Aaron Bare is an Author, Strategist, and Entrepreneur.He has launched 3 successful accelerators, exited 12 companies, and created 3 non-profits to solve big problems.He performs due diligence for many family offices, venture scout for a VC firm and has been EIR 4 times.
My book, Exponential Theory: The Power of Thinking Big has been a journey of over fifteen years of research, innovation, and leadership to define what it will take to be a leader in the future. Follow me to learn more and grow yourself personally, professionally, and organizationally.
My journey to discover the exponential theory began when I was 20 years old. I dared to sneak into the University of Notre Dame’s Career Center in hopes of landing an interview for a Chicago internship, even though I didn’t even attend the university. However, while at Notre Dame I discovered a poster of Semester at Sea and fell in love with the idea of traveling around the world. That day, I didn’t get the internship, but I started on a new adventure.
Less than a year later, I left home to circumnavigate the world, venture into the unknown, understand the world, reinvent my potential, and expand my own self-limiting box. I flew to the Bahamas and boarded the SS Universe, a 554-foot ocean liner built-in 1953. As I departed, I knew I would not be in a familiar environment again until I had it made it all the way back around the world. At that point in life, I didn’t know a single person who had traveled outside the United States, let alone any of my fellow travelers on this voyage. I stepped into a new world and began challenging myself in new ways every day.
This was my first step into exploring the uncomfortable, with no safety net. My greatest period of growth began by boarding the SS Universe that day. My growth came when I realized I was all alone, and I continued onward and chose growth over comfort. I was already a thousand miles from home and still headed further away. I wonder if an astronaut headed toward the moon might feel the same way.
The excitement was subdued by the FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) I was experiencing. The expedition moved me in and out of 12 cultures on three continents over 120 days. Nearly half of those days were spent in the open waters in a giant social experiment, while the other half was spent exploring new countries, people, languages, and cultures. Every day opened my eyes to something new. New places, new situations, and new people, all forced me to continuously rewire my brain and grow. In doing this, I started to open up the limited beliefs from my modest midwestern upbringing. I was recreating my worldview and I was doing it quickly. My dreams got bigger! Suddenly, for the first time, I believed that I could accomplish great things and make a difference by stepping up to challenges that presented themselves. My path had been forged and unfolded in front of me as opportunities magically presented themselves as my thoughts began to play out in the real world. I started developing my purpose. I started attracting the people and opportunities I needed into my life. The path becomes clear when your purpose is clear.
However, past anchors and conditioning prevented my box from expanding too quickly. For example, my high school English teacher had said to me, “Aaron, you are never going to amount to anything,” and I believed her. My confidence had been shaken. I graduated in the bottom half of my high school class, with colleges only interested in my ability to play soccer. Soccer was my chance out of a career in construction, a likely profession for a midwestern high school graduate. Thankfully, I was recruited by many colleges for soccer, ultimately making the safe choice to stay home and attend the school that my high school soccer coach started coaching. I thought that was the best option for me at the time.
In college, my thirst for knowledge accelerated. I graduated with honors in three years. I continued to graduate school to earn a degree in Latin American Studies as I continued to see a bigger world. This would open the door to my ultimate education goal, getting my MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. I achieved that 10 years later. Looking back, I now realize that intelligence has nothing to do with formal education or a classroom. Ironically, I found I learned more about life, and about how to excel in a life, in my time spent outside the classroom. As Elon Musk has said on many occasions, “Don’t confuse schooling with education.”
While these experiences served me well, I recognize that this is not everyone’s experience. My experiences built the necessary confidence for me to open the door to many opportunities, including becoming the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Thunderbird and eventually this experience opened the door to many other Universities and eventually led me to Singularity University at NASA Ames campus in Mountainview working with some of the most exponential entrepreneurs in the world. It also opened the door to facilitating innovation around the world with companies like WDHB, Hyper Island, and Kaos Pilot. Just as a shark will only grow to eight inches in a fish tank but will grow to more than eight feet in the ocean, I was soon swimming in a much bigger world.
I was obsessed with learning. I was curious how the world works, entrenched in a world of innovation with some of the best companies in the world. I also took nearly every course I could find, and rarely turned down any opportunity presented to me to explore new ways to think. I continued to expand my beliefs, purpose, and vision. I traveled, explored, and put myself into challenging situations. I wanted to see who I really was and what my potential could be. I grew my confidence to lead and leaned into difficult conversations. I continue to challenge myself to take on more.
For years, I looked for a sign from the outside world. However, it wasn’t until I started to take a deeper journey within that I realized I already had the answers. Through a series of leadership development courses, I stopped looking to the outside world for validation. I learned to say “no.” This helped me to avoid burnout and led me to take an introspective journey, which led me to Bali, Indonesia to spend time with some of the world’s great energy healers. My energy needed recharging. I spent a day with a laughing Shaman, fasted for two weeks, and I spent time in a Buddhist monastery in silence. I also spent time in isolation in the wilderness. I realized my own self-love and self-worth were only set by myself. I became mindful and embraced the joy of missing out (JOMO). I shed excess ownership, weight, and simplified my whole life. I finally found freedom, living by my own terms.
I continued to travel, learn, grow, and educate myself, to learn how to talk to myself, to innovate myself, and to reimagine myself. As the world is a perfect picture of our own imagination, I became aware of my own intentions and my own fears holding me back from becoming everything I wanted to be. I was free to just be myself, and I accepted that I was good enough. I stepped into the present moment for the first time.
My new identity was set. I continued to create my future in a push and pull between my growing and limiting beliefs. A tug of war that with some positive self-talk, led me to personal, professional, and organization growth. I became an adventurous paratrooper that dropped into companies to solve incredibly difficult problems with facilitation, design thinking, and systems thinking. I designed the perfect role for myself, and over time grew into thinking big and I stepped up to any challenge presented to me.
I began to embrace the powers of exponential theory before I had a theory for it. I took responsibility for the creation of my outcomes. In my career, I’ve created a dozen companies, three non-profits, a half-dozen education programs, and three accelerators. I lost people money, made people money, and exited several startups. I continued to fail forward, learn, make mistakes, and grow.
On the journey, I become a global innovation facilitator working with companies like Daimler, Coca-Cola, and Google, learning and growing from some of the greatest corporate leaders in the world. I worked on projects that created billions in bottom-line revenue. I traveled to all 50 states and over 90 countries. My limiting beliefs faded, and I found myself in the middle of wickedly complex problems and began to dismantle them and create solutions with relative ease. I began to impact the world in an exponential way. I found my purpose-to inspire those that I crossed paths with to think big and find their purpose. I began to surround myself with the right people, and I made sure they looked at the world the way I wanted to see it: as an optimistic, big thinker. This led to the writing of this book.
In addition to the book, at Exponential Theory we have several other ways that we can help you implement big thinking into your ventures including workshops for your team, strategic planning facilitation for your leadership, tailored speaking engagements for your conferences, executive coaching for yourself or your leaders, join our exponential accelerator for innovators and entrepreneurs, and our online courses, Exponential Theory, and the XMBA, eXponential Mindsets, Beliefs, and Attitudes.
What People are saying
I just wanted to say thank-you again for speaking at the event at McGeorge School of Law on Monday. I had excellent feedback from students who were encouraged by your presentation. These days especially, law school can become an environment where discussions about careers become dreary, discouraging, and full of doomsday predictions. It was exciting to see students energized about what they can accomplish and how to accomplish it. I am sure future leaders of the Federalist Society at McGeorge would love to welcome you back.
Federalist Society at McGeorge
Aaron Bare’s presentation spoke to the technological push in every industry and the need for lawyer’s to adapt, encouraging participant’s to consider new issues, and move the legal field into the technological age. Aaron’s unique perspective and forward thinking approach throw participant’s into the chaos of disruptive influences, bringing it full circle by introducing new and innovative ways of considering technology and the legal field.
Federalist Society Chapter, William & Mary School of Law
Aaron Bare, in one word ~ brilliant. He has already proven time after time he can create, grow, and turnaround businesses generating millions in long term revenue and relationships. He truly thrives on taking one genius idea, organizing a plan, and focusing on execution — all while changing the world!
Biz dev, internet marketing consultant, web entrepreneur
Comments about Aaron Bare’s presentation have become viral on our campus. The students quickly and easily identified with him. The faculty and staff have continued to discuss his talking points with the students. The campus is in full buzz with phrases and descriptions that include:
‘A career maker’
‘I can’t stop thinking about his comments’
‘I will be an entrepreneur’
Aaron is THE Entrepreneurial MAN!
Dr. Jeffrey Walls
Indiana Institute of Technology
JD’s may be better entrepreneurs than MBA’s. The talk by Aaron Bare re: entrepreneurial opportunities in the law was motivating!
Aaron helped Simply Servers develop hiring strategies that helped us recruit quality employees for our unique business model. Then he paired that with the newly formed Jobing TV segment without his help and the help of the Jobing.com team. Aaron is a great at making connections and solidifying relationships!
Kool Party Rentals
Aaron Bare was a great value partner in our recent name change and marketing efforts. He gave us an agenda to follow with timelines as well, to get our project done. We think Aaron Bare is the type of person that everyone would enjoy working with, as well as learning from his vast experience and great wealth of knowledge.
CENTERLINE Federal Credit Union
Aaron is focused on the needs of the client, delivering what was promised or more. He is consistent and innovative. He works hard to present the client in a way that is both distinguishing and exemplar.
I invited Aaron to present to a ‘C’ Level group of executives on Disruption and its impact on business models and leadership. He succeeded in making a number of us uncomfortable with both the speed and scope of change across a broad swath of hard product and digital verticals. Aaron was knowledgeable, engaging, balanced and gave our group many compelling examples of the forces driving business model challenges, along with some solutions derived from creative adaptation. Fast decisions, trial and error pivots and business model changes (while also limiting the risks of huge bets), along with technologies ‘simplifying’ force offered important insights for our group and particularly powerful takeaways.
Fox & Fin Financial Group
Just attended a motivating lecture from @aaronbare at BLS. The legal world needs to innovate and keep pace with technology!
Brooklyn School of Law
Mr. Bare came to Florida International University to speak about entrepreneurship generally, and how to be disruptive in the legal field. By disruptive, he meant changing how things are done in the legal field and learning how to capitalize on those changes.
The most important thing that I took from Mr. Bare’s presentation was that it is vital to become an expert in something. Really, it is less important what that something is, just so long as you are an expert somewhere. From there, all that remains is to find out how to capitalize on that expertise. Essentially, Mr. Bare helped us realize that no matter what you are an expert in, somebody somewhere will need that expertise. Therein lay opportunity.
Overall, I thought Mr. Bare was fantastic. He is among the more interesting speakers we have had the opportunity to host this academic year.
Federal Society President
Florida International University
Aaron Bare’s insightful intellect helps audiences better understand the disruptive nature of social media and the negative and positive impacts on their lives. His insights allow them to leave with a deeper understanding of the challenges they face in these rapidly changing times and the tools and resources necessary to not only compete, but succeed!
MicroAge and WPO Disruption Chair
Aaron has the ability to take a complex subject (social media) and break it down to understandable terms (for a 50 year old). I respect not only his expertise in social media but the fact that he brings a wealth of experience from the staffing industry – he “gets” what Duffy does and is effectively massaging the language so potential customers will understand immediately what recruiting research is.
Aaron is a truly innovative, high energy entrepreneur. He has a great grasp of how to own and grow businesses coupled with a kindred spirit for commerce. I look forward to working with him again in the near future.
EE, MBA, President
Titus Innovations Inc.
Aaron provided me a great overview of products to help me in my career and provide additional contacts I was looking for. Aaron was very easy to work with and extremely responsive on all issues!
Senior Manager, Strategic Supplier Management
There are very few actual movers and shakers with a vested interest in the Phoenix community who have a solid intelligent background and grasp on business at a high level. Aaron is one of those rare individuals. I met Aaron many years ago on a plane and was impressed from the start. I have had the pleasure of working with him throughout the years on projects, and have also had clients and colleagues who have had the same pleasure with amazing results. Aaron is top notch!
Social Media, PR, and Compliance Nerd with 20 years experience. CEO, Published Author, Professional Speaker
Aaron Bare developed a Custom Disruptive Workshop for Coca-Cola’s Largest Cross-Functional customer team. This 3-day program included disruptive innovation sessions, how best to organize disruption, and used change to align the entire team on accountabilities & goals that would drive results.
He was able to disrupt the way the organization was traditionally thinking by introducing several techniques that will enable the team to become change agents, while deploying several new meaningful projects that will drive the team’s collaboration, team strengths, and focus based on the customer & Coca-Cola’s objectives.
He provided an environment that allowed our associates to understand the speed of change, the skills & capabilities required to be an integral part of our customer’s growth, and gained the alignment of the team to commit to each other to be their ‘best’. It was a huge home run for our team and the outside thinking was just what we needed….
VP, The McDonald’s Division, USA
The Coca-Cola Company
In August, 2012, Aaron Bare presented and facilitated a dialogue on “Disruption Influences on Leadership and Innovation” to our annual corporate strategic planning retreat. Aaron’s presentation style is comfortable and conversational, yet provocative and stimulating. His interaction with our team left us full of ideas, and wanting more! Our firm is committed to deploying our “energy and ideas for a better world”. Aaron talked about how “disruption is innovative leaders being the change they see in the world.” We have embraced his ideas and are using them to bring as we seek to inspire positive social change and create a better world.
We highly endorse Aaron as an outstanding presenter, thinker, entrepreneur, and innovator.
The Phoenix Philanthropy Group
Aaron redefines time and energy every day. He has the ability to implement when others are just thinking about reading more on an idea. He is a true pioneer that has courage and spirit to venture into the unknown; it is these qualities that make him a superb entrepreneur and leader. I have had the pleasure of working with Aaron on many projects in our MBA and now continue to work with him on mobile business applications. In addition to his boundless energy for creation he sees connections between social networking, marketing and sales that drive efficiencies in turning leads into customers. I would say that he is a genius in the social marketing area.
MBA, Strategic IT thinker and implementer who solves complex application, infrastructure, people or project issues
Your presentation amazed me. The whole time you really had me at the edge of my seat. Aaron I know that you mentioned that you wanted to be surrounded by people that don’t want to live life just as it is. If there is anyway I could become one of those people in mentorship, or helping in any area. Your talk impressed me and to have even a few moments of your time would help me 10x. The two hour presentation has already boosted me 100 times more than I would have been.
Aaron was employed by our Credit Union Board of Directors to assist in the process of choosing a new name for our organization. We were evaluating 3 different organizations to assist in this process and choose Complete Strategies. He was very professional and knowledgeable in all facets of the process. I would highly recommend him his work to others.
First Data Independent Sales Electronic Payment Services
Aaron is the perennial entrepreneur. His ability to generate new ideas and processes was instrumental and inspirational while we worked together. He and I became good friends because of his great work ethic, exceptional demeanor and incredibly enthusiastic attitude towards work and life. I learned quite a bit from Aaron in the short time we were colleagues and I look forward to learning more from him as a friend in the future.
Senior IT, Operations and Marketing Expert
Aaron spoke to a global growth conference for the Russian Science Technology and Education Center and was extremely effective in communicating his ideas about marketing online. I enjoyed his fresh take on internet searching and how to prepare online information both to be found and to impress the right audience.
Growth Nation and The Global Chamber
Thank you for making this understandable and actionable. Enjoyed the evening.
I have had the pleasure to know Aaron for several years and finally see him at work providing expert guidance and services to one of my businesses. His knowledge and expertise is unsurpassed and he is very enjoyable to work with on a project.
The Idea Gardener LLC
Buzz Mouth! What can I say! Aaron Bare has molded Buzz Mouth into THE cutting edge entity for helping businesses and individuals breakthrough and occupy the space they covet by delivering the right message at the right time with the right tool to targeted audiences. Buzz Mouth has harnessed a unique mix of social media, brand positioning and collaborative consulting which is unmatched by others in the business arena today. Aaron and Buzz Mouth were invaluable in helping to put Brand Aspirations on the map. Why wait for 2020, when you can be there now with Aaron and Buzz Mouth!
Stephen F. Horgan
Founder Brand Aspirations
I have known Aaron for almost 15 years and he is one of the most dedicated people I have ever worked with. Aaron is focused on building mutually beneficial partnerships and has an exceptional business mind. He also has wide experience in evaluating human performance and has become a leader in this area.
As a marketing major, I always think about how I can utilize both my business degree and the law degree, and your lecture opened my eyes to things I never considered before. Thank you!
Sangduk Simon Lee
Lewis & Clark University
Aaron Bare’s presentation about the dynamics of the marketplace and our potential as entrepreneurs opened an entirely new set of possibilities for us. Welded to legal theory, we too easily forget about the reality of business and the dynamics beyond the staid examples of our hypotheticals. Law cannot possibly keep up with changes in technologies and global markets. Success will require vigilance for opportunities and a tolerance for risk. Mr. Bare’s fresh presentation breathed fresh thought into our law school, a perspective we direly needed.
Federalist Society, George Washington University
I highly recommend Aaron Bare and Buzzmouth for your marketing needs. They are fun to work with and really go the extra mile to make sure you have what you need, on time and on budget! I will definitely hire Aaron’s team at Buzzmouth in the future!
Turning Pointe Wealth Management
Though some of the information I have heard before, most of your workshop was newly found knowledge which I am implementing right away. A) I practiced a “question” approach with a potential new customer today, and B) I have made a conscious effort, and have been successful, in not using “but, can’t, or try” even once today.
I constantly read/hear successful people saying how their mentors have been instrumental in their success (this is where I would normally use “but”), I have yet to find my mentor. I would love to continue our conversation and explore the opportunity of you becoming my mentor. The refreshing difference that I noticed in your approach is that you have practical advice and suggestions, unlike my experience with business coaches who have a great conceptual ideas. Please let me know what would be the next step for us to proceed.
I recommend Aaron highly, and especially appreciate his ability communicate effectively and to find positive solutions to some of my business challenges.
Small Business Consultant, Efficiency & Productivity Consultant
Thanks for the seminar today at BLS! Some very interesting ideas on how technology can/will change the legal profession.
Brooklyn School of Law
Aaron is a dedicated professional who truly understands the concept of serving and not just selling. It’s rare to find someone who “gets it” and then “lives it”
Aaron is a true networker. He is continuously striving to connect people for mutual benefit in a friendly and positive way. His efforts extend the people he works with and creates new opportunities for many. I am happy to have Aaron Bare in my personal and business network.
Creative Thinking for Exceptional Businesses
Aaron has strategic cunning and great business acumen. His leadership skills are his most obvious strength.
Aaron’s presentation was intriguing and thought-provoking. He provided a unique perspective of the future of the legal profession and the impact that technology has had, and will continue to have, in shaping the way attorneys practice law.
Federal Society President
University of Akron
It was such a pleasure meeting and hearing you speak on Thursday at the ASU event about pitching and all of the little elements that truly make a difference when doing so.
Arizona State University
Aaron is a big picture thinker, who thrives on creating new ideas and cutting edge technologies. He has the unique ability to also relate these concepts to others with both passion and ease. I’m always happy to work on projects with Aaron and Buzz Mouth – he fosters a fast-paced and innovative environment.
Executive Assistant, Blogger, Artist
Aaron Bare and JobingTV have been instrumental in the recruitment efforts at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Their outstanding ability to present the St. Joseph’s spirit in each of our Jobing TV segments has been phenomenal.
De Anne Russell
SPHR, Manager – Arizona Service Area Talent Acquisition and Employment Branding
I had the opportunity to work with Aaron on multiple projects during our EMBA program. Aaron immediately stood out as an individual with innovative ideas, exemplary business acumen, and a great knowledge of social media. Aaron has always taken the time to share his wealth of knowledge with the members of our class and has inspired the creation of entrepreneurial ventures because of it. I highly recommend Aaron Bare.