From Brotherly Chaos to Business Acumen: How Growing Up with 42 Brothers Shaped My Entrepreneurial Journey

Aaron Bouren
3 min readJun 19, 2023

Hey there, I’m Aaron Bouren, an entrepreneur whose upbringing was more zookeeper than typical middle child. I grew up in sunny Arizona, known for cacti, the Grand Canyon, and in my unique case, my parents raising 42 foster brothers. If you’re wondering what that’s like, imagine running a startup where every employee is a new hire every day, and you’ll get a pretty good idea.

Now, I might not have been raised by wolves, but with six boys in the house at any given time, it certainly felt like a wildlife refuge. We didn’t just pass the salt at dinner; we had strategic negotiations worthy of a United Nations summit.

Living room wrestling matches had more spectators than a Wrestlemania event, and let’s not even talk about the queue for the bathroom every morning.

Every brother who passed through our house brought their own unique personality (and their own unique ability to cause chaos). There was Tom, the human alarm clock who, despite all of our pleas, was convinced the best time to practice his drum solo was 6 a.m. Then there was Mikey, whose obsession with taxidermy made for some interesting, albeit unsettling, room decor.

This wild, unpredictable environment was the perfect training ground for my future entrepreneurial journey. Because if you can negotiate peace treaties over who gets the last slice of pizza or organize a search party for a missing comic book, you’re well-equipped to handle the topsy-turvy world of startups.

The diversity I encountered during those years made me fluent in the universal language of people. Want to understand your target market? Try deciphering the mood of a teenager. Need to improve your negotiation skills? Try bartering with a 7-year-old over bedtime.

Every day was a lesson in adaptability and thinking on my feet, essential skills for any entrepreneur. Because in business, much like in a house of 42 boys, you can be sure of one thing — something unexpected is always about to happen.

But the biggest lesson I learned? The importance of giving back. My parents took in boys who needed a home, a family.

As an entrepreneur, I aim to build businesses that not only turn a profit but also make a positive impact on the world.

So here I am, an entrepreneur and a brother to many. My unusual upbringing taught me more about business than any MBA program ever could. Each challenge I faced was an opportunity for a promotion in this strange, wonderful company we called a family. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yours in Success and Slightly Exaggerated Humor,

Originally published at https://aaronbouren.com on June 19, 2023.

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Aaron Bouren

Aaron Bouren, CEO of Bouren Ventures, is an entrepreneur, public speaker, sales trainer, and marketing expert. Learn more at aaronbouren.com