Aaron Marino (AlphaM) Interview: How to Become a Successful Man

Was stoked to have Aaron Marino, known as “AlphaM” on the Ultimate Men’s Podcast. Enjoy the video right here, or feel free to read the transcript below.

Eddy: So I got Aaron Marino, “AlphaM” on the show, on the Ultimate Men’s Podcast. So, man, how ya doin’?

Aaron: [00:40] Man, everything is great. Thanks, so much, for having me. I was really excited to talk to you. I love what you’re doin’.

Eddy: Oh, thank you. Same thing here: I was plenty excited to have you on the show because I’ve been watching your program for a while and it seems like you cover everything for men. I didn’t actually watch this video, but I saw that–

Aaron: [0:59] Yah, sure ya didn’t!

Eddy: I mean, what is it? You’re talking about stinky balls in this one?

Aaron: [1:00] [LAUGHS] Yeah, yeah.

Eddy: That is one of my–

Aaron: [1:03] You didn’t need to. You didn’t–you know better than that. Yeah, I cover everything. When I first started the channel, I thought I was going to talk about style and, you know? It has just kind of morphed into this channel that I think guys might be interested in or have a question about.

Eddy: Yeah, you cover a really–like–what have you been doing this, for, what is it, like ten years now?

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Aaron: [1:33] Yeah, I been doin’ this now for–the YouTube channel now for 2008, so not quite ten years, but a while. Before that, I was an image consultant; before that I owned a fitness center, and so it’s been–everything I’ve done, basically, since high school has been centering around helping guys feel better, look better and getting more outa life.

Eddy: It’s kinda cool, like the path you took. Basically, every step along the way just added more to your knowledge base in order to do this YouTube channel which, I believe, is your main kinda gig right now. Like, do ya do a video almost daily, right?

Aaron: [2:09] I do videos daily. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s my main gig. Because of the YouTube channel and because of the success of the YouTube channel and that audience, I’ve created a lot of businesses off o’ that and, so, collectively, they all sorta–they–yeah. YouTube is my main thing, but then, I also have a Web site, I’ve got an advertising agency, I’ve got a hair product company. I’m just starting a skincare line. So, there’s lotsa stuff that I’m getting into, but, yeah, YouTube is what I enjoy doing the most.

Eddy: Yeah, it seems like you’ve got quite a passion for it. I remember seeing your one-millionth subscriber video.

Aaron: [2:47] Yeah, when I cried? [BOTH SMILE]

Eddy: Yeah, you seemed–a pretty emotional moment there, I’d imagine. I think that’s a big number for people right there. The percentage must be so–like–tiny.

Aaron: [2:57] You know? It wasn’t. It was–that’s just how passionate I am–just about how much I love doing what I do and the fact that I’m able to do what I do and it was–every day I feel just so–unbelievably fortunate that people allow me into their lives and like what I’m talkin’ about. That was all so–it’s like I finally found a niche and, ya know, I’ve struggled so long with different businesses, tryin’ t’ find that certain something that fulfilled me. And that obviously does and did. And, so, yeah, it was an emotional video for me. [SMILES]

Eddy: And, but, you know, he said it’s not about the number. It’s kinda just an accumulation about all the kinda things you’ve been doing all year. But that kinda leads me to the main topic for today which is, “How to Become a Successful Man” or “Become Successful as a Man”.

What has been your–or what is your mindset, basically? What is the process that you would describe, like–kind of in a nutshell that led you to this point? Like, we already touched on the fact that you did other businesses which also contributed to your knowledge base, to also help men–

Aaron: [4:09]

Eddy: [cont.] … but, what makes you successful, whereas, other guys try and, then, they just don’t create this kind of success that you have.

Aaron: [4:19] I think that what it boils down to is confidence. It always boils down to confidence. And, so, what I feel is like, confidence is what some people say, “You either have it or you don’t.” And I’m a firm believer in you can develop confidence.

[4:39] By doing the little things every day that you need to do in order to feel better about yourself and–When you feel better about yourself, everything in your life just gets better. Being successful at little things, you know, add up to a big–a big victory, essentially.

[5:00] Just doing the best you can and trying to add value to the world. The number one thing that I do that has fulfilled me and left me feeling incredible about myself–and, it’s not something that’s just unique to me, it’s for all people, and it’s helping other people.

[5:16] When you do things for other people, no matter how big, no matter how small, no matter if you get recognition or not–when you’re helping somebody it fulfills you in a way that nothing else can and when you know the value that you’re bringing to the world, and you’re not putting somebody down for–

[5:35] You know? That’s one o’ the things. I mean, there’s a big difference between confidence and arrogance. Arrogance is trying to prove yourself and you do that by putting other people down. So you’ll step on people or, in order to feel better about yourself, you’ll–you know, sort-uv–you’ll be a dick head! [LAUGHS] (Pardon my language.)

[6:04] But, the truly confident man doesn’t need to put other people down. He extends his hand and lifts people up and just tries to add value to the world.

[6:15] Honestly, I’ve had so many failures, I’ve had so many mishaps along my road and I’ve been crazy and insecure at different times of my life. I’ve been therapy at different times. But when I started doing something for other people with the YouTube channel and trying to help them, the feedback? The response? That has just led me. It led me–it’ll lead anybody–down the path of feeling confident about yourself and you’ll accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible.

Eddy: So you mentioned having some failures along the way, too. What would be one of the biggest failures in your mind, something that really got you down, that you really kinda had to rebound from? And, how did you actually get outa that slump?

Aaron: [6:56] My whole life, I wanted a fitness center. That’s all I wanted, like–from the age of 13, right? That’s all I wanted to do. When I got outa college, you know? A few things happened and one business failed. Then, I met a woman and we decided to open a fitness center, a chain of fitness centers and, ultimately, long story short, she and I wound up failing miserably and I wound up having to file bankruptcy because I was–like, a half-a-million dollars in debt. It was just horrible.

Eddy: That’s a few dollars right there.

Aaron: [7:27] A few bucks, right? [SMILES] So, when you’ve gone that deep into the hole, the horrible thing about it was, you know, being an entrepreneur, I’ve never had a Plan B. It’s always Plan A all the time, until I crash and burn and I realize that I’ve basically gotta make a move, make a change. And, at that point, I didn’t have–when those fitness centers failed, I didn’t have–“Oh, I’m gunna do YouTube videos!”, “I’m gunna be an image consultant!”, “I’m gunna have X-Y-Z and that’s my fallback.”

[7:55] There was no fallback and it was a figuring it out. But that was a very, very dark place for me when I was failing. It was like having to shoot the bleeding dog. So that was pretty–pretty hard.

Eddy: How did you rebound from that, though? A lot of people, when they hit these kind of lows–especially for a business, they may not go back to a business. I’ve known people who “tried a business”, you know? It sucked because, ya know? They didn’t have any business experience–or whatever the reason was.

Aaron: [8:25] Yeah.

Eddy: But they never went back to business. They went back to a regular, full-time job, where it was “safe”. They just didn’t wanna try again. So, why was it different in your case? Why was it that you did rebound and you have another business?

Aaron: [8:41] Because, for me, once I’d failed that bad[ly], it was, you know, being an entrepreneur, I just have this burning desire to succeed. But I didn’t know what success was. At different points in my life, success looked like different things. When I was a wrestler in high school, success was winning lotsa matches and winning district, you know? That was success. When I started a fitness center, you know? Once I got outa college, it was I wanna have a chain of fitness centers. That was the only thing that I saw that would satisfy my success desire. When that failed, it was, “Okay, what looks like success now?”

[9:24] And here’s the other thing: when you’ve worked by yourself for so long, nobody would hire me. I mean, what is somebody going to hire a quirky guy with a good personality who’s failed at a few businesses? Nobody would hire me! [SMILES] So it was like, “Okay, I gotta get back up. I gotta figure this out.” It’s just a burning desire to figure it out that has led me to where I am today.

Eddy: It’s something inside you. I wanna say you’re a very driven person. Like I say it’s a Type A personality where you have a goal in mind and you put everything else aside to get to that goal. Is that kind of an accurate representation?

Aaron: [10:06] Yeah, put everything aside, and, I–ya know? It’s funny because there have been times in my life where I have totally “thrown caution to the wind” and just gone for it.

[10:17] You know? As I’ve gotten older and more secure and you start to think about some of the risks–now, I don’t have children. I’m married, but I don’t have kids. You know? For me, one of the reasons I’ve been able to pursue this passion and do what I do is because I don’t have that responsibility of a family that I need to put through college or high school or just “put food on the table”. My wife works, so I’ve been alllowed to just run at it with cockeyed optimism to see if I could make it work. So I’m in a unique position, whereas, a lotta guys? As they get older, they don’t. Or they don’t have that freedom and that flexibility. So, when you’re young, man, that’s the time.

[11:13] And once you fail, it doesn’t hurt as bad[ly]. Once you fail, for me? That’s not the scary part anymore. Failure? ‘Eh! You’ll rebound. It’s having an idea or having a vision that I think would be good and not going after it and [having] regret? That’s what scares the shit outa me.

Eddy: Okay, that’s very parallel with what I do. I teach guys how to meet women, right?

Aaron: [11:34] Yeah.

Eddy: It’s very parallel. You’ll go through a lotta rejections and learn how to do this properly and, even if you get good at it, you’re still going to go through rejections. But, it just doesn’t bother you anymore; like this is kinda more on a micro scale. (It’s not like going $500,000 into debt.)

Aaron: [11:48] Yeah.

Eddy: But, still, a lotta guys–they internalize it. It burns ’em inside. TThey don’t know how to deal with their emotions, right? And, they’ll–they’ll quit.

Aaron: [11:58] It’s a numbers game, right? I mean, you know? And with businesses, with video, with women? It takes practice. Nobody is good, immediately! You’ve gotta develop the skill set. But if you do it, time and time again, you will get better at it. And your anxiety will get less. There are absolute parallels to business and the whole attraction, meeting people–you know?–dating people–I mean, total parallel. Absolutely.

Eddy: Yeah, it seems like we were talking about one thing, we could always just switch it automatically over to another thing. I watched a lot of videos of Arnold Schwarzenegger and he always takes weight training and applies it to everything–his philosophy for weight training.

Aaron: [12:39] Yeah.

Eddy: All these things are–there’s a lot of commonality. It’s basically any personal development topic, he’s gunna apply to a completely different one. It would seem like there’s no parallel, but that it’s always pretty much the same, for the mindset, at least.

Aaron: [12:54] Absolutely.

Eddy: What would be your basic–or, let’s say, what would be your work philosophy or your business philosophy?

Aaron: [13:06] My philosophy? [BOTH LAUGH] I don’t know if I have one. Ugh, let’s see. My business philosophy is–is–look for opportunities where other people don’t see them and just keep your eyes open, ya know? Keep your eyes peeled, look to see what’s out there.

[13:18] [SMILES] (This is a terrible business philosophy, I guess.) But, I don’t know that I have a business philosophy. Try not to do stupid things, I guess that’s the–ya know? I’ve made enough bad decisions to sorta make some good ones now and–don’t be afraid of failure. Just–ya know? Just believe in yourself above anything else.

Eddy: Part of that numbers game, too, a little bit right there.

Aaron: [13:44] Yeah, ya throw enough shit against the wall, something’s gonna stick. [LAUGHS] Eventually.

Eddy: And, in closing, here, before we go offline, what would be some–any–something that, if, somebody’s watching–let’s say a twenty-year-old or any guy at a point in his life where he just–he hasn’t reached the kinda success he wants–he wants to start–maybe, start today, hopefully, and really makes something of himself or, you know, maybe reach out and achieve the kinda goals he’s been thinking about his whole life, what would be the first step for a guy in this position–to start down that road?

Aaron: [14:13] Making the decision that this is something you want more than anything. You know? A lot of times, we don’t move forward because we’re afraid of the potential negative consequences. And, you know? When you want something bad enough, you’ll figure out a way.

[14:36] There’s an old wive’s tale or–I don’t know if it’s an old wive’s tale or Aesop’s Fable or whatever, but this young man went to the most successful guy in the village and–have you heard this?

Eddy: Possibly, possibly.

Aaron: [14:48] And he said, “I want you to teach me how to be rich like you.” (You’ve heard this, right?) I’m gonna keep goin’.

Eddy: You’re goin’ to, though.

Aaron: [14:52] So the guy goes, “You sure you wanna be rich like me?”

And the young guy’s like, “Yes.”

So the guy says, “Arright. Tomorrow morning, meet me at the beach at 5 A.M.”

The guy’s like, “Meetcha at the beach at 5 A.M.! Fine.”

So he meets him there. So the guy says, “Get in the water.”

The guy’s like, “Meetcha at the beach at 5 A.M.! What! Are we goin’ swimming? I wantcha to teach me how to make money! I want you to teach me how to be successful!”

So they go into the water, and he’s in up to his waist. The guy’s like, “Come up a little further.” So they go out to where they’re both treading water.

[15:21] All of a sudden, the rich guy grabs the guy and pushes him under water, and holds him there. The guy starts flailing and struggling and eventually comes up, and says, “Why’d you do that?” [The rich man] He said, “When you wanna be successful as much as you want oxygen, you’ll figure out a way.”

[15:36] And that’s sorta one of those–you know? I just thought that was very poignant and when you want it bad[ly] enough, you’ll figure out a way. And, if that means that you’ve gotta make some bad decisions or you’ve gotta make some tough choices, you’ll do it.

[15:50] But, so often we get stuck in being comfortable. And, being comfortable–‘eh, we’re here, it’s okay; I don’t wanna go out… If you don’t put yourself out there, you will never understand how potentially powerful you can be and how amazing life can be. That goes for relationships. That goes for professional. That goes–everything!

[16:11] You’ve gotta be willing to take chances and, when you do that and you put yourself out there and when you want it so bad[ly], you’ll do it. But, until then, if you’re going to be comfortable with mediocrity, you’re never going to and you just shouldn’t–because… you just shouldn’t. That’s my–I don’t know [BOTH LAUGH] if that makes any sense whatsoever.

Eddy: That’s make a decision and then take a chance, basically. It has to be make a decision first. It has to be something you’re really passionate about and driven to make yourself uncomfortable because that’s what’s gonna happen: you’re gonna be uncomfortable and, maybe, scared. And maybe–

Aaron: [16:47] See? You said it a lot better. You just said what it took me five minutes to say what you said in 30 seconds.

Eddy: I just boiled it all down. I took what you said and I just boiled it all down. Thanks, a lot, for coming on the show, Aaron. And, thanks, everyone, for joining. This is Eddy Baller.

Aaron: [16:59] Thanks, Eddy. [BOTH SMILE]

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