Don’t underestimate the importance of hiring the right people to build your team. You will need to trust and rely on them time and time again.
Kevin Seawright created RPS Solutions LLC in 2015. Through RPS Solutions, Seawright has helped make homeownership possible for first time home buyers with limited income in the Baltimore area. RPS Solutions’ mission “to create more affordable homes” involves purchasing and renovating properties throughout the city and the surrounding areas. Seawright and RPS partner with many organizations such as the National Community Stabilization Trust to help first time buyers achieve their dream of homeownership.
In the past, Kevin Seawright has utilized his degree in public accounting as VP Deputy Chief Operating Officer of a major public school district. He was responsible for $50 million in the in city, state and federal funding, even successfully reducing the department’s budget deficit by $600,000 in one year. As a result of this achievement, Mr. Seawright would win the city’s Innovative and Leadership Talent Award in 2004.
Mr. Seawright has also worked in Washington, District of Columbia and Newark, New Jersey. His work with the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation led to more senior living communities and contributed to extensions at Rutgers University, in addition to helping secure youth summer employment. Seawright has acted as a youth mentor through his involvement in various youth assistance programs.
Kevin Seawright earned a Master of Business Administration from Almeda University. Mr. Seawright also earned a Non-Profit certificate from Notre Dame University Mendoza School of Business. He has years of experience helping people become homeowners, improving businesses, and has been very impactful to the private sector.
Where did the idea for RPS Solutions LLC come from?
I was raised in urban Philadelphia before matriculating to Baltimore in my adult life. Growing up in Philly I saw first-hand amongst my family and friends that many people well into their adult lives continued to pay rent to landlords. As I gained expertise in managing finances for a variety of different businesses and organizations (governments, educational institutions, etc.) I came to realize what I had observed throughout my early life – paying a landlord rent for your whole life – does not aid in financial stability and is leaving a great investment opportunity on the table. Putting your money to work in real-estate is one of the smartest investment moves you can make. From my first-hand involvement in the community, understanding the nuances of urban life, I quickly learned that there was a lack of available resources for individuals to start on their path to home ownership. RPS Solutions was born to bridge that gap. We’re helping people invest in the community they love and stabilize their lives with responsible investing.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Music gets me up in the morning around 7am. I hold off on reading the news or my emails until I’ve pumped my blood with a quick workout before I make my way into the office. Single-tasking in my recent years, while it’s gotten more difficult with each passing year and the infiltration of technology i.e., always being “available”, has really helped with my efficiency. I’ve seen good results with my own productivity while focusing on tasks for 30 minute increments and then taking a stretch or coffee refill break. Ensuring I have time for my family when I’m not in the office gives me the motivation to fill my tank and keep on keeping on.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I journal a few times a week, as a starting point. I often have ideas to implement for RPS and other businesses I’m involved with that come and go, but the act of writing them down makes it less likely that they are fleeting thoughts and makes my ideas more actionable. Once I have a good idea that I’m proud of, I usually bring them to RPS’ Managing Partner, Niccole Beasley for feedback. Niccole is a rock and we’ve worked together for a long-time – predating RPS Solutions. I’m lucky to have a confidant and trusted partner to run my ideas by. She’ll be the first to tell me if I should scrap them or if there’s a diamond in the rough. She’s the founder of the Kevin Seawright “Board of Advisors” – everyone should have one!
What’s one trend that excites you?
Currently, the decreased interest rates for home mortgages is getting me pretty hot!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Reading. Learning more on a constant basis. Coming at a business from an informed standpoint is the only way to succeed. Being knowledgeable about all aspects of my business and our market and industry is something that would impact my ability to succeed if I were less diligent.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could speak to a younger Kevin Seawright, I’d tell him that you’re going to make mistakes. And in the aftermath of those mistakes, it’s all going to be ok and will work out in the end. I’d also tell him to pay attention in Microsoft Excel classes! That was not as intuitive to reteach as you might think!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Tactfully calculate your business decisions! Crunch your numbers. Look at your decisions from each angle and try poking holes in your own plans and processes. I can’t tell you how many times after thorough review we found a need to rework our strategies as there were faults that weren’t initially evident.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
It starts and ends with the team you build around you and the expertise unique to each of them. Without every individual of the RPS Solutions team, our work would be unmanageable and our level of service to our clients would be sacrificed. Build a good team around you, and you’ll feel and see the difference.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Someone needs to create an app like Uber but for laundry service! If you’re in this business and it already exists, please get at me!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Funding our 6th grade youth basketball team for their All Star tournament this weekend in Pennsylvania.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I regularly rely upon Google spreadsheets and love the collaborative experience it provides. If you haven’t tried using it within your organization, I highly recommend it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Winner’s Brain By Jeff Brown
What is your favorite quote?
“Progress only shows through hard work and dedication”
- Read The Winner’s Brain by Jeff Brown. The overarching notion is that “our brains have the ability to be improved and transformed for success”.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of hiring the right people to build your team. You will need to trust and rely on them time and time again.
- Do yourself a favor and pump some blood to your brain each morning before you start putting it to work. You will notice the difference in focus and increased stamina throughout your workdays.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.