Bill Smith

Founder of Double Iron Consulting

In 2000, Bill earned his MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. He then moved from Royal Cup’s Field Sales team back to the company headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, where he joined the company’s Operations Division. After various immersion roles in all areas of operations, Bill assumed senior management responsibilities for Operations. Bill successfully built out the Operations Management team, increased the capacity and capabilities of each department, and assumed executive leadership responsibilities soon thereafter.

In the 2010s, Bill first was promoted to executive leadership over Operations, Commercial Sales, and Office Coffee Service. Then, in 2014, Bill was named President & CEO of Royal Cup thus following in his uncle and father’s footsteps for the family business.

Throughout his career, Bill has been an active supporter and participant in United Way annual campaigns and he has served on multiple Birmingham and Alabama nonprofit organizations such as the Red Cross and McWane Science Center. Currently, in addition to Bill’s director and strategic advisor role on Royal Cup’s board, Bill also serves on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama board of directors.

Bill is an active fitness leader and enjoys running, swimming, cycling, and hiking. Having done many running road races, Bill will do his first triathlon later this 2021 calendar year. Bill also is a ready partner to go again and join anyone who wants to celebrate a milestone birthday with a skydiving jump.

Where did the idea for Double Iron Consulting come from?

As a family business executive and owner, Bill achieved numerous milestones across his experiences. Now, while still being an owner and board director, he wants to apply those learnings in a new way and a new direction. Bill started his business to give him the platform to share his experiences with other business owners and executives who are facing and leaning into the same situations and challenges he faced in his family business career.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Bill’s day often consists of mental, physical, professional, and social or service development. Mentally, he seeks to read and study and also practice with new languages. Physically, he works to improve his fitness and training for road races and triathlons. Professionally, he invests quality and quantity of time into his new business. Socially or service-minded, he commits to helping others whether that be connecting people, listening and encouraging friends, or acting to support or empower others through service.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Many people have great ideas. Bill embraces new ideas with a conviction and resolve to see progress in results.

What’s one trend that excites you?

We should all be excited to see people step out and return to eating out, supporting the community through active engagement again, and traveling both domestically and internationally.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Listen with your eyes and hear with your ears.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Bill would tell his younger self to embrace those first five years post-college with the goal of achieving a greater variety of new experiences, especially including more travel to different countries and cultures.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Physical fitness. Bill commits himself to regular and consistent fitness through exercise, running, swimming, and now cycling too. Keeping the body and mind fit will create more opportunities for success in life and business.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Everyone should have a people strategy. Hiring strong, competitive people makes a team better, makes a person better if you are a competitor.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One example for Bill is, early in his career, he missed on a sales opportunity because he failed to act with timeliness and a sense or urgency. Later, when a merger event occurred in his market, Bill recognized the sales opportunity, acted with greater urgency along with sustained selling, and significantly increased his regional sales.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Although not new, there should be an accelerator method to increase urban farming or community gardens such that food deserts are further minimized. There should be a way to broaden the appeal of and access to community gardens whereupon more avid green thumbs can come together, put their interests and skills to use, and more in the areas where fresh produce is in short supply.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

One of Bill’s most satisfying contributions was a memorial tribute in honor and recognition of one his mentors who passed away recently. This person, a former neighbor, was the epitome of hospitality, acts of kindness, and a giving spirit.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Bill is impressed with how many successful people fully leverage LinkedIn and believes in the professional and business value LinkedIn provides.
From a personal learning perspective, Bill appreciates the ease with which Duolingo creates for ongoing language practice. Right now, for Bill, it’s a mix of Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Jim Collins’ Good to Great creates a wonderful foundation for any business leader.

What is your favorite quote?

Bill appreciates the quote “life begins at the edge of your comfort zone” and the “fail forward” spirit. He sees how both these mindsets are especially meaningful and on point today.

Key Learnings:

  • Embracing change gives you great opportunities to grow as a person and to be successful within your business.
  • Surround yourself with strong, talented people. Invite people to challenge you and keep you accountable to your aspirations.
  • Keep a road race, a triathlon event, or the like on your calendar. Training for something keeps you sharp and motivated.
  • Eat out and travel regularly. Restaurants and travel stimulate the economy and enrich culturally you as a person.
  • Lessons from a grandmother who read and wrote poetry, kept a bridge game going, and played golf regularly: Find lifelong ways to keep your mind and body active.