What do you want to provide people in your business? Some people are going to interpret that question literally, and answer about what they sell or what services they offer. That’s great! But what I’m really asking about is the ethos of your business. What values, ideas, or founding principles do you provide in your business, no matter what you sell or offer?
48 Days Eagle Aaron Ashworth has a strong sense of what he provides. As he told us, “I have always been focused on owning a business that provides hope, joy, and opportunity.” Today I want to tell you a little about Aaron, and how he provides those things through his business in big and impactful ways.
Aaron Ashworth: The Early Years
Aaron started out, like many young people, looking around for what skills he could learn, trying “a variety of jobs” and searching for “what I wanted to do for life.” He first encountered me and my book when he was really young, a teenager, and before a pivotal moment in his life when he was deployed to Iraq in 2003.
Aaron told us that he got deployed in the “initial push” into Iraq, and “devoured [the book] while I was creating a plan for a career when I got back.” Life had other plans for Aaron, and he ended up staying in Iraq for more than three years. Even though his plans were put on the shelf for longer than he anticipated, Aaron still carried with him that strong sense of what he wanted to offer the world when the time came.
Helping Others In Your Work/Business
Today, Aaron runs a mental health clinic for veterans and first responders, and does speaking, coaching, and consulting around mental health and ministry. As he told us, “I am contracted with a variety of organizations to conduct training seminars” on these topics, including the state of Oklahoma. In all of his work, Aaron offers people—oftentimes those most in need—that hope, joy, and opportunity. Whether it be as an Army Chaplain for the Oklahoma National Guard or as a consultant, Aaron is providing his expertise through the ethos of the values he represents in his business.
That’s important not just for creating a successful business like Aaron has, but creating a business that, as he told us, “people would enjoy working with and being a part of.” I love that Aaron highlights this because I believe that, at a certain point, it doesn’t matter how good your products or services are—if you don’t represent your core values and build something others want to be a part of, your success will ultimately be limited.
In Aaron’s line of work, it’s so crucial to build that trust through his values because he’s representing the interests of people in great need—and working to meet their needs. His work involves mental health and suicide prevention programs for veterans, who have sacrificed immensely for this country but are often still left behind at critical moments of transition in their lives.
Following God’s Calling For Your Life
That’s an important line of work to be in, but it isn’t easy. Aaron attributes his success to “Believing in who I am, what I am called to do, and the value it brings kept me strong when everything felt like it was on fire around me.” He’s had his fair share of “obstacles, challenges, and naysayers” but sticking to those core values and what he knows he has to offer the world is key to weathering even the toughest storms.
Aaron also told us that his success also comes from the people and support systems he’s been able to lean on over the years. And that “I attribute my success to always being willing to lean on God, stand up for and put my family first, learn from others, stand on the shoulders of giants, and be keen on surrounding myself with high achievers with strong mindsets.”
Now, in his community and in his work, Aaron is able to be that support and be the shoulders for others. As he told us “My reward is in seeing the blessings my work brings to people, my family, and the joy I have getting to do what I do. Every day I get to see how I am making a difference in the kingdom of God, and how what I do impacts people’s lives for the positive every day.”
Understanding Your “Value Add”
That point that Aaron makes there about seeing the positive every day is not a byproduct of what he sells or the services he offers, but the value add he makes to people’s lives. The bottom line of the business is important, yes, but where we find fulfillment in this entrepreneurial journey ultimately comes from this positive impact we can have on the world. We won’t be able to realize that positive impact fully if we don’t, like Aaron, have a strong sense of who we are and what values we represent and offer the world.
Aaron shared some advice with us for those of you who might be just starting out, or in a pivotal moment on your journey.
- “Always look for the people who will support you, but press you to have a solid plan and are willing to challenge you even when you feel you are right. Those people are the ones that will help you win.”
- Pay attention to the big picture and the practical plan, and who’s going to help you with both.
- “Have complete faith and belief in who you are called to be and what you are doing or it won’t work. A good idea is only worth the value it can bring to bettering people’s lives and the world as a whole. Be sure whatever you are doing is worth giving it your all.”
If you want to learn more about Aaron Ashworth, you can check out his websites, patriotcounseling.com. He told us that “I’m a coffee guy, come sit and have a chat or invite me over!”
Thank you for your service, Aaron, both during your time in the military and today in all you do for your communities.