Scott Smith is the CEO and founder of Royal Legal Solutions, a legal services company that provides professional legal solutions, business restructuring, estate planning, retirement investing, and asset protection services to real estate investors. Before his company’s establishment, Smith is an aggressive litigator who brought suit against major insurance.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in Houston, Texas with a single mother raising 4 children on a school teacher’s salary. My mother, somehow, was able to save money to send me to summer camp in Colorado so I could hike in the mountains and horseback ride. She understood from early on that it was unique peak experiences in my life that would shape the lens through which I viewed the world and what I wanted for my own life.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

Follow the energy. Find what excites you and just go after it 1000%. The downside risks are never as bad as you think, and the upsides keep life worth living through the good times and the bad.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

That you shouldn’t invest time and energy and money into security. What is hardest in life is rebuilding. If you can live a life of steady upward progression without backsliding, you’ll have an amazing life no matter what that is.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I graduated from college with a  Spanish degree and didn’t know what to do with my life. I was unemployable and actually wasn’t very good a working jobs for very long. They were often boring, and I always wanted my boss’s job since my job was always too boring after the first month or so when the learning had stopped. What I learned from it was that the darkness is a teacher that is sharing with you a message that you need to be doing something different and that my job is to listen to it and take action. 

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Put myself first above all else so that I have more to give to others. Whenever I focus on myself first, life is easy and I have the energy to spare.

What is your morning routine?

I wake up when I wake up because I want the maximum amount of rest for my body. Sometimes that’s only 4 hours of sleep, sometimes 9.  The same is true when I go to bed.

After waking, I start my metabolism by consuming 40 grams of protein and mixed greens. This is followed by meditation, planning my perfect day, and visualizing the actions I’m going to take that are going to make this the perfect day.

I’ll then read at least 10 pages in a book or resource that relates to my focus for that month or quarter so that I’m bringing new insights for my decision-making process and my team.

My total morning routine is about 1.5 – 2 hours. 

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Micro-habit building has been very powerful for me since I failed at any major changes to my behavior. Instead, I work on incredibly easy things for me to do each day and then slowly build on that habit every 30-60 days. Progress is slow but sustainable in the long term. 

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Primarily it’s knowing what are the 3 most important things for me to do that day, and subordinating everything else. This is a focus on the effectiveness since most activities are unnecessary, but are done because we are in the “mode” of handling things.

For efficiency, I believe working off of a calendar and setting the appropriate time constraints forces a higher level of focus. It’s better to do higher frequency and short meetings in most cases than longer meetings (except for deep strategic planning)

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss changed the way that I thought about business, personal growth, and how those two things were really just extensions of each other. The greater I could grow as a person meant the greater company and the resulting impacts I could have on the world were directly related.

The other great book I’m reading right now is The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer where he talks about how he first focused on his inner growth and personal growth and then how that later resulted in the powerful relationships and insights he needed to eventually become a Billionaire.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“Do it even if it’s not perfect” I took this one from a challenge called #75hard. Many times I’ve seen that I know the right thing to do, but I just don’t do it. “Why don’t I do it“ became the ultimate question, and what I realized is that it was more important that I do the thing regardless of the level of quality. For instance, it’s more important that you work out for 45 minutes in the morning every day instead of focusing on what is the perfect workout, or waiting until you feel like working out.