In episode 48 of The Authentic Wife Show, my guest Aaron Shelley shares what he discovered about family after analyzing the origin of successful people.
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The (Unedited) Show Transcript:
Beth Rowles: [00:00:00] Awesome. Thank you for being here today. So I read in your bio that you became obsessed with trying to understand why families turn out the way they do, which is what we’re gonna talk about today. But why did you become a, a obsessed with that? I know we were seeing a lot of tough stuff around you.
Aaron Shelley: Yeah, yeah.
So I talk about this in the introduction of a book where I’m like, I, I kind of was bouncing, I mean, I’ve always been really. Concerned and wanted to make sure I was providing the best for my kids. I think like most parents and I kind of grew up in a middle class neighborhood, normal middle class things, you know?
And then I had a, about 10 years ago I had a, a friend of mine, my mom sent me this article and said, this guy who you went to school with, went to the same church, did all these activities with, he just got sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. For rape and attempted murder. Wow.
And I was like, wait a [00:01:00] sec. We were right next to each other. You know, like so close. There wasn’t like, Hey, he was rich and I was poor. There wasn’t all the normal things they talk about. And that just kind of hit me like, wait, what am I, what is happening? If this happens to one of my children? I as a parent would feel like a failure.
So I’m like, how do I understand it? What happened? Is there anything I could do to prevent it? Or is it just, hey, everyone’s gonna do what they wanna do. So I mean, I have an engineering mind, so I just sit there and obsess over things and how could that work? And what are the elements? And I also was doing some research with the guy on.
At a university about business and family, and he was, I was doing some interviews like, why do certain groups, why is it easier for them to start businesses? And his hypothesis, and I think it bore out, was because of the families they come from. Right? It’s easier to be an entrepreneur if you can take a lot of the things from the family, how you treat people, your, your discipline, your culture, those type of [00:02:00] things.
Over to a family, so, and then I was also doing consulting at the same time in business for small business. And I was just like, these things all relate, it seems like. We could, we could make this cool model and it seems to make so much sense. And I wrote up this model, it took me about 50 pages and explained it.
And the guy I was working with was like, yes, that sounds like your book, not mine. So, Aw, I wasn’t intending to write a book. It was just this obsession of trying to understand. How do I be a good parent? What are the mechanisms, what are the things I can do to protect my kids to help them be successful?
So I guess there’s a little bit of that fear. There’s like, do you always want your kids to be the best? But then there’s also the side of, oh wow, what happens if I screw up? Yes.
Beth Rowles: Yeah. I think you said that some of the people you were growing up around, like you saw a divorce after divorce too. Mm-hmm.
Was the, was this man who went to prison with, were his parents divorced?
Aaron Shelley: He had, well, he was, yeah, he had a, his parents had been divorced and he had been in a, as, as I call it, kind of a [00:03:00] blended family. Okay. So his dad wasn’t his original dad. You know, you see these type of things and, and I was like, is that the, the factor?
Because I, I kind of always. I like to be objective and I’m like, yes, there’s some data, but then there’s a lot of people who come from certain households, you know, that are successful, massively successful in fact. And so it’s not, oh, you were born to a, you know, you’ll have a single mother, or you’re in a divorced family, or there’s always the outlier.
So to sit and you know, statistically speaking, there’s some advantages in certain environments, but that’s you. I think when people get into that mode, then they sit there and think. If I’m a parent, oh, I have to over my kids. Why try? You can kind of get into a defeatist attitude and I wanna make it more into a no, but how do I fix the problems?
How do I deal with those? Not well, I guess it’s just screwed up from here on out.
Beth Rowles: Love that. Yeah. Thinking more about, I love the engineering mindset and the obsession with it, cuz I’m like that too. It’s like, what is the root cause? [00:04:00] Let me just fix this where it’s broken and quit. You know, treating the symptoms.
I love that one. I know one of the people you’ve studied maybe a little bit was Bill Gates. What do you think his parents, and I saw the documentary on him and I was like, oh, that was really smart what they did. What do you think was important that they did with him that held lead to his
Aaron Shelley: success? Well, yeah, he’s a very interesting story because I think we often look at, Hey, here’s Bill Gates, and look at what he did, and he was this prodigy, and we kind of try to make the individual the thing that did it.
And there’s definitely not an individual, but if you look at that story, his dad was a lawyer. His mom was a school teacher, right. She taught, they got married and then she taught for a little bit, then she had three children, and then she stopped teaching focused on her children. Mm. And then, When her children got older, she started to do more community service.
So she was on the board, I think at University of Washington. She was on the board of United Way. And so when Bill was [00:05:00] doing Microsoft, he went to I B M and his mom knew the c e O of I B M. And the guy was like, oh yeah, that’s Bill, that’s Mary Gate’s son. Right? And so you look at that connection and I think for a lot of us we’re like, well, how much money in our bank?
And we try to measure ourselves by these definitive numbers, but that relationship. Could have resulted in, you know, his whole career, you know, all the billions of dollars you may be able to attribute to his mom’s investments in the community. Mm-hmm. So I think, and then not to mention her investments in staying home and taking care of the kids, I don’t know, you know, he went to a, I think a private school with a specific thing, you know, that that was their prioritization.
Invest in the kids, be home for the kids, train the children. And so you look at Bill Gates as the outcome and you’re like, wow, he was such a genius. Yeah, but look at what he had behind him. You know, his dad was also owned his own law firm. So you see this entrepreneurial stuff that his dad probably taught him.
So you see this like the guy dropped outta Harvard, but he had his dad who was [00:06:00] successful lawyer supporting that. So it wasn’t like, oh, if I fail, I’m screwed. And he had his mom who was generating all these connections in the community. So that to me is the synergy that you can get in families when you have.
The dad investing for money, the mom investing for relationships, and also investing in her children. All of a sudden the resources become so much richer. And I think in a lot of some of your work, you talk about this idea of alchemy, right? And I like that. Like things come together and synergize make something better than they were individually.
And that’s where I see the resources. The way that too, if you invest just in money, like, hey, let’s, both me and my wife, let’s just go to work and we’re just so focused on money. Well then where’s our connected to the connection to the community? Where’s our time to train our children? Where’s our time for the, the fun of being around our parents and, and our families?
So that’s kind of the thing that I think is this alchemy. If you do it right, then the family is just this massive synergy. And [00:07:00] I, that’s why I call it the flywheel. It’s just this, it reinforces itself and it gets stronger and stronger. And then like, well now we have. A million dollars to do stuff with.
Now what can we do now? We have 10 million. Like if you have what I call a good business model, you keep generating more money and more relationships. Right. The more people, good people, you know, the more they introduce you to good people, and you’re sitting there like, I don’t even have time now. So it’s these, it’s those type of things.
I ca it’s, I refer to it kind of like compound interest, but with relationships. Mm-hmm. Right? It’s, you keep making these things and, and then over time you have all these people who are trying to pull you in good directions and they’re like, there’s all this, like, that’s the flywheel effect. All of a sudden you’re like, well, we have more money than we need more relationships, but we keep getting pulled into more and more things.
Beth Rowles: watching in that, that. They would go to some kind of camp or something and they’d have all these kids together. I dunno if you’ve read about that. And I don’t know, they’d play games or have projects or something, but they [00:08:00] were, that was showing them so much about. Networking and relationships and working as a team and I mean, that was just brilliant.
I love how you said that the dad invested in for money and the mom invested for relationships and, and relationships with her kids. I don’t know what kind of mother she really was, but that was really critical as well. Okay, so I had to look up what a flywheel is. Can you like briefly describe. What that is for
Aaron Shelley: my female, for the normal people.
Yeah. Sorry. I’m an engineer and it’s always like, this is a flywheel. There’s also a book Good to Great Jim Collins. He talks about the flywheel effect. Okay, so a flywheel is just, it’s, it gets going as you get it, as you. As you input energy into it, then it starts to go faster and faster and faster. Ah, and it holds energy as well.
So you can, you know, you put a lot of energy into it, and then you can pull energy out at times. But if you have a good flywheel effect, then you keep putting energy in and then it’s kind of, and it has the inertia that keeps pulling So, You know what I mean? [00:09:00] Like for me, if someone was like, Hey, you wanna do drugs?
I’m like, I have so inert so much inertia away from that because of my life that it’s not even a temptation. But at different places for different people, they don’t have that same inertia. Does that make sense? So some of it’s the inertia that’s pulling you, just like if you have money, All of a sudden you have to invest it and then you’re like, now I have more money.
Well, oh crap. Now I have to invest that. And you have to, well, yeah, survey says,
Beth Rowles: oh crap, when I have more money.
Aaron Shelley: Yeah. Most people don’t. But you know, you’ll see that with social engagement. You have a bunch of friends and you’re like, I don’t have enough time with all these friends. And then you get introduced to new people and you’re like, wow, I wish I could spend time with them.
And you know, it’s this like inertia. And you see this a lot in. In different environments. I mean, they talk about the PayPal Mafia. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them. You know Elon Musk and these Peter Thiel, all these really successful guys who did PayPal, and then they’ve gone on to do SpaceX, Palantir, Netflix, all of these other companies.
And they all have these relationships. So if I have a problem, I just call my friends up. If I need some money, I have some friends [00:10:00] with money, right? And those, those social connections are so often undervalue because it’s not a number in your bank account. Right. Right.
Beth Rowles: It’s critical. Somebody used to tell me, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
And I was like, what does that mean? Cause I was 17, but now I fully understand. That matters so much. Who you know and who you can call. I love how you compare a family to a business. I’ve noticed this too. Like if you have a good business model, then you can be successful and create all that energy and bring those things in.
I noticed with my husband that when I was breaking things down about what wasn’t working between us, it was, it all came back to like partnership that I feel like my resources are being overutilized and yours are being underutilized. And what are we doing? Why aren’t we good partners? And I know you talked some about like finding a good partner, but let’s say you’re already in a marriage with somebody who doesn’t seem like a good partner.
Is there anything that [00:11:00] you found that can like even present this idea to them and then. How does that work? How do we,
Aaron Shelley: yeah. Yeah. I think the key for a lot of people, especially for myself included when I was young, in your marriage especially, I mean I reading through your book a little bit, you’re talking about having young children that is like the most stressed.
A mother can be, especially just after having a baby trying to feed the baby, sleepless nights, all of that stuff. Like that’s a massive utilization of resources to your point. Mm-hmm. And so it’s really looking at it. If you were looking at a business and said, Hey, you know, you and I are in business. I got this trade show and I’m gonna be traveling for the next two weeks.
I need you to chip in and do X, Y, Z at the business. You know, take over marketing or whatever. Cause I’m gonna be gone. Right. And in a business you’d be like, cool, sure. I have no problems with that. Of course I’m gonna do that cuz we’re both in this as partners together. But for some reason I think some people have [00:12:00] kind of got like, well the, the relationship’s gotta be 50 50.
Mm-hmm. And you’re like, if, you know, if I were to interview for a job and you said or, and you were to saying like, how much you gonna give? And I’m like, well, I’ll give 50%. You’d be like, we’re not hiring you. Right. I want someone who’s gonna give a hundred percent. And so that’s where it’s like, If the goal, if you have this shared mission and purpose, like what are you trying to achieve?
Mm. I mean, my wife and I, my wife, we run an Irish dance business for, we have for about 20 years. So she’s the director. We’ve kind of co-founders in that. I take care of all the marketing stuff, but then there’ll be a show and she’s like, here’s what I need your help with. I need you to cut the music and I need you to do these type of things.
Okay, I’m in. Or, Hey, we’re doing this, I’m gonna be gone. Can you do these other pieces like. There’s snow cuz I live in Utah, right? So it’s snow, you gotta go plow it. So there’s this constant balancing of what needs to be done now. And it’s not because of my wife’s stuff. Like she’s had [00:13:00] been teaching classes on a Saturday.
Well normally she would buy groceries. So then I’m like, well I’ll buy groceries and since you’re gone in the evening, now I’ll cook meals, you know, whatever we want for the family. But if we get stuck in these strong, like, well, I’m only. I only do this role or I only do these things when you have very little flexibility in your life and you also don’t have the opportunity.
Yes, yes. My wife, she cares a lot more about the food and the health of the family. I. But when I jump in and help her, and she’s like, thanks so much. I feel appreciated. She feels like her needs are met. And we both, that relationship gets built because we can both say we’re both going towards the same goal.
So I think, as I call it, there’s the, the core component of the business model, which is the strategy. What is your career choices, and then what is your mission and purpose? You know, at the end of your life, you wanna be a. A doctor who spent all your time and have millions of dollars, your children hate you, you’re divorced.
Like yeah. What are miser [00:14:00] like? What are you working so hard for, if not for the family, if not for your wife? You know, that’s where I think people get a little caught up is they’re, they don’t have a purpose and it’s not that they couldn’t, a lot of times they just, you know, when I was young, it was just like, stay alive, you know, keep getting money, keep getting money.
Then as we got a little further, then it’s like, okay, what are we trying to accomplish for our family? And if you get United on the why now there’s some books that say if you have a why almost you can endure almost any how. Hmm. So, so that’s kind of where I think it’s, are you both trying to go in the same direction?
You know, if, if you guys want to go in wildly different directions, you know, if, just like in a business, if I said, I wanna start a legal company, and you’re like, I wanna start a fashion company, We probably shouldn’t go into business together. Yeah. Yes. But most people are not that divided. It’s really just they haven’t come up with what’s our purpose and prioritization.
Mm-hmm. Because most of the conflict comes down to what’s the priority here? [00:15:00] Like what, are we gonna go on a cruise? Are we gonna invest in our home, or are we gonna invest in the children? Which one of those is more important to me? Which one’s more important to you? And then how do we resolve that?
Beth Rowles: Yeah, I think that that’s a difficulty is that we can have wildly different priorities.
Like my husband loves to travel and experience things, and I like that, but I also like to, you know, have some stability or have some kind of plan or education for the kids or whatever. How do you recommend. Maybe you don’t. How would a couple, how would a couple take those competing priorities and find do, are they just looking for like the win-win, the, how do we meet yours and mine?
Aaron Shelley: Well, yeah, I can. There’s, so a couple examples. My wife, her father’s from Austria, she went to Austria a lot. They have a little house there in the country and she was like, I really [00:16:00] want my family to go to Austria. And that was really important to her. And for me as a guy, I’m looking at this like, she, what is this?
10, $20,000 food? Then there’s all these logistics. I gotta take time off work. You want to go for how long? You know? Yeah. And, but she and I talked to it and I’m like, well, what I value is our kids learning, right? So if I, if the kids all have to learn German, So I, you have to go to Duolingo. You need to learn German.
They also need to learn some games so that they can play with their, my father-in-law, he really likes this game called Tarro, a card game. They all needed to learn that they all needed to earn the money to get there. So, Right. Those are my values and some of the money was earned from me, right? Mm-hmm.
But those were my values that I wanted done. And then it also got what she wanted done. And it actually ended up, you know, I, we, I had to be more flexible with my job cuz we took a full month off. So I was doing more consulting instead of getting a, but in the end we spent the full month. With the family together, totally met [00:17:00] her needs, but it also met my needs of not having, I didn’t want my kids to be like, well, we had this European vacation.
You know, we, we actually laid some concrete, we built a little roof on the house. So that’s the type of stuff where I think it’s, well, what are your values? You know, like with another example, with travel, I went to Mexico, but I’m like, I don’t want to go and have an all inclusive, where they just kinda get spoiled.
I’d rather that they kind of experience What, like Mex like that, that type of life and really have a cultural value. So then we set up a cooking experience in the middle of the jungle, down in the Cancun area where it went to a market that was a totally Mexican, I, I want you to experience culture.
That’s, to me is the important part of travel. And so we did that. We went through the ruins. We had a show that we watched on The history of Mexico, they had some experience with the dolphins. They had some experience with scuba diving. That was one of the things I valued cuz my value system is do hard things and scary things.
[00:18:00] So all of those things became meaningful to me. So by the end, I was really excited and my wife was really excited. About the experience because it wasn’t, well, I just wanna do this thing, spend money. It was, this is really reinforcing our values as a family and it’s also bringing us together as a family, giving us shared experiences as a family.
Beth Rowles: love that. I can, you can find a way to make the thing reinforce your values. I love that. Mm-hmm. And knowing what those are, first of all, is important too. I think that’s kinda the first step. So you talked a little bit before about Bill Gates’ dad investing, like for financially and the mom, investing for relationships.
What do you say to like a father who thinks that they should both bring in money, who’s having, you know, the struggle, seeing the value in, in the other role that the [00:19:00] mom or the dad could
Aaron Shelley: play, I guess. Well, yeah, I mean, that’s partially honestly why I wrote the book was to be, I, I, I read a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Mm-hmm. Robert Kiyosaki. I loved it. I was like, oh, this is how money works. My family really trained me like, save, save, save. My mom was a, her dad was a farmer, so it was all about saving. Mm-hmm. And then I was like, but. Everyone’s like, you can’t save your rate of success. After I read that book, I was like, oh, I understand how money works.
This is so good. Okay, we wanna buy assets, and then they bring an income and then I have cashflow, then I buy more assets. There’s the flywheel effect. I see it. Yeah. And that’s where I think most guys look at, Hey, it’s finances, it’s that’s financial security. That’s where we, a lot of men feel like it’s their job to protect and provide for the family.
I certainly did. And so you’re like, I wanna hold onto as much money as possible. And then you have women who are like, well, we need to invest in our children. We need to invest in their skills. We need to invest in the health of our family. We can’t just buy [00:20:00] crappy food. And so you’re essentially, you have, for a lot of men, I think you’re just focused on this little thing of money and you haven’t expanded it out to, okay, you wanna have a lot of money.
If you’re sick and your kids are sick and you have a lot of money, that’s not wealth. Right, right. So you have to expand it. And I found this out with my own stuff. I started to be some, you know, do very aggressive things in investing. 2007 hit with real estate. I took a $250,000 hit, you know, cuz the market got hit.
And I was like, wait a sec. I was trying to maximize for money, but my peace of mind and my, my mental health just took a massive shot. Yes. Right. Yeah. I’m like, well, I suck at providing, I suck at protecting. Mm. And so luckily I had the, the social connections. My parents came and talked to me and worked through some of that.
My wife was, you know, stuck with us, stuck with me through that. And then, My wife was like, Hey, we’ll just get through this. And then I was like, okay, we’re not [00:21:00] gonna just focus on money. We’re now gonna focus, expand it on our mental, our health and our time and these other things. And so in the course of six or seven years, we’ve got ourselves out of all that debt, we’ve got ourselves out of the house debt and we’re like, this feels so much better.
So instead of just having men focus in on just the finances, they need to focus on the social. And what the wife is doing, and, and that’s also what I’ve seen. Men will come home from work, well, I did all this money. I brought the money. What did you do? What the f In some cases really, you’re like, well, there was a lot.
In some cases they’re like, I didn’t do mu you know, I, I, I’ve seen in some of the divorce cases, my good friend, when his mom and dad got divorced, I. She wasn’t really cleaning much, she wasn’t cooking much. The house was a disaster. I mean, I was a young kid and you know, cleaning the dishes at my friend’s house, it was a kind of a weird thing.
Mm, right. And so, and she was watching shows. So there’s a point where I’ve seen women who [00:22:00] actually don’t do that, but I think the vast majority of women, you have a child who’s training that. Who’s socializing that child. If you look at. When I see a, a kid who’s well socialized, has good manners, all that stuff, I know personally it doesn’t come easy, but in most kids I’m like, that was the mom.
She cares about socializing. She takes ’em to play dates. She interacts with the kids. She trains them. She teaches them, that’s what I want for my kids. And so I think if you expand the vision for men, A lot and for women, cuz I think women have only have often focused on that finances too. Like why am not investing for that?
I need that status. I need the money, I need the raise. Yeah. But if you expand it, you’re like, wait a minute, my wife is doing massive investing to your, to my, I mean I, I, if you look at Bill Gates, I, from what I can tell, I think his mom probably did more. In terms of his ultimate success than his dad.
Mm-hmm. Right? So you look at these things and it’s like, are you holistically looking at the family? Do you understand how it works? And I actually am of the [00:23:00] opinion, if you look at it holistically, I think you’ll actually be wealthier overall, right? Mm-hmm. Because if you do those roles, oh, now suddenly, if the wife’s connecting, oh, by the way, I found this.
My, I’ve had friends in construction. Oh, I, this, this, this woman I was talking about, her husband does real estate. Oh, her husband does this type of thing. Oh, here’s an opportunity. When you get the synergies between a husband and wife and the social connecting and a lot of the logistics and then the financial man, those families, that’s why I call it a flywheel.
They sit there and all of a sudden they’re kicking off like, well, we are so much more rich. We have a rich life. We have great connections. This is so much better than just, well, you have a lot of money,
Beth Rowles: right? Yeah. I mean, it sounds like you’re saying, you know, some people could make a business and think purely about profits, and that could be the only reason they’re doing it.
But if we can expand and think about. Know if it is a business [00:24:00] model, comparing it to that, what is the outcome that we want? It can’t just be profits cuz we’re gonna die. It’s not, not have really lived. Right.
Aaron Shelley: Well, yeah, it’s a perfect point. I, I mean I’ve worked with some, some venture capital and private equity companies.
I’ve never. With rare exception, most of them actually are very generous. I’ve, we had one company they gave us, we got 11 million. It didn’t work out. It was in the genealogy space, and they were just like, go make an impact, get people to use it, add value. Do not worry about the monetization. Figure out something that’s useful to society, right?
If you focus on being useful, there’s usually a way of, Hey, we were useful. Like you can do ads. There’s all sorts of different business models, but if you can’t actually get to something that people use and they feel like is useful, why do we, why does it care? Why do we care? So I really feel like it’s in my family, one of our values is contribution because I’m like, [00:25:00] you need, if you focus on contribution, then ev.
I mean, I’ve been. There’s one person who owes me $30,000, still, I’ll never get it back. And I don’t feel bad about that. I’m like, I would rather be the one who’s over contributing than the one who’s nickel and dimming everyone. And so worried about, you know, just did I get mine? And so I think if we focus on the contribution to the family and the contribution to society and our businesses, then what you find is massive success.
You know, like a lot of these companies, if you look at. I’m sure they make money and everyone’s like, they’re heartless. They give us jobs, they give us great products. You know, you look at, we’re on Zoom right now. Why did they do this? They wanted to make money. Yeah. But they wanted to help us connect and now all of a sudden we have this ability to connect to completely different places.
So I think often we think like businesses are so heartless. But then in so many ways, they’re trying to help us, help us reach our goals, help us accomplish [00:26:00] things. I mean, just saying like with your book, why did you write it? Well, I was trying to contribute, right? Yeah.
Beth Rowles: Trying to help, trying help. One of the things you mentioned earlier was like when.
In your actual business, you know, if she’s going to be gone or has a dance or something, like you just take over and do the things. So what would you say to somebody who has somebody in their family who doesn’t just take over, who feels very like, this is my role, this is it. This is all I’m gonna do. What would you do?
What would be the approach in a business? What would, because you can’t just fire ’em, you didn’t hire ’em. What do we do then?
Aaron Shelley: Well, yeah, I think if it’s a spouse that you can’t actually fire your spouse. You know, that’s what divorce is. You’re like, Hey, looks like we’re not going on the same path and we don’t wanna go the same place.
But yeah, in the case where you have people who they don’t want to contribute, they don’t want to jump in, to me it’s like, well, why is that? What you know have, there’s [00:27:00] sometimes like, well, I wouldn’t say necessarily, I always. I don’t know how you are, but my wife notices different things than I do. So when I jump in and I make a meal, she may be like, well, that’s okay.
Like you got some pizza. Ugh. You know, where’s the vegetables? Where’s the actual health? So it’s not always the best. But then my wife will come back and say like, well, she’ll communicate with me and just, Hey, could you do this and make this? And I’m really concerned about this. And most of the time when my wife makes a request of me, I’m like, whoa.
Screw you. I don’t even care. It’s like, of course I want to do what you think, what, what That works, what you want. And so if there’s someone who’s super, like, I won’t do that. I, I’ve seen that in business as well. You know, like, I was hired for this. I’m not gonna do anything. I’m not gonna do that. Mm-hmm.
Every job, every promotion I got. Although this, a lot of the success was a function of me going, how could I do this better? How could I do this? What could I, I mean, I had a job this last place. I started as a development manager, [00:28:00] and then I was a product manager. Then I moved over to the VP of marketing, and then I was a C O O.
This is not a linear career path where it’s like little by little jumps it was, I could make a bigger impact over there. I could make a bigger impact there. So I think it’s much more of. For those people, like what are you trying to achieve in your family if you’re, you know, oh, the wi My wife, when, you know, when she was nursing and having those things, I’m like, I could take care of the laundry.
She’s like, I’m overwhelmed. I mean, I’ve seen that a lot where she’s just like, I hit like the, I hit my breaking point. I’m overwhelmed, and I’m like, cool, I’ve got it. What do you need? Let me take over. It actually builds in the richness of your relationship. So I don’t know, getting into that idea, like, this is the only thing I do, and if I, if I were to change a diaper, then it means I’m not masculine.
Or if I were to make a meal. All of those things to me are like, what? Why would you restrict your relationship and put those [00:29:00] arbitrary bounds around it? But you, you may have to learn a little bit. I mean, diaper changing was not my favorite. Waking up with kids was not my favorite, but they all kind of have this richness in retrospect that I wouldn’t have had I been like, This is my role.
I don’t know. I probably would’ve got divorced too, because my wife would be like, you suck,
Beth Rowles: right? Yes. That’s an option. Yeah. One of the things that I’ve had to learn is to kind of accept his strengths and challenges, you know, and to know that there are some things I wouldn’t want to do that I might ask him to do, and that’s okay that he doesn’t necessarily want to learn that, but then we have to outsource it.
So now we have to take some of our resources. And put it into this because I’m only one person and there’s only so much I could do. Mm-hmm. And for us, we had to come to an agreement where it was actually what you said about Bill Gates. Like, okay, you’re gonna be responsible for income even though I’m still doing a thing, doing a business.
You’re gonna be the one responsible for it. And I will do all these other things to the [00:30:00] best of my ability and, and that, so I just kinda have to work with it sometimes. Right. What can people learn from your book? It’s called The Family Flywheel. Right. And then go to the family flywheel.com and they see you have lots of resources, which is is wonderful.
Will this help them kind of create a model for their family?
Aaron Shelley: Yeah, my, if you look at a business model, there is no correct business model. You know what I mean? Walmart, their business model, their strategy structure and culture is completely different than Google’s, which is different than apple’s. Which is, and that’s the same thing that I think is difficult, a little bit with the, the family flywheel is not, I can’t just be like, here’s the right way.
You know? Like some people will be like, just get married, you know, the wife does this, the husband. Okay. That’s a model. And then, oh, the husband died. The wife died, something happened. Someone got sick. Okay, throw your model out the window cuz it doesn’t work. But so the family flywheel is like, what is your business model?
And it’s trying to say like, what is your strategy? And we’re all [00:31:00] gonna go through what is your structure and what is your culture? What are your cultural values, beliefs, norms, structurally, who’s gonna do what? What are the roles? What type of family? You know, some people have an extended family, they live with their.
Parents. Some people live with their children for an extended amount of time. Some people live in multi-families. Those are all options, but you have to make sure they fit with your strategy, structure and culture. So my purpose is really, if you’re aware of these three different elements of the business model, then you can kind of go say, well, what do I want?
Yeah. Do I want to get married and I’m single right now? What roles do I want? Those type of things. And there’s also an interesting case. I don’t know how old your children are. Mine are, my youngest is 16. I’ve got four and my oldest is 22. I’m gonna go through a transition. All of a sudden, all the jobs that needed to go with the kids, those are disappearing.
Right now. There’s a different set of jobs, so we kind of transitioned through business models, you know, and then I re then at some point I’m in, I’m in [00:32:00] spot where I retired. Well, that’s a different thing now. We need to do different, I’m gonna have more time to do certain things. So as you go through life, you can’t, you’re not even sticking with one business model.
Mm-hmm. And, and so if you see like, you know, hey, we’re a young couple, we’re gonna have a kid. And if we think we’re gonna continue to live the same way after we have a kid, we are wrong. The roles, the jobs, the amount of time, the people we can hang out with, the hours, everything changes. And so if you look at that business model, then you go, oh, here’s how it’s gonna need to change.
Oh, now, I mean, I think there’s an interesting one, like when you get married. Before I was married, I had my single friends, she had her single friends. We would go home. Well, once we got married, we come home to each other and then to, my wife’s like, Hey, I wanna talk like I did with all my girlfriends. And I’m like, We, I didn’t talk with my guy, like I don’t have that many words like, and so there was distress.
So then we needed to invest in friends and [00:33:00] invest in social connections. And then we did that. And then we had great friends and then she could go places with her married friends and I could go places. But it’s kind of this like investing phase where you go, we’re gonna go through this new phase of life.
We need to be prepared for the investment differences and how the business model needs to change. We can’t just be like, I’m gonna work all the time and you’re gonna take care of the home. Okay. Really? What about if we have five kids or four kids and they have to go different directions? Mm-hmm. Are you taking ’em?
Am I taking them right? So it’s really this, it’s, it’s really the tools to build a business model to help think through it. Because most of the friction you would see, you see in a family is really based on business model mismatches. Mm-hmm. Your, your, your Google, and you’re trying to use Walmart’s culture.
It’s not gonna work. Right? Yeah. And then if you, so you, in some cases, your business model may work well, but then if your husband’s business model and yours don’t overlay, well now you have to get rid of that friction. And it, some of it may be his beliefs, [00:34:00] some of it may be your beliefs, right? So that’s the type of stuff.
It’s more a set of tools to understand. How to build the business model, because we’re all gonna trans go through different ones as well as there is no right one, right? If, if all of a sudden your podcast took off and you’re making tens of millions of dollars, you know, and your husband’s like, Hey, I’m working and making a hundred thousand dollars.
You’re like, w why? Like, let’s tweak things. Well, he
Beth Rowles: would, he would already be on a golf course somewhere. He’d be, be thrilled with that.
Aaron Shelley: Yes, totally. Yeah. But that, but that’s the thing is you wouldn’t say like once he has so many, you had so many resources, it wouldn’t make sense for the family for him to continue what he’s doing.
Right, right. So, you know, success leads to more problems in some ways, and there is no definitive, here’s the values you should have. I talk about that in the strategy. Like if you’re a white collar, you wanna be a doctor. You have to have delayed gratification as one of your cultural beliefs. You also have to [00:35:00] have like doing hard things and if you are like, oh, I wanna get married when I’m super young.
And you wanna be a doc? Ooh, like, yeah, unless she’s gonna invest and she wants to go with that, it’s gonna be rough to have this married structure trying to become a doctor with, if without delayed, you know, if you don’t have delayed gratification, you’re gonna jump off and be screwed with debt. So there’s these things of like, you’re looking at your cultural values, you’re looking at the occupation choices, some of your mission choices and structure and going, do these, can I make these?
Make sense? And if they, and then then can I make ’em make sense with another person? But the beauty is once you get those things aligned, you life becomes so much more rich, financially, socially, you know, with your health, with your abilities. So yeah, that’s really what I, that’s why I love about the flywheel.
It just reinforces and gets stronger. I’m
Beth Rowles: very excited for it. It’s gonna help so many people. I think that the point about your mission and kind of your vision is that thing that [00:36:00] maybe does stay a little bit more constant, that you’re always working toward. This is the kind of life we want to live, no matter.
What we need to do to achieve it. And good point too about what kind of values you need to have. I was just reading about three women who’d done really well. Oprah Dolly Parton and Betty White. And how they all knew that nor to be who they wanted to be, they couldn’t have children. Mm-hmm. And that was the choice they had to make and probably was a hard one, but I’m sure that’s why we know their names because they chose to dedicate.
All that time to, you know, sharing their gift instead of being a mother, which can take so much for so long. So very important.
Aaron Shelley: Well, yeah, and I see it on the same with men, right? I look at Elon Musk, I’m an engineer, so Elon Musk is, I don’t know the sexiest, you know, he’s doing, I did mechanical engineering, which is aerospace type stuff, and I’m just like, SpaceX Tesla, it’s amazing.
I love so much. And he was able to take about 22 million and turn it into 200 billion, like [00:37:00] amazing financially. But I look at his family life and I’m like, you know, he has 10 kids, I think with four different women. He spends so much time at work. Like I can appreciate the choices and the trade offs he’s made and I loved what he’s doing for humanity.
I love what he’s doing for science, all these things. But that’s definitely not how I feel my purpose is, right? Yeah. So, so that’s where your point to like you choose a business model and make sure it’s connected with your vision and purpose cause. I think if I was doing the same thing as Elon Musk and like sacrificing everything, but I felt like my purpose was as a parent and, and as a dad, then I would even being successful in that arena, I would still feel empty.
- In terms of my purpose and vision. I think that’s
Beth Rowles: a a really good point too, because I think that sometimes we get in a position where we maybe realize that what we thought was what we wanted is not working for us anymore. And like that’s the thing [00:38:00] that, cuz I know my husband’s doing well in his career, but he will come back to, oh, I can’t spend as much time as I want to with the kids right now.
And like that’s his real frustration. It’s not the money, it’s that he really wanted to be a big part of their lives and it’s getting in the way now. And yeah. Then we need to reevaluate that business model.
Aaron Shelley: Yeah. Well, yeah. Yeah. And that’s where it comes down to looking at that like, Well, you want him in, in the kid’s life and he wants that.
And I found I, I had some opportunities to take my kids to work with me. I had a 13 year old daughter I took to work, and then I had all this time commuting with her. You know, because I had some flexibility with my consulting stuff. I was able to spend two months working through calculus with my. Ninth grade son, cuz I was trying to push him.
Right. It was, I was able to make these investments, but it had, if I look at some of the things I did, I’m like, that was a 10,000, $20,000 decision if I had the money, if I was doing it right. But I would, [00:39:00] I undo that. No. Mm. So, so it’s this whole, I think it’s, it’s great like you’re saying. At what point is enough money?
Enough money. Because your kids are only gonna be young once, you know, and I’m seeing my kids leaving. I have two of them that are outta the house now. And I’m like, oh, just there’s a life that’s kinda left the house a little bit, sadly. The learning, the energy. And then there’s also this like, oh, I want to keep connected to these other, my other, my last two, and make sure we have these good experiences.
So, I mean, there’s so many things. That’s where I’ve personally, like we did a lot of family trips and vacations. I mean, I live in Utah, so we have the national parks here, arches, they’re just gorgeous. But I’m like, we’re gonna go hike. We’re gonna go experience these. And it was those memories you just can’t get back.
You know? There’s no amount of money that could replace those.
Beth Rowles: Ah, that’s an opportunity cost there. Well, I love everything. You seem like such a. Mm, just [00:40:00] dedicated, striving person and I love that you’ve put this work into it and that you’ve written this book because what a wonderful contribution you’re giving to the world.
I hope that everybody reads it. I can’t wait to learn more, and I know you’ve got lots of resources on your website as well, so, so the family flywheel.com. Is there anywhere else that people can find you or should look
Aaron Shelley: for you? You can find like Facebook. I have some stuff. I haven’t done a lot there, but Erin Kay Shelley, we’re on LinkedIn.
Also Erin Kay Shelley there. So wonderful. Those are the main places to find me.
Beth Rowles: Thank you for being here. I really appreciate it.
Aaron Shelley: All right. Thanks, Beth. Mm-hmm.
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