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27 Mar

Ep. 138 – Aaron Levy – Founder and CEO of Raise the Bar

“I just wanna say one thing – it’s really scary because we think we don’t necessarily know what that is (our purpose), or don’t have it. And what I can tell you from my experience at working with thousands upon thousands of people, is that we all have it in us. It’s already there, it’s just actually getting in touch with it.”

Aaron Levy – Founder & CEO of Raise the Bar; Noticing trends with Millennials being unhappy in their job roles; Finding your purpose;Avoiding a mid-life crisis; Managing your sales; Building at scale.

Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Aaron Levy; Noticing trends with Millennials being unhappy in their abundant roles; Creating a company around his vision to solve their problems.

Aaron’s finer points:

“So right before, I was about twenty-five. I was working a Health and Well-being company. I was the first employee, we were a start-up. And, we were helping companies really – help their employees move from knowledge to action.”

“You might say, “You have pre-diabetes and if you don’t exercise and eat right, you’re gonna get diabetes,” yet people still got diabetes.”

“And it was stuff I loved to do, and it was how you help people kind of find their triggers in their lives that enable them to take action. And it’s not just around their health and wellness; these triggers help them in all aspects and areas of their life to unlock their potential.'”

“And so, I was in the middle of doing that with our organization and doing it with some large partner clients across the country. And I was also a Millennial, looking at all of my other friends, who were jumping from job, to job, to job.”

“. I had one friend who worked at a five hundred million dollar start-up, Silicon Valley, quit, did a little bit of consulting on the side, then a couple months later, started another five hundred million dollar Silicon Valley start-up, and every time I would go to visit him, he wouldn’t have food in his fridge.”

“I was like, “Why – Scott, why don’t you have food in your fridge?” And he said, “I get all of my food at work.” And so, he had this typical really cool start-up in San Fran phase and he ends of leaving that second start-up as well.”

“I had another friend who was making two hundred thousand dollars. He was working with his best friends. The company was hiring like crazy, they had brand new offices, and he quit. And so I started just – as a coach – get really curious as to what’s going on here.”

“And that’s what brought me to where I am today, is really understanding what’s behind all of these individual “leave” stories. Hundreds that I’ve gathered from an Uber driver, or from a client that I was working with, or from a friend of a friend.”

“They all had some common tendencies, and I saw that throughout all of them, that what they were looking for was purpose. Was connection to their team, to their company, to their boss, was growth. And when they didn’t get that, they leave.”

“And companies weren’t addressing it the right way. And so, I realize that one, there’s a market gap, there’s a market opportunity, so there’s a business.”

“And two, it’s the most effective way that I can be living into my vision, which is to help people unlock their potential.”

“And so the concept of my personal vision and mission in life and this business problem were what brought together Raise the Bar.”

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Aaron; Getting in touch with your purpose and your why; Avoiding a mid-life crisis.

Aaron’s finer points:

“I think sometimes you do need to experience, you do need to go from job, or role within organizational. You need to test some things out.”

“But what happens often is we jump from job, to job, to job, hoping that that job will fill the need and the purpose that we have in our lives. And we don’t go about it the other way around, which is: what are we for? What’s our purpose? What really matters to us? Not what work really matters to us, but what really matters to us in this world.”

And if you start from there, then you can bear any way which you have to work. And if it's really, really, truly important to you, that entrepreneurs that listen to your podcast and start their own businesses, they probably do fifty things in a day that they don't love doing, but they do it because the purpose is a larger vision that they have.

“And when you do that, the next job you take will be much more defined in your mind because you’ll have a reason for taking it.”

“You’re always gonna have the “I walked home from school uphill both ways.” What I think about that is, every generation looks at the generation beneath them and says, “They’re different, and they don’t know what we went through,” and that’s just, that’s what boomers were saying about Gen Xers, and what Gen Xers are now saying about Millennials, and what Millennials are gonna say about the next generation.”

It's kind of the rite of passage in a sense, is that the workplace complains about the generation ahead of them. And the truth is, is that the Millennials are jumping ship three times more than any other generation ever has.

“So, that turnover rate is high and it can give the sense of entitlement and then sense of “I want things now.” My inkling on that, though, is that it’s not just the generation’s problem, it’s our on-demand culture.”

“It’s the fact that my wife and I sit down and watch Netflix and if it freezes for a second or two seconds or it blurry, we’re annoyed. Because we’re not used to waiting for things anymore. If I wanted something, I’d just order it on my phone, and it’ll be here in a minute. Literally, Amazon – I just got an e-mail from amazon saying that they now can deliver things within hours to my house. What?”

“And so the need for instant gratification has enhanced our need to find purpose in our jobs, has enhanced our need to have what we want now and not wait. And so we’re jumping ship more often than other generations.”

So there's some societal factors that are playing into why millennials are different, on top of, they're just a different generation.

“Well think about it this way, twenty years ago, you went to high school, with the goal of going to a good college. You went to college with the goal of gettin’ a good job. You worked and you kept your head down and you worked, and you worked, and in the same place, maybe you switched once. And then twenty, thirty years into your job, you pick up your head and say, “What’s this about? Why am I here? Why am I doing this work?” .”

“But it’s so important because up until that point, society had told you what was expected of you, right? Go to college, get a job, and now you’re in the job and what’s expected of me now?”

“So, I apologize if the coach comes out in me . . . It has to do with this singular question of, what impact do you wanna have on the world? Why are you here? What are you here for? Some people, it resonates with them and if you to go from the Earth today, what legacy would you wanna leave behind?”

“If you could leave one thing behind, what would you leave? And for me, it would be more people who realize that their potential can be unlocked. For me, the reason I’m here is not to solve business’s problems, it’s actually to help people unlock their potential. Because when people see that they have this potential they within them, it’s such an amazing thing and that’s what fills me up. That’s why I do the work I do.”

“I just wanna say one thing – it’s really scary because we think we don’t necessarily know what that is, or don’t have it. And what I can tell you from my experience at working with thousands upon thousands of people, is that we all have it in us. It’s already there, it’s just actually getting in touch with it.”

I was a film major. A film major. Why the heck did - I had nothing to do with that college year behavior change until after school. What does that have to do with one another? Well, I realized now that I was in film because when you leave a powerful movie, when you leave a powerful film, it can actually change your perspective on the world and unlock your potential in its own way. And so, this part of me has been there for a long time.

“And for anybody who is listening, who is like, “He’s not really giving me any tangible tips of what to do.” It’s … Go quiet your mind. Go someplace where you can relax and just think about the moments that filled you up.”

“When I do this with individual leaders and business leaders that I work with, what are those moments that filled you up? What is those things that made you feel absolute at your best? And as you said, what are the common themes of that? Are you helping somebody out? Are you showing somebody a new perspective? Are you contributing to the greater community? Whatever it is, it can be as simple as a short phrase that fills you up.”

And then you gotta figure out how you're actually gonna apply that to a living but, that's much easier once you take the deep dash.

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – Perpetuating the good only on social media; Managing your sales; Building at scale.

Aaron’s finer points: 

“we only see the good things and we’re just perpetuating that “good thing” mentality on social media. So, someone just went on a trip. We only see when they went on a trip. Someone just sold their company, or joined a new company. And so the “grass is greener” effect is even stronger now.”

“So I think, as you said it, it has the ability to show people their potential, but also perpetuate this belief that there’s something better out there. And, I’m gonna think, we got this talking right now, but it’s not out there that’s better. It’s actually getting really clear on what’s important to you in here, because it’s not what’s out there that’s gonna fill the gas that’s in here..”

“You were asking about a lesson I’d learned, it was one that I’d heard from so many people, so many times, about starting a business. Which is, don’t ever turn off your sales engine. Just don’t. You gotta always keep that pipeline going. And I had a period where I sold seven deals in seven weeks last year and it was fantastic.”

And it was a great way to get my year going and rev it up. And that meant, one, some of the stuff I sold that I had to develop. Other stuff I sold, I had to just make sure to deliver on, I wanted to make sure to deliver excellent service. I'm an operations guy and a delivery guy. So I really wanted to make sure everything was actually excellent.

“And so I spent a lot of time doing that. And over two to three months, I turned off my sales engine; I stopped reaching out to the people I needed to reaching out to. I stopped having the amount of meetings I need to have. And I had awesome delivery with my clients, everything went really well, and we’re doing more work together. But I hit a wall. And I didn’t realize I hit the wall until I hit it.”

“I didn’t realize the impact of slowing down my meetings – I didn’t stop all meetings, but I definitely slowed down, and I slowed down my intentionality around sales for a good two months. And that impacted me six months later.”

“And so the lesson I learned, and the lesson I keep remembering is it just can’t ever turn off. You can’t ever stop. Then, it’s just doing the work. It’s putting the work in, the whatever your strategy is to build your sales funnel. I know what my strategy is and it works. And I just needed to continue to put the work in regardless of how well things are going or how exciting something is, or how good a client is.”

For me, it's, now there needs to be a certain number at each phase of pipeline at all times. No matter what.

“One part is: put yourself in a position to get overloaded because as you guys know in sales, deals sometimes say they’re gonna close one day and then they close three months later.”

“So, I don’t base any of my operations based on expected yeses, even though the yeses might be there. Because then, what you’re doing, once you shut down another opportunity without even thinking about it. And you don’t realize you’re shutting down another opportunity, but you are.”

“Alright, so that means that while I’m building my sales funnel, I also need to be spending time building my contractor group. Simultaneously, so that I have those people to support and help me and turn that “on switch” on when it’s needed.”

“If I have this many deals, I’m gonna close this many deals, this is gonna be the timeline.” You could start planning more strategically. But at the start of a business, you gotta jump off the cliff, you gotta build the parachute and you gotta get pushed up against the wall.”

“Segment 4(Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go - T.S. Eliot


Aaron Levy – CEO of Coplex

Aaron is the Founder and CEO of Raise The Bar, a firm focused on helping companies address the problem of millennial turnover.

Aaron is an ICF Associate Certified Coach, a Thrive Global contributor, an 1871 mentor, the Co-Director of Startup Grind Chicago and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

He has educated, coached, and consulted over 5,000 business leaders, helping them to define goals, create action plans, and achieve sustained success.

Aaron is on a mission to transform the manager role – by empowering each manager with the tools, skills, and training to be leaders of people who unlock the potential of their team.

He’s also a University of Texas at Austin graduate with a degree in Finance and Film as well as the hockey goal tender during his time there.

Check out Aaron HERE |  Social for Raise the Bar Facebook

Episode Sponsored by:



Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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