Aaron Marino, Alpha M & Serial Entrepreneur | How to Launch Multiple Businesses Off a Personal Brand

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About The Guest

For almost 15-years, Aaron Marino has worked with thousands of men from around the world, helping them with their personal style, grooming, fashion, image, wardrobe, and even dating.

Aaron Marino has not only expanded his reach with his viral videos but also with a variety of products such as the now-retired style system that was featured on the ABC’s Shark Tank. He had a second appearance on Shark Tank with his men’s grooming company, Pete & Pedro. Other companies that he owns include Tiege Hanley, MENfluential Media, and ENEMY.

Talking Points

  • 11:15 — On pursuing opportunities.
  • 19:29 — Building a personal brand from scratch.
  • 24:10 — The Shark Tank experience.
  • 30:32 — On connecting with the right people.
  • 39:31 — From 2x Shark Tank, to building multiple brands.
  • 49:42 — Why you have to keep moving forward.

Show Links

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/AlphaMconsulting
  • https://www.instagram.com/aaronmarino/
  • https://twitter.com/alphamimage

Podcast & Newsletter Sponsors

1 — Better Help — Virtual Therapy & Mental Wellness

https://betterhelp.com/scottclary — 10% Off First Month

2 — Uprising Food — Healthy & Delicious Low Carb Bread/Food

https://uprisingfood.com/successstory — $10 Off Starter Bundle

3 — Nutrafol — Increase Hair Thickness & Volume

https://nutrafol.com/ (CODE: successstory) — $15 Off First Month

Watch on YouTube

What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Website: https://www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: https://www.successstorypodcast.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/scottdclary

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Facebook: https://facebook.com/scottdclarypage

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/scottdclary

Machine Generated Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

business, people, pedro, life, selling, shark tank, fitness center, hair, podcast, entrepreneur, product, big, uprising, pete, hubspot, alpha, called, marketing, advertising, youtube channel

SPEAKERS

Scott D Clary, Aaron Marino

 

Scott D Clary  00:00

Welcome to success story, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary, the success story podcast as part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. The HubSpot Podcast Network has incredible podcast like the martec podcast hosted by Benjamin Shapiro. Each week, the martec podcast tells stories of world class marketers who use technology to create lasting success with their business and their careers. If you like any of these topics, you’re gonna like the martec podcast, how science is changing advertising, how to set up a CRM, so you actually use it. private equities take on digital transformation by big social is focused on newsletters. If these are topics that resonate with you, go check out the mahr tech podcast. Wherever you get your podcasts you can also listen on hubspot.com/podcast network. My guest today is Aaron Marino. You may know him as alpha and he has a YouTube channel with 6 million subs billions of views. For almost 15 years Aaron Marino he’s worked with 1000s of men from around the world helping them with personal style, grooming fashion image wardrobe dating personal responsibility, he has not only expanded his reach through these viral videos and his incredible YouTube channel, but also with a wide variety of products, including the now retired style system that was featured on ABC Shark Tank. He also had a second appearance on Shark Tank with his men’s grooming company, Pete and Pedro. He also has built other businesses and companies including th Hanley men influential media and enemy. He’s also an author of The Best Selling ebook, the male style guide and the confidence course and the virtual consultant Training Foundation program. He has built an empire based on helping men be better he came on the success story podcast. This is what we spoke about Pete and Pedro how to go from small to big lessons learned Shark Tank experience and what he took from it. We spoke about failure bankruptcy, the major success we walked through his story and things that he’s learned in his life, how he’s grown, how he’s lived life to the fullest, and how he went from a very dark spot to where he is right now. We spoke about some social media, some of the ways that he’s grown his YouTube channel, we’ve also spoken about some just key life business lessons, entrepreneurship lessons, that are just incredible for anybody, you could be starting any type of business, you could be just wanting to build a brand on social media, he’s done it all. So let’s jump right into it. This is Aaron Marino, otherwise known as alpha m.

 

Aaron Marino  02:31

Alright, so I guess when I think about sort of where my journey sort of started in terms of my my my life, it really had to have started at the at the gym when I was 12 years old. Um, you know, growing up, my mother had a few different you know, marriages I kind of bounced from school to school. I’m not to go into the details, but but one of the byproducts of, of having a stepfather that wasn’t exactly amazing in terms of he was a bit mentally and emotionally abusive, is that I lost my ability to really kind of like stand up for myself and feel good about myself. But when I was like, 12 years old, I watched the movie like Rocky for right. And I saw like Rocky fighting the rush, and I said, Oh, my God, look at those bodies, right? And I’m like, yo, if a body can look like that, that’s what I want. Right? And so my mom was like, What do you want for Christmas? I’m like, a gym membership. And you know, and I was 12 years old. And so yeah, so so she got me a fitness membership. So she would drive me like, you know, after school and dropped me off for like, literally, like a few hours. And immediately when I went in there, and I saw all these dudes, and I was like the young kid, because you know, at that age, like 12 year olds aren’t working out. This is back, you know, a long, long time ago. And so it’s like, I found my home, it was the most amazing experience. I loved what was happening with my body lifting weights, it truly was a game and a life changer for me. And what happened was pretty fascinating. Not only then my body starts to look a little bit better, what it did for my my confidence and my mind and just feeling great about myself. Sort of that was something that that I wasn’t really I guess, expecting, but it was an amazing byproduct of just going to the gym, and I realized, okay, my home life might be kind of crappy. But when I went to the gym, I felt like, like a king. I felt amazing. And I realized from the age of 12 years old, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. And so from the age of 12, I was one of those weird kids that knew exactly what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. I wanted to own a fitness center that was going to be like it for me. And so for the next you know, eight years, nine years, 10 years, I mean, throughout high school. Then I went to college, went to West Virginia University got a a I minored or I majored in marketing or no I’m sorry, business. A major See now I’m all grown up. I got a I majored in Business Management with a minor in marketing and community health promotion. And so, you know, fast forward 2000 One wants it now is damn 98

 

Scott D Clary  05:02

Dude, I can never I could win. Everybody asked me when I graduated university how many years ago I always get screwed up because it feels like it was yesterday. And it was like a long time ago

 

Aaron Marino  05:11

.It doesn’t feel like it was yesterday, but oh no, okay, okay. No, it was 9819 98. I graduated with a with a degree and I’m like, Alright, see, once again I was just focused on I want to own a fitness center. And so I decided to move to Atlanta. My best friend’s Harry, his father was dating a woman in Atlanta. He’s like, what do you do? And after college, I’m like, I want to open a fitness center. And he’s like, Well, where are you going to do it? I’m like, I don’t know. And this he said, well go to Atlanta. It was right after the Olympics Olympics were like 96. And he said, If you can’t make a business work in Atlanta, you can’t make it work anywhere. It was booming here. And apparently I couldn’t make that business work anyway. Anyway, because that didn’t end up working out. So anyway, I moved to Atlanta, and I got a job at at a health club as a personal trainer. And I’m like, Alright, it’s you know, it’s not you know, a gym at ownership, but at least I was in this space that I wanted to be. I met a guy he said, Hey, he was the manager at the club. He goes, I want to open a nutrition store. Would you like to do it with me? Or help me? I said, Sure. You know, it wasn’t a gym but once again, it was a business and so I was excited to try to just go into business and start a business with them and so we ended up opening a nutrition store and you know, did that we expanded like three locations over the course of like two or three years. And then I realized I needed to get out of there because this was back when there was this weird thing called I’m gonna go into the weeds here for a second do you mind do it

 

Scott D Clary  06:35

go for a man I love so I’m I’m all about this stuff, too. This is like I was super into working out and fitness and like I think this is like a lot of like, Guys dreams that were into athletics. How do you make a business out of working out nutrition fitness, but live the dream that many of you dream?

 

Aaron Marino  06:50

So I so So okay, so there was this stuff back in the day so if you’re like old school bodybuilder or workout enthusiast, you might remember it was something called like blue nitro there were these like these like, like, it was it was like a liquid that people would actually like drink. And it was sort of like it was a drug honestly. And like there’s all sorts of like, you know, oh, no, it’s good for you know, serotonin release and oh, no, it’s perfect for helping your you know, release growth hormone when you when you sleep. It’s all bullshit. It was all just to get like messed up and and, and anyway, so. So it was something called fear unknown dye hydro was there was the the chemical compound and so they were selling it, then it became illegal. And he’s like, Wait a second. You can make this stuff. It’s it’s essentially boat. paint stripper is what the like. Yeah, exactly. So So you see where this is going, it’s going nowhere good. And so I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. But I knew that this was not something I probably needed to be around for the long term. And so anyway, found out that you can make this stuff by getting 31 ounces of like Kool Aid adding one ounce of this, like, paint this, this boat, paint stripper, and you could you know, and people were buying it well, it became illegal. And he’s like, Yeah, I can still make a lot of money doing this. Let’s keep selling. And I’m like, yeah,

 

Scott D Clary  08:05

as you can with many illegal things. It sells itself.

 

Aaron Marino  08:09

And so so I’m like, you know, I think is probably isn’t the best place for me. You know, prison is somewhere where I would be popular, but I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t thrive. So anyway, so I decided to leave there. It was, it was hard, though, because, you know, helped, you know, expand in the three locations, we were doing really well. And, you know, I’m like, I just can’t be here because, you know, it was just not the right right place for me. And so I ended up leaving. But while I was at the nutrition store, something cool happened. I met a woman and helped her lose 100 pounds. And so, you know, her name was Linda. And so I left the nutrition store, and she said, Hey, would you be interested in opening up a personal training studio? I want to help other people do what you did for me? And I’m like, yes, let’s do it. 100%. So just fast forward about a year, we signed the lease for our facility on September 11, as in the September 11, that the planes were crashing into the world trade. So it should have been an omen as to how that business was unfold. And, you know, we did that we, we tried to expand, we ended up having to get investors and there’s a lot of fighting and legal battles, and we ended up having to shut down and at that point, I was about half a million dollars in debt. I was driving a beer cart on a cut at a country club on the weekends just to put gas in my car and to give my my then girlfriend, my now wife, a few bucks towards groceries and rent. And so this was the lowest point in my life. Um, you know, I had the opportunity. I had a little fitness center. We were trying to expand, it didn’t work out. And the worst part I remember like it was yesterday, I was getting ready to file bankruptcy and I had all this debt. And I’m at the golf course and it was like December and it was freezing here relative you know, freezing for Atlanta. It was like, you know, 30 degrees. And and I and I was just like, What do I do and the worst part And the reason why that was such a hard time for me, it wasn’t that I was broke, like, I’d been broke my whole life, you know, grew up on welfare and food stamps and all that, you know, being broke is not a big deal for me. But what was was the lack of a direction or a dream, you know, for my whole life from the age of 12 years old, the only thing I wanted to do was own a fitness center. And then when that dream like exploded, it’s like, fuck, like, what do I do now? I have no idea. Because the type of guy I am like, I am super like tunnel vision. I do not do well like looking at other opportunities. And oh, if this doesn’t work out, I can do that. It’s not like that. For me. It’s like, I’m here. I’m going to energize and focus everything that I have on this. And then when I went away, it was like, Well, what do I do now? So anyway, fast forward, what do I do? I decided, You know what? Maybe I can try this like style consulting, because while I had my fitness center, I met a guy. So it’s sort of interesting. While I was at the the nutrition store, I met a girl when we open the gym. And then when I had the gym, I met a guy, Steve, he was a client. He’s like, Hey, I don’t know what to wear for a date. I said, Well, why don’t I take you shopping? Why don’t I come over and see what you have. And, and by the way, your nose hairs are crazy. Let’s let’s, you know, go to my stylist and, and do do this. And so I didn’t know what I was doing. But it was a lot of fun. And I really

 

Scott D Clary  11:15

you see opportunity, but you run after opportunity, man. Like, that’s two times, right? Like that’s like networking opportunity to go after it.

 

Aaron Marino  11:21

Yeah, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m not that smart. See, I’m, I’m a I’m a I’m an opportunist, or an opportunist. Like, like, just manage. But anyway, so he goes back to work after we do this little makeover. and his co worker, he worked at the Weather Channel said, Hey, you look great. What did you do? He goes, Well, there’s this guy took me shopping into this. She goes, Well, will he take me shopping? Or not me, my husband? And I’m like, and he’s like, Yeah, probably. And she said, Well, how much does he charge? And that was kind of like a light bulb moment where it’s like, well, maybe there’s a business in this. And so fast forward, you know, I started this image consulting business, I was still moonlighting as a personal trainer in people’s homes, just to try and make ends meet. My Fitness Center was done. I started a company alpha m image consulting.com. And because I thought you needed to have your URLs say exactly what you did. And so it was like, you know, 70 letters long and totally, like,

 

Scott D Clary  12:17

hard to remember. Yeah.

 

Aaron Marino  12:21

And so, and then 2008 Well, I guess it was 2007. My wife gave me a video camera. And for Christmas, I thought she wanted to get freaky and film ourselves, you know, doing doing, doing funky things. It was not the case. She just didn’t know what else to get me and says as a president. And so, you know, I was like, Well, let me let me see about this video camera thing. And so I’m like, let me see if I can figure this out. I’m super UNTAC savvy. I started filming of the first video, I was like, Okay, I got all dressed up in my JC Penney’s, like the sport code and a big tie with a huge knob because that’s what I thought back then you needed to wear in order to be like, stylish was a suit, and a big huge monster wins or not. And so I filmed my first video, put it out on YouTube had no idea prior to that I had been on YouTube probably three times. And no idea. This was before YouTube was really a thing it was in 2008. And, and the next thing you know, I got asked a question by somebody that was watching a video and that’s all it took, I was hooked. I’m like, Alright, apparently the thing that I had been searching for my whole life in terms of, of feeling successful, was just validation. And like I was I was valuable. And so that was kind of the the start of an addiction of putting out content and getting, you know, feedback. And then that led to this and that this led to that and started a few businesses and, and the rest is kind of history. 13 When I start that 2008 So yeah, about 13 years ago. Wow, amazing emerald.

 

Scott D Clary  13:49

You are a story. That’s an awesome story. Man. That’s That’s great. I

 

Aaron Marino  13:53

long winded but yeah, that’s how we got to where we are.

 

Scott D Clary  13:56

I love it. And you know what, I love both that like now when people hit YouTube, it’s so like, it’s so like, I got to have the perfect strategy or the first or the first video has to be perfect, which totally kills any creativity, any sort of like I know the word is thrown around a lot like authenticity, but it does kill it when you want to target and you put stuff out there and then I think it’s like paralysis by analysis and then just people don’t just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode better help. You want to take advantage of a special promo better help is offering all success story podcast listeners, go to better help.com/scott D Clary better help calm slash SEO TT CL ar y. So what is better help better help is therapy for lack of a better term. It’s the best way to give yourself routine maintenance for your mental and emotional well being. And the best way to think about therapy is usually through analogies. We always get our cars tuned to prevent bigger issues. Down the road, we get annual checkups, and we go to the gym to maintain physical health so that we don’t get out of shape. We want to prevent injury, we want to prevent disease. We do chores regularly, so they don’t all pile up and have a huge giant mess in your house. By the end of the week. Going to therapy is like all the above, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, it just means that you’re investing in yourself and keeping your mind healthy. BetterHelp is customized online therapy from the comfort of your home. It offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist. So you don’t even have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to you communicate the way you feel comfortable. It is so much more affordable than in person therapy and you can start speaking to somebody in under 48 hours. Take care of your mind before any more bad stuff happens. Success Stories sponsored by better help you get 10% off if you use this specific URL to sign up for your first session. So go to betterhelp.com/scott Clary better help calm slash Scott D Clary, and you’ll get 10% off better help. I just want to take a second to thank the sponsor of today’s episode, new truffle. Now I tried new truffle because I have some hair now. But I know that in my family, eventually I’ll start to lose some hair. And for the longest time when it came to hair remedies, the options were some sort of surgical or some sort of transplant or natural remedies that didn’t really seem to work. So you no longer have to choose between a chemical or a drug or a prescribed fix for hair or some sort of surgery or just no results. Now there is a natural, holistic option that actually delivers results for your hair, this is neutral and neutral does promote hair thickness, hair growth and whole body wellness. So of course genetics are a cause of hair loss. neutrophil goes beyond that, because there are actually five other causes for hair loss that go beyond genetics. So you have hormones, nutrition, metabolism, environmental factors, and stress. neutrophil targets all of these five factors. So even if you don’t have the genetic predisposition to lose hair, there are other things that could cause you to lose hair neutrophil is targeting all those helping with all those beautiful is also clinically proven to improve hair growth and thickness and visible scalp coverage. It has 21 potent ingredients. Of course, these are helping your hair, but they’re also supporting better sex drive, better sleep and less stress. It’s been recommended by over 1500 doctors and in clinical studies and trials. Men did show progressive improvement in hair growth and hair thickness in three to six months so you can grow thicker and healthier hair and support our show by going to neutrophils.com and entering the promo code success story. This will save you $15 off your first month’s supply of new truffle. And this is the best offer anywhere. It’s only available to us customers for a limited time. Plus, there’s also free shipping on every single order. So if you want to get $15 off, get $15 off now on your first order beautiful new to full.com spelled N ut rafol.com promo code success story stuff out man you’re living proof. I didn’t know that till you started your your YouTube channel. And I think you’d probably be funny to maybe it wouldn’t be funny. To go back to the

 

Aaron Marino  18:17

you know, it’s funny. Well, what’s funny is that I removed a lot of the earlier videos and it’s not that I was embarrassed. Oh, actually, I was embarrassed because when I first started YouTube, I was looking around and looking at like, who was successful. And usually it was a lot of like crude humor and saying things that were a bit outlandish. And so I thought that’s what I needed to do in terms of, you know, getting popular and to attract an audience. So I said some really offensive shit. And and so looking back, I was just I was you know, I’m actually yeah, it was exactly. And that was the thing. And that’s sort of for those of you listening, the thing that really kind of like, not catapulted me because I’m like the overnight success that took 13 years, right. But what really happened was when I kind of dropped the act and just was vulnerable and let people see who I was and just was authentic as they say, that’s when everything kind of changed. I got sort of into the sweet spot where I felt good about what I was doing. And when you do that, and you don’t have like this weird agenda, you know, it’s it’s pretty amazing what can potentially happen and so just be yourself because there’s only one you everybody else been has been done before as they said or as they say and so yeah, it was really cool. So

 

Scott D Clary  19:29

walk walk me through even just like building out your your own quote unquote personal brand. So the brand is is a combination of things that are I don’t even know how to best describe it like things that a man would want to figure out or learn about, or how did you come to what alpha m is today? What was the concept?

 

Aaron Marino  19:48

Yeah, so alpha m when it first started was just style. I was just talking about like how to dress because at the time back in 2008 the only resource for for guys was really like GQ and Esquire and You know, it wasn’t my reality, it wasn’t the reality of my friends and family and people that I knew. And so I was like, maybe there’s just a space for a regular guy to talk about style in a more regular way. And then from there, it kind of went into grooming. And because I’ve always been interested in grooming, I cut my own hair, you know, and so, it was these little things that I started, you know, talking about, like butt hair, like, you know, I was the first person talking about, like, manscaping online, really, and it was just because I was I was comfortable talking about it. And, and it’s something that I had questions about. And so I was like, maybe there are other people that are interested in this kind of stuff. And, and maybe I can just be that resource. And then it transitioned into, you know, pretty much anything that a guy might be interested in, then relationships and dating and, and, you know, pretty much just lifestyle stuff. And then I am fortunate enough to be able to give because I am a bit older than a lot of my audience, give some just just real world lifestyle, or life advice on things that I’ve struggled with in my past or things that I’ve dealt with that I feel I can just share a perspective. And so

 

Scott D Clary  21:05

I think you do something really, really well. And I’ve watched, I’ve watched a couple of your videos, obviously. And one thing that how you teach is that you just mentioned you’re just telling stories, you’re telling stories about stuff that you’ve gone through, you talk about x’s, you talk about your personal choices for style for hair, for grooming, all that stuff. Did it take a certain? Was that something that you were comfortable with putting yourself out there authentic? Was that something that you had to struggle with for a while? Or was that as you mentioned, the first few videos, they weren’t authentic, what were they if they weren’t authentic,

 

Aaron Marino  21:38

it was me trying to be something that I wasn’t in trying to, you know, I was trying to be something that I thought I needed to be in order to get people to like me, honestly, and never works. No, it never works. And so it’s very, very easy to see through that. And so yeah, I mean, that was just something it wasn’t hard. I mean, that’s the thing, like the hard thing was was trying to be something and put up a facade. And so, you know, the easy thing is just the kind of like, let your your true self you know, shine through and just just do you and and be authentically, you know, open to the authentic Lee Yeah, be authentically you exactly. Lots of cliches in this in this clip van cliches

 

Scott D Clary  22:19

awesome. I love it. Okay, um, let’s okay, what’s the what’s the Shark Tank play? What’s the Shark Tank? If you were to acts on Shark Tank, or you were there twice I was on so what happened there try to get

 

Aaron Marino  22:32

on a third time they wouldn’t take me back. They’re like Eric, what’s the story now? Like shit? Um, yeah, so it’s a shark tank is like my favorite show. And for any entrepreneur, if you’re thinking about, you know, are interested in business watch Shark Tank, you know, the cool thing is that you can go you know, they’re they’re, they’re syndicated now on on, you know, television. So every night of the week, you can go and watch like episode after episode after episode. And so, I came up with this E product, it was my first stab at like an info product, I should say, not an E product because it was actually physically DVDs that I was trying to sell. It was an info product. I thought that, you know, a lot of the people that I am I’m friends with in the space of internet, you know, business and sales. A lot of guys are like, Oh, the product, the product. And so I came up with this style system. So my dad was like, Well, how are you going to try and sell it? I’m like, I don’t know. He goes, you should try and go on Shark Tank. I’m like, Yeah, sure. And so literally, I remember it. It was a Friday night. I went home, I went to ABCs website, and I applied and on Monday, I got a call and and they’re asked for information. And it was three months later, I was pitching in front of the sharks in terms of of the the alpha m style system, they hated the idea. And, and I was like, oh no big deal. You know, it’s okay, I’m on TV. So it’s going to be great. I’m going to sell you know, 1000s of these things. I’m going to be rich. Well, the night Shark Tank aired, I had like this big party everybody was around and I was sitting there with like my computer, and I was like ready for the sales to come rolling in. I literally write 9 million people watch the show. I sold one style system get out.

 

Scott D Clary  24:10

You sold one. I know people that are on Shark Tank and they get like 1000s As I say,

 

Aaron Marino  24:16

it depends on what it is. Apparently, apparently, I that was a real wake up call like Hey, stupid. This is not this is not right. And, and so yeah, it was it was a bummer. So I was bummed out for a little bit. But then, you know, kind of got over it. And and I am I just realized that I’m not really an E product kind of guy. And at least not like physical DVDs. Like I said, I’m a dinosaur. Yeah, like you can’t even play a DVD on your computer anymore. Like it doesn’t even have that ability. And so if it was an app, or if it was like a web based like a program that was less expensive. I think it would have been successful. And I still think it’s a good idea. It’s just it wasn’t the right application and I wasn’t the right guy to do it. And then I started a hair product company beaten Pedro back in 2012 13, somewhere in 2013, I believe I started Pete and Pedro, which was a hair product company. And I went to my stylist that I was friends with Steve. And I said, Hey, do you have any connections at any of these like labs that make hair product, I think I want to come out with a hair product line. And he’s again, so he gave me a number I called him up, they sent me samples, I called a few other labs, I got samples, I, I chose my products, I started Pete and Pedro, white labeling products. And my opening order, I believe it was, I started beating Pedro for $3,000. And so net well, that includes everything that includes my website that includes my, my little stamps.com like printing station boxes inventory, I had five products, five hair products that I was selling, and I got 96 units of each and and it took me like five months to sell through that inventory. And yeah, that was that was an amazing business. My first kind of business selling physical products other than I played around I had a website also that I tried doing for a while a membership website where I was selling like hand strong, like beaded bracelets. The problem was that I was sitting there at night and stringing these bracelets in so not not a scalable not not fun. No. So I’ve tried a ton of shit, man, I have tried a lot of things. And you know, a lot of things, some things have worked, most things haven’t, you know, and you just keep, you know, trying throwing stuff against the wall and just scratching the the curious itch. And that’s kind of the takeaway, you know, I’m not scared to fail once you fail as big as I failed, in terms of the fitness center and bankruptcy and all that, you know, failure, it’s not as scary. And once you kind of get it out of the way and you realize that okay, well, that sucks. It stings. And, and a lot of it not only one of the worst parts about when you when you when you fail in business, it’s not necessarily the burden that it places on you. It’s the embarrassment of having to acknowledge that something that you tried didn’t work to other people. And so when you get over at least it was for me, you know, I can only speak for myself. But once you kind of get over that the ego of Yep, you know what I tried it at least then and you realize that most people aren’t even willing to do that, you know, and, and it’s funny, because the most people that are the most critical, or the naysayers are the people that will you know, say, Oh, you shouldn’t do that, or you’re wrong, they’ve never done shit. And they never will, they’re just going on basically, they’re more comfortable staying comfortable, and would rather, you know, sit on the sidelines and point fingers and say how you you didn’t do something right, or you should have done this way. It’s like, you know what, you know, if you, you know, I’m out here trying, I’m gonna, I’m gonna try, I may not, I may not be successful, but at least I don’t have regret, and I’m not doing something I don’t want to do.

 

Scott D Clary  27:45

That’s a damn good attitude to have just just jumping into stuff in life. And I think that, that’s tough too. But you know, you got to do, you got to find you got to find your tribe that just supports and then and then you double down on that tribe. And you force yourself to be accountable by telling them what you are doing. So you’re so you know that if you fail, they’re there to support you. Because you don’t want you know, and that’s a tough thing. Because like, sometimes it’s family, sometimes it’s friends you’ve had for a long time that are just really shitty to towards what you’re trying to do. And that’s a tough pill for a lot of people to swallow. But when you find your tribe, people that support you, that are also trying shit, and entrepreneurial, not even entrepreneurial, just like super ambitious, if you put it out into the world, like for this podcast, for example, like I purposefully tell every single person I meet now, and now my identity has become more of the podcast when I was first starting, it was the other stuff I was doing. I work at this job, and I have a podcast on the side versus I lead with the podcast because that’s holding me accountable man, like, they’re gonna look me up, and they’re gonna see it and like, I don’t want I don’t want to fail. So I don’t, you know, I’m just like, making myself do it all the time. But I think that’s the tribe, you have to build people that are cool with that.

 

Aaron Marino  28:51

And that was, yeah, and that was, you know, there was a gentleman that I that I met, that was on YouTube, Antonio Centeno, he has a YouTube channel, Real Men Real Style. He reached out to me and and I knew about him just because I saw it was, it was me, I started the YouTube thing first talking about style. And then he came in a few years later. And, and I and I hated him. I’m like, this son of a bitch is trying to, you know, steal my something, whatever. And so he actually reached out to me and he said, Hey, let’s get together and, and meet up and why don’t we have kind of like a get together or meetup for some of these other people that kind of our inner space. And I was very resistant to doing it. But it was one of the best decisions I ever made was kind of stepping out of my comfort zone. Because I did not understand the importance of surrounding yourself with people that are sort of moving in the same direction. And you know, and that was one of the, like I said the things that changed my life all the sudden I was around people that I I needed to be around that we’re all like, you know, inspiring, like people that were trying, they were just going after their dreams and doing something different, you know, and and that was it was amazing because once you do Get around those people that are that are trying that are striving that are just doing things outside of the box. It is amazing how it inspires you number one, but it also will give you ideas and then if you ever need help, you know it’s there always, you know, just a phone call or a text away. And my friend, Jordan Harbinger likes to say you, your network is your net worth or your network is your network. I’m sure he stole that. Yeah, somebody else. Anyway. Um,

 

Scott D Clary  30:26

but the damn good quote. I know. Yeah. So Jordan, he has a great podcast. Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to go. Yeah.

 

Aaron Marino  30:32

He’s He’s rock star. Right. And so yeah, yeah. Jordan, you know, he says, and Jordan had kind of like a tumble tumble. I can’t even say that word tomato is a sort of relationship breakup with his former business partner. And, you know, and, and it was hard. I mean, Jordan literally almost started, like from ground zero. He had his podcast, but you know, they had a very big, you know, and successful coaching business. And, um, you know, and Jordan, it was like, you know, what, I’m just gonna reach out to these people that I know that are friends. And he does he every day, like, sits down and sends text messages to people just to say, hey, and just to keep that connection going. And, you know, I think that’s something so incredibly, you know, powerful because we get so caught up in our own lives and our own shed a lot of times that you know, just taking a few seconds out of the day just to connect with people. You never know when you’re going to need them or they may need you.

 

Scott D Clary  31:26

I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode, HubSpot. HubSpot is the CRM that you have to have for your business and whatever your business is up to your CRM platform, it should be ready. Why? Because believe it or not, CRM platforms are no longer just a selling tool. They’re the heart of building and scaling your business with tools from marketing, sales, customer service, content management and operations. The HubSpot CRM platform is fully customizable for whatever your business needs. use HubSpot to meet customer demand align your teams work smarter, not harder scale up without having the need to slow down with total control and over 650 integrations. HubSpot enables your team to succeed no matter how big or how small, whether you’re just getting started or looking for a robust system. HubSpot is the number one CRM for scaling businesses. Learn more about how you can customize your CRM platform@hubspot.com I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode uprising food. If you want to take advantage of a special offer they’ve put together for all success story podcast listeners, go to uprising food.com/success story that’s uprising food.com/su CC, e s s s t o r y. So what is uprising food? Well, essentially uprising is a vision to liberate all of us from a fundamentally broken food system that is stealing our health. There are so many bad foods out there that just destroy our health and the snowball effect is silent inflammation with many of these fast foods that we eat but the issue is usually that healthy food is either too expensive, or doesn’t taste good, or both. Uprising is solving that they have cracked the code on healthy bread. I’ve tried it I’ve never found anything that tastes this healthy. That tastes this good and is this fresh. So there are two net grams of carbs per serving six grams of protein, nine grams of fiber. Remember this is bread. They cover paleo keto, low carb, high fiber to dairy free or grain free lifestyles and all uprising products are baked with real superfood ingredients. So almond MCT oil, apple cider vinegar, egg whites psyllium husk olive oil. So uprising has made all of their foods their bread, they have some chips as well. With prebiotic fiber, they made it delicious with their patent pending breakthrough and psyllium husk activation, which is fantastic for digestive health. But I guess this is the secret sauce that makes it actually tastes good. On top of just being incredibly good for you. It all comes down to taste and a lot of healthy foods are littered with broken promises. uprising has nailed the taste factor the texture, you honestly won’t be able to tell that you’re eating something that is quote unquote healthy. So if you want to try a starter bundle, which includes a variety of the foods that they that they put together that they create, they put together a special promo for all success story podcast listeners, they start a bundle includes a superfood cubes, which are the actual that’s the bread and then four packs of freedom chips, which are delicious chips again, just as healthy as the bread go to uprising food.com/success story and they’ll give you a $10 discount off of this starter bundle so you can try everything they’re creating. You get 10 bucks off the discounts actually automatically applied at checkout if you go through that link So go to uprising food.com/success story, get $10 off your first order, try these foods for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. The taste is incredible. And on top of that, they really are just incredibly good for you.

 

Aaron Marino  35:13

And you know, it’s, it’s, it’s just great. You need to definitely cultivate and build that network that is absolutely a critical thing that I think every entrepreneur aspiring entrepreneurs should should really consider and think about.

 

Scott D Clary  35:27

I think that’s a really smart idea. And I liked that point you brought up about constantly reaching out, because the one thing that isn’t building a network is just reaching out to somebody when you already need them, right? You got to build that foundation, way ahead, way ahead. And before you even know what you’re going to need help with. And then when when you need that help you can you can reach out to these people because you haven’t just shut them out of your life for the past. And I have to work on that too, man. Yeah, it’s hard to keep up these relationships. But yes, very important. Now, okay, so I want to, I want to unpack Okay, so we’re still going down this. So you finished up with the second Shark Tank, and I want to get to the second Shark Tank and hold on, here we go. So I okay. Yeah, so I want to figure out this, because that’s a good story, too.

 

Aaron Marino  36:10

So I so I, so I so I got kicked out or I didn’t take a deal on Shark Tank. I didn’t sell any, any style systems. It was a disaster. And, and so I ended up starting a grooming product Pete and Pedro. And, and so I you know, right away, I shot him an email, Hey, I got a new business. It was because of Shark Tank, I realized, you know, and I made the sales pitch like, hey, it’s because I got rejected. And they’re like, ooh, that’s kind of a good storyline. And so, you know, I lied about my sales a little bit and the audition told them they were bigger than they were and, um, you know, I, I think I didn’t like I won’t call it a lie. It was a little bit it was it was generous in terms of my sales. And so anyway, so they’re like, Hey, lets you know, that they it was for like, maybe I forget what season maybe season five, I tried to get on. And they said no. And then I came back and

 

Scott D Clary  37:07

I got to hear man I got to hear it was it was season seven episode 29.

 

Aaron Marino  37:10

Yeah, that was that you will that was I think I tried. Like, after I got kicked out. The first time I thought I was on like season three or four. I tried the very next season. They said no, I tried again. And they said no, I believe and then they reached back out to me. I’m on for season seven. And so Okay, so yeah, so I go out there. And I was just super confident went out there. And, and and I crushed it. I did a great job pitching. I was confident. And that was kind of one of the things we were like, Oh, were you nervous? Hell yeah, I was nervous. It was horrible. But it was just, you know, you just got to stand up for yourself. And so knowing that when you do something like a shark tank, it’s all about the television audience. It’s not they don’t care about your business, in terms of the producers, they just care that you’re a good episode. And so I knew what I needed to do in order to, you know, get on get on the air, because the thing that you don’t realize, like first season of Shark Tank there for entrepreneurs every episode, and I think there’s like 2527 episodes per season. Well, that’s, you know, over a little bit over 100 of entrepreneurs, well, they auditioned 150. So they’re literally like 150 that come out and do the pitch that film The do everything. But they like 50 people, you know, are entrepreneurs don’t ever make it to air. And so I’m like, yo, if I’m going out there I am getting on air, there’s no doubt about that. And so I got to deal with Barbara. She didn’t want to invest in Pete and Pedro. And that was that was kind of the thing that I was so shocked that I I thought I’m like, You know what, Pete and Pedro is a great business. It was doing good numbers. And I thought to myself, if any other entrepreneur would go on with the products, and the and the and the company and the and the the revenues that Pete and Pedro has generated that they would jump up at the opportunity to partner because the margins are great, that booth was incredible. But they realize then what I didn’t understand then what I do now is that, you know, well, yeah, but why are you selling it? You know, it wasn’t that it’s just getting a lot of traffic because it’s a great product is because I was pitching it, and I was the one that was driving product sales and traffic. And so they ended up giving me a deal for wanting a deal for the alpha m business. I took the deal on the show. And as soon as I got home, I called Barbara up or I didn’t call I sent an email I don’t ever number. And I was like hey, thanks, you know, but I think I’m going to go on this alone. I really did need help with Pete and Pedro like just really explained.

 

Scott D Clary  39:31

What was the game plan for them taking over alhfam Because it’s you it’s a brand so yeah,

 

Aaron Marino  39:38

they want to manage then like I do a lot of promotions and and sale. So they wanted basically she wanted a piece of the brand alpha m and then whatever that looked like whatever we did, whether or not it was promotions, whether or not it was endorsement deals like whatever it was, she would then get a piece of that. And so I’m like I don’t need an investment or somebody, you know, I think she offered me like, it was like $100,000, like 10% of alpha m. I’m like, What’s she gonna do? I don’t I don’t need that help. I need help with Pete and Pedro. And, and so it was a it was great though it was it was an amazing experience. And, and it was awesome. But yeah, and I turned that down.

 

Scott D Clary  40:17

Well, good for him. But like Pete and Pedro is still alive and kicking. So yeah, figure it out, you figured out something that

 

Aaron Marino  40:24

was great if he Invader is my, the little stepchild that I didn’t pay that much attention to is all the sudden, like, over the course of the past few years really like, like, taken off and is doing really, really well. So unprofitable. And so that’s, that’s some and that’s another thing I just want to touch on real quick is that, you know, in, in, in online entrepreneurship, you see a lot of these companies and, and brands that are that are very growth minded, and they’re not like lifestyle businesses, you’re not bootstrapping it, you know, it’s real sexy to, you know, think, Oh, I’m going to get a huge exit, I’m going to, you know, raise a bunch of money, I’m going to do this, but you’re wasting a ton of money. There’s nothing wrong with slow steady growth, and making sure that you’re profitable along the way. You know, that’s one of the I think the challenges that an entrepreneur faces is that, you know, you think, Oh, you need something you need, you know, to, to have an exit of $200 million, or whatever. And so you you run a business very differently with a growth mindset versus a, a, you know, a lifestyle brand or business that your boots stainable Yeah, exactly. And Pete and Pedro, you know, has always been sort of like, I’ve never thought oh, someday I’m gonna sell this for 100 million. It’s always been, you know, let me just try to do better each and every year, I want to grow and and maintain a profit margin, that I actually make money, like, why am I doing this business? Why am I risking, you know, or using my, as much time as it takes, you know, why am I doing that? If I’m not making money, like, it just doesn’t make sense to me. I want to make money. And so I do. Yeah, that’s smart.

 

Scott D Clary  41:57

That’s okay. So I want to I want to even understand how you made Pete and Pedro successful. So you walked away from the second shark? Is there? Is there more? Is there more to the is there more to the story? Are we almost we’re almost present day now.

 

Aaron Marino  42:10

That really I realized the other day, my wife the other night, I was sure there was a rerun of me on Shark Tank on Sunday. And she’s like, how long goes that? I’m like, Shit, I guess it was like five years. I’m like, why she goes, You look so young. I’m like And so yes, so that catches us up, you know, pretty much after Pete and Pedro. That was I guess about five years ago, I was on Shark Tank. I started a skincare company called Teach hanley with two gentlemen. I’m based out of Chicago. I also started an advertising agency with my best friend from high school called influential media. And that was started, everything I do is kind of just by accident, you know, I needed help, at that point, selling my advertising for my YouTube channel. I was tired of just sending, you know, my media kid and never following up. And so I said to my best friend, Terry from high school, who was a really, really great car salesman. He was in management in the car industry. You know, he was the first person I knew at 18, that kind of left high school and went and got a job selling cars. And he was the first person I knew, like, making $100,000 a year. But then, you know, fast forward, like 20 years, he’s still he’s now making like, 120,000 and he’s worried, you know, crazy hours. Car sales is a hard game, right? You can do well, but it’s, it’s a grind. And so I said, No, I said, you know, you’re in between jobs. What do you think? Do you think you could possibly sell advertising for me? He’s like, Well, let’s give it a shot. He said, Okay, so I said, you know, how much money do you need to like, make ends meet? He’s like, 5000 a month. I’m like, All right, like this is the most I’ve ever paid like an employee. And I said, Alright, well let’s try it for three months and if it doesn’t work in three months, then let’s just you know, agree that it we tried and this wasn’t wasn’t working and we just you know, have to maintain a friendship. And so right away it was crazy successful and he did a much better job I was making more money he crushed it and and so we ended up forming an agency I had my friend Antonio once again, I said hey, you know this guy Terry is selling all this advertising for me. He’s like, Well, will he sell it for me? I’m like yeah, probably and so we ended up coming together and forming an agency and then with our relationship and with all these other guys in our space, it ended up you know, we started an agency and now we rep represent and sell advertising for about 40 Guys

 

Scott D Clary  44:30

that’s not bad. That’s not bad. So you just jump see again just jumping into stuff just jump out of the out of the skincare Pete and Pedro and advertising is being Pedro number one, that’s one that’s one

 

Aaron Marino  44:43

and so and then I also started a hair salon last year. So no so the way that my my right so so T Shanley, the skincare company is my biggest grossing business. And then second will be Pete and Pedro. And then close to that is men financial media agency. And then my YouTube channel. My YouTube channel advertising is the most profitable just because there’s really not much expense except you know my time and, and you can make good money doing it. And so and then I also have a sunglass company enemy. Yeah. Oh my goodness, yeah, too much. And that one’s the hard one that I’m still trying to figure out.

 

Scott D Clary  45:19

So how do you Okay, so let’s, let’s talk like, I was going to pick one of them and say like, you know, how do you take this product to market in every single thing you do? It’s not an easy market to break into. Okay, like, everything’s

 

Aaron Marino  45:31

hard, like, and everything is hard. Everything is hard. And, you know, regarding Yes, I have, you know, I have built a huge audience, right, which is great. And that is a great place to test things. But it still doesn’t make it easy. You know, regardless of the of the audience you have, it’s all about figuring out that marketing mechanism and channel, that is the number one most important thing that you as a business owner or entrepreneur need to figure out, it’s not about having a great product, yeah, your product should be good. But it doesn’t matter. If you’re like, if you don’t know, or have the app outlet, or opportunity to sell it, or people aren’t seeing it, you know, it’s going to die. And you’re never going to ultimately end up realizing your potential. And so you’ve got to really think through and figure out the advertising angle, and it’s not good enough to be like, Oh, I’m just gonna use influencers, or I’m gonna do this or I’m gonna do that. Fuck that, that, like the the the influencer world can help. But it’s not the answer. Just like, you know, if you have all your advertising and marketing eggs in one basket, like Facebook, like, like, we’ll use Facebook as a perfect example, you know, a few months ago, um, you know, Apple basically changed or was it apple? Yeah, Apple changed the way that they, you know, the iOS update, you know, change the way that you like, the data is is relayed and so overnight, literally, it went from, you know, everybody’s like, killing it and getting like pretty good data from, you know, what they’re, you know, spending on on marketing on Facebook, to like, Oh, my God, like, what is happening, like, it became like, super challenging, and it’s still challenging now. Now, Google marketplace is actually a better ROI in terms of, you know, ad spend, then then Facebook, you know, but things are constantly changing. You’ve just got to be nimble enough as an entrepreneur to sort of look for opportunities and and test, you know, affordably before you really go big and all in, you know, thinking that a big influencer is going to do something amazing for your brand. Yeah, it’s gonna be okay. It might get you some sales. But what is going to continue to drive sales and advertising and marketing, you really got to figure out that marketing end of it is more important than anything when it comes to selling shit. Did you honors on this podcast?

 

Scott D Clary  47:41

You can cars? Yeah, you can curse as much as you want me to be my guess you’re good to go. You’re good to go? Yeah, for 40 minutes in you ask, but no. No, you’re good, man. You’re good. You’re good. Um, okay. So when you so when you take a product to market? Also this, this would be important for an entrepreneur? Do you figure out stuff yourself? Or do you hire people to figure it out for you? What’s the best?

 

Aaron Marino  48:04

It depends on what it is? You know, it depends, like for me, it really depends on on what it is. Usually, I’m the one figuring out but I have no skills when it comes to marketing in terms of like paid traffic and things of that. Yeah. And so I will, I will hire people, I’ve made mistakes in the past where I have given equity away because I was new, and I didn’t have much money, I thought, Oh, well, maybe I’ll just give this person a percentage of my business. And then that’ll be great. And you know, because I want to pay him well, you know, that a lot of times doesn’t end up working out. If you can pay somebody for a skill, like web development or marketing, you know, what chances are, you’re going to be better off in the long run, if you end up paying for certain skills that you’re not good at, also let people do what they do. But you’ve just got to make sure that, you know, marketing can also be a huge black hole, you know, you can spend a ton of money and really, you know, depending on who is spending the money, they can craft a message and a story as to make themselves look like they’re working and being more successful than they may actually be. And so you just really got to, you know, just pay attention and do your due diligence when it comes to looking at the numbers looking at the ROI. Does it make sense what they’re saying? But yeah, I I’m, I’m a firm believer that I’m after years and years and years of trying to micromanage everything that everything gets better when you get out of your own way.

 

Scott D Clary  49:26

Smart. What was out of, I don’t know how many how many products I’m trying to count like 567 Whatever the hell you’re doing the scope of products that, you know, Aaron has, like, what is the biggest entrepreneurial lesson that you’ve learned growing this brand?

 

Aaron Marino  49:42

That opportunity does and success doesn’t always look like what you expect or hope it will. And that was something that and that’s just going back over my illustrious entrepreneurial career, you know, you know, 12 year old 20 year old 25 year old me would have punched you in the face If you were to set hay in another five years, you’re not going to be having anything to do with the fitness industry, you’re going to be talking to a camera in a Hot Studio jumping around and looking like an idiot, I would have punched in the face, because there is no way that’s what success was going to look like. But I went, I was forced to take a look and try something else. That’s, you know, it’s amazing what can happen. And so I think that’s the biggest lesson, you know, a lot of times, I think we get so focused on the one thing that we think is going to mean or matter the most, that you lose sight of, of, you know what, maybe you need to just keep your eyes open, because it may not be where you need to end up. And so for me, it was always a function of, of, you know, just just pay attention. Because, you know, just because you want something, even if you want it really bad, doesn’t mean that it’s it’s in the cards, and you’ve just got to be open to you know, knowing, okay, this isn’t working, I am going to go down this road, because Because the truth is, I would have sold kidneys, if I would have thought that if I sold my kidney, I could have kept my fitness center going IV you’d be talking to a dude with one kidney, because that’s like, I would have done anything at that point, to keep that dream alive. But, you know, there you can only do what you can do and, and it was the best thing that ever happened. And and that’s just some the, to just be aware that like, you know, and I was I was shit I was, you know, I was in my 30s driving a beer cart, you know, had a business it was hard. That’s tight. Yeah. And so it’s okay, everything, you know, just just going around happens for a reason. Exactly. Just keep moving forward.

 

Scott D Clary  51:33

You know what I was gonna say, though, but like, out of all the entrepreneurs that I know that have achieved like, you know, quote, unquote, what some level of success there today version of themselves is nothing like what they imagined, even if it’s the same business. The same business is so different from when they first registered the domain or, you know, made their first sale, like shit changes

 

Aaron Marino  51:55

out of the blue that changes all the time. You got to be cool. Yep.

 

Scott D Clary  51:59

All right. Okay, I want to do some rapid fire stuff to close this out. Right? I want to get before we pivot, where should people go check out you? What’s your socials website?

 

Aaron Marino  52:10

Yeah, Alpha m.com. You can go find everything I do there. It’s a new website that I recently launched. And I finally got the domain. And so everything is pretty much there. But yeah, alpha m everywhere. alpha m on YouTube, Alpha m.com. Go there. Check it out.

 

Scott D Clary  52:26

If I am going to link all the things that you’re working on in the show notes, I’m going to need some domains because I think

 

Aaron Marino  52:33

that’s just reach out. Like I say, Mike, I need all this info.

 

Scott D Clary  52:38

Yeah, shit. I got like half of it here. All right, let’s good for you, man. Good. Okay, let’s let’s do some rapid fire. Okay, so biggest, biggest challenge you had in your career? Or in your personal life? What was something notable? Had you overcome it?

 

Aaron Marino  52:51

Uh, you know, like I said, business failing bankruptcy, that was a super hard thing to wrap my brain around, because it was the loss of a dream that I’d had since I was 12 years old. And so how I overcame it was just just just deciding to put one foot in front of the other and, and just decide that, I don’t know what it looks like, but I’m gonna figure it out eventually. And, and just just keep your eyes open..

 

Scott D Clary  53:17

Awesome There’s been many, but you have to pick one person who’s been incredibly influential had a major impact on your life? Who was it? And what did they teach you?

 

Aaron Marino  53:23

My wrestling coach Charlie Kramer, he and then my grandfather, Frank Casone. So family member, my grandfather, Frank and then but living Charlie Kramer, he was a role model that came into my life. When I needed it, probably the most and taught me about discipline taught me about work ethic, and really just just helped me you know, and was a supportive, loving person at a time I really needed it.

 

Scott D Clary  53:52

An opinion that you have about business entrepreneurship that may not be as popular as widely known with other people.

 

Aaron Marino  54:01

Explain that a little bit more

 

Scott D Clary  54:02

unpopular opinion that you hold about business, entrepreneurship.

 

Aaron Marino  54:07

unpopular opinion that I that I hold. I’m not everybody is supposed to be an entrepreneur. You know, I think that in the hustle culture and everything you look can see online from Gary Vee to everybody. You know, I think there’s a lot of a lot of people that are that are that think they want to be an entrepreneur? That shouldn’t be entrepreneurs, quite frankly, you’re not built for it. And what I mean by that is, it is so hard it is hard, it is hard, it is hard. There is no easy way to success. It just doesn’t have now now I’m sure maybe it does happen for some people. I’m not that guy. And so everything I’ve done and have continued to do is just it’s hard and it requires you to go through some really dark periods or at least it did me and you know, if you’re not ready for it, it can it can rob your your life of joy, but if you are on that journey, and it’s something that is in your soul and nothing else will satisfy you or make you happier fulfilled, then congratulations, you know, buckle up. It’s a tough ride, but it is it is well worth it when you get to the other side.

 

Scott D Clary  55:11

That’s, that’s a damn good opinion. I like that. And I always think that a lot of people that just sort of fall into that hustle culture trap, there’s a lot of really good jobs that can pay a lot of money. It can give you a lot better work life balance and happiness and just time. So be be purposeful, if you’re going to do it, don’t run it. Yeah,

 

Aaron Marino  55:32

it is not for everybody that is that is for sure. And there is nothing wrong with with with finding a job and a career that is amazing. That is benefits. It’s going to afford you opportunities and upward mobility and growth and, and your weekends off like this. Yeah, like I’ve never had a paid vacation. I don’t even know what that is like my wife. You know, she works for you know, a company and I see what she goes through. You know, there’s upsides and downsides to everything. But not everybody should be an entrepreneur,

 

Scott D Clary  55:59

good. A book or podcast or some resource you’d recommend people go check out.

 

Aaron Marino  56:04

Um, so I am one of the I don’t read books and this is one of the things that I used to lie about. Ay, ay, ay, I went to this weird Quaker school and I you know, reading and spelling has always been like, a hard thing for me. And so, podcasts I love, you know, there’s a TED talk that I just absolutely think is amazing by Simon Sinek. You know, the start with why he is my, my, you know, business management, you know, man crush, I love him. I love everything he does. And, and so I’ll listen to anything that Simon does. So look up Simon Sinek he’s got books, he’s got, you know, he’s got website, he’s got TED Talks. He’s just an inspirational guy. He’s just an artist, and, and I just, I just love everything that he says,

 

Scott D Clary  56:49

amazing. If you could tell your 20 year old self one thing, what would it be?

 

Aaron Marino  56:54

That it’s gonna suck for a little while. It’s gonna suck, but you’ll be alright. You just got to stay focused then and, and don’t do anything to self destructive. And because, you know, I think that’s one of the one of the traps is that, you know, we get into some weird at least I did, I got into some weird self destructive behaviors, because I wasn’t happy with myself. And, you know, I was drinking too much I was you know, sleeping with people I shouldn’t have been sleeping with and it was simply, I think I was I was self medicating for, for issues that I needed to deal with. And, and so, you know, definitely if you’re somebody that is having trouble putting your past behind you or it’s something that that you are struggling you know, dealing with it you owe it to yourself and your future self to figure out a way to deal with it, whether or not that means you go to therapy, whether or not that means you talk to somebody, you know, just just figure it out because you once you decide that you’re going to be happy, then it’s just a function of Alright, well what do I need to do in order to get there but you you’re worth it, and you should do whatever you need to do in order to deal with the shit I say this a lot. I say, you know, unfortunately, you know, we are a lot of times collateral damage and other people’s shit right? So it’s not that you know, the things that happened to you. They were doing them specifically to like f you up or to hurt you or to make you feel bad about yourself. It’s just people dealing with themselves in their own life. And, and sometimes we we are a byproduct of that. And so do what you need to do to be happy and healthy.

 

Scott D Clary  58:24

And smart man. And then last question, what does success mean to you?

 

Aaron Marino  58:27

Happy Oh, success means to me means helping people and feeling like I’m making a difference that that is what I’ve come to realize is is the is success to me feeling like I matter of feeling like I’m making a difference in people’s lives and and feeling you know, like I don’t know just That’s it. I mean, for me it’s nothing too complex other than I love helping people. I just love helping people. I think it’s it’s there’s nothing that will make you feel better and more fulfilled for me anyway.

 

Scott D Clary  58:55

Dude, that’s it. That’s all I got. Man. That was great.

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