Aaron Walker

Working to Live, Not Living to Work with Aaron Walker

Can we live a life of purpose and still make a living to support our families? Can we do the work that we love and still be profitable? The answer is absolutely YES, and Aaron Walker from View from the Top is here to tell us how.

Aaron Walker

This is Aaron Walker’s second time on the Good Dad Project. You may remember his awesome episode The Ultimate Guide to Work/Life Balance way back in November 2015. For those of you who don’t know, Aaron Walker is a hugely successful businessman and life coach who has inspired many through his leadership, mentorship, and consistent pursuit of excellence. He enjoys helping others and believes experience is a great teacher.

Aaron values his time spent with family and friends. Sharing the past 36 years with his lovely wife Robin has been nothing short of spectacular. His two fantastic daughters and champion son-in-law have given Aaron & Robin five beautiful grandchildren. When time allows, Aaron enjoys hunting, fishing, golf, and is an avid reader.

Aaron Walker grew up in a dirt-poor family. They lived in a $6,500 house, which they eventually lost to bankruptcy when alcoholism took over his father’s life. His parents would fight about drinking, and to this day, Aaron despises alcohol. His mother gave his father an ultimatum: either quit or she and the kids would leave. Aaron said his father loved his family more than drinking. This helped his father to quit and turn the family around. Aaron says his dad was his best friend, and they hunted and fished together every day of his life. Still, Aaron wanted to make more of himself, and he did. He was so successful, he retired three times.


Aaron admits that even he gets down and depressed. This is why we all need to have people around to encourage us and help us up. Sometimes we need people to slow us down. Sometimes we need people to speed us up. We need wise counsel. This is why Aaron has been doing mastermind groups for 20 years.

Isolation is the enemy of excellence.


Aaron says that being positive is a choice. You can choose to be optimistic about circumstances, or pessimistic. You can lead a life of significance, or a life of ambition. Aaron knows from experience that chasing material things won’t satisfy you like you think it will. What matters most is people.

We work to live, we don’t live to work.

Build Boundaries

Aaron sets strict boundaries to make sure his life stays on track. He doesn’t allow women to connect with him on social media. He doesn’t get into a car or dine alone with women. This is a foolproof way to keep his marriage safe, but these boundaries need to be set in all areas of your life. What do you value the most? What do you wish to protect at all costs?

Whatever those boundaries are for you, set them.

Source of Energy

Joy and enthusiasm come through Aaron’s voice whenever he speaks. Aaron has a deep faith in God and he says he draws his energy from his worship. He reads scripture every day and is highly involved in church activities.

Aaron also suggests the following tips to protect your energy levels:

  • Make time to read.
  • Stop watching news, it’s not healthy.
  • Listen to music, blogs, podcasts, Ted Talks.
  • Choose what you put in your mind.
  • Choose the people you spend time with. Are they positive influences?
  • Choose who your kids are around.
  • Choose the mindset to set yourself free.

Dad Wisdom

One of the most important boundaries we as dads can set is to not allow anything to intrude on our time with our kids. Most dads get home and think they should use that time to send ten more emails, or call five extra clients. Aaron says to turn it off.

Don’t’ squander your kids’ time growing up.


Till June 20th Pre-order Aaron Walker’s book

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Aaron Walker’s Links

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win at losing

How to Teach Our Kids to Win at Losing with Sam Weinman

On today’s episode of The Good Dad Project, Sam Weinman tells us how to talk to our kids about failure and how to win at losing by using defeat as fertile ground for growth.

Sam Weinman

SAM WEINMAN is the digital editor of Golf Digest. Prior to that, he was a senior writer for The Journal News in Westchester County, New York, where he was honored with multiple national writing awards for his coverage of the PGA Tour and the National Hockey League. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf World, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN the Magazine, and Sports Illustrated. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, he lives with his wife and two sons in Rye, New York, where he coaches multiple youth sports teams.

Win at Losing

Win at Losing is an engaging, inspiring exploration of the surprising value of setbacks—and how we can use them to succeed. Sam Weinman wrote this book with his kids in mind. He has two boys aged 9 and 11, and watched them struggle with losing. It was a theme he found himself revisiting with them whenever they experienced disappointment in school, sports, or friends. Sam knew that there was an upside to losing and he wanted to impress that concept on his boys with tangible examples. He set out to meet people who lost and benefitted from it, and this became the foundation for win at Losing.

Sam Weinman says he was always drawn to the losing athletes more than the winners and highlights examples of people who experienced epic failure, but persevered through it and became better people as a result.

Talking to Kids About Losing

Winning Isn’t Everything – To some degree we all live vicariously through our children and we sometimes enjoy their victories as much as they do. It’s human nature to celebrate success. Because of this, when our kids lose and there is no praise or celebration, it conveys a message that they aren’t worth as much. Don’t focus on the outcomes. Praise the effort. You may not even want to attend all your kids’ events so your children will know that their value is not derived from how they perform in school or sports.

Encourage Them to Try Their Best – It’s important for kids to learn to process disappointment in a way that’s not just self-pity and feeling worthless. As dads, we must learn how to effectively have conversations with our kids so they know that it’s okay to fail and that there is huge value in giving their best.

But Use “Try Your Best” Lightly – We need our kids to understand that life is about results. They will always be accountable to a grade or score. Just saying they did their best is not enough. There is effort, and there’s real effort. There must be exertion there, and the older ours kids get, the more they will be able to tell deep down inside whether they gave it their all or not.

Don’t Push Too Hard – We want to push encourage kids to succeed, and we should be critical about them not giving their full effort, but there is a fine line to be aware of. If we push too much, we can burn them out and turn them off. Sam says he checks in with his sons and asks them if he’s too hard on them. One his sons is receptive to being pushed and tells him it’s okay, while his other son takes too much pushing as criticism. Each child is different.

Remember This Above All – In a lifetime with your child, sports will likely be a small part of your relationship. Make sure you’re not damaging the overall bond you have with your child by pushing them to hard.

Sam Weinman’s Dad Wisdom

As dads, we need to resist the urge to try to solve all our kids’ problems. When we give into this urge, we are taking away their ability to solve problems on their own. They need the skills to work through challenges and the only way they learn this by making mistakes.


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Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

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Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

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Sam Weinman’s Links





Golf Digest

The #1 Reason Kids Quit Sports is Because of the Coach

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better man

How Your Tribe Will Make You a Better Man with Ryan Michler

Ryan Michler is the creator of the Order of Man Community and Podcast, which teaches men how to live with purpose, achieve self-mastery, and create a legacy. Today he tells why it’s important for men to become part of a tribe and how that tribe will help you become a better man.

Ryan Michler and the Order of Man

Ryan Michler’s father left when he was three-years-old. His first step dad was an alcoholic, and though he wasn’t abusive, he was not present as a parent. His second stepfather was successful, but emotionally abusive, controlling, and manipulative. Still, Ryan didn’t didn’t know what a good dad was supposed to be, so he didn’t know what he was missing. It wasn’t until high school when he saw how his friends’ dads’ behaved that he became aware of the void in his life.

This lack of a father caused Ryan to suffer from a lack of confidence and self-esteem issues. He wanted to be liked and accepted by everyone and changed himself to fit in. After his first marriage failed, he endured the darkest time of his life. He knew he wasn’t operating like a man should. This convinced him to go to work on improving himself.

Now Ryan Michler has been married for twelve years and is a father of four kids. As a dad who grew up without a true father figure, he saw a huge need for learning about what it means to be a man. He started Order of Man to form a tribe of men who can learn from each other and support one another.

Why do men need a tribe?

Women are there for us in a nurturing way, but sometimes we tough love and the insights of other men who have gone what we’ve gone through. Men get emotionally attached to their situations and decisions, it’s difficult to look at our own problems objectively. We need a third-party perspective to give us advice when our thoughts and feelings are clouding our judgement.

How does a tribe work?

Men are raised to be self-reliant and wary of people. We hate to expose our weaknesses or admit when we’re not on top of everything. A tribe is a safe place to share fears and worries about subjects we don’t normally talk about. When we’re going through a time of uncertainty and weakness, we can turn to those with the qualities we’re lacking and learn from them. When we’re feeling strong in life, we can help others by sharing how we’ve overcome a similar experience.

How do we find a tribe?

Operating in packs is how men thrive. To be strong, we need to tie into other people, but it’s up to us to seek out a tribe and be consistent. Ryan suggest dipping your toe in the water. Look at your immediate circle. Who is doing well in areas you’re struggling with? Ask for advice where you see strength in others. Share something light and then build on that. You can also start by joining an online tribe like Order of Man and The Good Dad Project.

Ryan Michler’s Parting Piece of Dad Wisdom

Don’t ever use your kids and family as an excuse not to take care of yourself.

This sounds selfish at first, but it’s actually the most unselfish thing you can do. If you’re constantly draining yourself, you won’t have the mental or physical energy to be a good dad or husband. Begin burned out all the time will build resentment and put a strain on your marriage.

Ryan recommends carving out a time to get together with other men doings something you enjoy. Schedule it in advance. Communicate it to your wife and family so they are in on it you won’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. He also says it won’t work if you just go through the motions. Give your attention fully to the activity so you’re invigorated and mentally restored when you come home. Then you’ll have refilled your tank so you can serve others again.


==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible


Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Connect with Ryan Michler



Order of Man

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Jim Harshaw on How to Achieve More Success Through Failure

Jim Harshaw believes failure, struggle and setbacks are not only an inevitable part of life but a necessary step on the path to success. Jim Harshaw has learned many life lessons on the wrestling mat. Having been a Division I All American and won three ACC Championships for the University of Virginia, trained at the Olympic Training Center and competed overseas for Team USA he has experienced significant triumph and devastating defeat. He relates those powerful lessons of failure, struggle and setback to empower his audiences to overcome their own challenges and achieve success despite their inevitable failures.

Fear and Failure

If you’re sensitive to harsh words, you may want to cover your eyes. Yeah, it’s a family show, but we’re going to talk about two “F” words. Ready? Here they come: Fear and Failure. Whew! That’s out of the way.

Success is Built on Failure

Jim Harshaw built his success on failures. As a matter of fact, he says each of his successes was built on failure. Early on, his failures, along with his successes, on the wrestling mat, gave him the foundation for the rest of his life. (He even goes on to say that Venture Capitalists in Silicon Valley, CA want to see someone with some type of failure in their background before backing someone.) That said, the life of a successful person is a grind and it’s full of failure.

It’s all about our Mentality when it comes to Failure

So many times, we sabotage our goals and dreams because we cripple ourselves with fear (the first “F” word). We’re afraid of failing (oops, the second “F” word), embarrassment, loss of respect, you name it. Maybe we don’t think successful people fail. Maybe we firmly believe that those who “make it” are just lucky and don’t struggle. Stop it. This is negative thinking. Actually, it’s the successful people who DO fail.

Successful People View Failure Differently

Not only do successful people know that failure will eventually lead to success, they surround themselves with what Jim calls an “environment of excellence.” This would be the people who support and push you forward, give you a confidence check when you need it (yes, we’ve heard this before from so many of our GDP guests!). It’s these people who will be there even when you do fail, so they can share your joy when you succeed.

The Proper Mindset

When this mindset is engrained in your own life, it is only natural that it should carry over to others-particularly, your children. Children have an incredible, innate ability to bounce back from failure early on: they fall down as toddlers trying to walk, get back up and try again. Somehow, though, this ability seems to falter as they grow in school, in sports, and anything else that takes risk. But if you, the parent, the guide, demonstrate through your own recovery from failure, that it is ok and even necessary to fail, your children will follow your lead. What better gift could we give our children than to learn that a great secret to success is mastering how to fail? See? The two “F” words aren’t that bad. When we learn that fearing failure isn’t necessary, and approach failure in a positive way, we are more apt to succeed.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

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