1826 – Unlocking Potential with Performance Mindset with Aaron Trahan

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Performance Coach & Founder of Performance Mindset Coaching, Aaron Trahan.

Trahan Wide

Aaron's journey is a testament to the power of transformation and the pursuit of passion. Transitioning from a senior-level executive leader to launching his performance coaching firm, he embodies the essence of being coachable and maintaining a learner's mindset. His story is a powerful reminder that continuous growth and success are attainable for all of us, provided we remain open to learning and evolving.

Aaron delved into the intricate balance leaders must maintain between feeling incompetent and becoming overconfident. This balance is crucial, as it can significantly impact one's ability to lead effectively. He explored the phenomenon of imposter syndrome, where individuals doubt their accomplishments and fear being exposed as a fraud.

Leadership extends far beyond the confines of the boardroom. Aaron highlighted the significant impact that modeling behavior has on both organizational culture and personal life.

When leaders demonstrate continuous learning and growth, they set a precedent that encourages their teams to follow suit. This creates a positive culture within the organization that fosters innovation and collaboration

Michael also touched on a topic that many find uncomfortable: failure. Aaron stressed the importance of embracing failure as an integral part of the learning process. By incorporating failure into strategy building, leaders can ensure organizational adaptability and resilience.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Aaron Trahan's journey from senior-level executive leader to launching his performance coaching firm
  • Importance of being coachable and maintaining a learner's mindset for continuous growth and success
  • The delicate balance that leaders face in feeling incompetent or overconfident
  • Imposter syndrome and the Dunning-Kruger effect
  • Impact of modeling behavior as a leader on organizational culture and personal life
  • Embracing failure as part of the learning process and incorporating it into strategy-building
  • Aaron's engagement with clients through one-on-one coaching, group engagements, and leadership workshops
  • Importance of clarity in structuring coaching programs

About Aaron Trahan:

Aaron Trahan is a distinguished figure in performance mindset coaching, with over 15 years of executive leadership experience in the corporate and startup sectors. Achieving the rank of senior executive in a billion-dollar company before 30, his career is marked by his ability to foster growth and enhance organizational performance.

Aaron's passion for leadership and performance coaching led him to develop a unique methodology. This approach, centered around a Performance Operating System, is designed to uncover transformational insights that boost personal and professional performance.

His efforts aim to fast-track the development of highly driven and talented leaders, helping them to realize their utmost potential. Aaron's significant contributions to the field have earned him recognition as a Top 100 Entrepreneur & Innovator by The Top 100 Magazine, acknowledging his global impact on performance-driven leaders.

About Performance Mindset Coaching:

Performance Mindset Coaching is a specialized service empowering business leaders and executives to achieve unparalleled growth. This practice goes beyond merely offering insights; it actively assists clients in crafting and executing bespoke strategies and action plans tailored to their specific needs.

The core of the service lies in unlocking transformational insights that catalyze next-level growth, ensuring that insights translate into tangible results through effective execution.

Focusing on personal and professional development, Performance Mindset Coaching provides the tools and guidance necessary for leaders to navigate challenges, optimize performance, and realize their full potential.

Tweetable Moments:

04:38 – “The very moment that you think you've got it all figured out, that you think you're the smartest one in the room, is the exact instant that you're on the other side of that growth climb and you start declining.”

05:54 – “Don't lean on your past achievements; always stay looking outside the front windshield at what's the full potential, what you are truly capable of.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Performance Mindset Coaching website at

Check out Performance Mindset Coaching on LinkedIn at

Check out Aaron Trahan on LinkedIn at

Check out Aaron Trahan on Instagram at

Check out Aaron Trahan on Twitter at

Check out Aaron Trahan on Facebook at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Aaron, Trey and Aaron, you are the founder, performance coach, and professional speaker with Performance Mindset Coaching. Your website is Performance Mindset Coaching SEO. Aaron, thank you so much for joining us.

Aaron (00:01:15) - Hey Josh, thanks for having me. Looking forward to a great jam session. Yeah.

Josh (00:01:20) - Well, give us an overview of your impact in the world, who you serve and what you do.

Aaron (00:01:24) - Yeah, yeah. You know, the origin story for me starts being in the seat of a senior level executive leader. Uh, my leadership journey began at the early age of 23 years old. I was dropped into a leadership role and quickly had to figure out how to swim in a very much sink or swim environment. To make a long story short, I was able to continue to work my way up the proverbial corporate ladder only to realize what got me here won't get me there. As the famous quote says. And you know, with a lot of success and a lot of achievement at an early age, something interesting happens. We tend to think that we have it all figured out. We somewhere along the way, stop being coachable. Our ego becomes a bit outsized, and I needed to go out and find some external help in the form of a coach to help me see what I couldn't see, really help me shine a light on my blind spots.

Aaron (00:02:28) - And that completely changed the trajectory of my career. I fell in love with the process of coaching and seeing my own results and the benefits. It helped me realize that I needed to strengthen my ability to lead people, to lead teams, to help get people to the next level. And over the course of the next eight years, that's what started for me, a gravitational pull that eventually led me to launching my own performance coaching firm and not looking back, jumping on the other side of the table and helping out those high performing executives that looked a lot like I looked really needing that support system to help get them to a whole new level.

Josh (00:03:13) - Yeah. You know, Aaron, it's an interesting dynamic when we think about this, this delicate balance that we have as leaders, where I think many of us feel woefully incompetent. I think, you know, the imposter syndrome, you know, can really impact us greatly. And then you have the other side, right where it's like, you know, I know it all or I'm incredibly incompetent.

Josh (00:03:37) - You know, I can't help but think about Dunning-Kruger in this case. And I'm I'm wondering what your observations are of that, you know, kind of that matrix of feeling. I'm not a leader. I suck at everything I do versus, you know, someone's like, oh, I know everything. Like talk about that road and, and where people find themselves on and what your observations are of people who might be one side or the other a bit much.

Aaron (00:04:01) - Yeah, yeah. Josh, I think what you just explained is the spectrum that I think we all find ourselves on one side of or the other throughout our careers. And I think I'm going to state the obvious here. So much easier said than done. But with so many other things in life, being able to stay balanced, be in the middle instead of finding yourselves on either one of those extremes. Kind of reminds me of a great brand that I love to follow, uh, called loci. And their their message is very simple is when you're on top, stay humble.

Aaron (00:04:38) - When you're kind of going through a rough patch, stay hopeful. And so it's not let either extreme become a new lens at which you view the world. And taking it from personal experience, the very moment that you think you've got it all figured out, that you think you're the smartest one in the room, is the exact instant that you're on the other side of that growth climb and you start declining. And so I think the big message here is, regardless of where you may find yourself on either end of the spectrum, imposter syndrome, thinking I'm out of my element over my skis or on the ego side of thinking you're superior. I think being a lifelong learner is really the key medicine there. I think I preach to clients all the time. Being a lifelong learner is a guaranteed competitive advantage that you can gift yourself for the rest of your life. Don't think you have it all figured out? Show up every single day looking for that 1% improvement. Really staying in a beginner and learners mindset and don't focus too much on the rear view mirror.

Aaron (00:05:54) - Sure, you a lot of people listening to this probably have some great achievements as some a great track record, but the interesting part is to not lean on that. Don't look backwards in the rear view mirror. Always stay looking outside the front windshield on what's the full potential? What am I truly capable of? And I think when we can stay in learning mode to figure that out, it tends to keep us kind of right there in that balanced sweet spot, not allowing us to have mission drift to either end of that spectrum.

Josh (00:06:29) - You know, I'm really excited about this topic and modeling. Being a voracious learner, a lifelong learner. Um, there's a couple of things I'm thinking about immediately. Number one, I can't help but think about one of the most impactful chapters or podcasts I've ever listened to from the Freakonomics guys, but they talked about, you know, what is it that inspires kids to become readers and learners? And they looked at, like, all of these different things. It was so comprehensive, like how much data they looked at and what they found was the one commonality that seemed to that these overperforming kids seem to share.

Josh (00:07:09) - It's not the number of books they had in their school. It's not even the school that they went to necessarily. Um, the one it wasn't like, you know, how strict the parents were. It was this one thing. It was parents modeling, reading in front of their kids. It's it's showing their kids that they never give up and that there's value to the effort of continuing to learn. So so this has implications not just for parenting, but this exact same thing happens when we think about the cultures that we have within our organizations. It starts at the top. What are you modeling? Are you modeling. You know that we listen to our fellow team members. Are you modeling that, you know, as leaders? You know, the CEO that yes, we're pretty competent at at the things that are pretty important, but that we're also receptive. We're coachable. We're always learning and growing. I think that I can't think of anything better. I think as a leader that we would want to instill within our organizations.

Aaron (00:08:13) - There's so many different ways. Yeah, good. Good luck.

Josh (00:08:16) - The time is now yours, sir.

Aaron (00:08:18) - We could take.

Josh (00:08:19) - That ball and run with it.

Speaker 3 (00:08:20) - Yeah.

Aaron (00:08:21) - I think we could talk hours about what you just set up there. And you're so right. And I think I work with a lot of leaders who, um, fortunately, kind of approach things almost in a do as I say, not as I do type of philosophy. And, you know, I hate to be the bearer of bad news or the burst of the bubble, but, you know, for a business leader, we have to sit back and realize it does not matter what we paint on the walls. It doesn't matter the little tag phrase that we have in our email signatures. It doesn't matter what you say once a year or once a quarter behind a podium in a town hall meeting. Those are all supplemental. What's going to drive the type of culture that you have over the long term boils down to two things what you tolerate and what you don't.

Aaron (00:09:14) - And so if you claim to have a learning culture, a growth kind of mindset culture, how are you fostering that? How are you stopping the behavior that's not aligned with that? Because if you tolerate too many behaviors from too many stakeholders that go against this value or operating principle, it doesn't matter what's painted on the wall. People are going to look to the leader to see what's the leader doing. What are they rewarding? What are they praising? What are they not tolerating? Those are the things that have a by far, in a way, outsized imprint on the behavior that shapes your culture more than anything else, more than a layer of paint, more than a speech in a town hall, more than something printed in an email. That doesn't matter to your point. It's what is the leader doing because we're hurting them, right? Like our species is. And there's only so long that we can go to act, operate, and behave differently than kind of the the leader of our organization. It does flow downhill.

Aaron (00:10:29) - And so make sure whatever messages, whatever signs, whatever smoke signals that you're wanting to flow downhill are mirroring the behavior that you want your organization to incorporate that drives future performance.

Josh (00:10:45) - Man. Brilliant. I hope to our friend that's listening to our conversation right now, go back and rewind this last little bit here, because I think that the impact on this is so potentially significant within your organization. And even like I said, there's application in our personal lives for this as well about the folks that we have influence over. Um, I want to ask you about because you shared something, Aaron, pretty valuable on your LinkedIn profile. Um, it was about failure. And I'm hoping I could get you to explain this a little bit. Um, you make this statement that failure comes from the failure to imagine failure. Can you share just a bit about that?

Aaron (00:11:24) - Yeah. Yeah, thanks for asking. Because I think it's so important. Right? I think failure kind of think back to growing up. Right.

Aaron (00:11:32) - We're in such an outcome driven society. It's either winning or losing, whether it's youth, sports, whatever it is, we we want to be on the winning side. We're so focused on the outcome and as a result, we develop over the years this mythical association with failure. From a negative standpoint, it's almost this ghost. We have to stay away from this fire that we can't touch. And I think the big perspective shift that I want to encourage more and more leaders to think about is that failure is not the opposite of success. Failure is part of the journey. It always has been. It always will be. And so the sooner that we can grasp that understanding, the better. And the big mistake that I see with too many strategies. I mean, you think about the early stages of building a strategy, whether it's a startup or a small business. You know, it's we're very aspirational. We're thinking about all the the possible visions and great outcomes. It's not a point in time where we want to embrace failure.

Aaron (00:12:44) - And so what happens to the strategy that we put in place? It largely mimics what we expect to happen in the future. And so when that inevitable setback, when that micro or macro failure happens, we're so unprepared that oftentimes it could be the thing that kills the business or kills the strategy. So my perspective is embrace failure. Make sure you clearly understand the risk. Make sure you have a deep appreciation and respect for the failures that could potentially happen. Because the more that you incorporate that in the strategy building stage, you make yourself more flexible and adaptable to pivot when the failure shows up. So not imagining failure, not planning for the failure could actually be the very seed that grows into the tree that kills your strategy. So yeah, I just think more people should think about what could failure look like and how are we properly incorporating and associating the necessary mechanisms in the strategy day one up front to minimize the impact of said risk?

Josh (00:13:58) - Well, Aaron, we could talk about this for hours. I want to, you know, for our friend that's listening to us, that wants to know.

Josh (00:14:05) - Hmm. I wonder if Aaron can help me. Um, would you mind sharing, like, how you engage with your clients, what that looks like, how you structure that?

Aaron (00:14:13) - Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, kind of think about it showing up in two different ways, working directly with the professionals. And this could be the entrepreneur, the C-suite executive, the business owner for that. There's two different ways that I can work directly with them to help accelerate personal and professional performance. I always have a limited number of one on one engagements that I'm able to engage with, as well as group engagements. So bringing them in, putting them in kind of a mastermind type of executive roundtable setup where we kind of walk through my methodology with 3 or 4 other, you know, business leaders from around the country that can share their unique perspectives. And we all benefit from the collective wisdom separately, for leaders that are looking to bring this message and approach to their teams, there's obviously speaking opportunities as well as leadership workshops that they could plug me in this approach into really helping increase the performance of a team and or organization.

Aaron (00:15:18) - So those are the two direct and indirect ways that I can work with with business leaders.

Josh (00:15:25) - Yeah. And also to Aaron, I'm looking at your website and I like that you've got to say Productized. Right. But there's just a lot of clarity over, you know, kind of how you structure your program, which I, which I really love because it's, I know exactly what I'm going to get. And you even share your pricing on there, uh, which is nice. So people kind of know kind of where they fit with that. Um, I don't know if you want to touch on that. And then, you know, kind of, you know, again, I want to make sure that people know, like if, let's say that they've done some searching for you and they found this podcast and we've had this conversation, they've been listening. They're already in that contemplation phase or, you know, kind of awareness phase. Um, you know, where do they go from here?

Aaron (00:16:05) - Yeah, yeah, I would highly encourage for more information, definitely go to my website.

Aaron (00:16:10) - You get a lot more understanding of kind of the proprietary methodology that I build that's largely based from all of the missteps, all of the failures, all of the wrong turns that I took. I wanted to build a program or what I refer to as an operating system that I wished I would have had back when I was on the operating side. And so I think every single professional that I've ever come across has an innate desire to see better results, to drive improvement, to deliver better performance. But it's always the how that becomes a bit tricky. And so what I try to do is provide them an operating system that creates a path forward, that provides clarity on the how. Um, so that's where you're going to understand the different levels of the methodology. And either from my website or from LinkedIn, I highly encourage you to reach out. If nothing else, let's have a conversation. And my promise, even with a 30 minute conversation, is I want to make that a valuable ROI on your time spent.

Aaron (00:17:14) - So there's zero downside to do that. And yeah, I'll give you a little tip on how to value what it is that I do, depending on how much and how fast you want to accelerate, your personal and professional performance is exactly how you value an engagement like this. If you have zero desire to accelerate that which, if you're listening to this, I find that hard to believe. But I think we're all looking to maximize our time, be spend more of our time in an optimized state, generating the best possible performance we can and tapping into our full potential. I just helped show up with a springboard that can get you there faster. So if that's a value to you, I think there's a lot of value that we could unlock together.

Josh (00:18:01) - All right. Stay coachable my friends. Aaron, your website is Performance Mindset coaching SEO. Um, again, when somebody when you go to the website, you're going to see some great resources. Certainly you'll find how to engage with you, but very clean.

Josh (00:18:19) - I like your website. Very nice.

Aaron (00:18:21) - So thank you I appreciate it. Yeah.

Josh (00:18:23) - Aaron Trahan again, your performance coach and again, the founder, your professional speaker again, your website one last time, performance mindset coaching SEO. Aaron, thank you so much for joining us.

Aaron (00:18:34) - Thanks, Josh.

Josh (00:18:40) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence common Guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning.

Josh (00:19:31) - That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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