Building Leaders & Financial Independence with Aaron Velky, CEO, Money Club

Ready to lead others at home, on the sports field, and in the workplace, and take charge of your financial future by creating the path towards personal financial independence?
In this episode, with Aaron Velky, CEO of Money Club, we cover:

  • The key question to ask to get out of times of struggle and in turn help others
  • Why less intensity and more consistency is the path to freedom
  • Practical steps you can take and tools that you can use to get on the path to financial independence
  • Principles of success for children and student-athletes and how this translates to the business world so you can ignite the change that you want to see in yourself and in others you care abou

Resources Mentioned In The Episode:

Grit by Angela Duckworth

Essentialism by Greg McKeowne

Episode 2 with Joseph McClendon

Episode timestamps:

[04:12] Aaron’s background in leadership, empowerment & financial wellness

[05:04] Passion for leadership – caring for and empowering others

[06:56] Leadership that cares

[08:48] From struggle to growing and leader and communicator 

[10:56] A start in youth financial education

[12:42] The importance of asking “How can we help? How can we serve?”

[12:59] Living with servant leadership

[14:47] Know what you care for and what are your values

[16:16] Automate your savings. Less focus on intensity. More focus on consistency.

[21:14] The power of creative abrasion to move the needle

[24:02] Instilling a sense of confidence in youth athletes

[26:51] A healthy relationship with failure to bring about success

[34:42] Making a transformative ripple through care

Connect with Aaron Velky

Connect with Patrick O’Donnell

Transcript

* This transcript was mostly generated by AI, so please excuse any mistakes, and enjoy!

[00:00:00] Patrick: Hello, and welcome to Live Fit, Ignite Change. We’re together as a community. We inspire each other to live a fit life, ignite the change we wish to see, and thrive in all areas of life.

[00:00:18] Patrick: All right, today we have an amazing episode with Aaron Velky, CEO of Money Club. He’s led wonderful sessions with our team on the personal path to financial independence, and in this conversation, we talk about what’s really needed to effectively lead others at home, on the sports field, and in the workplace, the key question to ask to get out of times of struggle and in turn help others, and why less intensity and more consistency is the path to freedom, and practical steps you can take and tools that you can use to get on the path to financial independence, plus principles of success for children and student-athletes and how this translates to the business world so you can ignite the change that you want to see in yourself and in others you care about.

[00:01:11] Patrick: Changing our world does not happen at once. It does not happen alone. It takes a committed group to be the change we wish to see. So together, we rise above negative influences to lead by example, making a positive impact at home and around the world. You could learn more, join us and get show notes at livefitignitechange.com, or for short, livefic.com.

[00:01:40] Aaron: Good morning.

[00:01:41] Patrick: Hello there.

[00:01:44] Aaron: How are you today?

[00:01:46] Patrick: Awesome. Very good. Good to see you. How you’ve been?

[00:01:49] Aaron: Fantastic. Dad mode all day.

[00:01:53] Patrick: I, I love it. Understand. So, congrats again on the new edition to the family. Treating you well, fatherhood going well?

[00:02:01] Aaron: You know, I, I think we’re, we’re like nine weeks in, so it’s sort of a role to die daily, whether we’re getting home peaceful in sleep or we’re getting like baby colic cry pain.

[00:02:14] Aaron: So, you know, it goes up and down, but there are, there are moments that make it all worth it, like very, very easy, make it all worth it.

[00:02:22] Patrick: Yeah. That’s awesome. Definitely all worth it. I mean, I, I remember those days my boys are older now at 15 and 12, but man, it, it, time flies. Enjoy it. And just savor those long nights when you have no sleep, ‘cause, it, you miss those days, but, you know, enjoying every moment for sure.

[00:02:40] Aaron: I will take that note. It’s probably a good reminder. 

[00:02:44] Patrick: Awesome. Well that sounds great, and thanks again for jumping on and, and doing this, so

[00:02:50] Aaron: Of course, man.

[00:02:51] Patrick: It could be fun.

[00:02:52] Aaron: Dude, I, I’m so grateful for like every component of what you and I have done together, whether it’s the wellness program, the initial podcast. I was just, I was just thinking back that that was almost a year ago.

[00:03:05] Patrick: Yeah.

[00:03:05] Aaron: And obviously, my life has changed a lot since then. Just from a lens of fatherhood, I just, I continue to, to mind that the, the way that my world works, and I’m sure yours too through good people, and I’m, I’m just very grateful for all that you’ve helped me do and helped us do and helped create and foster just in my world, I’m very, very grateful.

[00:03:29] Patrick: Awesome. And, and me too. I mean, right back at you. So grateful, because I think it is a collaborative effort. I mean, it’s been such a pleasure having you and your team lead really the financial well-being program here at DLP. I mean, helping out our team members create that path to their personal financial independence as, as we called it.

[00:03:47] Patrick: And I mean, so many positive feedback that we’ve gotten from the group and things that you’ve, you’ve done to help them out. And I mean, I guess that’s why we’re talking now, ‘cause you’ve certainly ignited the change in, in many people and that’s what this podcast is all about, so thank you for being here.

[00:04:02] Aaron: So happy to be here, man.

[00:04:03] Patrick: I guess we’re, we’re diving in already, so just go ahead and, and share your intro, and then we can dive into a little bit of the, the questions. So, it should be fun. So-

[00:04:13] Aaron: Whenever you’re ready man. I’m in.

[00:04:15] Patrick: Awesome. So, we’re the intro then. Aaron is a keynote speaker, CEO, coach.

[00:04:21] Patrick: He’s dedicated to building movements, companies, and leaders through workshops and retreats with Money Club and economic empowerment and financial wellness organization that blends personal finance with person, with professional development. Love that. And also, the author of Let Her Play and he’s a self-described comic book nerd and adrenaline junkie.

[00:04:42] Patrick: Wow. Love that. Quite an intro. So, if you’re up for just giving up a little more detail on that and really what you’re up to these days.

[00:04:50] Aaron: Happy to do, it is, it’s always funny to end with, I make sure anytime there’s a bio that there’s, there’s some kind of human in that we, we take a lot of energy making our bio like professional and real, and I love Marvel movies.

[00:05:04] Aaron: I’ve, I’ve loved like snowboarding and jumping out of airplanes, and I think that’s an important part of just my personality to share my, my recent, maybe passion has been around leadership and leadership can mean a lot of things. So, that’s generally been around how do you care for people? How do you empower people?

[00:05:25] Aaron: How do you guide individuals that are leaders to communicate better, to resonate more emotionally, [and] to have empathy? Like, these themes, they, they sound so much different than I would’ve expected a couple years ago, even, even 10 years ago. Never would’ve thought I, I’d be saying these words in what is leadership.

[00:05:45] Aaron: And yet now, in a, in a world where people are leaving jobs and changing professions because they’re unhappy in their workplace when we spend in a more amount of time at work, we’re learning that we care. We’re learning that if the community around us doesn’t care, we’ll go seek one that does, and I’m really called to helping leaders change, coaching individuals that can make an influence and make a community very vibrant.

[00:06:16] Aaron: Money Club has its own way of influencing the community itself, and then I work outside of the Money Club umbrella to install a bit of new and restorative leadership components. And it’s just been a, it’s been an exciting couple of months really digging into that and helping companies all across the US really, really give back to their employees that make them successful.

[00:06:40] Patrick: Love that, certainly did it with us. And I think it’s interesting, you know, we go back to quarantine and all the, our nation in the world obviously went through a hard time, but it seems like what came out of it is even better. Like people that care more, that are truly making an impact, wanting to make an impact with the people there within the company and out in the world.

[00:06:56] Patrick: And that’s what we’ve done and we’ve focused on so much and why, you know, you came in to be a part of that. So, so, it is, it is very interesting and creating that culture of leadership that cares I guess, you could say. So-

[00:07:09] Aaron: Yeah, what a simple, it’s like a very simple idea, leadership that cares.

[00:07:14] Aaron: And yet, what I, what I find most critical for people to understand whether they’re leaders or they’re under the tutelage of somebody, is that you can’t fake that. There’s no way someone can read through caring for checking the box versus true, mindful, emotional, and mental care for somebody. You cannot fake it.

[00:07:43] Aaron: And if anybody’s listening that is in that ecosystem, you can call it out like that. They’re like, ‘Oh, yeah. It’s the check-the-box mentality here.’ And if they’re in a, a proper ecosystem where there is care, they, they will sing the praises anywhere they go, and that, that is a marketing tactic. That’s a recruiting tactic, that’s a loyalty tactic that is undervalued in our economy right now. It’s undervalued in business.

[00:08:10] Aaron: It’s also undervalued as we see a lot of shifts for people that are looking for new positions, new roles, growth, all that. It’s significantly undervalued for leaders to invest in, and culture is this big conversation right now.

[00:08:27] Patrick: Exactly. So important to keep people engaged and show value all around. And I think, all of this is sounding great in where we are now and obviously you’re providing an amazing service, yet I, I guess it’s often in kind of our, our previous times, our struggles, our challenges that make us stronger and really lead to what we’re really meant to do in life.

[00:08:48] Patrick: And if you’re up for it, kind of take us back to a time now, I don’t know if there was a time when things weren’t great or, or what led you to really where you are today with this desire to care and serve others the way you are?

[00:09:00] Aaron: Hmm, a really important question. Thank you for asking that. There have been a couple [of] arcs where I’ve encountered plenty of struggle, and we could sit here all day and talk about struggle in, in my world. I, I coached for about 12 years, I coached girl soccer, high-level club ball, and in that ecosystem, I learned a lot about the human element that is now a big passion for me with young adults.

[00:09:31] Aaron: So I, the, the girls that I would coach, really good athletes, they were often ages 10 to 17. So I’d welcome from, you know, beginning their really intentional soccer playing career all the way through at the end of high school as they transitioned to college. And with young adults, they, they don’t have the, the capacity at all times to advocate for themselves, right?

[00:09:55] Aaron: They, they need to learn those skills. And over the course of 12 years, I had to grow a lot, in particular as a man, as a, as a leader, as a communicator, with an individual that might not have the capacity to handle their emotions or confront what they need to confront or, or even communicate what they’re experiencing.

[00:10:18] Aaron: And most often, I was navigating the confidence lines. I was navigating the, like I’ve failed the relationship of failure and that mentality, and I was navigating what does a player want versus what a, what does a parent want? And so, I was constantly failing and struggling to communicate these things effectively. By having done that for a long time, it really lit up everything I’ve learned in business. I learned on the field, and moving through what was the last couple years.

[00:10:56] Aaron: Our business, Money Club, Patrick, I don’t even know if you know this, our business started as a youth financial education company.

[00:11:03] Patrick: Hmm. Wow. No, I didn’t realize that.

[00:11:06] Aaron: So we had, we had like invested all this time and energy and money into building what is still a very, very good merge of emotional intelligence and financial education into an online platform for young adults. And, we, now, we still offer it. It’s a, it’s a model where we can train a, a school or a program, a nonprofit, a youth group, a soccer club, sports club, to run a financial education program without needing an expert.

[00:11:33] Aaron: They don’t need someone to know it really well or know how to teach it. That’s what we found was missing. And, you know, low and behold, like on March 14th, education stopped. It completely shut down. And I, I’ve never been so afraid. I, I, I was paralyzed by what seemed to be the biggest wall I’ve ever encountered. And, and this was, this was different than a personal wall because I now had a team that I was responsible to, that I, I very much felt needed me and needed the company to support them.

[00:12:08] Aaron: And, it really rattled my cage for ‘What do I stand for?’ And we went through this, maybe three-week period of ‘What do we do?’ We, we freaked out, or at least I freaked out. And it wasn’t until we started to ask the question, ‘Well, where can we go help?’ that the entire platform, that is now our employee wellness program, came to light. And what we did is we just volunteered more or less to speak to organizations and their employees about money during a time that was really unstable.

[00:12:42] Aaron: We talked about stability and debt and options that people had to navigate credit cards, and that was the catalyst. And that all came from the question, ‘How can we help? How can we serve?’ And that idea of servant leadership is, interestingly, my solution when I hit a wall. Whenever I get lost, that’s usually the question that I try to ask, and it’s very hard to do and has been what I’ve learned from struggle after struggle, after struggle. We make struggle about us, we look at us, we look in the mirror, we focus on us.

[00:13:17] Aaron: And if you can redirect your attention out to how can I serve, how can I help, you end up solving not only your problem, you end up solving someone else’s. And that’s been a really good tactic for, for navigating through.

[00:13:33] Patrick: You were asking the questions, ‘How do I help? How do I serve?’ And I think that became so much of what we did at that time as well when things were in a bad situation. But what can you do? And we had run the, the Fit Life Challenge sporadically, but it was at that point we said, ‘Okay, now it’s more important than ever.’

[00:13:49] Patrick: ‘Let’s do this. Let’s run it virtually. Let’s get people involved.’ And then even with my family here, that’s what’s led to our performance nutrition brand that we’re launching, kind of creating things that the boys love during that time. So, it is neat seeing how things can come out of, of bad to, to make good.

[00:14:05] Patrick: And, and I guess if you look at this in the whole situation of where, you know, we’ve mentioned it’s, it’s important for our team members at the company to live fully in all aspects of life. And we talk about being fit, it’s not just about fitness and the physical sense, but spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially. And we talk about that wheel of life when you were involved in living fully day before, where we talk about the eight Fs, where it’s really like that wheel where you wanna be across the board solid, and your eight Fs are family, friends, faith, fitness, finances, fulfillment, freedom, and fun. And then, you really will live a happier, more productive, better life kind of at home, in the workplace, and around the world.

[00:14:46] Aaron: Yep.

[00:14:47] Patrick: So kinda related to that, I’d love it if you could kind of share with the listeners, and I know from the sessions that you did with us, we could spend hours and hours on this, but if there were kind of best practices and what they could do to really get started on kind of the, that path to personal financial independence, being financially fit, if they’re kind of best, best points there you’d like to share.

[00:15:09] Aaron: You know, money is a, it’s such an interesting thing to talk about, and the, the reason that financial education, or, or even the topic of money is hard to begin learning about, is it generally starts with our values. And one of the best things that people can start with, regardless of their financial situation, is to write out what are the things you care about.

[00:15:32] Aaron: The reason that’s so critical is that we generally spend a lot of money, often money we don’t have, this is a, a relatively famous quote, buying things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. And when we get clear on what we care about, if you care about family, if you care about travel, if you care about, technology, it doesn’t matter.

[00:15:53] Aaron: There’s no vilification in this, no judgment, just your values, write them out. Then you can start to look and see, Are my dollars going to my values? Are they going to someone else’s values?’ And that question alone can really open up a tremendous amount of opportunity for someone to get better with their money, to use their money alongside and in alignment with their values.

[00:16:16] Aaron: From a, from a tactical perspective, one of the next best things that someone can do is to automate savings. And the, the major mistake that people make when it comes to any kind of automation of savings is they think that a big number is better than a consistent number, and we wanna focus on less intensity and more consistency.

[00:16:38] Aaron: If we set up a, let’s say we open a, a second bank account and we transfer, we set up an auto transfer from our primary to this secondary one for $5 a week. If, if that $5 a week, then becomes $10 a week, then becomes $15 a week, we end up in a really good position over a long period of time.

[00:17:01] Aaron: So it’s, it’s these small steps that win, the same for fitness. You’re much more likely to be healthy if you regularly go to the gym versus go to the gym very intensely for four hours once a month, so it, it’s not an aggregation of time, it’s an aggregation of touch points. And the same is true with money. So anyone that really wants to begin their process, doesn’t matter the number, whatever number is comfortable for you, automate it into another account that can later be used for investment.

[00:17:33] Aaron: It can later be used for growth, and you can learn about all that. If there’s not cash, if there’s not investible income that is set to the side, it is very hard to multiply your money. And that principle, hard to adopt, hard to wrap your mind around. Once it’s done though, it’s done. So you make the choice. You might have to go up the hill and down the hill and feel like, ‘Man, man, this was a, this was an hour-long exercise. It was really uncomfortable.’

[00:18:01] Aaron: And once it’s done, it’s done. You can go in and change the number, you can edit the amount, but for the rest of your life, if you automate and you don’t have to think about it anymore, it no longer becomes an emotional choice that could compromise your values. And that’s a game that all of us need to play and all of us need to imagine when we think about money.

[00:18:20] Patrick: Love it. So, quick summary on that, ‘cause there’s so many great points there. Basically, align with your values, be true to yourself, and then automate your savings, focusing on consistency.

[00:18:30] Aaron: Absolutely.

[00:18:31] Patrick: Awesome. Love that. And it kinda reminded me, especially with our empowerment talk earlier related to your, your book.

[00:18:39] Patrick: In episode two of this podcast, Joseph McClendon, not sure if you know who he is, he’s one of the top performance specialists in the world. Yeah. You know, who does many of the events with Tony Robbins. He shared that his outcome is to put the tools in the hands of others, so he would not be needed to inspire them, where basically he was saying, inspiration comes from the outside and empowerment comes from the inside.

[00:19:02] Patrick: So by giving the tools so people can really make the changes that they wanna see inside of themselves, so they would be kind of drawn and pulled toward that ideal outcome so they can make the changes inside of themselves. And so really, just kind of being empowered to reach that goal. So related to this, I like how you describe the Money Club as an economic empowerment organization.

[00:19:26] Patrick: So again, if you could, I’d love to share kind of that as far as the financial advice goes. People will hear it and think, ‘Gosh, that makes sense. Of course, I should do that,’ but then there’s no action or no follow through if you found like tips or tricks of those listening that might really be empowered so they could be pulled toward igniting that change that they know they need to make in their financial lives.

[00:19:47] Aaron: Yeah, you know, we’ve, we’ve spent a lot of time, and I, I have over the last several years learned a lot about economics. There, there was this long time, very, very long time belief in economics that suggested that humans optimize. We make the best choices and we choose the best things, and we, we optimize for our future.

[00:20:10] Aaron: So, if someone gives us an opportunity where option A is to put a hundred dollars in a bank account and it will double in a year or put a hundred dollars into a nice dinner, that naturally, a human would say, ‘Well, no, I want to double in a year. This makes total sense. Like I can go to a dinner another time. This is great.’ And they found that no one does that. It’s not what happens.

[00:20:33] Aaron: We don’t optimize for these really rational thoughts. We optimize emotionally. So we say, ‘Well, dinner. Dinner is it, are my friends there? Is my family there? ‘Cause that’s a memory I’ll never get back.’ And so, it opened up a whole category. This was like mid-1980s called Behavioral Economics. And over a long period of time, what we’ve discovered is that individuals make choices irrationally and then rationalize them.

[00:21:02] Aaron: So we, we just have to know that going into, to this piece. We have worked really hard to make tools, to make education, to make really good platforms for individuals under the Money Club umbrella.

[00:21:14] Aaron: And, I wear hats in a lot of different ways, as a coach, as an executive leader, a speaker, a team builder. And in the organization and out of the organization, almost all of the principles are the same. The, the simple adoption of a tool comes up with, it brings up friction, right? I was on a, in a conversation the other day, someone called it, his name is Wyatt Graves.

[00:21:40] Aaron: He, he called it creative abrasion. And I really love that, that idea of in order to move the needle on our lives, we are likely gonna have to face some kind of abrasion. Generally, the adoption of financial tools fail because of discomfort, right? It’s, it’s uncomfortable to start a new habit. It’s uncomfortable to begin a new trend, to do something different with our money, especially when we get in habits and patterns and it evolves.

[00:22:10] Aaron: What we help people do is understand the why. The why is really important. If you don’t have a why, the friction, the discomfort doesn’t really matter. We, we won’t go through it, right? If I said to a young adult, ‘Hey, we wanna be the best and most athletic team on the field physically, and we want to be the most resilient team, mentally and emotionally.’

[00:22:40] Aaron: If that was the goal of the sports team, making mental training and doing sprints and all those things that create physical fitness and mental, emotional toughness, makes sense, right? They’re willing to go through that. And for many individuals, the why doesn’t stack up tall enough for them to go through financial discomfort, to go through and measure their numbers, to, to say, ‘I’m gonna put $5, instead of in a Netflix, I’m gonna put it somewhere else.’ The why isn’t there, and inspiration may need to come from the outside. We help with that.

[00:23:15] Aaron: And then, much like Joseph mentioned, I’m a big fan of Joseph, we have the tools to say, ‘Okay, once you make the choice, ‘cause you understand the why, we’ve got the stairs and the framework to help you go forward.’ And look, money’s a hard thing to teach. It’s a really hard thing to teach because it’s so personal, and we’ve worked hard to make those stairs real for people, but it is not easy.

[00:23:37] Patrick: Yeah, yeah. Very true. It’s not easy, but I, I like that phrase too, the creative abrasion. We’re going through the discomfort.

[00:23:44] Patrick: We talk a lot, and you’ve probably heard us talk about the, the 20-mile march, that concept of, regardless of the prevailing conditions that are out there in the world, you keep marching forward every, every day doing your thing. So if you’ve got your goal, that thing that’s gonna pull you, you know, you’ve got this driving vision, it’s kind of creating that discipline to be able to get there and, and make it happen.

[00:24:02] Patrick: So, staying with this empowerment theme and I, you kind of started touching on, on sports a little bit, so maybe a little shift from financial to sport, ‘cause I think your book’s really cool, Let Her Play, especially a lot of the folks that listen to this seem to be those driven professionals who are often parents of these student-athletes. So, it’d be great if you could share a bit more on kind of how you found meaningful play, instilling that sense of confidence in children.

[00:24:27] Aaron: Hmm. Yeah, man, this is, this is also what has taught me to coach leaders and coach entrepreneurs. It’s, it’s all the same. I didn’t know that at the time. So, coaching girls and coaching athletes, in this case, they’re, they’re the same, was one of the most transformative experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

[00:24:48] Aaron: I, I had to be better. What I learned over several years is that a couple things are critical to anyone operating at a high level. So, number one was environment. And in the nine chapters, there’s a lot of emphasis on environment. As a coach, I had them for two practices a week in-game time. That’s it. So I’m with them, what, 5% of the week.

[00:25:16] Aaron: My influence on them, even as bright as I could possibly be, was minimal compared to the influence they got with their peers at school, at home. What kind of food they ate was out of my hands. It was just all of the influences, potentially, would go directly against what I’m suggesting, hoping, building. So, the book is a framework for parents to, to mine their environment.

[00:25:42] Aaron: The, the second thing is that at a certain level, all performance has to do with mindset over skillset. We, we often preach, predicate, sell and build skill development. So we’re like, get more skills, get more skills, get more certified, get this, and at a really high level, everyone can play. This is true in sports, it’s true in business, right?

[00:26:07] Aaron: What makes me a different coach, a different entrepreneur, a different leadership trainer, is not necessarily the skill of leading a conversation or leading a workshop, it’s the extracurriculars that go into that. How well can I connect with someone that’s going through a hard time? How open can I be? How vulnerable can I be?

[00:26:30] Aaron: And with athletes, what I also found was that mindset and their emotional stability and their confidence was much more important than their skill once they hit a certain point, right? They needed to get to a certain point, I’m not denying that. But at a certain level, everyone could play. So, we had to build in confidence.

[00:26:51] Aaron: The other principle of the book is really, really embedded gently that most of what sports teach us is relevant to the rest of our lives. It’s a great cauldron for relationship to failure, which is probably the third most loud theme in the book is what’s your relationship with failure?

[00:27:13] Aaron: Outside of sports, we, we vilify failure. Inside of sports, it’s practiced and it’s taught in a way that’s healthy. Hey, you’re not good at this. I get that. I understand that you don’t use your left foot very much. Of course, you’re not good at, at one point you couldn’t walk. Let’s practice, let’s get better. And outside the workplace or outside the sports arena, when we get into the workplace, what ends up happening is we have a very different relationship with failure.

[00:27:41] Aaron: I don’t want my boss to yell at me. I don’t want the team to be disappointed. I don’t want to look silly. I don’t wanna look like a beginner. And that principle as a young adult, and as an adult and as a leader, even leaders hesitate to do this, right? We know the right choice and we hesitate to make it for the visibility of it. And same thing with young adults, the idea of a healthy relationship with failure, with practice, with repetition, is a key theme to them being successful in the rest of their life.

[00:28:13] Aaron: If you don’t get an A on an assignment, it’s not the end of the world. I promise you, no one has checked my college transcript, no one has checked my high school transcript. It’s simply a matter of can you consistently work back to consistency versus intensity towards what you want out of life? And I think prosperity and, and living well, really depends on failure. You, you have to be willing to try and test and have almost a scientific approach to, ‘Hey, let’s test out what I really want,’ and those three themes are really embedded in that book, Let Her Play.

[00:28:49] Aaron: I’m gonna publish a book similarly called Let Him Play, so that parents of, of sons, ‘cause I just had my first son, I will sort of rewrite the book at from a lens of, here, look, you have a, you have a male athlete, here’s what you need to know for that.

[00:29:08] Aaron: But it’s, it’s their principles of success embedded into sports. And the, the book was a really brave, right, because I, at the time, was not a parent, and I’m a dude, right? So I’m writing about raising girls and proliferating female confidence and success as, as a male and not a parent. So, that book is full of like brave comments. And I, I think those principles are really what makes me me today. They’re, they’re the things that I coach leaders on and the thing that we do in Money Club with a lens of financial and economic empowerment.

[00:29:45] Patrick: Love it. Way to step out of your comfort zone and, and write that, ‘cause it is true. I mean, sports so dictate life and they represent each other. And I, I love those empowerment mindset. And you’re right on the, the whole concept of failure. You know, I’ve talked about it with my boys myself. It’s like, ‘You fail. Good. It’s your chance to learn. It’s your chance to rise above to get better, and you just grow from it and get stronger.’

[00:30:06] Patrick: I think, a lot of what you were talking about in there is also very similar to another book we just read, the concept of Angela Duckworth and Grit, and the idea that, okay, yeah, you can have scale, you can have talent, but what counts so much more is your effort and that grit when you are at a position where you might not fail, you might not be the best.

[00:30:24] Patrick: You just keep going through it, and over time you’re gonna get better and better and get that practice in you. Keep your idea on kind of that ultimate goal, and then you’ll, you’ll get there in time. So, great, great lessons. Love it.

[00:30:35] Aaron: I’m a big fan of Grit. It’s a great book, so read that book. Definitely read that book.

[00:30:41] Patrick: Awesome. Well, good stuff.

[00:30:43] Patrick: Well, I think if you’re up for it, it’s time to move on to the part in the podcast. We ask the guest, it’s The Five to Thrive. They’re basically rapid-fire questions, five questions. I’ll roll through ’em real quick. If you wanna give your kind of quick whatever comes to mind, first answer.

[00:30:56] Aaron: All right, I’m ready. I’m stretched. I’m ready.

[00:30:58] Patrick: I’m ready to roll. First off, number one. What is your morning routine?

[00:31:02] Aaron: So, I get up every morning around 5:30. I walk out, there’s a fire pit, gas, fire pit here at the complex that I live in. I sit by that. I read, I meditate. I tend to stretch, have a glass of water, and a journal. Those are my, my things in the morning.

[00:31:22] Patrick: Awesome. You hit the high point. Sounds very similar to mine. Love it. Number two, we believe in continuous learning, of course, and inspiration. We just talked about, we’ve talked about several books on this, but what is one book, podcaster movie you would recommend most?

[00:31:36] Aaron: Well, I’ll go with what I’m reading now. It’s been really, really helpful. The book is called Essentialism, Greg McKeowne, I believe is how you say it. The principle of the book is saying no and recognizing where your values are and saying no outside of that, and it’s a good reminder for anyone that is growing in growth and widening.

[00:31:59] Aaron: We often have to slim back down and get really clear enough priorities, and this is a very helpful read for me now and a very high recommendation I would give to anyone that’s experiencing growth that wants to stay aligned.

[00:32:12] Patrick: Love it. Great book and great points there. So next one, number three, if you feel stuck down or really just feel like you need to ignite change, what do you do to make it happen?

[00:32:23] Aaron: Two simple strategies. One, I run. I, I like to think of this. I’ve done this for a long time as a soccer player and runner. I spend the first half of the run running away from my problem, and I spend the first half or the second half running right back to it. So getting out, clearing my mind, focusing on my feet, my legs, where I’m going, my breathing helps a lot. So, that tactic has been really, really helpful.

[00:32:45] Aaron: And then, the second thing that I’ve been really trying to do more and more of is art, to step outside of the logical, the, the framework of solving. And I’m stuck and I’m frustrated and to, to put emotion into, could be a sketch. I’ve been an artist for a long time. Could be painting, could be anything creative, but if I can get out of my world and into another one, it’s, it’s a great way to do that. And I’m experimenting with ways to do that better, whether it be sketching or popping in VR, and like, I can paint on a digital canvas there. It’s, it’s cool, man. So, something creative.

[00:33:21] Patrick: Love it. Awesome. Thank you. And so moving on to number four, let’s go back in time, your 20-year-old self. You just received funding to create a massive project that would serve the war, the world. It could be anything, but as long as it serves others. What advice do you give to your 20-year-old self on coming up with that project and making it happen?

[00:33:44] Aaron: Wow, that’s such a great question. I would, I would say, ‘Aaron, what you feel people need, follow that instinct and do not listen to anyone that says no. Trust yourself. Forget about cancel culture, forget about pressures, forget about obligations, and just do what you feel is right and really lean into that intuition without any hesitation and any mind to the judgment of others. If you feel called to it, go build it.’

[00:34:23] Patrick: Very cool. That’s all. A little pause there, but that, that was awesome. I love that. Thank you for sharing. So we’ll go to the last one, one piece of advice for the world. What are you going to be remembered for above all else? What is that one piece of advice you’d wanna give?

[00:34:42] Aaron: Man, no pressure. I, I feel that the, the loudest thing on my heart right now is to, to remind people to take care of their neighbor. The, that’s a small metaphor for a big idea. We have a tendency to focus so much on us, our hurt, our pain, our opportunity, our money, our growth, our hour, hour, hour, hour, and the idea of a neighbor.

[00:35:15] Aaron: Neighbor could be your friend, your family, could be your spouse, your kids. The idea of taking care and really being intentional about caring for someone else is a transformative ripple and it takes intention, it takes listening, it takes all the things that is leadership, everything that we talked about today.

[00:35:37] Aaron: It takes discipline, it takes consistency. It is a really hard thing to do, to take care of someone else and to hold care of someone else, and to me that is a, an ideal worth proliferating. It’s an ideal worth spreading, it’s an idea worth making viral. And I recognize how tall of an order it is, but if everyone listening took a moment today to care for a neighbor, a friend, someone near them, someone they don’t know, I think we’d end up in a, a really cool circular ripple effect of people doing really awesome things for one another.

[00:36:17] Patrick: We would for sure take care of your neighbor. It, it reminds me of, I know I’ve said it before, but that Mother Theresa quote where someone asked her, ‘Do you really think you can change the world?’ And she said something along the lines of, of, no, you know, not by myself, but I can take this stone and throw it into a pond and just like in the, the stone in the pond, it would ripple out. I can start that wave and cast that ripple around the world. And so right, right on with what you said. If you, if we each do our part to just care for others, care for our neighbors, and then you really can start making that change, make that ripple.

[00:36:48] Patrick: So awesome. Love it. So many, so many great points here. Thank you for, for sharing all this. We’ll link, there’s a ton of stuff so we’ll link all this in livefitignitechange.com/aaronvelky, so you can definitely go there. Where listeners could go to learn more about you?

[00:37:03] Aaron: So, two places. My website is aaronvelky.com. Nothing cryptic, super simple. Thanks for a, a name that’s easy to find, mom and dad. The second place, if someone’s interested in Money Club, our website is wearemoneyclub.com. We have programs for employers, we have programs for individuals, and then if they’re interested in something like executive coaching, retreats, development for the individual, that’s on my website.

[00:37:31] Aaron: So lots of places, lots of ways to find me on social and Instagram and all that. Just search for my name. It’s all the same on TikTok and Instagram and Twitter. It’s all the same. Very, very easy, just search for my name.

[00:37:42] Patrick: Awesome. Nice to have it easy like that. And I gotta acknowledge you too before we go. I mean, truly helping me personally, and so many of our team members go through the journey of the financial well-being and your programs and look forward to doing more with you.

[00:37:54] Patrick: So I guess, I just gotta say, you know, keep doing what you’re doing, making that impact. You are caring for others, it shows, and I guess together we’re gonna help each other ignite that change that we wish to see. So truly, thank you.

[00:38:05] Aaron: Hmm. Thank you, Patrick. That means a lot. I’m excited to keep digging in. It’s, it’s special to do the work, so I’m grateful.

[00:38:13] Patrick: Awesome.

[00:38:14] Patrick: If you resonated with this and would like to live fit and ignite change in your life, you can get started for free at livefitignitechange.com/start, where you can join our community of high performers and get access to our kickstart resources for free. You can choose if you’d like to start on the path to getting in the best shape of your life, and or ignite the change you’d wish to see by casting a vision and taking the steps to get there. You can get plugged in at livefitignitechange.com/start, or for short, livefic.com/start.

[00:38:49] Patrick: Also, my family and I were igniting the change that we wish to see in the world by helping others live it. We were sick of all the processed sugar-loaded foods and drinks marketed to us, especially to our youth. So we’re developing a line of truly delicious, grain-free, sugar-free products that children and adults love as part of our Inrive Performance Nutrition Brand. Learn more and join the Inrive Insiders for free, to be the first to hear about samples, launch parties, and specials at inrive.com. That’s I-N-R-I-V-E.com.

[00:39:24] Patrick: Thank you so much for tuning in, and please be sure to like, share, rate, and review this show. This is what’s needed to help reach more and serve more, so together we truly can ignite the change that we wish to see.

[00:39:39] Patrick: Thank you so much for your help in making it happen, and I hope you make it an outstanding day and go forth to light, love, and serve the world and live the life you’ve always imagined.

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