I love gadgets. I think I get it from my dad. Whenever a new tech product is released, we’re both itching to try them out.
Of course, if I actually bought every single one of the latest and greatest inventions like the newest Mac and the new-gen gaming console, I would be writing this blog from my own private island and not in a ranch style house off of Wade Hampton.
One toy that I have at the top of my “to purchase” list is a drone.
The other day while I was walking down main street, I passed someone navigating their drone around the falls at Falls Park. I pulled into my driveway yesterday and my neighbor was flying hers around the neighborhood.
Sounds like fun, right?
Well, smart folks are having more than just fun. They’re making money.
If you really think about it from a business perspective, drones can be used to benefit virtually any industry in a number of ways.
I sat down with Brian Scott, local entrepreneur and owner of Upstate Aerial LLC, and talked about exactly this and how he’s been able to take advantage of it.
Brian was a pilot in the army and has also been an architect for sixteen years. Because of this, he was around a lot of emerging technology.
Brian was introduced to drones by a business partner of his. After watching him use it, Brain said “I think I have an application for that drone.”
Using photogrammetry, a drone, and some software, Brian sought to create 3D modeling of buildings and land for his projects. This, in turn, would save the architect firm he worked for a significant amount of time.
“The level of accuracy at that time wasn’t very good, but I realized that this idea could really work.”
So Brian brought his proposal to his firm to be developed further.
“I was confident that we could find the right people, teach them how to use this tool and develop it."
Guess what his firm’s marketing director said.
“This is a terrible idea. It’ll never work.”
So Brian started his drone business on the side and continued to test and perfect the process.
“My partner said we should start making videos, so we did real estate videos. We thought we were awesome. But we sucked. We kept going. We continued morphing as a business. Now we have done local and national tv commercials. I do construction monitoring for a number of different sites. I work for production companies and I do my own stuff on the side.”
“Everyone can buy a drone and take a picture. They can say ‘Hey I’m an expert.’ I was guilty of that. But it’s the quality of your work that sets you apart. You have to set yourself apart and truly understand the needs of your client so that you can give them great service.”
Brian’s architecture background provided him with a platform to be able to specifically figure out what his clients are wanting to accomplish. This platform allowed his drone business to really *cough* take off.
Brian’s business story fascinated me, so I asked him more about his background and he was very open with me. I won’t pretend like I’ve had it near as bad as he did, but I was incredibly encouraged by his words.
Check it out:
“I grew up poor white trash. I used duct tape to keep my shoes together. My sister and I thankfully escape an abusive and horrid childhood. I was emancipated at sixteen years old.
I’ve always wanted to fly. When I applied to be a pilot in the army, I had a lot of baggage with me. I got myself into a lot of trouble when I was young. When I sat in front of the board, the president of the board looked at me and asked, ‘Why should I let you fly in my army? Look at all you’ve done.’”
“I stared right back and said ‘because I’m the most motivated person you’re going to meet, sir. If I don’t fly with you, I’m going to fly with someone else. I will run through a brick wall to get stuff gone. If you tell me no you’re going to be missing out on a damn good pilot. I got the job.”
He then shifted gears,
“Now I do motivational speaking for elementary kids from time to time. I try to find the kid in the audience who maybe doesn’t have a good home life because I can usually tell. I tell the class there’s an opportunity to change, and it starts with your mind and how you look at life. It doesn’t matter what you have at home. Kids don’t always get that, but I can tell when the lightbulb goes off in that one hurting kid. He understands.”
“If you want it bad enough, and you show people that you want it bad enough, you’ll get it. Don’t give up or let anyone tell you no."
“People who are ashamed of their past won’t grow. You have to accept the bad with the good. People shouldn’t be ashamed where they’ve come from, but instead be proud of where they’re going. If you don’t have the right attitude you won’t be able to help yourself, and if you don’t help yourself you won’t be able to help other people.”
What else can I say? Brian’s determined mentality is contagious. It’s all in your mind, and it’s easier said than done. Being able to control your mindset is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do.
How do you wake up early in the morning to work-out? You convince yourself to do it. It’s truly as simple as that.
After our conversation at Coffee Underground (my second office) wound down, Brian took me over to a project he is overseeing at Rhett Street and gave me an exclusive sneak peak of what’s to come. This project is an incredibly exciting venture that I cannot wait to see come to full completion. I should have a more detailed post regarding the Rhett Street project in the near future, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you’re struggling and stuck in a rut with your business or life, I hope this blog helps.
Reach out to Brian and see if he and his drone can help your business take off.