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"Unlocking The Power of Life's Moments with Doug Smith" is an inspirational guidebook that explores the transformative potential inherent in everyday experiences. Authored by Doug Smith, a renowned life coach and motivational speaker, this book delves into the profound impact of embracing life's moments with mindfulness, gratitude, and purpose. Smith offers practical insights and strategies to navigate challenges, discover personal strengths, and cultivate a more fulfilling life. Through compelling anecdotes and actionable advice, the book empowers readers to harness the power of their experiences, fostering a mindset shift towards greater happiness, resilience, and meaning in both ordinary and extraordinary moments.
Skot Waldron (00:01.431)
Doug Smith, man, it is so cool to talk to you.
Doug Smith (00:04.738)
Scott, likewise, man. Congrats on the new book. I'm excited for you. Big time of year, yeah. Yeah, you got it.
Skot Waldron (00:07.223)
Hey, thanks sunshine. That's so awesome. I really, I really appreciate it. It's a, you know, as you are on your journey, you've got what? What chapter written?
Doug Smith (00:18.686)
I'm done with the draft, so now it's out there with agents and yeah, I'm trying to find the right agent to take on the project. So we'll see how that goes.
Skot Waldron (00:20.288)
Oh, the full giraffe.
Skot Waldron (00:27.56)
Nice. Okay. All right. So you got the first draft done. Now the hard work starts. Yeah, that's right. You know, it's like I got through my first draft. I was like, take a deep breath. And then I was like, Oh, wait a second. What? Like I'm I just started climbing this mountain. You mean what? So
Doug Smith (00:34.309)
Doug Smith (00:46.698)
And now you got to sell and promote it, man. It's like, it took me 15 years to write the book. I know we were talking about this before. Took me 15 years. So I'm like, okay, if it takes me another 15 to publish it, another 15 to sell it, you know, I'm basically at the end of my life.
Skot Waldron (00:51.903)
Skot Waldron (00:58.263)
You're pretty good. I know we were talking about John Maxwell before who's written like 4,000 books at this point. And so it's just like, I don't know how that works, man. I guess one book just feeds another.
Doug Smith (01:08.648)
Yeah, one at a time. But hey, I mean, now that you have it under your belt, I do feel like after writing my first draft, there's so many lessons where it's like, okay, I could knock this out a lot quicker. But if you don't write your first book, you want to write your second one. So we'll see how it goes.
Skot Waldron (01:20.567)
Well, I always think about those psychopath authors that when I interview them and they're like, you know, just launched their new book, they've already written like a quarter of the one that they're about to launch. And then they've got another one idea that they're going to launch after that one. I'm just like, you guys are crazy. Like, not me, man. Not me.
Doug Smith (01:35.404)
Doug Smith (01:41.222)
Yeah. I do have multiple books in my heart, but yeah, I don't know if I can crank them out that quick. We'll see.
Skot Waldron (01:46.687)
Yeah, that's, that's insane. Um, well, not only are you cranking out a new book, but you also have cranked out an amazing number of podcasts, episodes, um, 400 ish, you know, around that space, I mean, that's, that's consistency, that's amazing, that is power. Tell me about your podcast and what are the lessons you've learned from your guests?
Doug Smith (02:12.562)
Yeah. So, uh, you know, we can go over my story later, but when I was, uh, 18 years old, I lived the first 18 years of my life unintentionally. And then I got around some mentors who really just started to invest in me. And I was interning and an organization and one of the leaders there, he would bring in leaders from the community like yourself, and they would speak on leadership and he would say, Hey, if you really connected with Scott and what he said, you should reach out to Scott and ask him to mentor you, ask him out to coffee. And he gave us this whole system in process.
And so I started doing that every single month. I would have a learning lunch with a leader and I did that for about 10 years and got to meet with some pretty cool leaders. And all of a sudden, all my friends started saying like, Doug, this is incredible. Like how do you get to meet with all these people? And I said, it's very, very simple. You just ask, you just ask them. Uh, and they'd say, really? And I say, have you ever asked? And 99% of the time they've never asked for the meeting. So in 2012, I saw it as an opportunity and I just thought, you know, I like to say this was before podcasting was cool.
And I just said, Hey, what if I just started recording my conversations with the people I meet with, throw it on a podcast that way, you know, if someone's afraid to ask or can't get the meeting, they can at least sit in on my conversation. And so that was the launch in 2012. And literally, so you know, I tell people all the time, like, no matter what you start, you're going to be terrible in the beginning. My wife bought me a $50 recorder off of Amazon. And I didn't even know who to interview. I reached out to my father in law.
and asked him and literally I remember we sat in his basement and I put the recorder in the middle of us on a couch and just started asking him questions. The sound quality was terrible. I was editing it. But the important part was I started. And so, you know, that was 12 years ago or almost 12 years ago now. And I think the most important lessons that I've learned are one is start, right? If you don't start, you know, I think Zig Ziglar said you don't have to be great to start, but to be great, you have to start.
And so starting is a big thing and then just being consistent. So like you said, I actually just wrote a newsletter on LinkedIn on this, this morning, but I was reading podcast statistics and I think there's 4 million podcasts in the world, but out of those 4 million, there's only 171,000, I think off the top of my head that are actually consistently producing content on a weekly basis. So, you know, if you want to stand out from the competition, uh, determine that you're never going to quit and determine that you're always going to be consistent.
Doug Smith (04:38.014)
And then the third thing I would just add is determined to always get better. Um, one of my favorite compliments that I receive on my podcast is when leaders come up to me and say, Doug, you know, I started this in the podcast and I wanted to listen from the beginning, so I went all the way back to the, you know, the first hundred episodes and it's amazing to hear how far you've come quality growth is an interviewee, uh, an interviewer, et cetera. And, uh, it really is fun to go back and think about that. And one of the ways that I grow and I'll do it again with you today is at the end of every interview.
I basically ask whoever I'm interviewing, hey, how can I get better? What would be a better, how can I create a better experience for people that I interview in the future? And I probably only have had probably 20 people give me really solid feedback, but that feedback ended up changing my life and ended up changing the trajectory of the podcast and making me who I am today. So yeah, start, be consistent, don't quit, and always improve. And if you'll do those things, you'll go a long way. We could dive further into lessons there if you want, but that's what comes to mind.
Skot Waldron (05:37.507)
I love that. That's awesome. That is awesome. This whole asking thing, let's dive into that for a second. So how do you get meetings with just about anyone? I know, I know it's just like this idea of ask. It's very simple. Just ask, how many have you asked? And people will probably say, I don't know. Like not many. Uh, so it's really that. Let me ask you, first of all, what gets in the way of people?
Doug Smith (05:44.279)
Skot Waldron (06:04.119)
wanting to do or not necessarily wanting, but even just taking the action to ask. And then I guess following through, like finding the people to ask and. The guts to ask and all those other things. So go, go there.
Doug Smith (06:20.69)
Yeah, I mean, I think things that hold people back are one, they don't actually think they could ever get a meeting with some of these leaders. They don't think that they would ever be told yes. Two, I think they also don't have a system for, okay, what if they do say yes? What do I do? How do I handle myself? And so, um, but my encouragement, you know, on the boldness side, I remember Tim Ferriss used to lecture, I think at Stanford and he would always challenge the, the class that, Hey, I want you to think of the most
the person that you think would be the most unreachable person on the planet. And they'd write it down. It might be the CEO of Google, LinkedIn, et cetera. And they would write it down and he goes, I want to challenge you in the next week to try to get in touch with them. And without fail, he said 70% of the class doesn't even try. They didn't even try the assignment, you know, 20% tried and got decently far, but not all the way. And two or three people in the class actually got meetings with the CEO. So, you know, that always inspired me to think like, I probably could get a meeting with anyone. It's just a matter of how.
Um, so a few thoughts on actually asking and getting for the meeting that I always tell people one, uh, I would encourage listeners to come up with a bucket list of people that you'd like to meet with or like to interview. If you have a podcast, that's really, really essential. So I have a whole bucket list that I've had for 12 years. And, and again, put impossible people down. Like there's people that have been on my list for 12 years and I haven't got to them yet. Um,
But I have people that I never thought I would get to that I have gotten to in the past five years and it just took time. So create a bucket list and then just start pursuing it. And this sounds really simple, but you have to start with who you know and where you are. And so that's why I mentioned, my first interview was my father-in-law. And so it was really, really simple. And if you look over the course of the first 100 podcasts, if you know the people, it's like one relationship led to another, which led to another, but I just started with the relationships that I knew.
And some helpful things just on expanding that network. Anytime I meet with someone or interview someone at the end of that interview, I always ask, hey, who are two or three other people that I can either A, use your name for in introducing myself or that you'd be willing to introduce me to? Like that question alone and asking that has opened up incredible doors. But I guess where I would really challenge people is, getting a meeting is easy. It's handling it in a way that people trust you enough to give you those referrals, that's key.
Doug Smith (08:39.87)
And so I'll just say meeting people in real life and you can equate this to the podcast if it, if it makes sense for whoever's listening. But for me, so when I reach out to someone, um, I'm very specific and I'd say, Hey Scott, um, I know you, I heard you speak at an event, uh, really inspired by what you said. I would love to get a 20 to 30 minute meeting. And I usually, if it's the first meeting, I would ask for 20 to 30 minutes, more than that's really tough. And again, depending on who you're trying to meet with, like that might be a lot of time, but Hey, we'd love to get to
you know, 20 to 30 minutes with you. If you're willing to meet, A, I'll come with a list of questions and I'll send them to you in advance so I don't waste your time and you know exactly what the agenda is and I'll be prompt and I promise you I'll make the most of our time. Hopefully that'll get you in the door and to get the meeting. And then when you get the meeting, show up on time, I'd be there early if I were you. When the person comes or when you join them online, say hello, introduce yourself, remind them where you met and then just say,
We have 30 minutes, does that still work for you? I think that's really important, upfront contract of just asking people how much time they have. And then start diving into the questions. Hey, go through the questions, ask them, here's a huge part, take notes while they're talking. It shows you that you're valuing what they're saying. I know when I meet with people, if I see them taking notes, it fires me up. And you'll need those notes later, is all I'll talk about. So take notes during the meeting. When you're done with the meeting, thank the person for their time.
And then when you leave, write them a thank you card and on the thank you card, don't just say, Hey Scott, thank you so much for me. And it was great Doug. Instead look over the notes that you took and say, Hey Scott, I loved our time together here were three to five of my top takeaways that I, and here's what I plan to do as a result. Thanks again. And I'll reach out and maybe we can do this again sometime. And then I say, if, if you want to develop a mentoring relationship, like an ongoing non one time relationship.
That's when I would say, don't reach out again for another two or three months until you've actually applied what they taught you. And then reach out to them and say, hey Scott, it's been a few months since we met. When we talked, you gave me this advice. Here's what I did. Here was the outcome. Can we meet again? I have some more questions. And just repeat that process over and over again. And you'll be shocked to where that'll take you. And the only other thing I would add, things that could increase the chance of you getting a meeting is something like nowadays having a podcast.
Doug Smith (11:01.694)
If you can find a way to add value to them. So if I said, Hey Scott, not only do I want to meet with you, but I want to record our conversation. And so when you're, uh, when you're talking to me and answering my questions and that goes out on the podcast, it's not only going to influence me. Now it's going to influence thousands of other leaders who are going to listen to the podcast. Well, all of a sudden your ears probably went up and said, wow, like that's a pretty big ROI on the half hour. I would have just spent with you. Maybe I'll do that. Um, and another thing that can help set you apart.
I would just throw out there as providing a gift for someone. So I learned this, uh, actually John Maxwell shared the story and changed my life. He was talking about, I forget the woman's name, but, uh, the woman who created the Aflac duck, uh, got a meeting with Warren Buffett. It was supposed to be a 10 minute interview. She gets the meeting and in researching her for him for the meeting, she found that he loved diet, cherry Coke. So before the meeting, she went to the convenience store, bought a diet, cherry Coke with a little cooler and an ice bucket, put it in there.
walked into Warren Buffett's office and said, Mr. Buffett, thank you so much for your time today. I know you love Diet Cherry Coke. So I thought we'd start the interview with something that you like, open the Diet Cherry Coke. And he looked at her and said, young lady, in all my years doing this, no one's ever brought me a Diet Cherry Coke, you can have as much time as you want. And he gave her an hour and a half. And again, she got an hour and a half with Warren Buffett, because she was willing to spend, you know, a 10 extra minutes and $1.50 to buy a Diet Cherry Coke.
So anytime I meet with someone I try to find out if they have an assistant. Hey What does Scott like? Does he like Starbucks is there a restaurant he likes and I try to just find like a little $10 gift card or something that I Could add value to and if they have an assistant try to buy a gift for them to again go out of your way And you're not just doing it You should be doing it genuinely because you want to give and bless people But that will also make you stand out from the crowd because how many people actually do that not too many So those are some thoughts that come to mind when it comes to meeting with people that you want to get a meeting with
Skot Waldron (12:56.555)
We could just end the episode right now. That was so applicable. It's so applicable. Like I'm going to, now I feel a lot of pressure after this episode to thank you. Sure. I write you a note. What kind of gifts you like, you know, all the, okay. Yeah. Okay. All right. You got it. Um, what is, let me ask you this though. Okay. This is one of the.
Doug Smith (13:01.006)
See you later.
Doug Smith (13:10.243)
Doug Smith (13:14.642)
At least $100 gift card to a nice restaurant, Scott, at least. Yeah. Honest season.
Skot Waldron (13:25.751)
things I've had. What about people that, you know, you don't know their address to send. This is a very logistical thing, but this is something that's come up for me. And I know it's kind of like, why am I asking this on a podcast episode? No, it's seriously like one of my concerns. It's like, I really want to, you know, send an extra little gift to somebody, but we do so much virtual now and people don't have offices that asking for their home address is like kind of weird ish maybe. Is that my own thing? Is that your like, what do you do about that?
Doug Smith (13:49.687)
Doug Smith (13:53.574)
Yeah, probably, because by the time you're asking for their home address, hopefully it's, you know, after you've had the meeting, you know, if you're going to bring them something to the meeting, hopefully they have an assistant you can ask ahead of time. But today, and again, the beautiful thing about the digital world is people are accessible. So even on LinkedIn, if you have the premium version, you can DM people and reach out. You can find their contact information.
you know, a few quick Google searches, also on LinkedIn, looking for people who know people. So again, you're one or two connections away from changing your destiny. I tell people like, I could be too. I actually just interviewed a woman a few weeks ago on the podcast. And she literally said she's, she was the one who said if you challenge me and gave me any name on the planet, within two or three weeks, I will have a meeting with them. And I said, well, who are you trying to meet with? And she goes, right now I'm working on Elon Musk. Okay. Tall order. And I said, well, how are you going to get to him? She's like, I'm close.
I actually have, I've got contact with his best friend after a few weeks and I think it's gonna happen. And so again, it's like, it's gonna take time, it's gonna take some effort, but how bad do you want it? Because if you want it bad enough, you'd be surprised how far you can get if you just apply a little effort.
Skot Waldron (15:01.315)
Plan a little effort and our brains are conditioned to move away from pain towards comfort and also away from effort, right? Like our brains just, they don't want to burn too many calories, making too much effort because then they don't have the calories to help us survive. So, uh, that makes sense. It makes sense. Let's. So we, we have kicked off with so much application that.
Doug Smith (15:12.492)
Skot Waldron (15:30.071)
Like there's so much goldenness that I'm gonna, I could create a whole separate episode from just that takeaway, because it's been so valuable I think for me, because it is that having a podcast and guests and trying to say, who could I get on this guest, my guest list, who could I have on my show, how could I grow this, how could I, it is just that ask. And I feel like sometimes I think too small. I think too small. And it is,
Doug Smith (15:43.95)
Are you there?
Skot Waldron (15:59.715)
How do I, how bad do I want it? Where do I want to go? Is it getting out of that? You know, the comfort zone is lined with excuses and defensiveness for, for why we should be there. Uh, and so as I try to get past that, I try to work it. So thanks for the inspiration there and a little bit of a push. Let me ask you this. Let's, let's talk about your story. I want to hear, I want people to understand where you came from and why you are where you are right now, because you also.
Um, are the assistant executive director of a, of a mission, um, to, you know, battle homelessness and other things up in the Pittsburgh area. So tell us about your journey and how you landed, where you landed.
Doug Smith (16:42.366)
Sure. Yeah. I mean, people look at my life now, as you mentioned, I'm assistant executive director at a rescue mission, a large nonprofit in our city. I have a leadership development company, a podcast. I'm married to my high school sweetheart and we have four children under seven, which is wonderful. Uh, and so, uh, life is really, really full right now, but if you were around my life to when I was 17 years old, you would have never predicted this trajectory. And so, you know, um, I grew up in a pretty normal family and in middle school.
Unfortunately, my mom got diagnosed with a rare nerve disease. It wasn't MS, but it was similar. She if you've ever had your feet fall asleep or have pins and needles in your feet, she started having that 24 hours a day. As a result, ended up using a walker, ultimately ended up in a wheelchair, and then ultimately ended up bedridden for the majority of her life. And so I went from a normal family life to basically no family life with my mom in bed all the time. My dad is a bus driver and he had to get a second job to help with all the health bills. So
He was never home. And so I had no boundaries. So in the middle of eighth grade, got into drugs and stopped trying in school, basically determined that I would never amount to anything. I thought, hey, you know, I don't have to go to college or anything to be a bus driver. I'll just do what my dad does. And obviously there's nothing wrong with being a bus driver, but that's just what I thought. At the same time, found out my mom had these pills called OxyCottons, which is basically synthetic heroin. Found out that there was a market for that in my high school, became a drug dealer.
did acid all the time, you know, and just kind of partied and lived a crazy lifestyle all throughout high school. Well, fast forward to my senior year, October of 2002, my mom had gotten so sick that she ended up passing away in October of 2002. And when she died, for me, it didn't bother me that she died because I saw her suffer so much. It was actually a relief, especially the last six months of her life.
But personally, I'm a person of faith and what did bother me was I had become a person of faith in middle school but totally fell away from you know, all of that world and But for whatever reason I was getting drunk and high every night after my mom died and this thought kept tormenting me it's like Doug you're never gonna know if your mom had a relationship with God and that just drove me crazy and Three months after she died. I randomly I say got a call from a distant relative and she just called me She said Doug, I know you don't really know me
Doug Smith (18:55.874)
but I felt like God put you on my heart this morning and wanted me to let you know that I was a nurse in the hospital with your mom and I led her into a relationship with God and I think God wants you to know that. And I lost it, man. I mean, I hit my knees and I basically just said, God, whatever you want for the rest of my life, I'm yours. Two weeks later, I randomly got invited to a Bible study that was led by a mom in our high school. And I walked down the stairs, there was 150 kids there. I saw this beautiful girl sitting on the couch and I decided I was gonna go there every week.
Her mom was the one leading the Bible study. And she, I left that night, I told my high school friends, I said, I met the girl I'm gonna marry. And then that girl told her mom, I can't believe Doug came to Bible study today. He's one of the most influential kids in our school, but he uses all of his influence for drugs and alcohol. If he ever started living intentionally, I think he could change the world. And this is where, you know, mentoring and everything comes in. For whatever reason, that mom really felt impacted to bring me over to her house. And, you know, basically,
become a second family to me. The girl's dad is the dean of admission at Carnegie Mellon University. He became a father figure to me. He was one of the first people to tell me that I was a leader and had leadership potential. He said, Doug, you're gonna go to college. I want you to dream big and go for it. You're gonna do great things with your life. And I had never heard anything like that before. And they ended up bringing me to a church where I was alluding to it earlier.
met a youth pastor there who became a second mentor in my life. And between those two men, what really turned my life around was giving me a vision that I could be something different than the path that I was on. That was huge. And then just starting investing in leadership. The one guy handed me, the youth pastor handed me a John Maxwell CD. And I still remember the lesson was called Standing Tall. I put it in the CD player and I listened to it. And I didn't even know there was such thing as personal development, but when I listened to it, I felt like I was neo in the matrix.
And man, something in me just went off. I called him and I said, hey, give me everything you got. And he gave me binders full of Maxwell lessons and for literally two or three years, for two or three hours a night, I would listen to hours of Maxwell on leadership. And that was really the start of my growth journey. And here we are 20 years later, it's taken a lot of growth, a lot of intentionality. I did end up marrying the girl on the couch. I tell people it took me 10 years to grow into the man I needed to be.
Doug Smith (21:16.862)
to marry her. So it's been a long journey, but it's been a really good one. And I think the lesson there is just, you know, if you're in a tight spot, you can or tough spot, you can turn your life around. You just need to get in the right get around the right people who could show you a different way to go. You need mentors in your life consistently people who can help you grow, stretch and develop and believe in you and go with you for the journey. And if you have those things, I think you're gonna you're gonna be all right.
Skot Waldron (21:41.731)
That is a story, man. That is a story. There's a principle I teach when I'm coaching teams about, it's about mentorship and about developing other people on your team. And there's a, there's a crucial point in the development of somebody where. They could potentially fall in what we call the pit of despair. And the pit of despair is this point where you're, you know, it's, it's right after the I'm consciously incompetent stage, like I know I'm not very good at this thing.
Doug Smith (22:01.784)
Skot Waldron (22:10.859)
and moving around that corner into the consciously competent, like I know now that I'm getting better at this thing. Well, that corner right there where that we're rounding is called the pit of despair. When people fall in there, it's because people have abandoned them. They feel no hope. They feel discouraged. They feel let down. They feel like all types of things. And there's a bunch of people in the pit of despair. They're probably talking to each other and there's gossip and there's drama. There's silos forming, all kinds of stuff.
Doug Smith (22:18.859)
Skot Waldron (22:38.571)
And what I hear from you about your story is that you are in that pit of despair. There was a time in your life. You didn't feel a lot of hope. You didn't feel a lot of, um, optimism. It was just discouragement or whatever was going on with you at the time. But then what I heard, and then what I'll tell people, if you want to get somebody out of the pit of despair, there's three things people need. Time, vision, and encouragement. And that's what I heard you say. You said, I, people gave me the time. They reached out to me.
Doug Smith (23:02.95)
Skot Waldron (23:08.919)
It was intentional encouragement and vision for what you could be and what you could do. You're gonna go to college, you're gonna be a leader, you're gonna do these things. And that was so perfect. Like that is a great testament to the fact that can pull you out. And it was ultimately you that did it. Yes, you had support. Yes, you had insight. Yes, you had people coaching you, but ultimately the power came from within you.
to actually make the decision to put that CD in, to make the decision to go to that Bible study, right. And to do those things. And so I just want to praise you for that and let other people know that. It is going to be your intentional actions that are going to change the trajectory of your life and what you do.
Doug Smith (23:58.282)
Yeah, I love the way you articulated that. I might take that. Get out of the pit of despair. So good.
Skot Waldron (24:01.751)
Pity to spare, pity to spare. Let me ask you about, um, cause there's an interesting connection we have here to the nonprofit. Um, and I know we're jumping all over the place here, but this is a, an interesting personal connection. So my, my older brother, um, lived on the streets for a number of years and decades as a matter of fact, and, uh, alcohol and drugs and all types of things. Just
Doug Smith (24:22.763)
Doug Smith (24:26.167)
Skot Waldron (24:29.571)
hard, hard life and lots of heartache and a lot of, you know, struggle. And I know a lot of people out there can probably relate to what I'm saying right now. I believe that we either are the person, somebody in our direct family, or we, at least we know somebody who has an addiction issue of some kind. And I think that, uh, my, my brother was, you know, he went, uh, Atlanta mission was, was a big part of.
Some of the things that he did, he was in there multiple times for recovery issues and, and doing different things there, my past agency, we did some work for Atlanta mission here. Um, we did their annual report for a number of years and worked with them on some other things, uh, in that space. And I know that you are working, that is the organization that you're somewhat associated with in the Pittsburgh area. Um, and the lives that you're, you're changing there. And another piece of hope is that my brother now recovered.
Doug Smith (25:10.798)
Skot Waldron (25:27.463)
You know recovering addict and has been sober for a number of years now thriving amazing remarried just um, just it is the story and he has started a nonprofit with his wife called Hope Dealers and They go out to the streets of Atlanta every week and they deliver a hundred meals
Doug Smith (25:35.261)
Doug Smith (25:50.947)
Skot Waldron (25:51.399)
Um, and bring resources and all kinds of things to the people of Atlanta. And they have now turned what was something he struggled with something that he did into an experience that now he can relate to these people on the street and go out and serve them. And that has been the answer to his sobriety is his service. And, uh, it's just, it's just been a cool story. So tell me about the connection that you're having now with leadership.
Doug Smith (26:09.059)
Thanks for watching.
Doug Smith (26:14.631)
Skot Waldron (26:20.371)
With service with the things you're doing there now with your audience up at the mission you're, you're serving up in Pittsburgh.
Doug Smith (26:28.046)
Doug Smith (26:32.086)
And yeah, I just hit Mark there because he froze for a second, but you basically just asked how am I, what, what are we doing at light of life? Basically my connection there. Great. Um, well, yeah, it turns out one, thank you so much for sharing the story of your brother. I didn't know that, you know, we didn't talk about that beforehand and man, so wonderful to hear, thank God that he's doing okay and doing well and now giving back, um, man, I know how special that is and we have even more in common than you would think, uh, in hearing that as you were hearing that I didn't, I usually don't share this often, but
I had a younger sister who, when my life started turning around, as the story I just shared, she basically was on the same path I was going and ended up keep going, kept going down that path after we lost our mom. And I was on staff at Light of Life for about a year. This was 13 years ago. And she came to me pregnant with my nephew five months and she started crying. She said, Doug, I need help. And I said, well, what do you mean you need help? And she said, I'm a heroin addict. And you know, I had done drugs, but I never got into heroin.
Unfortunately, and I had no idea what to do to be honest with you And so I was working at this rescue mission and I reached out to the program director I said, can you help and for nine years light of life rescue mission here in Pittsburgh walked to me my family and my sister Through my sister's addiction. She had two sons during that time ended up homeless twice In our program three different times The third time she was in our program was clean for 18 months rededicated her life to Christ, which was beautiful
And I felt like I had my sister back, you would get this, for the first time in 15 years. Now, unfortunately, after those 18 months, she ended up relapsing, and she had overdosed 32 times in her life. And unfortunately, in December of 2019, we lost her to an overdose, which was obviously devastating. But I share that story, one, not just to relate to you, but you kind of alluded to this. When I first started working at a rescue mission, if you would have told me that I would ever know anyone
who would be in need of our services, I would have said, no chance. You know, we're from the suburbs, all these different things. But what I've come to know through my sister story and through meeting the men and women that we serve is everyone who walks through our doors is somebody's sister, it's somebody's brother, it's somebody's father, somebody's mother, somebody's sister, somebody's brother. And the reality is we're all one or two decisions away from being the exact same place that these men and women are at. And I think people need to realize that.
Doug Smith (28:53.462)
And the other reasons are, you know, I've been on staff there for 13 years. And I've seen so many stories like your brothers of transformation, where people come to us at the lowest point in their lives and get to put their lives back together and through Christ turn their life around and it's beautiful. It's why I keep showing up to work. Um, and those are the stories you're, you're marketing background. Like that's what you're going to see in the newsletters. That's what you're going to see on the YouTube channels. But for, for every transformation, there's also, you know, life and death battles going on where people like my sister don't
don't get the outcome that we necessarily want. And again, I'm just sharing my personal experience. That's why being a faith-based organization is really important to me. Because I felt like even with my sister, if we lost her naturally in this world, I believe because of Light of Life and the work that they did, I'll get to see my sister again. And so it's serious work. It's been a wild journey being here for 13 years. I've spent most of my career here in development, raising money.
And just recently got promoted to assistant executive director. So really now responsible for running the day to day operations of the entire organization, uh, which is a lot of fun. And we can certainly go into leadership lessons, but, um, I just want to share that cause you talked about giving back, you know, if someone's listening to this service really is so healing and, you know, I get to be a part of it every day. But if you're listening to this and you're in a challenging time or there you're stressed or you have tension, I really encourage you, you know, wherever you live, find an organization like.
Atlanta rescue mission or light of life rescue mission in your city, and just go serve and start giving your life away and watch what that does for you. And if you have a family, bring your family with you. I mean, for me, you know, it's so funny, volunteers come down to light of life all the time thinking it's like, we're going to do our good deed, we're going to make a difference not realizing that when they're done serving, they were probably more impacted than the people that they were serving. And and that's what's beautiful about we say all the time, like
once you walk through the doors of light of life, whether you're a client, a guest, a volunteer, a donor, like your life will never be the same. And so, you know, I'd encourage everyone listening to this, find a way to give your life away somehow.
Skot Waldron (30:54.787)
That's amazing. I have lived it and, uh, I can support everything you're saying. And I, I almost so encouraged and let's, let's take this pivot back to. How we can apply this and where we're going with this discussion. When we started off with getting a meeting with anyone.
And we pivoted into your story and now this really like kind of deep impact that we can have on humanity as a whole. Um, seems kind of disjointed, but I think that there's some, some similarities here that we can draw. And it's about connection with people and respect of people. How do we do that as, as an audience and how we do that as, as. You know, as, as human beings.
And in the workplace, this idea of service, I think is crucial. And I often tell people that person that pushes your buttons the most is probably the person that can be your greatest teacher and
Doug Smith (32:02.239)
Skot Waldron (32:03.111)
Is there a way you feel so annoyed by this person? Is there a way to serve them? As you serve, as you increase your ability to serve, your ability to feel more compassion also increases. And it's not that you have to have them over for like Thanksgiving dinner or whatever the next year, maybe you do, but it is the, how do I do something of service?
Doug Smith (32:09.581)
Skot Waldron (32:32.887)
for this person I'm frustrated with, whether it's your spouse, whether it's your boss, whether it's a teammate, whether it is somebody around you, because that service is so healing. What do you think about the connection between what you do as leadership development and your podcast and the nonprofit work? Where is the bridge there for you?
Doug Smith (32:55.442)
Yeah, I mean, what comes to mind with what you were just saying is one, the sooner that you learn that life is not about you and it's all about others and it's all about people, the better off your life and leadership journey will go by the way. It's all about people. And you know, I always think about growth and development and you know, you talked about people that are annoyed with you. Someone asked me on a podcast the other day, they said, Doug, what's been the greatest source of growth in your life? And I think they want me to say like this podcast or you know, this book. But the reality is it's been suffering.
And you know, I can name three seasons in my leadership journey that all had to do with people basically, or two out of the three had to do with people who irritated me or that I just didn't like, but God ended up using that those seasons to grow me the most. And to what you just said, you know, this would be my challenge. Uh, I'll quickly tell the story, but I had, I had basically, uh, two leaders coming to my life, both, both who I hated, who I felt like, you know, belittled me.
I went from leaders who told me I can do anything to basically leaders who could tell me I could do nothing. And so what did I do? I complained about them. I gossiped about them. One leader specifically, I tried to get them fired through a 360 review, which ended up blowing up in my face. And I don't have time to go into the whole story, but I ended up as a result of that, having for the first time in my life and early on in my leadership journey, having to actually confront someone that all I did was complain and gossip about. Oh, and by the way, I allowed everyone else to gossip too.
Doug Smith (34:21.11)
the things that upset you about someone and have a conversation with them about it, it was incredible. Now, I lost a ton of trust with that person and we cried the whole time we had the conversation and it took me six to nine months after that conversation to rebuild trust with them. But what I found was I ended up having an amazing relationship with them and I ended up being able to help serve them.
on how they impact people through their interactions. And they ended up helping me be more direct, candid, and have hard conversations. And it was at that point in my leadership journey that I determined never again will I be passive aggressive when someone upsets me or something's frustrating me. Never again will I allow people to gossip to me. And never again will I participate in gossip. And have I been perfect? No, but I would say 95% of the time, like if you come to me complaining about someone, I'm gonna say, pick up your phone right now, call that person and have a conversation with them.
And it's amazing how fast gossip will stop when you do that. But again, it's all about people. And to your point, sometimes our greatest adversaries can become our greatest allies and teachers. I thought that was so profound when you shared that. And that's just one example in my life and leadership journey.
Skot Waldron (35:28.335)
That's powerful. It goes to a, back to a concept, uh, I teach called going to the source and we can either be a firewall or a conduit. And it is, I'm going to put a block up. You can come to me, you can vent. I'll create a place for you to care and just you do your thing. But at some point you, I'm going to encourage you to go back and talk that way, or I can make a choice to go spread the fire, um, and be that conduit of gossip and drama and silos and toxicity. So, um, good for you.
Good for you for, uh, taking a stand and for now living that principle. Uh, cause it's, it's crucial. It's crucial. I want to, we're going to wrap this up. Cause this has been, like I said, this has kind of been a bit of whiplash from like,
100%. Usually this is what my shows do. You just do, okay. Usually it's like, we get a little bit of background and starts kind of easing into it and then like the middle of the podcast is like the meat it's like so good. And I'm like, Oh man, people just hold on. I think they'll, they'll get to it. They'll get after we get warmed up, but you came out, dude, you came out of it. Just guns a blazing, like with that application section, then we got to the heart of the matter, like we hit the.
Doug Smith (36:31.894)
Just dive in, man, dive in. Yeah.
Skot Waldron (36:41.675)
practicality and something that people can get out of this from a practical standpoint of how can you build influence and get to know those introductions and be mentored and whatnot. But then we turned it to like the heart of the matter and it is about the people. It is about the service and it is about that connection we make in leadership and why we do what we do. Uh, I am grateful.
for everything you've shared and I'm debating in my head, do I split this thing up or do I just leave it all as one? Because it's been so profound and so good. Is there something that you would leave with everybody as far as like what's the message that you want everybody to take away from all this?
Doug Smith (37:28.79)
Um, yeah, I think it comes to mind is, man, I tell people, I mentioned the story of listening to Maxwell CDs. What I learned about personal growth is one of the most exciting things in life is to realize that you could become more tomorrow than you are today. And it doesn't matter where you're starting. Uh, a quote I share every January 1st is, although you cannot go back and have a brand new start, my friend, anyone can start today and have a brand new end. And so wherever you are in your journey, there's more for you. You can grow and develop. And the most exciting thing about growth is there's no finish line.
You can continue to grow and become more tomorrow than you are today for the rest of your life. So keep listening to podcasts like this. Keep getting around mentors in your life that can help sharpen you, do everything that you can to grow. Cause the world, I say this every episode I end with, but don't quit. Keep leading. The world desperately needs your leadership. And I would add, the world desperately needs you to become who you were created to be. And the world will be better for it. So go after it.
Skot Waldron (38:21.775)
Killer man. Killer. Is there anything, how do people get in touch with you? Where do they go?
Doug Smith (38:29.194)
Yeah, DougSmithLive.com, L3Leadership.org, LinkedIn. You know, I'm not very hard to find. I need that Dion Sanders shirt. I think he has this hoodie that says, not hard to find. I need that. So come and find me.
Skot Waldron (38:41.712)
Nice. Well, thanks for being on the show, Doug. It's been, it's been awesome getting to know you, man. I never know, you know, who, who's going to be on the show, what we're going to do and how we're going to connect. Uh, there's been a lot of connection here and I'm, I'm grateful for you and your heart and your service and, and your life story. Cause I know it'll impact a lot of people. Thanks for sharing it with my people.
Doug Smith (38:44.022)
Doug Smith (38:48.418)
Doug Smith (39:03.922)
Yeah. Like why Scott keep making a difference, keep adding value to people. It's exciting to see what you're doing with your life. And congrats again on the book. Can't wait to see what happens with it.