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Fintech Entrepreneur Vestwell, Folio Dynamics Founder Aaron Schumm Listenup Show 034 Startup Entrepreneur Podcast


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You’re listening to the listen up show podcast show 034 today we’re talking with in tech entrepreneur founder and CEO of s well who sold folio dynamics two years ago for 199 million Aaron Schumm friend it’s your business it’s your family if you’re like let’s get started


Hey everybody Mitchell Chadrow here.

Welcome to the Listenup Show Podcast if this is your first time listening then thanks for stopping by the listen up snow podcast is produced several times per week for your entertainment and show notes are found at 034 come back often and feel free to add the podcast your favorite RSS feed or iTunes you can

also follow me on twitter @Mitchell Chadrow and all links are in the show notes now let’s get into the show we’re here
today with aaron Schumer on this show
034 so welcome Aaron how are you this
I’m doing great i appreciate you you
have me here hopefully it’s not a too
cold with everyone else all the
listeners out there
yeah well i’ll tell you in the
Philadelphia area here it’s snowing here
this morning so but anyway where were
really excited to have you there there’s
a lot to cover so I’m just going to jump
right in here now you’re an accomplished
entrepreneur you’re a leader with a
proven record so what’s the one best
piece of business advice you’ve ever
received the best piece of business
advice you’ve ever received was probably
you to truly believe in what you’re
I never looked at myself as an
entrepreneur is is that you know I guess
has become increasingly popular over the
last several years but I you know was
passionate about a few things and and
that’s played out over the course of my
career but it’s funny I still I still
don’t really look at myself like an
actual entrepreneur I just look at
someone is trying to solve a problem
that I’m passionate about yeah you know
that that’s really interesting because
you know a lot of the the entrepreneurs
out there you know are trying to start
up and they’re trying to come up with
those business ideas and your main point
here being is that you’re trying to
solve problems or issues that are out
there and have passion about it so that
that’s kind of a neat take on on where
you’re coming from and yes you do have a
proven record and what will certainly
get into that a little bit so how do you
actually provide financial advisors with
a modern platform which of course
reduces their fees it increases
transparency and ensures compliance and
a quickly shifting regulatory landscape
like you’re facing right now in the in
the market that that you’re in
sure yeah well you know my background is
really been around designing technology
that’s used by advisors uh yeah and I
grew up in kind of the financial world
and the you know trust side and then
transitioned over into the tax ID but
what we’re trying to accomplish and you
know ensure it is build a turnkey
solution for advisors 22 better service
to clients and the retirement space so
defined contribution and defined benefit
which is 401 KS and poor therapies and
that the goal really is i wanted to
remove all the barriers that a small to
medium-sized business typically would
have when you know when they’re
approaching that the lifecycle point
where they were going to offer a
retirement plan to their employees and
usually when it advisor will come in the
door and tell your retirement plan but
as you know it having run on my own
business before and and been a part of
that process it’s a very difficult
unpleasant experience and we wanted to
really make it seamless and make it very
easy for an advisor to carry out that
ability to do so and and whether the
plan sponsor has the has the the goal of
offering retirement find employees but
removes all the friction points that
they would have other
sighs so what we did is we built a
turnkey solution that that effectively
becomes a touch point for everyone in
the equation be the financial advisor
that the company owner and the employees
and built in a fashion that flows very
quickly very elegantly I ever moves a
lot of the noise and the things that
make it a risky and and confusing to the
user which you know turn actually
reduces the cost over time and allows
people to save more money towards
retirement goal so we step in and named
ourselves as that the entity responsible
to do all this which is a little outside
4:55of the norm from the traditional
4:57offering so we’re helping from that what
4:59they call the fiduciary standpoint and
5:02stepping into the equation a little
5:03further that most organizations would
5:05typically be comfortable doing and we’re
5:08comfortable doing it because we’re we’re
5:10really architecting what that flow looks
5:13like and making sure that everything
5:15happens for the right reasons on behalf
5:17of all the users the advisors the
5:19company owners and the employees
5:21yeah and that’s why i was so excited to
5:23to have you on because not only is this
5:26myspace as well i mean i’ve been doing
5:28fiduciary work for over 20 years with
5:30trust companies and and with financial
5:32advisors but you know we know that
5:35there’s a lot of regulatory compliance
5:38coming down the pike and i truly believe
5:40that that you are in an awesome niche
5:42right now and a lot of people out there
5:45can learn you know just by you say you
5:49know there’s a need here and I want to
5:50fill it and we’re going to talk about
5:52that throughout the interview but i just
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7:14web hosting plan today Aaron what
7:18contributes most to your success
7:22probably my refusal to fail to a fault
7:27that there’s a there’s a highly
7:29competitive side to me that I think just
7:32drives me to always go to you know if if
7:36if i didn’t have to sleep and and you
7:40know obviously I have it lovely wife and
7:43a little newborn that are that are
7:44incredibly important to me but I’ve
7:47remove that from the equation
7:48all I do is work and I working and just
7:51do it because I I just so driven to make
7:54sure this is a success because i truly
7:56believe it benefits every single person
7:59that touches and and in doing that
8:01that’s really what drives me that’s what
8:03motivates me you know with with what
8:06that’s well it’s about knowing which
8:08part of the market is underserved so
8:11what are the key challenges your you’re
8:14faced with right now
8:15yeah so you know when you look at the
8:18market as a whole and specifically in
8:21the Advisory a world where there’s a
8:24couple ways to slice it you know and
8:25giving it you put into broad buckets you
8:28have financial advisors who understand
8:31the retirement market the 41 camphor 3b
8:34and they distribute and sell plans to
8:37company owners mode all day right that’s
8:40their main source of income on the flip
8:41side of that you have someone who maybe
8:43doesn’t service them regularly but they
8:46really work with a lot of entrepreneurs
8:47those entrepreneurs have a business with
8:51you know they have a the the company
8:53owner has a relationship with the
8:54advisor and at some point they turn to
8:56that advisor and say hey we have this
8:58relationship can you help me with my
9:00business I need to offer something to my
9:02employees where we come into the
9:05equation is a lot of times those
9:07advisers they want to service their
9:09clients right obviously that’s what
9:11that’s what they’re in the business of
9:12doing and they want to do what’s best
9:13for them but it’s not always is easily
9:16say you don is it is said so what we try
9:19to do is you know remove it the
9:21necessity where their options would be
9:23there gonna walk away from the business
9:25which you know the advisor doesn’t want
9:26to do
9:27option number two is they go take
9:29something off the shelf
9:31maybe like a John Hancock or fidelity or
9:35something like that which are you know
9:36very traditional plans there there
9:38they’ve been very successful building
9:40those businesses but for that small to
9:42medium-sized business owner a lot of
9:44times those aren’t a great fit
9:46meanwhile their their risky for the
9:49company owner and there’s there’s an
9:50expense that sometimes becomes a hurdle
9:53that company owner can overcome option
9:56number three that it that advisor can
9:58sell as they can go find the different
9:59components that actually make a
10:02retirement program work and you know and
10:04in the world which is you know finding a
10:06record keeper finding it an
10:08administrator custodian and executing
10:10broker the investment products and so on
10:12and they piece together the solution
10:14which is fine but it becomes laborious
10:18for the present the financial advisor to
10:20manage over time into work with with
10:23that client and you don’t get him can
10:25have an expense that comes with that as
10:26well we try to do is basically we look
10:28at said advisors want to service their
10:30clients in the best way possible but
10:32it’s it’s not that easy to do so why
10:34don’t we put together the pieces for
10:36them and make it seamless and elegant
10:38and and reduce the cost and all those
10:40hurdles that come with it put in the
10:42advisors hands and let them better
10:43service their clients so that if that’s
10:46Denise that we’re really going after and
10:48and again I i was excited to have you on
10:51for a number of reasons because I
10:53actually do believe that that’s
10:55brilliant and I do think that you are at
10:59the right time in the right place and I
11:01i think that that’s part of being a good
11:04entrepreneur you know prior to divest
11:07well you actually co-founded folio
11:10dynamics and i was reading that folio
11:13dynamics two years ago was sold to
11:16actual which had at that time a market
11:19value of 600 million and they you you
11:23sold your company for a hundred and
11:25ninety nine million is that correct
11:27correct yes
11:30so what was your payday it was it was it
11:35was ok i mean we we we
11:38I play this it’s a when we started folio
11:42and and I love a incredibly proud of
11:45that business and you know where those
11:46guys have continued to take it it’s it’s
11:48a it’s a it’s a great great offering
11:51that has been put together there but we
11:54raise money with that we raised it and
11:56during the market crash in in 08 so as
12:00you can imagine it was more difficult to
12:03get money in the financial sector than
12:05one would hope
12:07but you know we we all made a couple
12:09dollars and and you know it afforded me
12:12the opportunity to go after this side
12:14again i don’t know if i’m a glutton for
12:15punishment or or driver would be there
12:20but i think you’re right i love the
12:22wealth side the websites grade but folio
12:24is it was running on rails and and
12:27they’re going to continue to be very
12:28successful and I said you know I i
12:30really see an underserved market in the
12:32retirement side so so I worked out a
12:34situation where i was able to go after
12:37that and and you slide away from the
12:40folio side of the equation now obviously
12:42you had a number of investors you hide a
12:45few I guess other co-founders and and
12:48and of course you know you have to pay
12:49uncle s a few dollars for taxes but
12:52short of that I mean
12:54I mean were you did you obviously make
12:56over 20 let’s say 25 million i mean you
13:00know when at the end of the day you
13:02you’re not you’re not hurting for cash
13:04and yet here you are you’re starting
13:06this other successful company in a very
13:10you know very interesting niche are you
13:14able to talk a little bit about some of
13:16the numbers i mean you’re not hurting
13:18for cash right now correct
13:20no no I know where we’re OK at the you
13:23know again this isn’t it wasn’t a play
13:25to go you know make money and you know
13:28there’s also i’m a very motivated person
13:31and I wouldn’t mind a couple extra
13:33dollars in the bank it before i decided
13:35to officially retire but you know we we
13:38made a few dollars and I can’t disclose
13:39what people made fair enough but they’re
13:43a fair enough i think that for the
13:46it’s not so much to know the exact
13:48dollar amount it’s more that people are
13:51not only interested in and what the
13:54entrepreneur does but I i think that you
13:57know people go into business for a whole
13:59lot of different reasons they have a
14:00whole lot of different motivations and
14:02so you know talking about those numbers
14:04is more is more of a way to sort of get
14:08into your personal story than anything
14:09else but I I can appreciate that you
14:12know as a career professional you your
14:14vice president for product marketing at
14:17City devices at five serve so how did
14:20you actually make that shift i almost
14:22look at that as being like a a career
14:25professional you’re kind of in that
14:26bucket and you say you know what I want
14:29to kind of go out I want to leap out i
14:31don’t want to do my own thing so how do
14:33you because there’s a lot of people out
14:35there who are basically in the same same
14:37way I mean I’m sure you were earning a
14:39pretty decent wage when you were at City
14:41at that point and what what was the
14:44catalyst or how did you actually make
14:46that shift
14:47yeah you know it it’s it’s a funny story
14:50so when we were at check free 5 serve
14:54back in in the early 2000s ran a a
14:59product called the MSP multi-strategy
15:01portfolios which became um a unified
15:04managed account world which is sure you
15:07know very own private island and the
15:08wealth side
15:09yeah never i ran the product side there
15:11and it was funny because I really came i
15:14moved to new york i was in the the trust
15:17side on the ERISA side of the equation 2
15:18in pension analysis and I moved to New
15:20York with the aspirations of becoming an
15:23investment manager and through you know
15:26it moved to New York and have a job with
15:28was talking to people and they’re like
15:29yeah you need to know this program
15:31called APL and you learn that you coming
15:33you know what we’ll we’ll give you a job
15:35but because it was a very cumbersome
15:37platform you know way back when is that
15:40the old das blue screen type type
15:42platform so the company that built it
15:45hired me as a product person so high i
15:48was a great i’m going to learn this and
15:50then i’m going to go into the investment
15:52well fast forward I got sucked into the
15:54tech side you know without knowing the
15:56tech side which i think actually play to
15:58my advantage because i just looked at
16:00things kind of wide-eyed was ok what if
16:02we do this and what if we do this and
16:04check he was incredibly supportive or 57
16:06should call them now and they just said
16:08that’s great great idea here’s a couple
16:10developers go figure it out so fast
16:13forward a few years you know that became
16:14the UM a world that that is out there
16:17today and my boss at the time who ran
16:20all the different product segments he
16:23and I were sitting around my last day
16:25actually got burnt out and I quit
16:27fiserv and I was in grad school and was
16:31just like listen I’m sleeping on average
16:32about two two and a half hours a night
16:34for a couple years I just couldn’t
16:36physically get anything so i laughed and
16:40my last day he and i literally true
16:42story we’re having a beer and we drew up
16:44the concept of flow dynamics on a bar
16:47oh my gosh a few few months later he
16:51calls me and I was moving to London I
16:53just finished grad school and and I was
16:55moving to London for a job to help
16:57launch mutual fund rap program over in
16:59the UK and he was like hey you want to
17:02go do this and I said me up thanks but
17:05now I’m moving and I’m you know my my
17:08apartment was packed you know boxes done
17:10visa done out the door and he’s a-coming
17:13i think i might have a company that that
17:15could help us so he pulled me in
17:18and at this he was going to a company
17:21called by Isis and by Isis was offended
17:24essentially funding a sandbox where you
17:28know is creating this this best-of-breed
17:30a wealth management solution and you
17:33know it is really an outsourced offering
17:35out to the west side of the business and
17:38they that really became the sandbox for
17:40fully dynamic so we will have Isis with
17:43the idea that it was going to go private
17:45and we would basically have the autonomy
17:48to go do whatever we want to do there
17:51but it got sold the city city has their
17:53own vision of what they wanted to do and
17:55you know through that sideways like
17:57listen this is really going to work we
17:59can do this ourselves so we we slid out
18:01and go with and built fully dynamics on
18:03our own you know i’ll tell you everybody
18:06yeah everybody talks about hitting the
18:08lottery but you know and and obviously
18:11you know not taking away you know all of
18:13your extremely hard work but when you
18:16look back on all of this i mean you have
18:19to see that that all the things had to
18:22basically kind of lineup the way that
18:24they actually did it
18:26it’s really actually an amazing story so
18:29what do you what do you tell people out
18:30there who are the errands out there who
18:34are ready to quit their job on the last
18:36day or they have this inkling but yet
18:39fear and and all of these emotions that
18:42are coming over them are telling them
18:44yes I need to sort of do this i want to
18:47go forward and yet something is kind of
18:49holding them back because you you have
18:52to be able to look back on all of this
18:54and say wow this was meant to be
18:57yea though it’s funny I III really tell
19:01people you know you gotta have a you got
19:03to have a stomach for it
19:04it’s tough you know it’s a rollercoaster
19:07I’ve been a very dark days yacht and the
19:11early days of folio we we ran out of
19:13cash we couldn’t pair employees you know
19:15I couldn’t pay my rent it was it was a
19:19I mean it was honestly to the point
19:21where you’re just like man I don’t think
19:22we can do this and it’s it’s a tough
19:25thing especially we have employees and
19:27you need to pay their salaries and they
19:29have there
19:29my eyes and it’s a very hard thing to do
19:32but we we truly believed in it and I
19:35think we we have we have a definitely
19:37the right mix of people to execute
19:40properly and being an entrepreneur is
19:42incredibly difficult
19:44I there’s nothing sexy about it there’s
19:46nothing you know glorious and glamorous
19:48about it it’s I mean you’re just
19:50grinding it out and it’s it’s you know
19:52boots on the ground and doing whatever
19:54you need to do and you know from gather
19:57i spent you know spend time doing things
19:59you never want to do that you you know
20:01in large organizations you can hand
20:03other people and and kind of your
20:05delegate but as an entrepreneur you do
20:07it all and it’s tough
20:09so if you’re going to do it make sure
20:12you have the right people it’s not
20:15something you can kind of just dabble in
20:17it is you know you gotta be pushed in
20:19the pool and you’re going to you’re
20:21going to swim until you you find a way
20:23out and it’s it’s you know you just
20:26gotta have the stomach site and it’s a
20:28rollercoaster you’re going to have great
20:29days when you come home and you know
20:31it’s a rush and then you’re going to
20:32have other days where you just you know
20:34it’s like someone just kicking you while
20:35you’re down so you know did to deal with
20:38that stuff and make sure your your your
20:40spouse or partner is also along because
20:43they’re there in it with you and you
20:46know my my wife hears the the war
20:47stories all the time and she’s a she’s a
20:50huge supporter of this but it you know
20:53make sure that they understand what
20:54they’re getting into as well because you
20:56do all doing it together
20:57well you know it’s very interesting
20:59about about the spouse and and having a
21:01family and having other you know duties
21:05and and things that you need to be able
21:06to to to be able to keep your mind on so
21:10you know in in building a business like
21:12this you mentioned in the beginning you
21:14know you had those challenges where you
21:17know you don’t know if you can actually
21:18make payroll so how do you mean how did
21:22your spouse you know there’s a lot of
21:24people out there that want to basically
21:26maybe go out and do this and you know
21:28they might have supportive spouses but
21:30yet at the end of the day at some point
21:33you know money has to start coming
21:35through the door
21:36so how did how was she able to sort of
21:38deal with all of those kind of stresses
21:41how are you able to sort of come through
21:44yeah well at that point when we ran out
21:48of cash it in the early folio days I
21:51wasn’t married so thankful okay it
21:54probably would’ve visited this over so
21:57that’s what I’m saying in other words
21:58everything literally had to line up
22:00perfectly because isn’t it true had you
22:03met your wife and possibly started a
22:05family around that time the this whole
22:08idea of folio might might have taken a
22:12different turn and that would have been
22:14a real shame because you never would
22:15have saw what I couldn’t what what could
22:17have actually happened but because you
22:19met her and started the family later on
22:21it actually was perfect because it
22:25Oh No exactly its it is a timing thing I
22:29mean you know as you know everyone in
22:30the world a lot of this is timing
22:32it was great it was you know if we were
22:35we had a successful exit we you know
22:38worked our butts off to get there and
22:40you that we learn a lot right you learn
22:42what to do what not to do and this time
22:44around was starting best well you know i
22:47sat down with my life before hand and
22:49was like listen this is something I i
22:52have to go do right and I’d kick myself
22:54if I didn’t do it and I feel like I’m
22:56doing a disservice to the the rest of
22:59the United States of if I don’t and and
23:01create disability and she knows right
23:04she said she knows me obviously and she
23:07knows that be probably miserable sitting
23:09in a corporate job that may pay
23:11incredibly well but I you know what I
23:14couldn’t really make an impact to the
23:16degree that I thought I could there she
23:18just said listen I got it and hear the
23:21terms were she says you have one year to
23:24get this thing off the ground
23:25I gotta check i’ll give you one year and
23:28if if you can’t get going after here
23:31then you’re finding something more
23:33stable to do and so that was what we
23:35agreed on which I think was a you know i
23:39think is a reasonable approach
23:41yeah you know you you mentioned
23:42something where you know you said that
23:44this is not a sexy
23:46type of business or to be an
23:48entrepreneur and you know in the
23:50investment world everybody in the
23:51industry wants to do investments but
23:54some of the non-sexy types of things in
23:57the investment world might be your niche
23:59which is actually awesome because maybe
24:02not a lot of people either know it or
24:04know how to do it well or actually want
24:06to do it and so you know for for example
24:08you know I’ve been involved in the
24:10fiduciary space and you know the
24:12administration stuff and not just the
24:14investment side and so everybody wants
24:15to do the investment and not necessarily
24:17the administration so my question to you
24:20is there’s a lot of entrepreneurs out
24:22there that think that you need to have
24:24this jazzy idea and sometimes your best
24:27ideas are in those areas that aren’t so
24:29sexy and I think that’s also what I’m
24:32hearing from you that ideas can really
24:34come from anywhere
24:35ya know i have to say i completely agree
24:39with you I think it you know is
24:41interviewing someone the other day and
24:43for a couple of open positions where
24:45we’re looking to fill and i was looking
24:48at that I’m Michael why would you want
24:50to do the retirement time like this this
24:51industry boring right and sure and what
24:54drives you to do it right and it’s
24:56interesting to hear the response of the
24:58people that but i agree i think there is
25:00a there’s a man inside knowledge that
25:03I’ve been you know fortunate enough to
25:05build over the years that I think really
25:07helps create a distinct advantage for us
25:10and it’s it’s a different type of model
25:14right where it’s more like a b2b 2b 2c
25:15and and to do that all the way through
25:19and understand all those moving parts is
25:21something that you just don’t wake up
25:23knowing you know you can dig in the
25:25stuff you even in this space and you
25:27know it incredibly well but you know you
25:29can take the time you can study you
25:31could figure it out but there are
25:32interesting little nuances to it that
25:35really I feel just come through
25:37experience and seeing it and and kind of
25:39the war stories over the years which you
25:42can use to your advantage if you’re able
25:43to piece it together in a formula that
25:45that works well well well you know it’s
25:48interesting in the fiduciary space with
25:50the with the new department of labor and
25:53the the SEC rules and regulations as it
25:55relates to investment advisors you know
25:57the trust the trust business we’ve
25:59always been
26:00under the that the fiduciary rules so to
26:02me you know I’ve always known that world
26:05and it’s just a matter of now you know
26:07now i think that the advisor you know
26:09industry is sort of catching up and and
26:12it’s going to have to do that and I
26:13think that’s where the the you know the
26:16idealised that you can fill that void
26:18and I think that’s wonderful
26:20I’m you know your your own several
26:21boards on kid can you tell us about your
26:23involvement and you know tell us about
26:26how you’re actually able to balance all
26:29of this with with family and everyday
26:31life I mean you’re just incredibly busy
26:34so how do you have is one individual
26:37actually do all of this it’s it’s
26:40exhausting say I’m but you know it’s
26:43funny it’s funny that you should say
26:45that because you know when i read your
26:46background and I read everything that
26:48you’re actually involved with arm in a
26:52good way I kind of thought you know just
26:54from reading at all i was actually
26:55exhausted to use your word in the sense
26:59that that this fella is so accomplished
27:01he’s doing so much and I want to ask him
27:04how he actually doing that and now that
27:08I know that you’re married and that you
27:09have a newborn you know how how you’re
27:12actually balancing all this i think
27:14would be you know a big interest as much
27:17as it was how much you got when you when
27:20you sold folio dynamics I think people
27:22people like to hear about this and and
27:25that’s why i asked so I out i were both
27:29my wife and I are pretty high energy I
27:32maybe three years of training I think
27:34I’ve always kind of business since I was
27:36an infant
27:36I sleep very well in small spurts so
27:40couple hours here a couple hours there
27:42and a lot of that honestly as much as
27:45you don’t want to do it at times you
27:46have to do it you know my involvement
27:49with some of the other firms in their
27:50their companies that I’m passionate
27:52about it i really like and I help out
27:56you know whenever I can with those guys
27:59like you know covel for example I think
28:01they just a just a phenomenal offering
28:05that they’ve created an account
28:06aggregation performance analytics and
28:08dashboards out to the Advisory world
28:11and working with them and helping them
28:13kind of scale the organization I i was
28:15fortunate enough to meet the founders of
28:17the company actually I think before they
28:19before they launched someone introduced
28:21us and just said you got to talk to
28:23these guys you guys will get you
28:24you’ll immediately get it you guys have
28:26you know get on really well so sure
28:28enough to know that played out but I
28:30love where those guys have taken their
28:32company so I try to help them as much as
28:33possible because i think it’s it’s
28:35important for people to understand the
28:37full wallet that they have and and what
28:39that means as an individual investor at
28:42the other side of that is on the content
28:43marketing side with Vester Lee where
28:46they focus on the financial services
28:47industry and they’ve just built this
28:50really cool little artificial
28:52intelligence platform for content
28:55marketing so you can actually
28:56communicate with people in a way that it
29:00is more receptive to the investor in
29:02engage in dialogue that allow them to
29:04understand more so you know they’re all
29:06I step in as much as i can i would have
29:08to say no but if I had one wish in this
29:11world it would be that I could extend
29:13the days you know like 36 hour days or
29:15something and and and a lot of bit more
29:18time to do things but you got it over
29:22time and in new maturity you figure out
29:24what is really important and and how to
29:27balance that and it’s easier said than
29:30done a lot of times but the important
29:32thing is you you make sure you’re there
29:33for well that’s right because you know
29:35you could start to spread yourself then
29:37I know that we could probably spend an
29:38entire show on just anyone of those
29:41particular companies that you’re
29:43involved in but I think it sort of goes
29:45to you know how you’re a thought leader
29:48in this particular area and how other
29:51companies are sort of leveraging you
29:53know your background and your skill set
29:55so it’s fairly impressive you know who
29:58are your who are your main clients that
30:00you’re targeting so maybe just some
30:02larger bigger buckets and and maybe you
30:06know what you’re looking to do you know
30:08over the next five to seven to ten years
30:10with the company just generally speaking
30:12I think would would also help us as well
30:15yes so so who we target you know we work
30:19through financial advisory firms but
30:23they’re not our client
30:24per se we’re just giving them tools to
30:26better service their clients you know
30:28we’re actually you know our clients are
30:31the plan sponsors and that the employees
30:34so we’re primarily focused on that but
30:37we worked with the advisor channel
30:38because that’s what we know best
30:40so the independent you know registered
30:43investment advisors trust companies
30:45could even be broker-dealers to we we
30:48strategically decided not to target that
30:51segment immediately but I think over
30:53time we’ll probably approach that but
30:56the you know working with those types of
30:58firms that want to retain their
31:00independence and do what’s do its best
31:03for their clients and give them better
31:04solutions to do so if you know without
31:06having to worry about that the fiduciary
31:09oversight that typically comes with a
31:11lot of this as well as the overall cost
31:13that that’s associated with it so and so
31:15we could also include you know
31:17yeah with it would also include like
31:19Robo advisors whether it be better man
31:21or future advisor or were you know new
31:24types of advisors in this particular
31:26space as well as you know BB our
31:29partners who you know i I’ve dealt with
31:31before you know with the wealthy
31:33ultra-wealthy market yet you know it’s a
31:37good question eight so we’re not a robo
31:40advisor in that sense the only color its
31:42automated technology with it with human
31:44touches which is what we like to say
31:46because there are people there there is
31:48a phone number if you want to call or
31:50email us or whatever chat with us that
31:53is available through the platform we
31:55take it a step further to and I think
31:56they’re slightly different types of
31:58plants you know when I look at some of
32:00the Robo offerings there and I love with
32:02the Robo guys don’t get me wrong i think
32:04i think it’s phenomenal i think there’s
32:05a great market for that and they’re
32:08servicing people that need it and but a
32:11lot of those plans are you have new
32:13plans with these these firms don’t have
32:15any sort of four and care for three
32:17plant where we’re actually picking up
32:20the most traction with firms who have
32:22established plans and they want to put
32:25it some place that allows them to scale
32:28cost effective and more sound from a
32:30legal standpoint so our armies which is
32:34really kind of like the million 220
32:36million dollar plan
32:37five so i think it’s a little different
32:40than some of the the newer players that
32:42you see out there who they’re targeting
32:44sure no no it’s good and and again you
32:46can’t be all things to all people and so
32:49you know that question was more like you
32:51know what is your niche what is your
32:53area because you know again the markets
32:55big enough
32:56I mean you know to to have you know
32:59different players in different spaces
33:01and you know I think I have an idea as
33:04to you know which niche here you’re
33:06actually in you know in addition to
33:09business and family in life you know
33:11there are people that are they obviously
33:13are involved in causes as well not that
33:16not that there’s no room for so much
33:19other things in your life to be able to
33:21be doing but but you you are passionate
33:23about other things that you care about
33:25and what is your philosophy on that and
33:28and maybe just some quick groups that
33:30that you’ve been involved in yet you
33:33know it’s interesting so growing up I
33:35have incredibly loving family and
33:39parents and i was fortunate enough to be
33:40brought into and and I I learned a lot
33:44but frankly you know my password for
33:46very different and I don’t know if its
33:48nature versus nurture you know I was
33:50adopted at birth and just kind of built
33:53my own path through things I had to
33:55learn a lot on my own and fall down a
33:58lot and and pick myself up and I think
34:01that’s really helped shape me quite a
34:03bit as an individual and I try as much
34:06as possible to teach people whatever I
34:09can you know even if it’s just mistakes
34:11I’ve made along the way like hey don’t
34:13do this
34:14so with that you know it i do as much as
34:17I can from charity aspect i did and i
34:20have a lot of time these days to do so
34:22but that’s you know my next life that
34:23that’s really what I want to focus on
34:25but so I work with a buddy of mine
34:28started an organization called stoked
34:30which is a really focused on giving
34:34inner-city children the opportunity to
34:36you know to fail and get up and do it
34:39again and and learn how to to be you
34:41know mature young adults through there
34:44so we take take the kids skateboarding
34:46the spring surfing in the summer and
34:48snowboarding in the winter
34:50and it’s so fun to watch these these
34:52kids where they really don’t know what
34:55to do and they never been exposed to
34:56this and to watch them fall down and get
34:59up and have the confidence do it again
35:01and you’re not going to be perfect but
35:02you’re able to do it and they’ve they’ve
35:05taken every child they’ve had has gotten
35:08admitted to college so it’s great to see
35:11these kids just kind of grow up right in
35:13front of you and you know get out there
35:15and hopefully don’t make some of the
35:16mistakes that all of us made along the
35:19well you know I i did have an
35:21opportunity to go on and and that’s
35:22actually stoked dot org and we’re gonna
35:25have links back to the show notes of
35:27everything that we spoke about and and
35:30it really really appears to be a really
35:32really wonderful organization with a
35:35with a great mission and it’s just it’s
35:38just wonderful to see someone who’s so
35:40accomplished like you and business
35:42saying you know what I I’d like to be
35:44able to give back and I think that that
35:46says a lot about you as well
35:48audible and a design company sponsors
35:51are fastpitch we learn our guests
35:54favourite books and my favorite at
35:57mitchells book club back at Mitchell
35:59Chad with auto ball you can
36:01listen up to your books while you’re
36:04on-the-go by going over to Mitchell
36:06chatter dot-com / audible that aud I ble
36:11Mitchell chatter dot-com / audible start
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36:39listen up and get a lot of wisdom from
36:42those audiobooks again at Mitchell Chad / audible Aaron
36:51these are just some fast questions I’m
36:54if you can give us in a quick answers
36:57and it gives us a little bit more
36:58insight as as to you as a person can you
37:02tell us whether it be a business book
37:04family book or just an inspirational
37:06book that you can recommend to the
37:08audience about 15 my favorite book is a
37:13brief history of time just because i
37:15love the physics aspect but there’s
37:17there’s there’s so many books out there
37:19na politics that love any political book
37:23that you know money power politics with
37:25Bloomberg was a very interesting read
37:27but i wouldn’t say i’m an inspirational
37:29readers per se i just like I take
37:32information absorb it and and find a way
37:35that it relates to my life it is really
37:38how i read it’s all nonfiction and all
37:39just things that I can maybe related
37:42somehow different to myself
37:44sure how about a quote and I know that
37:47that you said that you’re not into like
37:49that inspirational stuff but again you
37:51know a lot of times quotes are powerful
37:53and and they could be a mantra that you
37:55basically say to yourself or something
37:58that is pity that that people out there
38:00can sort of you know gravitate towards
38:02and just kind of remember as the kind of
38:04going through being an entrepreneur or
38:07trying to start up
38:08yeah well I you know these are all
38:12derivatives of things that have people
38:15have said over time but what kind of the
38:16three things i live by you know always
38:20put yourself in the other person’s shoes
38:22and you know if you can do that is that
38:24it allows you to take in with a wider
38:28perspective what you’re trying to
38:30accomplish so I always try to put myself
38:32in the other person’s shoes put yourself
38:34in the other person’s shoes put yourself
38:37in the other person’s shoes and the
38:40things could always be worse can always
38:42be a lot worse
38:42ok and you are where you are because you
38:44need to be there right now I like that
38:47one that last one was really good
38:49something impactful purpose fault that
38:53you actually purchased for under a
38:55hundred dollars but it made the most
38:57impact you laptop charger there you go
39:00you know it you know it’sit’s
39:03more of a practical type of question
39:05it’s a fun question but it lets our
39:07entrepreneurs and are people out there
39:09in the audience know that sometimes the
39:11best things in life don’t have to cost a
39:13whole lot of money to sort of you know
39:15be very impactful and it teaches them to
39:18be sort of resourceful and a lot of our
39:21startups obviously have to be at least
39:23you know early on in the in the in the
39:26startup fav how about a fun fact about
39:29you that maybe not a lot of people know
39:31about but would sort of give them some
39:33additional insight as to who Aaron
39:35actually is yeah and and kind of briefly
39:37mentioned earlier i was i was adopted at
39:39Birth says was my sister and my brother
39:42was not I’m and I think that has really
39:45shaped me in a lot of ways you know for
39:48better worsen and help you know create
39:50who I am so I feel incredibly fortunate
39:54to have been adopted and be raised by
39:57you know great parents
40:00so and we can we eat oh and Aaron maybe
40:03some sometime in the future we’ll have
40:05you back on because we could probably
40:06spend an entire interview just on that
40:09one subject alone you know I i actually
40:12a fun fact that i actually found about
40:14you and I don’t know if you would
40:15consider it fun but I really love the
40:17creativity in the name and and just kind
40:20of doing this and then moving into the
40:22space that you’re now in but it says
40:24here that you were the CEO and
40:26co-founder and writer and producer of a
40:28red flavored records
40:31I love that name arm and and we never
40:34really found out like you know you had a
40:36first several years and then maybe
40:38something happened but but i just
40:40thought that was kind of neat about you
40:42oh yes that’s a whole another story i’m
40:46a a buddy and I had this grand aspect we
40:50were djing a lot and and it was again
40:52just a passion that kind of became a job
40:54like hey we should start a record label
40:56and we launched a record label of a
40:58successful isn’t a lot of fun but i
41:01think i got to the point where I didn’t
41:03the music industry it was not a huge fan
41:05I love music just not the industry
41:06itself and this is this and I this is
41:09not something I want to do forever
41:11and gave to my partner and and he was
41:14able to run with it and it still exists
41:16today this but you know we grow up and
41:18get busy with other aspects realize you
41:22know before we jump into our last round
41:24here the wrap up around it can you tell
41:26us just generally speaking because i
41:29think it’s you know it’s interesting for
41:32four other business people out there but
41:34other you know startup entrepreneurs to
41:37to think about not only starting off but
41:40i just had a pre-interview with another
41:42guest and we talked about scaling up and
41:45and so you know you know getting people
41:47to think not only basically thinking
41:50good to great
41:51so how do you actually design and build
41:53a scalable business or solution maybe
41:56some of the strategies across all these
41:58multiple industries and channels that
42:00you can sort of impart some some extra
42:02wisdom as we wrap up here you know you
42:06can impart on the audience
42:07sure yeah you know it’s very easy to get
42:10distracted so and there’s a lot you
42:13could do it when you see it and things
42:14are going and you’re like hey we can do
42:16this we can do this we can do this you
42:18really have to stay focused almost this
42:20kind of myopic view of what you’re
42:21trying to accomplish and the other
42:23things will come over time but you
42:25really have to be strategic as to what
42:27those steps are going to be and make
42:29sure you have you know several steps
42:30ahead thought out and don’t don’t be
42:33reactive you’ll always be thoughtful and
42:35think about how this is going to impact
42:37other aspects of your business and to do
42:40that will take you to scale but you know
42:43just kind of if you think about the
42:44whole world and what you’re trying to
42:46solve and then you saw the intersection
42:49points across that and to design
42:51something that can service across all of
42:52those intersection points you have to do
42:54them all right now but know that maybe a
42:56couple steps out you’re going to have to
42:58do that that will help you scale as an
43:00organization you know I hope people in
43:02the audience actually go back and play
43:04that a few extra times i know i’m going
43:06to because that is so meaningful and and
43:10so thoughtful that that that was that
43:13was really really powerful advice snap
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44:43resource head on over to Mitchell
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44:50again that’s Mitchell Chad /
44:53napa and start your plan today Aaron can
44:57you give us three main takeaways you’ve
45:00given us so much great advice and things
45:02to think about but just three main
45:04points three main takeaways that the
45:07audience can sort of think about as we
45:09as we wrap up here at the end of the
45:16you know a number one the number one
45:18would be you know a be thoughtful and
45:21once you do you know make sure it
45:24impacts people in a positive way there’s
45:26a lot of noise out there and you know I
45:29don’t think we’ve done our services as
45:31citizens of the world unless we’ve tried
45:33to make it a little bit better so be
45:35thoughtful about what you do and and and
45:37you know how that works plays out number
45:40two number to be passionate and you know
45:45if if you’re you’re thoughtful and
45:47passionate you have something that that
45:50that can work and and number three is
45:52just bust your butt to get it done at
45:55you’re going to fail you’re going to
45:56make mistakes it’s ok just hopefully not
45:59too big mistakes but I just pick
46:01yourself up and keep plugging away and
46:03it if you’re thoughtful compassionate
46:05and you’re working hard at it you will
46:07be successful
46:08I won’t be in it you can do it there you
46:11go and

How can people stay in touch

46:13because everybody wants to follow the
46:15progress of this well and they want to
46:18see you know how you’re doing and and we
46:21want to be as supportive as we can be as
46:24you continue to scale up this business
46:28yeah I’m easy to track down always
46:30available because I love helping people
46:32Twitter this is aaron and
46:36LinkedIn is always a good one or you can
46:38just email me at Aaron at best wall
46:40dot-com any of those and I’m tied to my
46:44phone and computer and all hours
46:46Aaron I i have really thoroughly enjoyed
46:49this interview I mean you’re you’re just
46:52an incredible person and you’re really
46:54in a very interesting niche and you’ve
46:57done a lot of wonderful things that I
46:59believe that that people can really
47:01learn from you know for themselves in
47:04business and your story about how you’re
47:07able to balance all of that is this is
47:09certainly incredible so again we want to
47:10we want to thank you here on on the
47:12listen up show that the startup
47:14entrepreneur podcast and we want to
47:17thank you and please stay in touch
47:19we really had a great time yes thank you
47:22as well I really appreciate that this
47:24was enjoyable from is well
47:26hey you take care of good good good
47:27talking with you by now thank you to
47:29take a look if you have enjoyed the
47:31listen up show and startup podcast
47:34consider recommending it to others my
47:37listeners are looking for those special
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47:54now and Mitchell Chad learn the
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