We had the good fortune of connecting with Stanley Smith II and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stanley, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is one of those things that keeps alot of people from going to the next level. Risks are often associated with failure. The relationship you have with failure and how you view it makes taking the risk easier. In my personal journey into this dog world I had to take alot of risk to get to where I am today. Taking a risk going against the grain believing in myself and my $100 dog has been the best decision I have ever made! To leave a mark on this world you have to risk being the black sheep. First they will make fun of you then they watch the growth then they wanna know how you did it. If I wouldn’t have risked being different and getting into the dog game we would probably have never been able to impact as many people to become better in their daily lives. Taking the risk to do it our way has been the best thing to ever happen.
What should our readers know about your business?
Iron Sharp K9 is a dog training business. We do pet basic communication sit stay walking on leash and manners to the advanced training that includes police dogs and high level obedience and obstacle training,
What sets Iron Sharp K9 apart from others is our training concepts we make it a lifestyle, we like to incorporate the dog to be apart of the pack. Having a clear line of communication creates a relationship with the dog that you can put them in varies situations and they can be successful. We make training relatable. What I’m most proud of is being able to make the non dog person be able to communicate with their dog in a manner they understand clearly.
We got to where we are today by leaving myself no choice knowing that I am meant to do more than just live a normal life. I have faced a ton of obstacles from being younger than most and also being black. Those things have been apart of my life for a long time so when we got into this game I just knew that we had to be twice as good and it wasn’t going to happen over night. So putting in the work when no one was watching for 3 years every single day then one day Rocko and I got an opportunity to be apart of the A&E TV show America’s Top Dog and all the reps we put in when no one was watching came into play on national tv were we had the fastest obstacle time on our episode.
How we overcame the challenges is not making any excuses for the results. The thing that I like most about the dog game is one day your dog is going to tell the truth either it will show that you have been working or not.
Lessons I have learned along the way: the most important one is if you are not your biggest fan there is a huge problem. The voice inside your head should be one that is pushing you forward if it isn’t you might want to reevaluate your surroundings. Are the ones you have close building you up or tearing you down? Having a solid circle around you is just as beneficial as being solid for yourself. It takes a village and everyone has a role to play. Having everyone rowing in the same direction makes the journey easier.
In short, what I want the world to know about my brand and my story is that if you want it you can get it. You don’t have to have all the boxes checked off at first. If you put in the work and don’t expect it to come tomorrow you can have anything. The end goal isn’t as important as the person you become along the way. Pushing people to better themselves through dogs has been an amazing experience reading messages about people taking a risk and going after their dreams makes all the headaches worth it. There is No Finish Line just keep grinding!!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would spend our mornings working for the brand whether a gym workout or a dog workout then we would grab some food. There is this Mexican place in cleburne called Taqueria Mexicano that has great enchiladas. If they really want to have a good time i would suggest skydiving or go carts something fast paced!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father Stanley Smith Sr is probably one of the most important people on why we are where we are in life. Growing up in the military lifestyle taught us to respect everyone and have pride in what your name brings. He did not just preach his values, he lived them everyday. He taught us to always put your best effort forward. He has always believed in me when I began something new. So when we started the dog game he didn’t understand it in the beginning and he still drove cross country because I asked him to.
My mother Loretta Smith has always taught me to be myself to never change who I am to fit in. When the whole world seems to be in chaos mom always seems to find the perfect thing to say to make us calm down. When we were going to film for Top Dog she told me “Stanley it doesn’t take anything away from you to tell someone else they are great” the dog world can be a nasty place and I knew this when she told me this she changed my mindset going in and I ended up meeting a great friend Dan Rhoades from Cocoa PD in Florida.
My wife Kimberly Smith makes sure the family life is taken care of and in order so we can go out and work the dogs and travel to learn more about the dog world. Regardless of what is going on she has always pushed me to be more than we were yesterday!
Trevor AKA TF365 has helped me build confidence and a belief in myself to be able to pursue this dog game. He helped me find my voice. Challenged me to be more!
Jamil Keitt has alway been someone who keeps it honest even when i didn’t want to hear something having the tough conversation when no one else would. Was there to reassure me that we have put in the work and deserve the opportunities presented in front of us. He even overcome his fear of dogs by assisting Rocko on his bite work journey!
The whole Iron Sharp Family knows exactly who they are and I am very thankful for each and every one of them and what they did to progress the mission forward! Iron Sharpens Iron isn’t just a quote it’s a way of life!
The book Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins is one of my favorites. It takes other people out of the conversation and puts all the responsibility on yourself. When you take away all the excuses and just put in the work things pay off for you in the long run, There is no finish line mentality that has taken me to the next level. Sacrificing the short term gains for the long term results.
Youtube: Iron Sharp K9
Rick Allen Photography Americas Top Dog Dfwdigitalmedia