James Reid Coach


Ep.98 | Aaron Walker | Isolation Is the Enemy Of Excellence

How tough is it for you to show others you’re failing in something?…

Especially when the people around you think you have it all together? 

I went through a tough stretch where, for almost four years, I was failing in so many areas of my life, but to everyone on the outside, I was living the best life.

So, what did I do?

I went into hiding.

If someone asked me the classic, “How you doing?” I’d respond with the fake, “Doing great.”

As each day went by, I dug myself deeper into the hole of isolation.

And, man, was that a dark place.

In today’s episode of the Coming Up Clutch with J.R.™ show, entrepreneur, author, and founder of the Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind, Aaron Walker, gets real about isolation and what we can do to make sure we never let this excellence-killer lurk in our lives.

In this latest episode, Aaron and I talk about…

  • How to handle being blindsided in life
  • Why masterminds and peer groups are imperative for your success
  • How to keep family in your front seat while you’re in a demanding career

…and so much more.

If you want to stay on the road of life and career excellence, then lock in to today’s episode.

[00:01 – 08:42] Introducing Aaron to the show

  • Aaron’s most embarrassing moment
  • Aaron’s background and his professional journey 

[08:43 – 25:47] How to handle being blindsided in life

  • Isolation is the enemy of excellence
  • We’re designed to be in community. We weren’t designed to be in isolation.
  • Strength begins at the intersection of vulnerability and transparency – that’s where you get people to truly to walk with you
    • They help you get awareness of your blindspots
    • The value of being in community comes from the perspective of other people that care about you
    • Go find 1 or 2 people, bring the GOOD, BAD, UGLY, and ask them to help you pick up the pieces
    • It takes a lot of work to maximize our life, that includes non-biased, trusted advisors calling you out on your BS 
    • Find people who love you enough to tell you the truth – “we need people that love us enough to say the hard things”

[25:48 – 35:48]  Why masterminds and peer groups are imperative for your success

  • The success of some of the biggest influencers are because they committed themselves to going week-in-and-week-out subjecting themselves to the scrutiny of other people
  • You don’t know what you don’t know
    • We’re only seeing things one way, through OUR lens. Need others to expand our view.
    • If things are GREAT now, they’re not always going to be that way
    • “We need people around us all the time that ‘we can aspire to be like and then we need to look back and be the mentor for the people coming behind us”
    • You can go fast alone, but you can’t can’t go near as far without a tribe

[35:49 – 42:42] How did you make sure family & marriage didn’t go by the wayside while you’re in a high stakes career

  • Put guardrails around me / boundaries
    • NO pictures with women while on the road
    • Have accountability partners – meet every Monday AM with my group and they know everything about me
    • When children wife/call me – I always make myself available 
  • Money is important. Don’t make it your God. 
    • Can’t be the only reason why you’re doing what you’re doing.
  • Parents: You don’t get a DO-OVER.
    • Prioritize your priorities and really focus on the things that matter and make the income that you need to live a good life. Don’t get those two reversed.

[42:43 – 46:05] Kids and disappointment

  • God put us in control of our kids for a reason
    • We have to work really hard to say YES always, but sometimes we have to say NO. No is a complete sentence. 
  • BEST ADVICE: You have to be consistent. If you’re not consistent, you’re wasting your time (you confuse your kids otherwise)
  • Must read book: Stolen Focus by Johann Hari
  • It’s OK for our kids to be disappointed – as a result, they build grit, determination, and perseverance
  • Can’t always come to their rescue

[46:06 – 48:26] Wrapping Up

  • Aaron’s BIG domino
  • How to connect with Aaron


“Isolation is the enemy of excellence.” – Aaron Walker

“We’re designed to be in community. We weren’t designed to be in isolation.” – Aaron Walker

“Strength begins at the intersection of vulnerability and transparency.” – Aaron Walker

“We need people that love us enough to say the hard things.” – Aaron Walker



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