long after that, some of the younger men suggested I give podcast interviews a try, to grow the membership. Early into this leg of the journey, I managed to get booked on John Lee Dumas’ show, Entrepreneur On Fire, and added several new members from the appearance. This is part of what persuaded me to make podcasts a routine, and I’ve now logged over 2000 interviews in the last three years.

 

Needless to say, my “digital tourism habit” swelled our membership ranks … but now we’re on the hunt for more people who fit the mold for ISI membership. If you’d like to apply to see if it’s a good fit for you, click here.

 

The Different Ways You Can Look Back

 

I think most people feel temptation to look back on their lives with regret, shame, or worse. I know there are cringeworthy moments in my past, there’s no escaping that. But what’s helped me shed that habit the most is living in community. And let’s face it - in 2020, that’s getting more difficult to do.

 

It used to be, I could show up every Sunday at church, meet people, see familiar faces and use my strengths as a Christian life coach with a healthy marriage to influence God’s people for the better. I’m still hard at work, active on our church council, to move the needle in the right direction. But for others, things weren’t quite so bright … either before COVID-19 or since.

 

I feel compelled to remind you - there’s a reason Jim Rohn said that we’re “the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” If you’re living alone, or in any kind of negative social environment, it’s time to wake up and make moves to keep better company. This isn’t to knock your family or friends … but if you’re an entrepreneur who values transparent, authentic and vulnerable connection with others, it could be time for an upgrade.

 

I know a few men who had a hard time seeing their lives in proper balance before they joined our fellowship. These men were regular Christian believers, too - they led families and businesses. But for whatever reason, they had a hard time making friends, being accepted or being themselves in their immediate surroundings.

 

Masterminds online are a wonderful antidote, if this sounds like your problem. For one thing, you’re likely to be in a group of people outside your geographic or social circles. We have several members who live in and around Nashville, for example … and I’d never heard of them or met them when they joined. The world’s that way these days … you can live in the same city and have no idea who your neighbors are.

 

Even better than that, most business masterminds are designed to equip you with your own personal board of directors. A group of like-minded entrepreneurs with strengths that complement your weaknesses, with no dog in the fight when it comes to challenges you face. They can act as impartial advisors, who see things you don’t.

 

Now let me ask you - does this help you see why I’m not even close to feeling hopeless about the years to come? I have too many good people around me! They intercept me so quickly that I don’t even bother to entertain negative thoughts anymore. Every time I’m tempted to think negatively about something, I only need to wonder how it will be received in my mastermind groups online. I can discard those thoughts at the drop of a hat.

 

Would you also like to have this kind of power over your thoughts and emotions? Well, you can certainly find it. But remember, it has to come through a committed, loving and truthful environment. That’s why our groups cost what they cost, and require a depth of responsibility most people can’t handle.

 

If you’d prefer to live your life in a community like this, click here to apply to join one of our mastermind groups for men or women.

Topics: Life Coaching, Accountability, Character, Business Coaching, Community, Relationships, Significance, Priorities, Commitment, Consistent, Move Forward, Clarity, Development, Self Development, Gratitude, Decisions, Crossroads, Be The Light, Encourage, Lift Someone Up, Be An Encouragement, Mastermind Business, Guide, Growth, Determination, Execution, Trusted Advisor, Authenticity, Mission, Servant

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