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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.



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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  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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Business News

Why a well-crafted rejection email can save your brand, and your time

(BUSINESS NEWS) Job hunting is exhausting on both sides, and rejection sucks, but crafting a genuine, helpful rejection email can help ease the process for everyone.



Woman sitting at computer with fingers steepled, awaiting a rejection email or any response from HR at all.

Nobody likes to hear “no” for an answer when applying for jobs. But even fewer people like to be left in the dark, wondering what happened.

On the employer side, taking on a new hire is a time-consuming process. And like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get when you put out ads for a position. So once you find the right person for the role, it’s tempting to move along without further ado.

Benn Rosales, the CEO and co-founder of American Genius, offers an example of why that is a very bad call.

Imagine a hypothetical candidate for a job opening at Coca Cola – someone who’s particularly interested in the job, because they grew up as a big Coke fan. If they get no response to their application at all, despite being qualified and sending follow-up emails, their personal opinion of the brand is sure to sour.

“Do you know how much effort and dollars advertising and marketing spent to make [them] a fan over all of those years, and this is how it ends?” Rosales explains. This person has come away from their experience thinking “Bleep you, I’ll have tea.”

To avoid this issue, crafting a warm and helpful rejection email is the perfect place to start. If you need inspiration, the hiring consultants at Dover recently compiled a list of 36 top-quality rejection emails, taken from companies that know how to say “no” gracefully: Apple, Facebook, Google, NPR, and more.

Here’s a few takeaways from that list to keep in mind when constructing a rejection email of your own…

Include details about their resume to show they were duly considered. This shows candidates that their time, interests, and experience are all valued, particularly with candidates who came close to making the cut or have a lot of future promise.

Keep their information on file, and let them know this rejection only means “not right now.” That way, next time you need to make a hire, you will have a handy list of people to call who you know have an interest in working for you and relevant skills.

Provide some feedback, such as common reasons why applicants may not succeed in your particular application process.

And be nice! A lack of courtesy can ruin a person’s impression of your brand, whether they are a customer or not. Keep in mind, that impression can be blasted on social media as well. If your rejections are alienating, you’re sabotaging your business.

Any good business owner knows how much the details matter.

Incorporating an empathetic rejection process is an often-overlooked opportunity to humanize your business and build a positive relationship with your community, particularly when impersonal online applications have become the norm.

And if nothing else, this simple courtesy will prevent your inbox from filling up with circle-backs and follow-up emails once you’ve made your decision.

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Business News

Are Gen Z more fickle in their shopping, or do brands just need to keep up?

(BUSINESS NEWS) As the world keep changing, brands and businesses have to change along with it. Some say Gen Z is fickle, but others say it is the nature of change.



Gen Z woman shopping outside on a laptop.

We all know that if you stop adapting to the world around you, you’re going to be left behind. A recently published article decided to point out that the “fickle” Gen Z generation are liable to leave a poor digitally run site and never return. Now of course we’ve got some statistics here… They did do some kind of due diligence.

This generation, whose life has been online from almost day one, puts high stakes on their experiences online. It is how they interact with the world. It’s keyed into their self-worth and their livelihoods, for some. You want to sell online, get your shit together.

They have little to no tolerance for anything untoward. 80% of Gen Zers reported that they are willing to try new brands since the pandemic. Brand loyalty, based on in-person interaction, is almost a thing of the past. When brands are moved from around the world at the touch of your fingertips there’s nothing to stop you. If a company screws up an order, or doesn’t get back to you? Why should you stick with them? When it comes to these issues, 38% of Gen Zers say they only give a brand 1 second chance to fix things. Three-quarters of the surveyed responded saying that they’ll gladly find another retailer if the store is just out of stock.

This study goes even further though and discusses not just those interactions but also the platforms themselves. If a website isn’t easy to navigate, why should I use it? Why should I spend my time when I can flit to another and get exactly what I need instead of getting frustrated? There isn’t a single company in the world that shouldn’t take their webpage development seriously. It’s the new face of their company and brand. How they show that face is what will determine if they are a Rembrandt or a toddlers noodle art.

The new age of online shopping has been blasted into the atmosphere by the pandemic. Online shopping has boosted far and above expected numbers for obvious reasons. When the majority of your populace is told to stay home. What else are they going to do? Brands that have been around for decades have gone out of business because they didn’t change to an online format either. Keep moving forward.

Now as a side note here, as someone who falls only just outside the Gen Z zone the articles description of fickle is pompous. The stories I’ve heard of baby boomers getting waiters fired, or boycotting stores because of a certain shopkeeper are just as fickle and pointed. Nothing has changed in the people, just how they interact with the world. Trying to single out a single generation based on how the world has changed is a shallow view of the world.

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Business News

Chasing Clubhouse success? How the audio chat room trend affects products

(BUSINESS NEWS) It is inevitable that when a new successful trend comes along, other companies will try to make lightning strike twice. Will the audio chat room catch on?



Smiling woman seated in dark room illuminated by lamp and phone light, participating in audio chat room.

Businesses are always about the hot new thing. People are the always looking for the easiest dollar with the least amount of effort these days. It tends to lead to products that are shoddy and horribly maintained with the least amount of flexibility in pleasing their customers. However, you also have to look at the customer base for this as well. You follow where the money is because that’s where its being spent. It’s like a merry-go-round, constantly chasing the next thing. And the latest of these is the audio chat room.

During the pandemic the entire world saw an eruption of social audio investments. Silicon Valley has gone crazy with this new endeavor. On the 18th of April this year, Clubhouse said it closed on some new funding, which was valued at $4 billion for a live audio app. This thing is still in beta without a single penny of revenue!

The list of other companies who have pursued new audio suites (either through purchase or creation) include:

  • Facebook
  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • Discord
  • Apple

This whole new audio fad is still in its infancy. These social media and tech giants are all jumping headlong into it with who knows how much forethought. A number of them have their own issues to deal with, but they’ve put things aside to try and grab these audio chat room coattails that are running by. It’s a mix of feelings about the situation honestly. They are trying to survive and keep their customers.

If a competitor creates this new capability and they stay stagnant then they lose customers. If they do this however without dealing with their current issues then they could also lose people. It’s an interesting catch 22 for people out there. Which group do you fall in? Are you antsy for a new toy or are you waiting for one of these lovely sites to fix a problem? It’s another day in capitalism.

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