This issue’s Man We Admire is Atlanta style and image guru Aaron Marino.
I first came across Aaron’s videos on YouTube a few years back when I suddenly found myself single after a twelve-year relationship and was looking for some advice online that would help me get my act together so I could confidently re-enter the dating world. Being a guy in his mid-30’s and suddenly having to re-learn the rules was hard enough, and I have to say that Aaron’s slightly off-beat sense of humour and his no-B.S. approach to style was a breath of fresh air. What’s more, he’s also in his mid-30’s, which meant that unlike other advice columnists out there, the information I got was well-suited to my goal of looking like a sharp, mature male, rather than an 18-year-old stick figure or a 20-something rapper.
I am extremely proud to say that following this interview, Aaron has agreed to come on as our style expert here at The Man Sphere. You’ll find his first article on men’s suits over in the Style section, just in time for the run-up to wedding season. But of course, you’ll find his whole wealth of knowledge and information at his own mag site, I Am Alpha M. We’re just glad we’re able to tap a fraction of this guy’s insight for our readers.
Occupation: “Bro-fessional” AKA Male Image Consultant…Ever seen the movie “Hitch”? I am the slightly less black real life version.
Relationship Status: Married 5 years (feels like 10…kidding…sort of…no I am…kinda)
Pets: My Wife has 3 cats…I however have no pets
What are you driving: Infiniti
Gadgets: I’m not a gadget kinda guy…I’m more into shoes, sunglasses, jackets…I’m like a gay guy with a straight penis (stop with the eye roll already)
How do you quantify your own awesomeness?: My awesomeness comes from being incredibly secure in myself and the ability to laugh at my own ridiculousness. I also have this unique ability to read people incredibly fast and can make anyone feel like they are my best friend and that I am actually interested in what they are telling me about their kids or their co-worker.
Instruments: Harmonica to play….12 string guitar to listen to.
Sports: Sports??? I am a huge college football fan and participated in wrestling, pole vaulted and dove.
How did you get into your current career path?
I figured I had to find something that could blend my limited skill set and off beat good looks…sooooo…it was a natural fit. But in reality I owned a fitness center and one day a client asked me to take him shopping for a date…not only did I go shopping with him I took him to get a haircut, trimmed his nose hair and planned the date…little did I know this was going to be the basic structure of my business model.
How has your work contributed to the lives of others?
My job is all about helping men realize their potential and build their confidence from the outside in. I have been blessed with the ability to be able to analyze someone in seconds and pick out 15 things that will help them look better in an attempt to match their perceived self worth with the way they are received by others. I’m not teaching the blind to see or anything but you ask my clients to put a price tag on feeling great about themselves and what they see looking back at them in the mirror. I get choked up at the end of a session when it all comes together and I see the look of disbelief in my clients eyes…they never dreamed they could look this good and feel this great.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just entering your field, what would it be?
I would say that they need to have a passion and compassion. Anyone can learn how to dress someone in better fitting clothes but it takes connecting with people to make this thing fly.
Do you have a personal work philosophy?
Sometimes good enough is done.
Workout, run and eat pizza…I also work…because I love what I do…to me my job is fun.
What motivates or inspires you?
I don’t think I have ever thought about what inspires me…I guess never being satisfied with what I did yesterday, last week or even last year…this motivates me.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Quit using nicotine. I went to college at West Virginia University and this is where I picked up the dirty little habit of using smokeless tobacco (dip). I used 2 cans a day for about 16 years, this is the nicotine equivalent of a 6 pack a day habit. I have been nicotine free for 20 months and every day I am amazed that I was able to kick that bitch! This is what I am most proud of myself about.
What is the one thing you hope to achieve?
Honestly…I don’t think I have ever said this to anyone but I hope to have a T.V. show some day. Came very close about a year ago (signed a development deal with a big L.A. production company but nothing came of it). This was my biggest disappointment to date. The reason I want this is because I think it would be fun and I could reach a larger audience of needy dudes.
What is your super power?
Who’s your hero?
My Grandfather Frank Gussoni (passed away about 8 years ago) he was the best man I have ever had the fortune to meet.
What are you watching these days?
Thinking back to a time when you had to make a hard choice, how did you decide, and do you feel, in retrospect, that you made the right move?
I learn things the hard way, I have made some incredibly bad mistakes in my life…but looking back I wouldn’t have changed them because if I had things may be different and I may not have the insight or perspective that I gained from the bad mistakes. The best lessons I have ever learned came by making the wrong decision.
What’s next for you?
Next big thing is my DVD’s that I am developing….”Unleash Your Inner Alpha Male”….
What one piece of advice would you give to your own son in the hope of making him a better man?
Stick up for the little guy
Aaron Marino’s Website: http://www.iamalpham.com
Aaron’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AlphaMconsulting/featured
Alpha M Image Consulting: http://www.alphamimageconsulting.com