Scott Parker is an Arlington, Virginia businessman who has accomplished more by the age of 35 then most do in a lifetime.
I met Scott years ago at a bar in Arlington when out with friends. He was really nice and mentioned he owned our neighborhood hot spot, A-Town and that my friends and I should check it out for brunch. In the years to follow, Parker has gone on to be a part owner in eleven different establishments throughout the DC, MD, VA metro.
Five restaurants: A-Town, Don Tito, Don Taco, Barley Mac, The GOAT
Three VaporFi franchises
Two DogThrive locations
One original concept boxing gym: BASH Boxing
To say this guy is busy is an understatement. Social media has given me the ability to lurk on Scott's day-to-day and that is what led me to asking for this interview. He wakes up every day around 5am, gets a workout in, and begins his daily to-do list. He is also very family oriented which we can all appreciate, I know how hard it is to balance work and family.
So let's dig in!
You started at A-Town and then expanded your reach into all different arenas, let's talk about the timelines and motivations.
"A-Town opened in August of 2012, Don Tito March 2015, Don Taco March 2016, Barley Mac March 2016, and the GOAT November 2017. The DogThrive concept is an original one, created from scratch. We have two locations, one in Annapolis and one in Gambrills, opened in November 2016. Vaporfi is a franchise based out of Miami and I own a part of three locations in the DMV, opened December 2014. BASH boxing is an original concept, we are planning on two Arlington locations - one in Rosslyn set to open in July and one in Ballston, hopefully in December.
I wanted to get into other small business industries and concepts. Each new industry I went into I was operations and marketing guy, I'd then partner with genius level talent, for example, with DogThrive my partner has trained thousands of dogs.
VaporFi was a trend thing, saw a lot of people doing really well in it, overall it's done well.
Bash boxing is an original concept, and I'm unsure if we will franchise it or not."
Tell me more about BASH, I am really into boxing right now so this concept excites me.
"Our first location will have a class max of 36 people, classes are 45 minutes long, and there is 1 instructor. I chose boxing because it's a workout that builds confidence and helps people get aggression out. It's really hot right now and it's different than what is out there."
You've achieved a lot, what are the top three things that you do or things you'd offer as advice to others who want to achieve the same kind of success?
"1. Be willing to sacrifice. Sacrifice time and a life of leisure that a lot of people are living. I have been working really hard the past 14 years, and I start around 5am everyday.
2. Spend as much time learning as you do working. I spend a ton of time researching new industries and educating myself at all times.
3. Learn what you can do better and then become better."
What are three things to avoid?
"1. Don't jump at every opportunity. Turn down more than you'll accept. Wait and make sure you have the right opportunity.
2. Never get discouraged by failure. Failure is a very important part of business and success. It can be good a thing.
3. Go with your gut and trust your instincts. Believe in yourself above all else, ignore naysayers."
You read often, what are you top three business and personal books?
1. Good to Great
2. Built to Last
3. Extreme Ownership
You are Here
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Catcher and the Rye
How do you relax and unwind with 11 business ventures?
"I learned to do it over time. I think more than decompressing it's a mindset shift. A lot of the little things don't matter. Things I'd get worked up about were meaningless and any problem can be overcome. I am working consistently at all times, not stressing out during my working periods, and going at a steady pace like walking down a street, not erratic or out of control."
Goals for the future?
"I'd like to continue to get into more and more small business brands that we can scale. Like DogThrive and Bash."
Do you want to stay in Arlington forever?
"I will always own businesses here, it is easy to be successful here because people have a lot of disposable income. I hope to be here for a very long time."
You're very open with the fact that you do not drink, talk to us about that journey.
"I am a recovering alcoholic of eight years as of next month. It's been one of the biggest reasons for my success. I wouldn't have gotten to the point where I am now with alcohol in my life. Getting rid of it has given me focus, self control, and helped me stay out of a lot of nonsense."
Has it been hard?
"It hasn't. Maybe in the beginning. It wasn't hard to stay off of it because it was the only way I knew I could be happy."
Thank you Scott for taking the time out of your incredibly scheduled day to chat with us. Your story is inspiring to all ages and a great reminder that with consistency, drive, and dedication you can accomplish a lot in this life. You are well deserving of all of your success and I wish you nothing but the best as the years go on.
You can follow Scott on Instagram @thescottparker