161: Don’t be afraid to try with Derrick Smith

Happy January 22, 2018! I hope you enjoy this encore performance of Career Callings Radio from January 30, 2017. God bless! – Robbie Romeiser

Derrick Smith is a husband, father, nonprofit director, fledgling social entrepreneur, and Jesus lover/Ordained pastor. Derrick currently serves as both Chief Executive Officer at FoneFuel and Executive Director at SC Test Prep. He is a former AP Calculus Teacher at Paul M. Dorman High School, former Pastoral Intern at Morningside Baptist Church, and former pastor of Kaleidoscope Multi-Ethnic Fellowship.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • [3 min 21 sec] Tell us about your career journey. Married for 11 years. Four sons. Started a church, but quickly realized needed another source of income. Tried teaching school, but didn’t work out. Started an SAT prep business. Then, got hired again to teach school. After 3 years of teaching, left and morphed the SAT business into a non-profit called SC Test Prep. Currently founder and Executive Director of SC Test Prep, a college readiness non-profit that helps with SAT and ACT test prep and college counseling. Also, has co-founded Fone Fuel, a reseller of portable mobile phone chargers.
  • [5 min 21 sec] Worst career failure? The church that he helped plant and pastored for six years failed and shut down. He knew what the church needed to be but did not feel equipped to bring it to fruition. Learned that he is gifted with vision but not so much with planning and implementing the strategic plan to bring the vision about. Lesson: God uses both successes and failures to grow us as people. Helps us understand our strengths and weaknesses and also helps us understand that we need the help of others to accomplish anything for The Lord. Don’t let fear of failure freeze you into inaction.
  • [10 min 18 sec] Biggest career success? Understanding the importance of sales, understanding his strengths and weakness, and the advent of Fone Fuel. The story behind Fone Fuel’s rise.
  • [20 min 42 sec] Ever been confused about which career direction to go? Was in college for a teaching degree. Felt call to preach. Thought about leaving college to go to seminary. Father convinced him to stay in school because God might use the teaching degree to fund the ministry. This is what happened. Sales is about giving people an opportunity to benefit from what you have. Not about manipulating people into getting something they won’t benefit from. The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg.
  • [27 min 35 sec] How can people connect with you? www.SCTestPrep.com | www.MyFoneFuel.com | Text at 864-384-1021.


  • [32 min 40 sec] What makes Fone Fuel unique? They are a marketing company that resells phone chargers produced by manufacturers. Their value-add is the branding and the marketing through avenues like NASCAR and others. They vetted 22 different charges from 7-8 different factories and chose the best chargers to resell. Offers a light-duty version with a flashlight on it, a “green” charger that can be recharged by solar panels on the charger, and a “diesel” version that can charge multiple devices at one time.
  • [35 min 39 sec] How are you using your career to impact others for Christ? Shares Christ with others he comes in contact with through both SC Test Prep and Fone Fuel. Tithes 10% of profits of Fone Fuel to mission works.
  • [36 min 58 sec] Personal habit that contributes to your success? Prayer. Book: A Royal Waste of Time by Marva J. Dawn.
  • [39 min 03 sec] Your number one business habit for success? Not afraid to try something new. Know why you are doing what you are doing.
  • [41 min 09 sec] Productivity tool? iPhone calendar. Book: The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Also, remember that work and relationships existed before the fall of man, but money and the cares of this world arose after the fall. Focus on work and relationships as part of seeking God’s kingdom first. The money will come. Get a good handle on what success means for you in God’s plan for you, i.e., love God with all of your heart and your neighbor as yourself.
  • [47 min 17 sec] What three business tips can you offer to aspiring business owners? 1) Start your business. Business OneStop website in SC. https://www.scbos.sc.gov/ 2) Takes longer than you think to build a business, so budget enough time for that. 3) Have a good fiscal/capital plan because it.
  • [49 min 12 sec] Advice to high school seniors? 1) Set your sites on graduating from college, not just going to college.

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imgRobbie Romeiser is a commercial real estate broker, real estate instructor, and author of the daily devotional Today’s Quote From God (www.TodaysQuoteFromGod.com). Desiring to help his own children follow God’s calling in their lives, Robbie founded Career Callings (www.CareerCallings.net) to help people find, prepare for, and pursue the work God has called them to do. To have Robbie speak at your church, business, professional association, or civic club, please email Robbie at robbie@careercallings.net.