Aaron Lee is a successful entrepreneur with a driving goal—to leave a positive mark on the world around him. Learn how Cesar Quintero has helped Aaron and others define their purpose and develop key traits of authentic leadership.
Aaron Lee is the owner of iluma Agency, a Miami-based digital marketing and recruiting company focused on helping franchise brands grow, connect with their target audience, and acquire customers.
Aaron works across a wide client spectrum, lending his talents to larger corporate brands like Orange Theory Fitness and Massage Envy while also working with smaller, emerging brands and franchisees. iluma ensures that its clients leverage the best of their brand and get maximum value from their marketing efforts.
Aaron and iluma achieve this by making sure there’s no dilution in the brand’s core message and by helping clients be certain about who they are and what they’re doing. That’s a skill Aaron developed on his long journey toward illuminating his Why for being in business.
How Aaron and his agency developed over time
Aaron has successfully helmed his company for 18 years and five years ago, he pivoted the agency to franchise branding. “Originally, it was just sort of a boutique design and web design firm, but we’ve evolved and grown by strategically changing our focus,” says Aaron.
Seeking to develop new relationships and skills, he signed up for the EO Accelerator Program offered by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization South Florida. There, he first met Cesar Quintero, who was attending the same program.
“At the time, both our businesses had gross revenues under a million dollars,” Aaron explains. “We signed up and were put in the same group. Cesar and I spent a year learning from our EO mentor, and each other.” Both businesses soon grew beyond the million-dollar threshold within a month of each other, granting them full EO membership to serve in different leadership capacities for their chapter.
A few years prior, Aaron’s partner had introduced him to the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) which they would come to use regularly in the business. “I’m a big proponent of it and recommend it to others all the time,” Aaron says.
But successfully articulating his “Why” would come later—after teaming up once again with Cesar.
Shedding some light on Aaron’s purpose
Aaron was already part of an eight-person EO Forum dedicated to mutual support in making a positive and impactful mark on the world. The members sought an understanding of how they’d go about leaving a meaningful legacy through their businesses and why they were doing it. “We weren’t really clear on how to structure that,” Aaron remembers. “We were committed to working on our purpose, but we lacked the tools to do it.”
The Forum hired Cesar to lead them through the modules of the Why Discovery process. He paired up the Forum members and set them to work on defining their individual Why purpose statements. Aaron soon found Cesar’s guidance provided a foundation and a new common language for the group to communicate in, explore with, and build from.
“You can plainly see by how Cesar communicates and consults that he’s listening from a place of purpose. It was extremely effective,” says Aaron. “It solidified our whole reason for being. We gained a clear sense of what we were doing and why, both individually and as a group.”
Aaron maintains that his experience with the program was inspiring and led to a personal statement that’s more authentic than anything he had previously managed to come up with.
“Harness love and creativity to transform the future”
Those powerful words are what Aaron finally chose to define his Why. Cesar’s help brought his feelings into actionable focus and made the forum’s shared sensibilities easier to articulate and communicate, both professionally and with everyone around them. “It happens both ways; in daily life and in business,” Aaron explains. “You go through the course and you identify where your strengths are and apply them [in all aspects].”
Discovering where our strengths lie is one of the key traits of authentic leaders, and he found that his new clarity of purpose brought authenticity to every decision in his business and personal life.
“As entrepreneurs, we’re constantly presented with distracting opportunities,” he says, “And you realize the only resource you have that you can’t get more of is time.”
This self-awareness made him more discerning about which projects were the right use of his time. He now has the tools to make consistent value judgments on the projects that come his way, aligning what he chooses to work on with his purpose. And consistency is the heart of authentic living.
“My Why is something I’ve been able to move forward with in a big way,” says Aaron. “I have a much clearer filter for life.”
Aaron as a light for others
Today, you’ll find Aaron helping clients large and small develop powerful messages, and leading his team with authenticity. He’s doing exactly what he set out to do by making a mark and positively impacting the world around him.
“How can I lead here in a way that’s authentic; that relies on my strengths and why I’m here?” he says. “The authentic version is to tap into love and creativity and have it be about looking forward and not just where we’re at today.”
Knowing his purpose has enabled Aaron to better understand his role in his company—clarifying where he needs to spend his time in a way that exponentially impacts results. “If I can spend more time on something that’s aligned with my purpose, that’s what I choose to do.”
His Why also helps Aaron look every at day by asking the biggest question of them all: “There’s a reason for each of us to be alive, more than just surviving. Why? What are you doing with your time here?”
This question is a wake-up call and a challenge for any entrepreneur. And a prize for those who are willing to find the answer.
Are you ready to uncover your Why? Schedule a meeting with Cesar today to clarify your vision, define your purpose and start living your life by design.