PP 260: Learning Sticktoitiveness with Aaron Hawkins

If you give the gift with both hands, you’re not worried about what’s coming back. You know that that stuff will take care of itself.” -Aaron Hawkins

Aaron has been a police officer since 1995 and built his first business in 1998. In the early stages of his entrepreneurial journey, he was chasing income through multiple income streams and burning himself out. In 2009, a major health scare led to a huge shift in his personal and professional life.

Kim and Aaron chat about how “sticktoitiveness”  is a decision and not so much a learned skill, how many people stay in the lane they were born in, influence and relationship building, and more!



02:38 StickToItiveness- A Must-Have Skill 
06:03 The Danger of Trying to Fit In
16:16 Don’t Wait for a Wake Up Slap
21:55 Take Off Your Limits
28:10 Personal Development is for All Ages
36:21 The Most Important Key in Personal Development 
42:50 Let Go of the Return
48:32  Shift to Who You Need to Be

Entrepreneurs create a business with a lot of #StickToItiveness. Learn what that means and why it is a choice as @thekimsutton interviews @AaronKeithTweet owner of Hawkins Leadership Solutions. #positive productivity #podcast #success #determination #interaction #morals #relationships #personaldevelopment #stress #anxiety #influence #mindsetshiftClick To Tweet

Connect with Aaron

Aaron Keith Hawkins is an author, keynote speaker, and specialist on influence and leadership. He’s an internationally recognized podcast hos, and has been featured as a subject matter expert on dozens of podcasts, radio shows, and other media outlets. Aaron is a retired Police Captain with over two decades of leadership experience as a law enforcement executive, and has been teaching, coaching and speaking since the 1990’s. He holds a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership with a focus on Professional Coaching, is a certified NLP Practitioner, and a proud alumnus of the 255th session of the invitation-only FBI National Academy where he engaged in advanced leadership studies alongside other hand-picked delegates from dozens of countries. As is often the case, Aaron believes his greatest education has come from life itself, including fatherhood, and his journey of marriage to his best friend and wife, Cathy, with whom he’s been sharing life since 1996. His book Million Dollar Influence gives you actionable and research-backed insights to create life-changing connections, trust, and impact in your business and life. Grab your copy today, and share with a friend. 

Resources Mentioned



Inspirational Quotes:

03:31 “The people who tend to keep pushing when things aren’t going perfectly are the ones that tend to succeed.” -Aaron Hawkins

18:03 “A lot of us get confused. It’s not that we don’t care. It’s just we don’t realize that we can.” -Kim Sutton 

22:05 “Your relationship isn’t what it is because it has to be that way. It is what it is because that’s the way the two people in it have been interacting. And a career doesn’t have to be what it is because that’s the way it has to be. It’s because of our interaction with it.” -Aaron Hawkins

32:49 “People think that morals should be taught in schools. It’s not a moral issue. It’s  a character issue.” -Aaron Hawkins

36:29 “The most important key in personal development has to be relationships. Our life is about relationships.” -Aaron Hawkins

37:50 “The anxiety and the stress that so many of us put on ourselves trying to control somebody else’s steering wheel doesn’t work. We can only do what we do. And in its purest form, relationships aren’t about control, they’re about influence.”  -Aaron Hawkins

40:13 “If you give the gift with both hands, you’re not worried about what’s coming back. You know that that stuff will take care of itself.” -Aaron Hawkins

48:35 “We can get caught up in what we need to do next. Shift that from what do I need to do to who I need to be?” -Aaron Hawkins

Episode Transcription

Kim Sutton Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity. This is your host, Kim Sutton. And I’m so happy that you’re here to join us today. I’m also thrilled to introduce our guest, Aaron Hawkins. Aaron is owner of Hawkins Leadership Solutions, and is a great friend and also a mastermind friend of mine. And I can’t wait until he jumps in and shares his better introduction. Aaron, I’m sorry, I didn’t do you justice. Positive productivity. I don’t I nailed the conversation, I hope

Aaron Hawkins: Kim, we’re officially friends. So you know, we don’t need to formally introduce anyone, but I’m definitely grateful that you got my name right so that’s a good start.

Kim Sutton: That’s a good day of positive productivity. I didn’t have to ask, did I get it right?

Aaron Hawkins: Of course you did.

Kim Sutton: I just need to bring up, listeners, we’re in a Mastermind Group together called Unretirables. Because all the six of us that are in it so far, are all passionate, heart centered entrepreneurs who are about making an impact and we know that, you know, no matter where we get in our entrepreneurial journey, we won’t be able to retire from it because it’s just such a passion of ours. But Roger Ramsukh, another former guest of the positive productivity podcast is in there. And I have to say that the only reason I bring him up Aaron, is because even if he came on again, I had to think about how to properly pronounce his last name.

Aaron Hawkins: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It’s funny when he was on my show, gosh, few weeks ago, in right before I hit record, I’m like, wait, Roger, I have no idea how to correctly pronounce your name, like I had my own way of doing it. To be courteous to ask.

Kim Sutton: Well, now that you’ve brought up your show, I’d love for you to give you a more proper, not proper, proper is not the right word. There’s nothing proper about me and positive productivity, your more official introduction to yourself, including about your podcast.

Aaron Hawkins: Thanks, Kim. Well, my podcast is called Unbreakable Success. And it’s essentially about sharing people’s, all the guests that I have sharing their journey from basically where they started out, whether it’s an entrepreneurial journey or not to their journey to how they progressed to doing work that they love. Because people like you, people I bring on my show are people that are loving what they do, and they feel a strong sense of meaning in what they do. They do work that gives them energy. And to me, like, you know, lots of people talk like to throw around the word purpose. And I was reading Mel Robbin’s book recently, and she had probably one of the best ways that I think we can think about purpose is what gives you energy, regardless of what it is. So that’s what the show is about. Because all of us and Kim, you and I both know, creating these businesses and these missions, it takes a lot of, what’s the word I’m looking for, sticktoitiveness because things sometimes just

Kim Sutton: Sticktoitiveness. You’ve just got a tweetable, Aaron.

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. Sometimes things just don’t go the way we want them to go. And you know, the people that tend to keep pushing when things aren’t going perfectly they’re the ones that tend to succeed. And my show is about telling those stories, and sharing the lessons ultimately, so that the listeners have a battery of resources to go to, regardless of what it is they’re looking to succeed at, whether it’s their health, their business, their relationships. That’s what the show is all about is just succeeding in what they want to succeed in. So thanks for let me plug the show. And definitely glad to be here.

Kim Sutton: Oh, you’re so welcome. I have to ask if you think that sticktoitiveness is a learned skill or one that we’re born with?

Aaron Hawkins: I definitely think it is a decision. Like just a decision. I don’t know that we’re born with it. I think some people are more naturally inclined to it. And I don’t I personally don’t think of it as something that we’re born with. I think that it may be something that’s culturally developed depending on your household and who you’re around most of the time and, you know, the values that kind of grow as the individual grows, but it’s definitely something in my opinion, that is, it’s a decision and it can definitely turn into a skill because obviously the more you do it, the more natural it will begin to feel but it’s definitely for me and in my experience with people that I’ve interacted with. It has to be conscious decision. I mean, like you mentioned, Kim, that we’re in a mastermind together and the great part of being in a group with people like that is we’re all, you know, supporting each other to stick to it. When we’re, you know, when we’re frustrated or having a bad moment, or we’re just not sure which way to go but we know that we have to keep on taking action. Those are decisions that we’re all making, I don’t necessarily think it’s just natural for any of us.

Kim Sutton: It took me 36 years to understand sticktoitiveness. And you just said the cultural influence. I’m worried about my kids because I do have chronic idea disorder. And if I’m not careful, then they see me jumping from thing to thing. But in the last year and a half, I’ve made a conscious decision to stick to and I can’t say one thing, because I get bored easily, but two things that I’m working on. And if I get bored with one of them, then I put it aside for the day, and then I move on to the next. You’ve had quite an entrepreneurial journey.

Aaron Hawkins: It’s been insane.

Kim Sutton: Yeah. Do you mind sharing it with the audience?

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. Well, probably I will share it. Yes. To put it in context, I think one of the things that’s more unlikely about it is my entrepreneurial journey began, well, I already had a full-time career, like a career one of those unicorn careers that still has a pension at the end of it. I’ve been a police officer since 1995, and I think my first parlay into entrepreneurship was 1998, probably when I built my first website, and that’s back when nobody knew how to build one. And they were charging– notice that there’s days where if you wanted to build a bet website, there were a handful of companies and but they would charge you like 200 bucks a month or something to host your website. It was insane compared to how things are today. But that was my first, I guess my first attempt to have my own business. And it was a website, you’re gonna laugh at this one, it was a modeling website. Because at the time, my intention was to get into modeling and acting. We can talk about why but I don’t think the listeners would want to know.

Kim Sutton: You know you just perked up, like all the ears. They want to know now, you can’t say that and then no go.

Aaron Hawkins: So I built this website and I think it was something about how, yesyoucanmodel.com or something like that. And but, you know what, as ridiculous as it was, looking back, it was such a great learning experience, I was making just enough money off of it to pay for the costs of running it. And I had it up for about a year or so. And then from there, I just kept going, I jumped from, you know, the modeling website. I did a little bit of modeling up in New York and nothing if you do not go shot looking for magazines, because I’m not well, actually, it wasn’t a couple but they’re not in print anymore. I did some extra appearances on Law and Order TV show hack with Oh God, what’s his name? He’s such a cool guy. What was it number to show saying elsewhere?

Kim Sutton: Yes. But I can’t say I ever watched it.

Aaron Hawkins: Oh, gosh, okay, his name is gonna pop in probably in 20 minutes so if I just randomly say a name later on, you’ll know what I’m talking about. So I did a few shows like that. But then I jumped into I sold golf greens, I started a landscaping business. And the big thing was, I was only it to be completely honest, with the exception of acting, I was only doing these things because I thought they would make me extra money and can be you know, and I’m sure your listeners know how difficult it can be to run your own business and grow your own business. And if it’s not important to you, it’s ultimately going to fail because it’s just too much effort, and it’s gonna drain your energy. And that’s that’s what happened to me. So you can imagine I’m doing all these things while simultaneously working as a full time police officer in New Jersey, the busiest town in our county, I was literally burning myself out and simultaneously driving my wife insane. And yeah, that that kind of went on for a good decade or so. Ultimately, in 2009, I had shut down the last probably the most successful business I had Oh, and I was doing eBay sales too. So most successful business I was running was my landscaping business. I literally could not keep up with the work, but I ultimately had to shut it down because it was destroying me mentally and physically. In 2009 I collapsed. I actually woke up at 1:30 in the morning with chest pain, thought I was having a heart attack. And it was confusing because as you can imagine, if you just wake up in the middle of the night, you’re groggy, number one, but then to being the worst physical pain you’ve ever felt in your life. It’s really disorienting. And I stood up, I tried to walk it off and ultimately realized that if I didn’t wake up my wife because she was still sleeping next to me and our daughter was three at a time she was down the hall I kind of freaked out because I realized that they would find me in the morning if I was actually having a heart attack and if I didn’t make it. So I woke Cathy up and as soon as she called the ambulance as soon as she actually looked at me first and asked me you know Well, I said you got to wake up, but you got to call 911. I think I’m having a heart attack. And she jumped out of bed and looked at me and said, Oh my gosh, are you sure? And as soon as she said, Yes, I felt like I had this big energy knob on my back that somebody just turned off, just turn it all the way down. And I collapsed it to put it a bit, couldn’t see couldn’t hear. And I truly thought that I was going to die, Kim. And the crazy thing was, I didn’t feel scared. I just felt regret. Because, you know, I was kind of sitting there saying, I can’t believe this is it like this can’t be it. And I instantly started like verbalizing that not realizing it, but I was verbalizing I, there’s so much more I could do, there’s so much more I could do is were the words that were just repeating in my head. And I’m realizing, man I could have, I could have been such a better husband, a better father, a better friend. Like all these opportunities, I just started seeing that I passed on because I was kind of just settling into what was comfortable, which sounds kind of weird because I was doing so much more, so many more things in comparison to other people. But as far as the person I was being, I was totally just settling. I wasn’t trying to push myself to become anything more. I was just trying to make more money. And that really, really stung. So of course, as we all do, in times of tragedy, I started making promises to God about how awesome I would be, how much better I would be if I made it. And I did and stay in the hospital for a few days. But ultimately, I lived and that’s when things I knew something had changed and things started getting a lot, a lot different for me. And ultimately, that led me on this journey of growth and being a lot more self aware. And ultimately, I want to appear with you, which is pretty cool.

Kim Sutton: Wow. We’ve talked quite a few times before, but I don’t think I’d ever heard the whole story.

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. When I got to the hospital they very quickly ruled out a heart attack. They think I had a TIA, like a mini stroke. So man, I had no idea how many tests that actually existed because I was in a hospital for two days, not because I wasn’t physically functioning, because they were literally running tests around the clock for two days straight to try to figure out what happened. But ultimately, they think I may have had a mini stroke. Fortunately, I don’t have any residual symptoms, no medications, nothing like that. I’m good to go. But that was a very humbling wake up call. It really, really woke me up to the fact that I was just I was just trying to fit in. To be honest, Kim, I was just trying to fit in and be an average guy, and stay in my lane so to speak. And I think, you know, I don’t think it’s anything that’s necessarily bad or out of the ordinary. I think most people wherever they’re born, whatever they’re born into, we just tend to think that that’s who we are. And whatever class we’re in financially, socially, and all those things, many people, in my experience, just assume that that’s their role, because that’s where they were born. And that’s what I thought I was supposed to be doing. But you know, in those  every moment of reflection, where I’m realizing that’s the end, I’m like, why was I settling for just trying to do what everyone else was doing? But that’s that’s in many cases, the human experience, isn’t it?

Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely is. Aaron, I don’t think I’ve shared this with you before I did eBay for five years. And I made all the worst mistakes that I possibly could have. That was actually my first all my first and second entrepreneurial journey. But the second time was all the worst mistakes. I was in it totally for the income. And it got to the point, I was selling scrapbooking supplies. And it got to the point that I had been contacted from a distributor who could get me products in a day if I ordered them when I ordered them. And so I started going through their online catalog and posting everything that they had on eBay and on my website thinking, Okay, if somebody orders that I can order it, and I’ll have it within a day and I can ship it out and it’s within the time that I said I’ll ship it. But I didn’t think about it, Aaron. Some of these things were like papers and stickers. And they ordered one sheete, I still had to buy a pack of 25 or 50. And people were buying like one sheet of 100 different styles of paper. I went into massive debt. It’s 10 years later now. And I was still digging out of what that did to my credit score. Because I just dug myself in a deep hole. I couldn’t pay off the credit cards. And by the end, I was making a quarter a day and that was without paying my credit card bills. You know, so they just wouldn’t have gotten paid. But I was totally in it for the income. I was thinking how can I get bigger? How can I get bigger? How can I get bigger and it sucked. And I did it again with this business, not with positive productivity, but after I became an entrepreneur again in 2012, I was doing what I thought everybody else was doing. And I was afraid about being authentic and transparent. Nobody wants to hear like I didn’t think anybody would like me or respect me if I talked about my children or our struggles or anything that’s going on around here.

Aaron Hawkins: But that was endearing.

Kim Sutton: Yeah. I mean, you’ve seen some of the best like on camera. Listeners, just this week, a week of this recording, one of our other mastermind members was eating popcorn, Brian. And it made me hungry. So I asked my daughter to make popcorn for me. Children if you’re listening, Aaron, I found out he did not read the this side up on the popcorn bag. He had no idea that there was at this site up. So he put it in upside down. And he didn’t start a fire but it was pretty close. Like the house still smells Aaron.

Aaron Hawkins: There is no smell like burnt microwave popcorn smell. It was definitely the entertainment of that particular session, that was that was pretty cool.

Kim Sutton: Why is it always on me though? And Mike and my children, but anyway, yeah, it was. I’m gonna call your experience like a slap from God to wake up.

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. I was totally head slap. I mean, really was a head slap. And I’m grateful for it. And it frustrates me to even think about that it happened. Because I’m thinking to myself, and it’s funny. A couple years later, I was watching. I don’t remember where it was. But there’s a clip from Tony Robbins, who was saying when people finally decide they’re going to change your life, but when they’re about to die, when they think they’re about to die, then suddenly, they’re like, wait, wait, wait, I can be better, I can do more. I’m not gonna settle and fit in and do all these trivial things. And it was so true. I was so embarrassed watching it cuz I’m like, yeah, yeah, that was me. You know, it took that to kind of wake me up. But I think it’s a good thing. Because fortunately, at least for me, I took it as a sign that, you know, not only do I need to change, did I need to change what I was doing, I knew I had the opportunity to pay that message forward. And I’m really, really, it’s my intention to do that, to pay that message forward and just support others who kind of are in that, that place where they’re kind of stuck. So it’s a good thing, you know, if I have to go through that to help somebody out there and totally cool. You know, I’m fine with that.

Kim Sutton: I love that. And I feel the same way. I mean, it’s, we were chatting a little bit pre chat. We’re discussing a win, possibly for us both this week, I’m not gonna say anything about it yet listeners tune in. You’ll hear about it in the future. However, my husband started crying last night, because he’s he started to see the possible payoff of all this hard work, and my husband to has been a victim of, you know, being cast aside, because of all he saw the back of my head for four years. You know, I was so hard at it trying to make money. And I didn’t care about making, well, it’s not that I didn’t care about making an impact. I think that’s where a lot of us get confused. It’s not that we don’t care. It’s just we don’t realize that we can. Money is the goal, and its impact is way on the side. Aaron, can you share some of the impact in in what you’re doing and your current business with the listeners? And I know what some of the projects that you’re working on, but can you share those?

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. It’s one of those things, it’s funny when you realize that you know, to actually talk about what your what kind of impact you’re having and kind of kind of feels icky to say, Well, this is what my product will do for you, like infomercial time. But honestly, probably the best way to explain that is when I started this, when I ultimately started my website, AaronKeithHawkins.com. Like I said, I was still working as a police officer to 25 year career. So I was this was 2009 is when the incident happened, that at least a medical incident with me, so following that, I had no idea. It’s not like this light bulb came on and I suddenly had my purpose and vision clearly in front of me. I did not. It was like a total like now what? I knew I needed to do something different. But I had no idea what that different was. So I wound up going back college finishing my degree. I for the first time in my life, you mentioned that took you 3 to 6 years to kind of reach a place of, you know, somewhat clarity. It took me 36 years to even realize that personal development was a thing. Like I had no idea about, you know, I was a good guy, don’t get me wrong. But as far as like actually intentionally learning and reading about the psychology behind personal growth as an individual. I didn’t do it until after that event. So I wound up taking the Tony Robbins course and which led to a avalanche for lack of a better word of books that I just kept reading and reading and reading and felt really passionate about and it changed my life, my marriage. I’ve been married for 21 years now. It started changing everything, literally. And so what happened for me was in my law enforcement career, and I’m still here and I’m a captain now here in Jersey. In my career, the thing I did enjoyed the most, that gave me the most energy, choose that word, again, was teaching. And I realized very quickly, one of my strengths was teaching and coaching people in my career. I was a one on one trainer when the rookies came out of the police academy, they got assigned to me for 14 weeks to drive around and show them how to do things. I mean, I loved it, don’t get me wrong wasn’t easy, but I love teaching and sharing. Well, when post is, as you can imagine, after this event happened, I started learning about how to be to risk using a cliche, a better version of me, I realized I would love to teach these things, which led me to creating my website, and led me ultimately into realizing that, you know, podcasting would be a great platform to reach to really maximize my reach. And then I can also do coaching, individual coaching, as far as life coaching, relationship coaching, in addition to that. And as you can imagine, the people on my job that, well, you only survive law enforcement with a sense of humor, like you have to pick on each other. It’s like a rule. Because there’s so much tragedy, if you’re not laughing at each other, you’re gonna drive yourself nuts. So of course, I got teased a ton about my website. But to answer to that’s a roundabout way to get to answering your question Kim, because I started getting feedback, like, aside from the ribbing, and joking about, you know, your motivational speaker guy, I started getting sincere feedback about what a difference my writing was making, my podcast was making in these people’s lives. And these weren’t even clients. These were people that have known me for years, but they would individually and quietly, he pulled me aside and start thanking me for challenging the way they were thinking about things. And I began kind of informally coaching some people on the side. And then I started formally coaching some people and the impact that it can have when we think there’s a certain ceiling to who it is we can become. When you kind of take the lid off of that and realize that, you know, your relationship isn’t what it is, because it has to be that way. It’s what it is because that’s the way the two people in it have been interacting. And a career doesn’t have to be what it is because that’s the way it has to be. It’s because of our interaction with it. Definitely something that like, I didn’t become Captain because I was that great and it was just my destiny, I had to eat some humble pie and recognize what I wasn’t giving to my efforts in my own professional development. And when I change that, my results started changing in my marriage, because I’d rather use myself as an example, you know, my wife and I, as you can imagine, 21 years everybody has struggles. But when I started really attempting to eat my humble pie, and pay attention to who I was being in how much I was even bothering to learn about the psychology of relationships, when that changed, and I elevated that. And I really started taking the ego off and stopped trying to defend myself so much. It changed everything, not only did it change the way I started interacting with my wife, it’s reciprocal. And we really started instead of pinging off each other and those moments would that would normally lead to a little bit of tension, we’d start pinging off each other and decreasing our tension. And it’s happened over and over with the people I’ve been able to work with their relationships evolve to something that they totally didn’t think would happen, their careers evolved into something that they didn’t think it could be. And it’s totally a mindset game. And I love to think of it as a game because you can learn how to play a game better. And that’s that’s the joy of it. That’s what gives me energy. And it really took a long time to answer that question in a roundabout way. So thank you for your patience.

Kim Sutton: Hey, I have an issue with interrupting. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared it on the podcast before my new year’s resolution. It’s probably one of the few that I ever made in 2017 or 2016, I don’t remember what year was to try to stop interrupting.

Aaron Hawkins: See, that almost backfired because I was almost gonna keep talking until you said something.

Kim Sutton: I am not perfect. I broke that. So I’m just gonna say it damn. near impossible.

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. It’s tough. That’s one of my biggest challenges on my show too. I’d never quite know where I’m going. I’m like, wait, do you want me to interrupt now? I’m not sure.

Kim Sutton: Yeah. And you know what I’m struggling with. I’m just putting this out there positive productivity listeners. You know, it’s not about perfection and there is no flow but what happens Aaron when, you know, if there comes that day when somebody wants to buy a mineral add spot, do I just interrupt you in the middle of your story, you know? Oh, sorry, Aaron, we got a break for the middle sponsor.

Aaron Hawkins: You know, there’s there’s emergency broadcast buttons that that loud beep, you just got to get one of those.

Kim Sutton: Funny, okay. This is the only time that I’ve ever done this, but I just need to do it. Like it just I don’t know how to shut it. You

Aaron Hawkins: You just answered your own question. That’s perfect, because it’s actually calming. It’s like wait, I suddenly feel relaxed with this interruption.

Kim Sutton: Did you hear the piano?

Aaron Hawkins: I did. I did. It’s pretty cool.

Kim Sutton: I’m so sorry, listeners, I just had to do it. You know, you put buttons in front of somebody and they just have, oh, I’ve never done that before. I feel like a little child Zen caster, the plug for you. I’ve never pushed all your buttons at the top before. This is a completely different style of positive productivity podcast. I’m having fun with this. I mean, it’s not completely different but this is a bomb

Aaron Hawkins: I’m blaming you at the time for ruining my show, because I’m definitely going to be getting one of these and just start doing it randomly.

Kim Sutton: And there’s like a plus button up here where I can add additional buttons. I don’t know if you just heard positive productivity podcast the cat’s knocking sort of cans off this shelf in the kitchen. Listeners, I gave up soda about two months ago.

Aaron Hawkins: Good for you. That’s awesome.

Kim Sutton: Yeah. It’s been such a struggle. I mean, I haven’t given up coffee yet. I tried the same day as I gave up soda. I know this has nothing to do with what we were talking about perpetual tangent story disorder. But yeah, I just heard the cans go off the counter. That’s probably one of my only pet peeves in my house with my family right now is they leave the soda cans on the counter instead of just taking them out to the garage. But hey, if that’s the worst thing that happens around here, then I will gladly embrace that.

Aaron Hawkins: I’m not gonna admit I ever do that, but I do.

Kim Sutton: I did it to

Aaron Hawkins: Is the soda finger easier, or is it getting easier to back up amongst now?

Kim Sutton: Oh, it actually does. It gets a lot easier because so I gave it up two months ago, I did have a soda, this is going to date this episode, so I apologize. But I did have a soda on Christmas Eve, which was what, three weeks ago now. And it was so sweet that I couldn’t drink it. But I’ve been making other changes to like not eating so much junk sugar. I had gestational diabetes with my last two pregnancies and I find that when I eat a lot of sugar listeners, just bear with me for a second. I find that when I eat a lot of sugar, my feet get really hot. So I really have to be careful about my carb intake, which is really hard for me because I love carbs.

Aaron Hawkins: Oh yeah. Who doesn’t love carbs?

Kim Sutton: Yeah. So if just getting in it’s Mountain Dew, so it’s like, that’s the house choice soda. So super, super sugar.

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. I don’t even know when I gave up soda. Like it’s been that long ago. Not that I’ve never ever, ever ever had soda. But the only time I really have it in a house is to splash them if if it’s you know, weekend or having a party and I want to mix a drink with a splash of Pepsi or something. But other than that, I don’t drink it. Because like you said this sweetness is it’s definitely too much for me now.

Kim Sutton: Yeah, absolutely.

Aaron Hawkins: Especially Mountain Dew.

Kim Sutton: Yeah. Yeah, I wish my kids would give it up. But I guess I have the authority to make that decision. But listeners, you can give me your comments about that. I know. It’s my choice. But I actually about kids. I want to back up to something that you said about it took you 36 years two or 30 something years to learn about personal development. Yeah. You. I’m trying to think of the best way to say this. I got a little like bright light in my head when you said that. I think this is something that should be taught in schools. Because I didn’t know a thing about personal development, Law of Attraction, Tony Robbins, like I wasn’t introduced to Tony Robbins until actually, coincidentally 2009

Aaron Hawkins: Oh, wow. That’s fine.

Kim Sutton: Yeah. I lost my job as an interior architect in 2008. And in 2009, somebody that I was networking with introduced me, and I didn’t know that that whole world was out there. And how old was I? I’m giving away my age. Holy moly. I was 30. I had gone through the first 30 years of my life in a feat of unhappiness. And it’s not because the people around me were necessarily unhappy or miserable. But I’d never realized that I had the right to be happy and to choose, you know, and to do more. And I grew up in a house, in a family where college education was just part of how we grew up, you know? But I there’s so much more.

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah, absolutely.

Kim Sutton: And I wish my children see me reading all the time. And I just want to say read this. Do you think children would understand? I mean, teenagers, do you think high schoolers would understand if we put it onto them to read these books? Or do you think it really is something that they need to wait until their 30s or their 20s or when they’re ready?

Aaron Hawkins: I definitely think it’s something it’s really well, number one, it’s the synchronicity it’s pretty cool that 2009 is when you first got introduced to it, because that’s the year. It was December of 2009 when that might that incident happened with me, that’s when I first started getting into it. One of the first ideas that popped into my head, the more I started reading and listening to a lot of these different thought leaders was, Why isn’t this stuff taught in schools? Like we teach the subjects and you know, if you go to a private school, you get taught, whatever faith-based religion stuff is taught in those schools. But to me, everything I was reading was about a, was about personal character, regardless of any, you know, religious or higher power beliefs, it was just about who you were being as a person, and approaching that as a decision as opposed to, you know, this is how I’m feeling right now. So I’m just gonna lash out and react to it. To me, it was an introduction of choosing a lifestyle, and choosing what experiences we were going to create, what emotions we’re going to feel, what our relationships were going to be like, what our influence was going to be like, like all the things that I teach now, it was that moment was my introduction into realizing that those were actually things that can be taught. So to answer your question, I definitely think that children as young as even before high school and elementary school, you know, teaching someone about what it’s like to engage and create, for example, to think to engage in a conversation and have it end positively, I definitely think that’s something that children can do. My daughter’s 11 and it’s the weirdest thing that you mentioned, you just want to say read this, you know, when you’re reading a book, my daughter never has read, to my knowledge she likes to read, but she’s never read anything geared towards personal growth. But she has this she’s like the sage in the house. It’s scary. Like, I feel like she could, there’s so much that she can teach me she has this calm demeanor like she can see someone in a disagreement, and she’ll totally just off the cuff explain how it could have been resolved better. And I don’t know if well, I assume she has to just be kind of intuitively picking that stuff up. You know, hopefully, by watching my wife and I, but it’s definitely something that can be learned. Because I’ve seen it being learned. And I know there are programs out there in some schools geared towards that personal development angle. Yeah, it needs to happen. We may need to look into that. But honestly, it is. It’s something that is honestly, I know, I’m assuming, you know, the type of people that have things on their list, so to speak. And that’s one of the things on my list, that I’m curious about seeing what can be done about things like that because it’s so simple. Because it’s not even an argument about there are some people that think that morals should be taught in schools, I don’t even think this is a moral issue. It’s certainly not a religious issue. It’s just it’s a character issue. And I don’t see any downside to teaching character issues to anyone really.

Kim Sutton: No. But you bring in personal development, and you bring in mindset into the schools. I mean, I can tell you that I don’t remember one speaker, I don’t remember any : speakers, actually, when I was in high school, or middle school. But you bring in one who has an impact on a bully, for instance, and you start to give them something to think about, about how they can change their own mindset, and all of a sudden, you’ve changed a whole dynamic of the school because maybe that child stops bullying others. So maybe those others stop having their miserable days. And I hate to bring this up into the positive productivity podcast, but so many of the bullies are, I mean, they’re just creating misery for these other children who now turn around and don’t know how to get their own mindset so they see no other choice but to do the worst to themselves. And just given that foundational education, or inspiration and motivation to these children would set off a whole domino effect that could go any school leaders. I think Aaron and I have just volunteered to come speak at your schools and start helping out with this.

Aaron Hawkins: Totally. Yeah. And I know it’s done on different levels like my daughter was, she started going to karate when she was three years old. That sounds nuts to say it out loud now, but she was three she had a black belt by the time she was eight, but one of the instructors at the school

Kim Sutton: She had her black belt by the time she was eight?

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. She was eight years old. She got a black belt in– she turned eight in February and she got a black belt in April. It’s pretty cool. Yeah, it was pretty neat to see that I was in tears that day. I’d never seen somebody work so hard for those that don’t know when to get a black belt. It doesn’t matter how old you are. The test lasts for hours, and is a physically grueling test in watching her like going through all these motions and these forms and these push ups and stuff you want to talk about being led to tears not in a it wasn’t like a mean type of grueling thing. It was just physically demanding. I never in my life, before that are students have seen her so physically exhausted, I was so proud of her. I’m getting choked up thinking about now. But anyway, my point was not to brag about my daughter was to bring up that one of our instructors actually teaches, he teaches a bullying program in schools. It’s just something he does. So he goes around and contact schools and teaches that type of thing. So it’s definitely something that could be introduced, I’m sure in some way, shape or form in schools but yeah, I’m with you there Kim. There’s so much value to be had by that. And it’s definitely needed these days with I mean, nobody needs to be told how much tragedies out there we are. If something bad happens to, you know, our society make sure we all see it and hear about it in full high definition.

Kim Sutton: Oh, yeah. Actually, I’ve started removing myself from social media. I am on Facebook and Twitter. And while all the above, but my time spent on any of the above is very limited, because there’s just so much negativity. And I’ve actually started unfollowing, not unfriending. But unfollowing people on Facebook who didn’t have anything. I’m not saying that they never had anything positive to say but when your negativity crosses my Facebook feed, that is instant unfollow.

Aaron Hawkins: It’s a bit much. Yeah,

Kim Sutton: I know, relationships is one of the areas of coaching that you’re working on right now. Would you mind sharing more about that?

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah, definitely. If there’s anything that I think is, if you were to ask me, what do you think is one of the most important keys in personal development, it has to be relationships. It has to be, because whether you’re in business, or whether you’re a stay at home mom or dad, like our lives, unless we are intentionally living in complete seclusion, and even then it’s a relationship with yourself, our life is about relationships. It’s human interaction with your clients, with your peers, with all that stuff. So for me, I have both personally experienced the benefits of really taking a hard look at how each of us individually can create the nature of our relationships on a broad scale, and, you know, in our specific marital or intimate relationships, and it really comes down to some things that a lot of people don’t like to rush into, they don’t like to, they don’t necessarily think about one of those things being, it’s really up to us. Like all of us, not just me, I say this, because I’ve been there, it’s so normal and easy and understandable to think that if there’s problems in a relationship, regardless of where it is, you know, it’s easy to point out all the things, we have a tendency to point out what we want to see that other person do differently, or what we want to change about that person. But it’s kind of like yelling at a driver in the other lane, like you don’t have their steering wheel. So the anxiety and the stress that so many of us put on ourselves trying to control somebody else’s steering wheel just doesn’t work. We can only do what we do. And in its purest form, relationships aren’t about control, they’re about influence. And when we realize that, with me and my coaching, what I focus on is, is helping people understand that, you know, fixing a relationship isn’t going to happen by getting better at controlling what somebody else does, or getting better at making demands, it stems from getting better at influence. And, you know, what actions can I take will influence how somebody reacts to me. So if I want to have a better relationship with you Kim, as a pere and as a friend, it’s my job to understand, hey, am I taking care of myself, so I can focus on you from a good healthy state. Self care is something that gets totally overlooked. If we’re not taking care of ourself, then we’re probably not going to do a good job of taking care of somebody else. And then I got to understand what’s important to you, and how I can support and how I can help and how I can do it without demanding something in return. Because, you know, authenticity, you know, if we’re in our relationships, and we’re doing all these things, which is something that I hear a lot, you know, when I meet with clients that this I get that laundry list of things that they do, which are great things and loving things that they do, but then it’s followed up with, because I do all these things, why can’t they just x, y, and z. And that’s one of the big components. Because if we’re really going to be authentically in a relationship, it’s going to be from a place of who am I and how am I going to interact and give to this person without expecting something in return. Knowing that eventually, if I’m really authentic, and I’m really being loving, and I’m really in this relationship with the intention to give, the good things will come back. They just will, influence just works. Will it always work in the way you expect it to? No, but on a broad scale, it’ll definitely, definitely work. So relationships from my experience are definitely just about the perspective of influence, and giving with both hands, so to speak. Avoiding the instinct to give with one hand and then have the other hand out waiting for something in return. If you just give the gift with both hands, you’re not worried about what’s coming back, you know that that stuff will take care of itself, and it has. Definitely has with in my life, and in certainly is one of the biggest thank you’s I get from clients when I get them is, Wow, I’ve never thought of it this way. And I didn’t expect this to work, but it does.

Kim Sutton: Wow. I’m sort of speechless, because my husband and I were actually just discussing something similar last night, I feel very blessed by and I brought this up earlier in the episode by some of the things that are happening right now in my business. And I was just talking to my husband about why it’s happening. And I’m not saying that it’s not deserved, but I don’t go around with that mentality at all. But what right do I have for this? And he said, Well, this is sounding very conceited. I don’t mean it this way at all, Aaron, but he says it’s because you give, and you’re not out there with one hand out giving and the other one expressing, like you’re giving, giving, giving. And that’s a big thing that’s changed for me, like every relationship that I have right now is not about what I can get out of it but it’s what I can give. And that came with a big shift in going from income to impact. How can I help you? I don’t care what I get back. But how can I help and it’s produced so many incredible relationships. Listeners, I just need to share that the first conversation that Aaron and I ever had, Bryan Falchuk had introduced us and again, I’m going to link to his episode in the in the show notes which you can find it at thekimsutton.com/pp260. But the first time Aaron and I ever had a phone call, Aaron and I started talking about I think you had just had back surgery, Aaron?

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. Yep.

Kim Sutton: And we started actually talking, I shared the story about my husband, who has a ruptured disc and a herniated disc. And Aaron actually gave the name of his back surgeon who my husband is now talking to to get his surgery, and it has impacted our life so much. And it was just a whole conversation about giving. And I think if memory serves, we didn’t even talk about business, that whole conversation.

Aaron Hawkins: No, not really.

Kim Sutton: We got to talk to each other about what we’re doing and we ended up just talking about life. And it was so incredible that we made another call for later that week and it’s just gone from there. And it’s been amazing, because it was never any expectation of what can I get, but so much was given, I have to say mostly on your side. So much was given that first conversation was just blown away.

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. And honestly, can I feel the same way? We eventually started talking about other things. But I’m sure that’s why we connected so well, because we kind of were. It was obvious that we had reached a point where we were both coming sort of from the same place. But to your listeners, I know again, and I hate to say no, because, like you said kind of sounds a little conceited, I empathize when people are in a place where they feel like they need to make sure they’re getting what they need to survive. One of most difficult, but most rewarding shifts that I made in my business and personal life was letting go of the return. Because so often, we all want to survive, we all have bills to pay, we all want to save our relationships, we all want to save our reputations, all those things. But I promise you, when you start interacting with life from a place of what’s the best thing I can give to any situation, just submit to that just give. And I’m not talking about emptying your bank account, anybody who asked for it, that’s not what I’m talking about. But just as a person and what you can offer to someone sincerely, you don’t have to worry about what comes back. Kim, I know you’ve seen this because I see the work you’re doing and I see the network of people that you’re surrounding yourself with and I’m so grateful to be part of it. It’s because you’re just looking, you’re interacting with people from a place of this is what I’m doing and this is what’s important to me, what’s important to you and how can I help you do it that will change your business. I promise you, I totally promise you, I get more emails in my inbox now for people don’t want to collaborate with me or help me out not because I’m so special. They just it comes back not strategically and that’s probably the best way to look at it, Kim. I’d love to know how you think about this. A lot of people think that they need to strategically network and my dogs agreeing right now if you hear that barking.

Kim Sutton: I love it.

Aaron Hawkins: That’s Mica, he’s seconding my opinion. So many people get caught up in this place of trying to strategically network and Okay, who do I need to network with and what do I need to say and how can I come at them with an angle that’ll have them let me do this thing or have them get me on their show. And no matter how good somebody might get at that, it’s so obvious. It is so obvious when you and Kim, tell me if you’ve ever gotten one of these emails that was attempting to sound like they wanted to help you read right through it. And I hate to sound like that, but it really does. And I’ve been guilty of it myself,

Kim Sutton: Oh, more than a year.

Aaron Hawkins: And even it makes a big difference. So but my point is if you submit to just giving, just be genuine, and don’t expect anything. And don’t keep track of the favors or if you give somebody a shout out, just let it all go. Give because it’s who you are, just because it’s who you are. When you give because that’s who you are and that’s what’s important to you, you really won’t have to worry about anything else in the long run. So that’s my soapbox.

Kim Sutton: I love it. Actually, one of the things that I did in the last couple years was I started having virtual coffee with people I didn’t know very well. So I send out personalized connection requests on LinkedIn. I’m not going to deny it all. There’s a email that I already have composed that goes out afterwards letting the person know about me and inviting them to a virtual coffee. Yes, it is copy and paste, just put the new person’s name in, hey, I have to be smart. I’ve got five kids into businesses, you know, I had to preserve my time. However, I had a few people who were surprised that when we got on that virtual coffee, it wasn’t at all about me telling pushing my services, telling them about what I do. It’s more about I wanted to get to know them and let them talk as much as they want to do listening instead of talking and seeing how I could help. And I mean, I have chronic idea disorder. So you just start talking to me and I’ve got 50,000 ideas that I could just blurt out at any second. And from those virtual coffees have come so many incredible conversations. I mean, Dave Clare, one of the earlier episodes, I’ve never referred to so many episodes before an episode. But Dave Clare and I were a virtual coffee that was just supposed to be a half hour call and turned into an hour and a half, which turned into a podcast, which turned into an ongoing relationship. And there’s never been an exchange of money, nor do I know if there ever will be but it’s all about benefiting each other.

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. It makes a big difference.

Kim Sutton: Yeah. Aaron, this has been such an incredible conversation, you will be coming back. That’s an invitation.

Aaron Hawkins: Yes, ma’am. You got it, I promise.

Kim Sutton: Could you please share where listeners can find you online and get in touch with you?

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah, totally. Keep it real easy. You can always find me and what I’m up to at AaronKeithHawkins.com. Yeah, Kim, for everybody that’s listening to your show and to listeners out there. If anybody wants to have a session with me, it’s with no pitching, no weirdness, no marketing stuff behind it, if you go to AaronKeithHawkins.com/whyohyou like you, you can apply for a coaching call and just mention that you heard me on Kim show. And it appears as an application as if you may or may not get a session with me but if you mention Kim, you’re in because that’s all filtering I need if you’re one of Kim’s listeners. So yeah, that’s it. AaronKeithHawkins.com if you want to get in touch to have a little session, AaronKeithHawkins.com/whyohyou. That’s it.

Kim Sutton: That’s so generous. Thank you so much, Aaron. If you’re driving or if you can’t write that down right now you can go to thekimsutton.com/pp260 to get those links. Aaron, do you have a last piece of parting advice or golden nugget that you can offer to listeners?

Aaron Hawkins: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Especially in the entrepreneurial world, we can get caught up in what we need to do next. The best piece of advice I can give is to shift that from what do I need to do to who I need to be? Because that will lead to the answers that you really need.