Jason Smith | Fighting Gangs in East LA, Driving Tom Cruise, Chasing Bin Laden, and More

John Corcoran 7:06

You had an experience where you kind of got in the crosshairs of a gang that had literally kind of figuratively a bull’s eye in your back.

Jason Smith 7:23

They talk about that? Yeah, so and that was, you know, you and I talked before the podcast. That was kind of the breaking point. For me, I think what happened after working on this housing project in LA, and for those of you who don’t know what a housing project is, it’s essentially a government assisted living place. But in LA, those government assisted living like gang members just take them over. And is a very big housing project, one of the biggest ones in Los Angeles, and he’s still right off the 10 freeway in Soto right there. Anybody knows that area. And, you know, just pounding the pavement every night arresting guys, every violent situation known to man, I was in these housing projects with these guys. And they just got tired of it. They got tired of me being there, they got tired of me. You know, I ended up getting into some shootings with guys in that housing project. I was very hard on them. We initiated a gang injunction there as well, which essentially meant that if I saw a known gang member hanging out with another known gang member, I could arrest them on the spot, no probable cause no, nothing, I could just go arrest them. And they were just tired of it. I mean, I literally broke up there. They’re, you know, the they, they were slaying PCP out of the projects as well. And that’s a huge drug in Los Angeles. And I put a damper on that. I mean, we’re talking hundreds of gallons a day being sold of PCP, which is, you know, in liquid form, and put a damper on that, you know, they were losing money. So they’re just tired of it. So they ended up putting what’s called a green light on me. And the green light basically means that they want me dead. So what ended up happening was a couple of informants came forward and said, “Smith, you gotta get out of here. They’re gonna kill you. They’ve already formulated a plan of how they’re going to do it”. And I was lucky enough to actually the, for these guys to come forward because I probably wouldn’t be here today. If not, I mean, I don’t know how deep you want to get into it. But essentially, they had planned they knew where I got on the freeway, and I tried to take different routes, but they knew kind of where I got on the freeway. They knew I drove a white Chevy Tahoe at the time. They knew everything about me, you know, which is pretty great and said that you and the LAPD had to protect your home. Yeah, they

John Corcoran 9:56

had other LAPD cops outside of your house.

Jason Smith 10:00

Yeah, yeah, so essentially I had a car, a couple cars sitting around my house, just in case, you know. And essentially what they were going to do is they had stolen about six or seven cars. And they had requested a bunch of ak 40 sevens because they also knew what kind of policeman I was. And they knew I wasn’t just going to, you know, roll over and be like, Okay, you got me, they knew I was gonna fight it out with them. I had a certain reputation on the street as well. So with these guys, and because I’ve been in multiple shootings and stuff, and yeah, they were, they stole a bunch of cars, they requested a bunch of ak 40 sevens, essentially, from the higher ups in the game, they approved it. And what they were going to do was, they were going to have a couple of cars sitting off the on ramp, and they were going to box me in on the on ramp and just, you know, light me up with hundreds of rounds of ak 47. And they would have got me for sure. I probably would have taken a few of them out before they got me. But yeah, and that’s what their plan was. And at that point, I was like, Man, what am I like, what am I doing, you know, making $80,000 a year, putting my family in danger myself in danger, not knowing, you know, if they were going to come after me, which I still don’t know, actually, to this day, because the only way to get rid of green light is to be dead. 

John Corcoran 11:20

You know, has there ever been any time where you were in a shootout or cornered or you thought you weren’t gonna get out of it?

Jason Smith 11:28

Yeah, yeah, there were a couple of times, especially fights with these guys. I mean, these guys know how to fight, you know, they grew up in the neighborhood and been in prison their whole lives. There were several times where I’ll, you know, get my butt kicked on the ground by some of these gang members. And you just kind of, you know, you got to search your soul a little bit and say, okay, am I going to sit here and die? Or am I going to get out of the situation? And you know, LAPD is very strict with how you use lethal force and can’t just go shoot them if they don’t have a weapon, you know? So, yeah, I’ve been in several fights where I’m like, Okay, I’m losing this right now. Like, what am I going to do? And I was, I like to chase guys on foot. So I was pretty fast. And so by the time I was already tied up with guys, by the time my partner would get there, you know? So Oh, yeah, there were several times. I mean, there were even the shootings, I was in and I got shot at, you know, 10 times in the projects, they shot at my vehicle. I mean, they didn’t like me. So that’s a lot of

John Corcoran 12:30

times that the bullets missed 10 times.

Jason Smith 12:32

Yeah. And I mean, the situations I was in, you know, being shot, it’s scary, man. Like, if, if there’s any guy this is on, I wasn’t scared. They’re blowing smoke. You know, I was, I was scared, you know, and that’s part of why you get to pull out your weapon and fire is because you’re fearing for your life. And if you don’t fire, you know, if I didn’t fire and do what I did, I’d probably be dead today. You know,

John Corcoran 12:58

right. Now you even went to other stations, and you still didn’t feel comfortable at those other stations? Yeah, it seemed at some point, you concluded that I need to leave entirely.

Jason Smith 13:12

Yeah, I just, you know, in talking to, you know, my wife and stuff, and just the whole situation. Um, it’s just stupid for me to continue. I mean, I would have died out there, eventually, probably being the type of policeman I was, and the attention I attracted by working on these projects. And, you know, it wasn’t just that game that had it out for me, it was a bunch of gangs in East LA and then they kind of team up, you know, they’re like, you know, screw the rival ship. We want to get this guy out of here. So let’s team up and try to get this dude. You know, anyone

John Corcoran 13:41

can bring the gangs together to you, Jason.

Jason Smith 13:44

Yeah, exactly. Right, though, yeah, it was crazy. And I just, I actually got assigned to another station, they wouldn’t let me go out on the street. 

John Corcoran 13:53

And was that like, going from the excitement to you know, like, there’s something that’s just, you know, you’re safer, but it’s more boring? 

Jason Smith 14:03

Yeah, it was horrible. Like, I just, like, I was handing out equipment, you know, every night after alcohol and stuff. It was, you know, a typical movie where a dude does something bad. And then you’re like, yes. Yeah, exactly. like riding the pine, you know, and it was horrible. Because not only that, but I went from a very busy, you know, violent place to the Valley, where it was super slow. Well, slow and LAPD standards, you know, which the valley still had a lot more violence going on than a lot of the other places and even the surrounding areas, and they’re in Los Angeles. But, um, yeah, it was horrible. Like, I frickin wanted to shoot myself every night. You know, I’m like, Okay, let’s, you know, and then I would say, hey, when can I go back out? And I’m like, dude, you’re not going back out anytime soon. You know, after all that happened, because I was assigned home for a couple of months. And then finally they’re like, okay, you can come back to work. And then yeah, and then I got to go Back to work, but handing out equipment and doing nothing. 

John Corcoran 15:04

So I do want to ask about how you avoid that feeling now that you’re completely out of it, you’re not in uniform at all, you’re in a completely different state, working through a computer all the time. But first before we get to that, so you had a friend who had supplements, and you ended up helping him out with his Facebook ads, which ended up leading to a new profession for us to talk a little bit of how that came about.

Jason Smith 15:28

Yeah, I mean, despite the fact that I was sitting there doing nothing, and I had a lot of time to be on the internet and researching things. So, you know, at that point, I was kind of looking for something else. I didn’t know what it was going to be. You know, most LAPD guys are policemen, like doing security or something. I’m like, man, I don’t want to do that. And I used to, I used to do executive security. I mean, I used to drive around Tom Cruise and go to all these photo shoots and do all this stuff. And it sounds cool. It’s not that cool. But when it ended up happening was my buddy, he knew I had some time on my hands, especially at work. And you know, we’re working 312. So we get three days on usually three or four days off, you know, stuff like that. So I had some time and he was like, Hey, man, I’m you know, as you know, I have this business. And I heard about this, these Facebook ads, and people were making like quite a bit of income off these ads. And of course, you have to pay for the marketing expenses and all that. But, you know, thinking about doing it, I’m like, hey, sure. He’s one of my buddies. And I’m like, yeah, let’s, let’s see if we can do it together. And, you know, I didn’t know I was creative, and could actually do anything like that. But, you know, lo and behold, I was you know, I helped him write some copy. And the next thing you know, he was, he was making 15 20,000 a month in revenue, with some Facebook ads, and I don’t even know what I was doing. So then I kind of delved deeper and really researched, you know, Facebook ads and what’s really possible. And that’s kind of how it all started for me.

John Corcoran 16:57

So, yeah, what year was this?

Jason Smith 16:59

This was 2013, I believe, okay. 2012 ish around there. Yeah. 2013,

John Corcoran 17:08

the glory days of Facebook ads. And yeah, you start making more money on the side than you were as a cop. Yeah. 

Jason Smith 17:15

So then what ended up happening was, I found this certification course. And, you know, this company was like, Hey, we can teach you how to become a Facebook ad expert, will even take you to Facebook, and you know, all that stuff. And so I ended up paying a lot of money. Not even really knowing what I was doing. I paid like, it was like, 15 grand for this course. That’s not like, you know, typical me, I’m like, Alright, let’s go for it. You know, so I ended up doing it. And next thing, you know, yeah, I’m like, I have like, four or five clients, I’m making 15,000 a month, and to a policeman. $15,000 a month. Like, that’s insane. Like, you’re like, there’s no way I can work at home, remotely, and make $15,000 a month, you know, you know, it was like 10,000 and then I got up to 15. I’m like, freaking out and then literally, woke up and I’m like, this is it for me, woke up one day, through my resignation on the watch commander’s desk and said, I’m out of here. Praise the Lord, you know? And he was even like, No way like, you’re, you know, you’re not being serious. And I’m like, No, I am and I dropped my box, all my equipment on his desk, and I’m like, Okay, what else I need to do to get out of here. And literally, two days later, I was gone.

John Corcoran 18:29

Wow. Was it kind of an impulsive thing at the end there? Or now? Or is it 

Jason Smith 18:35

No, I mean, I think over time, yeah, I was building over time and again, like I had, I had actually gone out on the street again, I was back out on the street, you know, doing my normal stuff back at the station. I was working out before. And yeah, I mean, and I was just like, man, and then another couple things happened. Which we don’t really need to get into but I mean, I can’t if you want but another few things happened.

John Corcoran 19:00

Depends, where were they crazy? If they were crazy? I want to bring the crazy

Jason Smith 19:04

Yeah, yeah, that one of them was pretty crazy. 

John Corcoran 19:15

Cuz I’m picturing here. Like if you ever retire from the LAPD. You gotta go like Riggs and Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon style, like my retirement coming 30 days from now. I just need to get through these last 30 days. 

Jason Smith 19:22

Of course, that’s like the end. But yeah, yeah, no, and I don’t even retire. I mean, I literally walked in resigned and what I did was end up cashing out my retirement, which I had a lot of money in there. And guys thought I was crazy. But I talked to them now. And they’re like, dude, the best thing you ever did was leave. But anyways, we ended up happening. One other incident took place. I was, you know, of course out there running amok arresting gang members, and there was a gang right next to these housing projects that I’d like to go into an arrest. And I had put this dude away. They call them snipers. I put this dude away for I don’t know, I think it was seven. One or eight years and he just got out well, his mission

John Corcoran 20:03

is so give you a heads up about this or

Jason Smith 20:05

No. Well, so let me tell you what happens when this dude gets out, call them a sniper. I didn’t know he was out because I dealt with him before. And apparently, his whole mission in jail was when he got out if I was still in the neighborhood he was going to try to do something to me. And so when it’s up happening is this gang calls the stations to say is officer Smith working Of course, being sometimes these dumb cops are like, Oh, yeah, he’s working tonight. You know, okay, great. So they’re like, cool. We know Smith’s working tonight. So they end up sticking in a call at this bar that they knew I always went to because I went there every night. And it was a gang member bar, they would slinging dope out of there and prostitution and all that stuff. And I’d always chase guys into the bar, catch them with guns or whatever. Dope and whatever. 

John Corcoran 20:56

And, you know, whatever game members in there, I’d call it a fake call of some sort.

Jason Smith 20:59

 Yeah, so they are actually female because I heard the recording after, a female stuffed in a call, they got a female to do it, and said hey, there’s a bunch of gang members at the throw kettle bar, which is what this bar on Cesar Chavez is right there. And there’s like, you know, they’re gonna start shooting or something. And of course, they knew I was gonna be there, right? They’re like, Oh, dude, it’s Miss working a call like this comes out. He’s gonna be here. So sure enough, what I ended up doing like I always do, I parked my you know, I was working by myself that night, I parked about four blocks away because I didn’t want to alert anybody that I was in the area because you know, typical dumb cops to like drive up and everybody runs and you don’t get anybody but I wanted to do it differently. So I start walking up. So there was like this crackhead this lady older lady total crackhead lives on the streets. But I was always nice to her. I don’t know why I was always nice to her. I was just like, you know, I’d have conversations with her cuz she was always kind of hanging out right near this bar where I would arrest all these gang members over the years. And her name was Lupe. So she knew me but my first name Jason, you know, whatever. So I’m walking up to the bar and she comes up to me and she stops me and she says hey, and I could see the look in her face just like pale light. She’s like if you walk in there right now they’re gonna shoot you coming through the door. And I’m like, nah Lupe Don’t worry about it. I got him. I’m in there like every day it’s like no no sir. And she literally got in front of me. And here’s this like Lady lives on the streets. She doesn’t have to be nice to me You know? And she tells me she says that she said I you know you’ve always been nice to me. I couldn’t live with myself if I let you walk through the door knowing that you know they were going to kill you. So I ended up looking kind of looking at the door and I see an ak 47 barrel a shotgun barrel and a bunch of other gang members standing inside with guns waiting for me because they knew I was gonna walk through the door and then there were a couple of other guys in the back and so anyways make a long story short surrounded the building we ended up arresting, I think 14 gang members and I think we got by remember correctly, like 10 AK7s that night, seven pistols, knives, all kinds of ammunition dope and all that stuff. But I literally and that was like, even my wife was like, okay, dude, you’re running out of lives here. Like you’re, you’re like, you can’t do this anymore. You’re gonna end up dying out there, you know? So I said, Okay, and that was another kind of nail in my coffin there. And I’m like, Okay, you know what, like, I got a, I got to leave my ego because my ego was like, Oh, no, I’m gonna stay out here. I’m gonna get these no one can get me You know, that’s kind of like my mindset. But you know, the old saying, you get too cocky. You get sloppy and you know, something happens. So, right. That was also kind of the last straw and I was just like, Okay, you know what? I already have a side gig going and making a ton of money. Well, to me, it was a ton of money. Right? Um, and that was it. I just a couple of days later after that incident, walked in and quit.

John Corcoran 24:09

Wow, wow, what a crazy experience. I did. I asked earlier about how do you adjust to this new life now working behind a computer is much less exciting, right? The excitement of what you were doing before?

Jason Smith 24:23

Yeah, but I honestly don’t miss it. I miss. I had a partner for about 10 years with him and we worked together. I mean, we knew everything about each other. We knew what He further was gonna do on the street, like we were dealing with guys. I miss him. Brian, I still talk to them. I miss being with him every night. You know, I don’t miss the job. I don’t miss the violence. You know, I don’t miss having to fight my way out of situations. You know, I’ve always kind of been a fighter. I kind of I like that, you know, adrenaline rush and fighting and stuff but

John Corcoran 25:00

You do MMA now? He wants it? Yeah, I

Jason Smith 25:02

know, right. I’m too old now. But yeah, I mean, it’s just, it’s tough. You know? I mean, it is, but I don’t miss it. And people ask me all the time all you must miss. I’m like, No, I don’t, I don’t miss it at all. I don’t miss the politics of the police department, I don’t miss getting called into the captain’s office because I got into another use of force and, Oh, I got to do another shooting. And I did this, I did that. And that’s like a bad thing. I’m like, dude, I’m out here cleaning up neighborhoods. And you guys are telling me to stop? Right? Yeah. So yeah, I don’t miss it at all. I love what I do.

John Corcoran 25:37

Now sometimes people, when they move from something like that, where it’s so purposeful, you’re cleaning up streets, you’re cleaning up neighborhoods, you’re helping families with what they’re doing. Now, I don’t want to say it’s not purposeful, but you know, it’s a different kind of purpose. So how do you reconcile those two? How do you remain motivated and what do you do if it’s, you know, selling a product versus what you’re doing before? 

Jason Smith 25:59

Well, now, I mean, my job now is to help businesses grow and scale and make more money than they ever have on Facebook. I mean, that’s my purpose. Now, you know, and we do it daily, you know, we’ve taken businesses from zero to spending $300,000 a month on Facebook at a 3x return. I mean, I’ve changed their lives completely, by, you know, having an agency that runs high quality, you know, world class, Facebook ads, and Instagram ads, like, that’s my purpose now. And, you know, again, like my old self, and like, I, you know, like I’ve always done, you know, you get 110% of me, because that’s just how I am. And that’s how we run Facebook ads. We’re aggressive. We’re smart, we know what we’re doing. And that’s my new purpose. You know, and I love it. And I get to be the only dad on field trips now. Like, I love that, you know, like you were

John Corcoran 26:50

I can afford now you Oh,

Jason Smith 26:52

yeah. And like the people you know, and I’m, you know, I’m six to about 200 pounds. I’m, you know, sleeves and tattoos. I used to have a really long beard and people look at me, they’re like, Oh, my gosh, this guy looks kind of crazy. But then they get to know me that I call my He’s like, the nicest guy in the world. You know? 

John Corcoran 27:09

And, I mean, you got to point them to this podcast in the future. Yeah, this is what it used to be like,

Jason Smith 27:14

Yeah, well, that messes me up. Yeah, like I can be I can be an asshole if I need to go there. You know, obviously, don’t mistake my kindness for weakness. But, um, but man, it’s just, I’m super chill now. And I love what I do. I get to pick up my kids from school every day and take them to school every morning, and be involved in their lives, as I’ve never been able to do. I have a better personal life now than I ever have before. Actually, when I quit from the police department, about three or four months later, my parents told me, they said you look 10 years younger, you know, and it’s because of the stress, you know, the stress and just being worn down all the time and working, you know, from three in the morning to three in the afternoon to three in the morning and then coming home getting three hours sleep and doing it all over again for years. You know, yeah, just wears on you. You know, not only does the police department that job wears on you personally. But it’s the schedule. It’s how busy you are. It’s, you know, I only have an hour till I have to go back to work. I’ve been testifying in court all day. Like, it’s hard on you. 

John Corcoran 28:19

You know, you have a crazy story about your wife, your relationship with your wife. You guys got back together, right?

Jason Smith 28:25

Yeah, I mean, the plea. You know, it was tough on us. We actually lean up getting divorced, actually officially divorced. And in California. That’s pretty hard. Um, and then, and then we ended up you know, after I quit, I kind of got my act together. And I wasn’t gone all the time. All that stuff. We ended up getting back together and we’ve never been happier. Amazing.

John Corcoran 28:45

Amazing. Did you have kids before you got divorced? Yep, two kids, two kids for I got divorced. And I thought it’s funny. It’s crazy when I meet someone who says their parents were together, got divorced and got back together again. But I’ve met a bunch of people like that.

Jason Smith 28:59

And we had a great relationship when we weren’t together like my kids were never stressed. We never thought about anything. As a matter of fact, there was a time where I wasn’t working. And when I was working, doing Facebook ads, but I mean, I would go to her house when we weren’t together, crash on her couch, get the kids like because she had to go to work early in the morning. So I said, No, I don’t want a babysitter. I’m going to be the one watching them. I would go get them, get them ready at her house, pick them up, and we take them to school, drop them off. I picked them up from school. So yeah, I was very involved as a single parent being divorced. You know, not being a part of the police department when I was at the police department married my wife. You know, I was more involved later, which was crazy. You know,

John Corcoran 29:45

you know, one of the recurring themes that I asked well in this podcast is asking people about sometimes it’s really hard the decisions you make in life and the impact that they have on immediate family members, whether it’s your parents or siblings or spouses And then doubting you growing up in Newbury Park, I imagine there weren’t a lot of your classmates who did what you did, you know, go work in Neo in the middle of LA, know, kind of gang work that you did. And also, you know, leaving behind moving and going from the LAPD leaving that you meant you spoke about that in a moment, but talk a little bit about, you know, what the decisions in life were like, when you had family members, I imagine questioning at the time why you were making the decision that you were?

Jason Smith 30:33

Yeah, I mean, as far as I mean, my father is a retired FBI agent. So, you know, I saw him and I didn’t really want to be an FBI agent, because I was more hands on. I didn’t want to push paper as much, but he didn’t want me to join the police firm. And he’s like, Listen, like, you know, you’re gonna do anything, maybe come to the FBI or US Marshal or CIA or something like that, like, don’t go to the police farmer. It’s really hard on you. Um, but I still did it. Obviously, right. He was right. And he was right. And I tell him that every day I’m like, Dad, you should have like, 

John Corcoran 31:08

Why don’t you talk me out of it?

Jason Smith 31:09

Yeah, exactly. So he tried to talk me out of it. But you know, being the person I was I just, I’m like, No, dad, it’ll be okay. Like, he’s like, Listen, I know, you got a good head on your shoulders. But, you know, it will get to you eventually, you know, and it did. I mean, and look, look at, and he also knew me, as a person, he knew if I was gonna become a cop, I was gonna be aggressive, and, you know, jump in with both feet. 110%. And that’s just how I am. And that worried him? You know? Because he, you know, I tried to be the best at everything I do. And yeah, it was tough. And, you know, in the police department, it’s a long process. I didn’t get hired for like, eight months, and then you’re in the academy for seven months, and, you know, all that stuff. So, I know what I know, now. I wouldn’t have done it. You know, and I would have been much further along in my agency, and would have been much well, much better off in life, if I would have listened to my dad. 

John Corcoran 32:07

So yeah, what was how that influenced you, him, him being an FBI agent, when, when you’re growing up?

Jason Smith 32:13

It was cool. I didn’t, you know, he didn’t talk about it much. Because it was, you know, highly classified a lot of the stuff that he was doing, and he’s not one to brag about what he did. But he did a lot of substantial things at the FBI. But all I knew was he, you know, would pull up in his work car and his FBI car and then head out to work. And I didn’t know much about it until, you know, I became a policeman and, and, you know, it’s just cool having a dad who’s, you know, FBI, you know, people like, oh, man, that’s so awesome, you know, right, or my friends or my buddies and stuff. But, you know, he was also my dad, right? He was, you know, the guy that, you know, would discipline me and, and, you know, growing up and, but he was a good role model. He was somebody, he was a good example to me, and, you know, had a lot of life experience that I didn’t necessarily know he had, until I got older and figured out pretty quickly that I probably should have listened to him more than more than a several times, you know, did he tell any?

John Corcoran 33:15

So, first of all, he was involved in something that became the Falcon and the Snowman. So yes, tell everyone what the Falcon and Snowman was and how what his involvement was?

Jason Smith 33:28

Yes, so he, Falcon and the Snowman, were bank robbers. And the reason why they called the Snowman ‘The Snowman’ is because he also, Delton, was very heavy into the world of cocaine, powder, cocaine, and then the Falcon, the guy who they call the Falcon. That’s his hobby. On the side was he loved falcons, and he had pet falcons and all that stuff? Well, anyways, they became some notorious bank robbers. And at the time, my dad was assigned to the bank robbery unit at the time. And he was the one that actually led the whole investigation and arrested them. And it’s an I mean, it’s an old Kai back in the 70s. Maybe I think, and if you google Falcon and the Snowman, and read up on it, my dad’s name is the one as the leading investigator and the one who arrested him come his name comes out in the movie, actually, there’s an actor, you know, with portraying him and stuff in the movie and stuff is pretty, pretty crazy. 

John Corcoran 34:24

So yeah, were there any crazy stories that your dad told you years later that you didn’t know about at the time?

Jason Smith 34:31

Yeah, yeah, there were. There were actually some pretty crazy ones. He was the one who almost got into a shooting, chasing the guy across the border. Much like myself, I guess, you know, in his younger years, he was probably much like me, very aggressive. And yeah, I mean, he said he solved a couple murders. Got confessions from guys. Pretty cool stuff. So, you know, again, he’s my dad, right? And you don’t see I never saw him in that capacity until I did what I did at LAPD and stuff. And then the insight that he gave me after I was a policeman was pretty awesome.

John Corcoran 35:09

Yeah, it’s hard to sometimes get those out, especially out of men. You know, my grandfather was 17. Pilot did 35 missions over Nazi Germany 35 missions. I, you know, most of those pilots didn’t come back at all. Yeah, and you know, it is later in life. And I know him when I was a kid, he was very reserved, you know, wasn’t, wasn’t like, let me tell you about the time, right? Um, Berlin, you know, wasn’t at all like that.

Jason Smith 35:31

And actually funny enough that I specifically remember, I think I was about 15 years old. And my dad got called out on Christmas Day. And he couldn’t tell me at the time because it was all classified. But after he retired, he’s like, Hey, you remember that one time I got called on Christmas Day. I’m like, Yeah, he was actually going to follow Osama bin Laden, is what he did. Which was pretty crazy. So what year was it? Gosh, man, and it’s funny, because he’s like, I’ve known about Osama bin Laden for years, like, years, you know. And he came to the US and announced and that set off a red flag for them. So they put a unit together really quick and followed him wherever he went. But this was probably 1990. around there at 990. Maybe because I graduated from high school in 94. So I was Yeah, I was 14 or 15. So yeah, around there. kind of crazy.

John Corcoran 36:28

Wow, what a crazy story. Yeah. I want to wrap things up with the two questions that I always enjoy asking, which is, first of all, I’m a big fan of gratitude. So yep. Look around at peers and contemporaries However, you define that. Who do you respect and admire?

Jason Smith 36:45

Yeah, so I respect and admire? Well, I think my dad is number one, but peers. Um, so when I was early in my Facebook ads journey with that certification I went to, I still keep in contact with the owner of that company, and one of the guys that works for them to this day. And they’re the ones that gave me my first two clients. And if it wasn’t for those guys, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. And I, I talk about it on my podcast, actually, the first two episodes mentioned, give them a shout out. Yeah. So Ralph Burns at Tier 11. He’s one of my mentors and I just love him to death. Again, I wouldn’t be standing where I am, where I am today wouldn’t be as successful as I am today, if it wasn’t for him, and then Deacon Bradley, who also works for Tier 11. And Deacon actually, you know, saw something in me that I necessarily didn’t see in myself, when I was doing the, you know, starting the agency, he gave me my first two clients and crazy enough, one that that first client he gave me is still with us today. So, so yeah, and I truly am grateful for everything those guys did. They didn’t have to do that. They didn’t have to spend hours, you know, coaching me and talking to me. But they did. And I always pass that along as well, like the same thing they did for me I do for others when I can.

John Corcoran 38:10

Right, right. I think one thing I’m constantly fascinated with is just hearing who people turn to, especially in big pivots in their career, when you move to a new industry, move to New field, new expertise, and you don’t know anything about it, and who, you know, helps you with that wisdom. And it’s wonderful to hear people acknowledge it. The last question, let’s pretend we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars or the Emmys. You are being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for everything you’ve done up until this point. And what we all want to know is, who do you think you’ve mentioned a bunch of names so far, but who are the colleagues? Who are the friends or the mentors? Who are the business partners? Who are the people that you would acknowledge in your remarks?

Jason Smith 38:48

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I would say I think number one on my list is probably you know, my dad for always being a great example, not only a great example, in work and his work ethic, but with my family. You know, I never saw him. Hardly ever saw him raise his voice at my mom or anything like that great example of what a true man should be. And again, I always go back to Ralph and Deacon, those two guys are probably the ones I turned to most in the business side of things, which I want to thank, you know, I would thank them over and over again. And I think my wife, who has always supported me no matter what, told me to quit the police department but didn’t know what I was going to do. And here we are living a lifestyle that I never dreamed of living. And I’m grateful for that.

John Corcoran 39:40

So Jason, where can people go to connect with you and learn more about you? Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s great.

Jason Smith 39:46

Yeah, yeah, no problem. It’s hard for me to talk about some of that stuff. I’m not good at talking about myself. But yeah, you can reach out to me at [email protected] or head over to our website at spotlightsocialadvertising.com. And if you want to chat, fill out the contact form chat with you. And yeah, we love helping businesses grow and scale on Facebook. And that’s what we’re really good at.

John Corcoran 40:11

So, Jason Smith, thanks so much. Yeah, thank you so much.

Outro 40:14

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com and while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast.