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D. Scott Smith: business leader showcase

By getting to know how business leaders tick, we can relate and learn from their experiences to make each of us better leaders ourselves. This interview with D. Scott Smith is a page turner.

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Tell us about yourself and your work.

Sure, my name is D. Scott Smith, I’m 36 years old and I focus on commercial real estate. I work in both the brokerage and in the Professor capacity. I’ve been doing real estate since 1996. Real Estate and Business is all I’ve even done and it’s probably the only thing I know how to do.

Walk us through a typical day in your life.

I get up anywhere from 7am-9am and spend some time with my son while I drink coffee and check emails and social sites. Then I make my way to the office, and bother my co-workers.

I make some emails up and do some research and have face to face meetings or prearranged phone calls, until around 3 or 4pm. Then, I usually take lunch and maybe grab another Starbucks. Maybe then answer some more texts and do some more market research. Then head home.

I have dinner with the family and discuss how our day went, spend some time together before putting the kid to bed, and, then head to my business center on our farm, where I do my creative thinking and reading, and make videos, and all that. I try and go to bed around 12 but sometimes it’s more like 2am.

Where were you raised? Where all have you lived?

Ok, well I was born in Southern Virginia in the Tidewater area and then moved to Gloucester, VA in 1990’s. I went to high school there. I move to Laurel, MD which is between Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD. I did this because I have a sister in Maryland and so I had a quick commute to both cities.

Then after some jumping around, I moved to Baltimore, MD. Then when my son was born we moved from the city and now we live on a family farm in the countryside north of Baltimore. We took a barn and converted it into our home.

How did you get into your current career?

I was not afforded the luxury of college and I could not keep a job so I started my own company at age 19 right out of high school. I think about six months later I was homeless or I guess today it would be called having a mobile address. Anyway, so I saved up enough money to get my own place. That’s when I moved to Laurel, MD. I called up my friends from Gloucester, VA to come and work for me, so we had a revolving door operation. Some stayed, some left.

What did you do before your current career?

I played music in a bunch of punk rock bands. We went on tour, made some albums, and met a lot of people. I learned about survival and DIY through those days. Also about performing on stage and being in front of people. Then I just turned the DIY (Do It Yourself) theme into a business model.

At age 15, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Probably anything but grown up.

What is something unique that you do to balance work and life?

Ok wow, so this one is tough. I’ve always been the extreme type. So I had to basically have a break down and lose everything (side note: I’ve been a millionaire twice already and lost everything twice) until I was forced to learn that it’s really all about quality of life issues.

Without that, everything else is in vain. You can be rich but if your quality of life is poor so are you. So now I enjoy working from home, instead of my home being at work. To relieve stress I blow stuff up on the farm and have big parties with as many friends and family that want to come. My son is a lot like me so he makes me have that separation as well. But honestly, I’m not good at it. I have to stop myself sometimes and redirect.

What keeps you up at night?

I have ADD so pretty much anything. Sometimes my mind can’t shut off and I don’t sleep at all. I don’t worry about stuff that much. It’s more like, I get a thought in my head and I can’t let it go sometimes I just get up and start working on whatever y my thought is. Sometimes it’s what I have to do tomorrow, sometimes its complex leverage matrixes with tax delusion effects. Sometimes it’s just the fact that I can’t sleep is why I can’t sleep. It’s very annoying.

If you could spend one day in the life of another leader, who would it be?

There are so many and all for different reasons. I think the most common thread throughout them all is that they are all trailblazers in their own right. They stood alone and made a success of it. I don’t really care about how good you are at your job, or how many units you’ve sold. I want to know that you have heart and you have your own skin in the game and have something BIG at risk. That to me is a life worth living. Not that you can take someone else’s ideas and make some money with them. Who cares about that? I want to see your passion, what you stand for, manifest into something physical into your own creation.

I guess the ones that stand out the most, and who I would want to be, but for none other than to know what is going on (or went on) inside their mind: Walt Disney, Ron Paul, Michael Phelps, Amelia Earhart, The Beastie Boys, The Ramones, Donald Trump, Dave Ramsey, Henry Rollins, Jesus Christ, Bob Ward CCIM, Ben Cachiaras, Warren Buffett, and Jay Papasan. All of these people are brilliant and stand alone in my opinion. Now I don’t agree with all of them but I respect what they have done and how they have done it and their successes are unable to be duplicated.

What tools can you not live without?

Smart phones, Power Point Projectors, and my composition books. Also, dry erase boards and pretty much any book ever published.

What about you would most people not believe unless they knew you?

So this is going to sound kind of weird but my friends and family know this. I have big time social anxiety and would never leave the house if I could. I hate crowds and seriously become freaked out. Even out to dinner I have to be near a door or something. People and crowds just really freak me out. Some people like at conferences or something, mistake my anxieties for me having an attitude or like I’m too good to talk to people because I don’t hang around. It’s actually not that at all, I just really need to get out of there!

What inspirational quote has stuck with you the longest? Why?

Probably the longest is PMA (positive mental attitude) from Napoleon Hill. The most recent would be those Michael Jordan videos where he talks about all the times he has failed and that’s why he succeeds. And the Will Smith videos where he talks about work ethic. I think those three elements combined are the most inspirational ever.

Stay positive, don’t be afraid of failure, and work your ass off.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jeff Brown

    September 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Amen brother — You’re no doubt an inspiration to more folks than you’ll ever know.

  2. jpapasan

    September 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Great profile on a great real estate leader. Thanks for the nod, Scott. I can say with absolute certainty that’s the first time I’ve been mentioned in such august company. Funny, I love that Henry Rollins is on that list. I had some formative high school and early college years slumming at the Antenna Club in Memphis. This was the age of cassette tapes and I usually had Black Flag in the mix.

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ClickUp team productivity app is gorgeous and wildly efficient

(BUSINESS NEWS) Seeking to improve your productivity and speed up your team, ClickUp is an inexpensive option for those obsessed with efficiency.

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clickup

Back again to obsess over productivity apps – ClickUp, is a project management tool seeking to knock the frustration out of PM. It’s getting some good reviews, so I gave it a try for a week by setting up my current job search as a project and getting a feel for the app. And as you’ve read in my other reviews, we will address features and design.

On the feature front, ClickUp offers a pretty standard set up of tools for a productivity app. What stands out first and foremost are the status options. In general, most productivity statuses are simple: not started, started, in progress, done, etc.

But ClickUp lets you set up custom statuses that match your workflow.

For example, if you’re doing instructional design projects, you may assign projects based on where they are flowing in an ADDIE model, or if you are a Realtor, you may have things cataloged by sold, in negotiation, etc.

Customization is king and custom status is the closest you get to building your own app. And if you like it simple, you don’t have to customize it. The assigned comments feature lets you follow up on specific comments that originate action items – which is useful in team collaborations.

You can also assign changes to multiple tasks at once, including changing statuses (I would bulk assign completion tasks when I finished applications that I did in batches). There a lot of features here, but the best feature is how the app allows you to toggle on and off features that you will or won’t use – once again, customization is front and center for this platform.

In terms of design and intuive use, ClickUp nailed it.

It’s super easy to use, and the concept of space is pretty standard in design thinking. If your organization uses Agile methodology, this app is ready for you.

In terms of view, you can declutter the features, but the three viewing modes (list, box, and board) can help you filter the information and make decisions quickly depending on what role you have on a board or project. There is also a “Me” board that removes all the clutter and focuses on your tasks – a great way to do focused productivity bursts. ClickUp describes itself as beautifully intuitive, and I can’t disagree – both the web app and mobile app are insanely easy to use.

No complaints here.

And the horizon looks good for ClickUp – with new features like image markup, Gannt charts (!!!!!! #nerdalert), and threaded comments for starts.

This application is great, and it’s got a lot of growth coming up to an already rich feature base. It’s free with 100MB of storage, but the $5 fee for team member per month that includes team onboarding and set up (say you’re switching from another platform) and Dropbox/Google Docs integration? That’s a bargain, Charlie.

ClickUp is on the way up and it’s got it all – features, a beautifully accessible UI, relentless customization, and lot of new and upcoming features. If you’re into the productivity platform and you’re looking for a new solution for your team, go check it out.

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Business News

Should you alter your business travel due to the Coronavirus?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Got a business trip coming up? Worried about the coronavirus spoiling those plans? Stay up to date and safe with this cool site!

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travel coronavirus

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University has created a website that tracks one of the biggest trends of 2020: the coronavirus. Also known as 2019-nCoV, this disease has already spread to over 40,000 confirmed cases worldwide, with over 900 deaths (as of when this article was published, anyway.)

Not to mention, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that we still don’t know exactly how the virus spreads from person-to-person. In fact, there’s quite a bit we don’t know about this disease and although some people are reported as recovered, it’s only a small fraction compared to how many are sick.

So, what’s so great about this tracker? Well, first of all, it updates in real time, making it easy to keep track of everything we know about confirmed cases of the coronavirus. It’s chock full of statistics and visuals, making the information easy to digest. Plus, with a map front and center, it lets you know exactly where there have been reported outbreaks – and how many people have been diagnosed.

Because the site sticks to cold hard facts like statistics and maps, it also means you can avoid the racism and general panic that’s accompanied news of this outbreak.

This is a great tool for staying informed, but it’s also extremely helpful if you’re going to be traveling for work. As the virus continues to progress, you’ll be able to see just how many cases of coronavirus there are in the areas you’re planning to visit, which will allow you to plan accordingly. Even if you don’t feel the effects, you can still risk passing it to other people.

(In fact, the CDC recommends those traveling from certain areas in China practice “social distancing” when they return to the US, avoiding public spaces like grocery stores, malls and movie theaters.)

Of course, if you have something planned several months from now, don’t cancel your conference plans just yet. A lot can happen in that amount of time, so avoid the urge to check the website every couple hours. It’s supposed to be a tool for staying informed, not staying stressed out.

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Business News

New startup curates resources to simplify any remote job search

(BUSINESS NEWS) Finding a remote job that supports travel has never been so easy with this new remote friendly job-finding website, Remote Planet.

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remote.io finds a remote job

Have you ever wanted to travel the world only to have your boss completely reject your request to work remotely? Or maybe you’re not working right now and you’re having a hard time finding a job that will allow you travel? Well, let me tell you, you’re not alone!

As 2020 begins, it’s pretty clear that remote working is not only an option; it can be a way of life that can not only empower an employee, but also increase efficiency and production for their company.

15 years ago, finding a remote job was almost like spotting a unicorn. It was an extremely rare opportunity – one that very few had the pleasure of experiencing. But with technology growing so quickly, and with the benefits being so clear (for both employer and employee) companies are quickly making changes that allow their employees to live and work almost anywhere they’d like – as long as there’s a good Internet connection.

Because of this, working while traveling has never been so easy, and with a massive uptick in dedicated remote workforces (we’re up to 18% of the U.S. workforce being remote), it only makes sense why websites like RemotePlanet.io are becoming so popular.

Remote Planet is an online platform that allows you to search for a job that is 100% remote. Their goal is not only to help find you a job that meets you needs, but also to provide “Curated Data for Remote, Digital Nomads & Travellers”.

J.P. Aulet is the freelance web developer who created Remote Planet. In an interview with him, where I asked him about the website, he said “RemotePlanet.io helps digital nomads (DN), remote workers, travelers and others to find the best resources in different categories, like remote companies, articles, insurances, housing and co-workings, among other things.”

When asked why he created his website, he said “Since I quit my job 2 years ago, I’ve been traveling and working as a [digital nomad], and since then, I curated a lot of interesting and helpful websites that help me with my travels, and I wanted to share with others to make it easier to start their remote journey.”

The website takes a Pinterest-like approach to helping its users find jobs, too, making it a very visual experience. What I mean by this is, the platform appears to aggregate data from 3rd party sites, like Remote.co and Remote.com and filters through their data for remote jobs. Whether it’s automatic or manual is unknown, but the important thing is that Aulet then publishes this data to his site in a sort of board that allows you to click the link, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or “like” it.

In addition, it looks to pulls in data that remote workers should stay on top of, like various tools, and companies that fully endorse the “work from anywhere” lifestyle.

remote job tools

But the coolest thing about this site is that it takes a lot of the searching work away for people who already otherwise have busy lives. After all, given the nature of the lifestyle and the level of importance travel is to those who seek this type of work, looking for a remote job and traveling at the same time can keep one pretty occupied.

So, whether you’ve been looking for a remote job for a while, or you’re just getting started, we highly suggest checking out Remote Planet for, at the very least, their tools and resources.

Now, with all of that said, their website won’t be any help to those who still have difficult bosses or work for companies who are adamantly against work from home situations, so if this scenario sounds familiar, we suggest checking out this guide on how to convince your boss to let you work remotely. We wish you the best of luck in convincing your boss to loosen the reigns.

On the chance the meeting doesn’t go so well (hey, let’s face it, it happens), and you’re considering another job that has much more flex, we also recommend reading this recent story on “How to crush your next remote job interview.”

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