Aaron was recently a guest on the Inspired Money podcast where he spoke about making money at an early age, his changing values and sense of duty while serving in the military, and how he has overcome challenges.
We all face daily challenges that can easily distract us from what is important. In losing his sight, hearing, and balance, Aaron is a living example that no challenge is too big to keep us from pursuing our dreams.
Here are three key takeaways from the interview:
The Importance of Serving Others
While Aaron’s early motivation for joining the Navy was to qualify for the GI Bill, his mindset and values changed over time. He became more disciplined, gained a sense of duty, and felt a sense of pride for being in the service.
In his own words, “I have learned over the years that the selfish endeavors while sometimes giving you immediate gratification, aren’t fulfilling. The endeavors that you do to benefit others, to give others value, to make others happy are what really are the most fulfilling and make me happiest.”
The EOD Tool Kit
On every deployment, each Explosive Ordnance Disposal team has a shipping container of gear that includes a massive quantity of tools, robots, and forensics. On the battlefield, the team is limited to the space of an armored truck so they must decide which are the most important tools needed at the moment and leave the rest behind.
In places like Afghanistan, where most patrols were on goat trails that could not support a vehicle of any size, EOD teams had to further prioritize what kind of tools could be carried on their backs. Aaron recalls, “In a rucksack besides carrying MREs, water, extra socks, and ammunition… maybe you’d have a couple pounds of C4, a rope and grappling hook, a carabiner, and we were doing the same job with so many fewer tools.”
Aaron views his disabilities with a very practical and pragmatic view. “So I looked at my time at Walter Reed to now. Okay, so I’m short a few tools, but I’m still a soldier, still a father, still a husband, still a son. I’m still supposed to be a leader and example so I can’t I can’t waste time with self-pity. I gotta get to work!”
Always Pushing Yourself
From the arduous training of EOD school to becoming a blind adventurer who runs marathons, kayaks through white water, and climbs mountains, Aaron is always challenging and pushing himself to not be comfortable.
“No matter how difficult it might be, the hard times only make you stronger. And there’s so much I’ve learned through my experiences. I’ve learned more through the struggles than I have the easy times, so in a way, I’m grateful for the hardest times of my life because they make the good ones so much better.”
Even in business, Aaron and McKayla continue to improve by going to chocolate school. “We want to have the absolute best quality fudge, chocolates, and other confections because it’s all about what we would want to have for ourselves, we want to serve to our customers. We’re going to do it and be the best at it.”
Find show notes at www.inspiredmoney.fm/114 and subscribe to Inspired Money on your favorite podcast app that’s probably already on your smartphone.
About Inspired Money: Improve your money mindset with host Andy Wang, named a top influential financial advisor by INVESTOPEDIA, as he interviews actors, entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, and even a former WWE wrestler to help you get inspired, shift your perspectives on money, and achieve incredible things. Whether you want to launch a side hustle, pay down debt, or give money to charity, listen to Inspired Money because big things begin with just a little inspiration.