We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Scalone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul, how do you think about risk?
Oddly enough, risk-taking has been such an important part of my foundation. My work ethic and my faith have also allowed me to take on the right kind of risk during some tough times and it has brought me to where I am today, building a new phase of my life and my career.
For 15 years I worked in healthcare before making the difficult decision to start on my current path. I began as a warehouse clerk and worked my way up to Supply Chain and Facility Operations Manager for a mid-sized medical group in North County San Diego. 10 years in, I hit the ceiling with that company as I did not have a college degree. I could have stayed at that level but I wanted more out of life than a plateau and transitioned into Operations for a home-based healthcare company in Mission Valley. Over the next 5 years, I threw myself into larger roles, taking on increasing responsibilities at different companies, fast-tracking the next leg of my career in healthcare. After the economic downturn led to two layoffs in two years within the healthcare industry, I knew it was not going to give me what I needed and that it was time to make some serious changes. It was a risky move, but deep down I knew my time in Healthcare was at an end.
I interviewed with an Allstate Insurance agent who needed an outside business development person. I thought “Hell, I’ve never known a poor insurance agent” and figured I would give it a shot. Like everything else in my life I threw myself in. I earned both my Property & Casualty and Life & Health insurance licenses and then I was ready to get out into the community and start selling insurance.
So, there I was: 39 years old, building a business in a brand-new industry, with a daughter about to go into high school. Additionally, I made a lot of life adjustments to accommodate the extreme pay cut, so to say I felt the pressure to succeed in a condensed amount of time is a huge understatement.
The role I started with at Allstate, marketing to the local Real Estate community, was a new one for the agency when I joined. This meant I had to build the structure and network from the ground up to develop relationships with Realtors, lenders, and other stakeholders involved in the home buying process. Six months into my new career I felt like I was crushing it. I found that my naturally outgoing personality and background in operations gave me a really unique perspective and it was refreshing to have a job where I could have fun while also thriving professionally.
As I grew within my insurance role, I simultaneously developed deeply personal and professional connections throughout the local Real Estate community. It became clear to me that there was a strong connection between the Real Estate and insurance markets. The opportunities for cross-pollination were exciting and yet there did not seem to be anyone occupying both spaces. I started planning to fill that niche….then COVID shut the world down. While I continued to build my insurance business, there was a lot more downtime. I decided to pursue my Real Estate license and used that time to complete my Real Estate courses. Finally, in July of 2021 I was officially a licensed Real Estate agent. I leaned into my resources and interviewed brokerages, both big and small. Ultimately, I landed with a Compass agent who is an industry vet with 14+ years’ experience under her belt and hundreds of completed transactions. She agreed to mentor me and bring me on as her partner. Shout out to the one and only Blake Evans!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I was born and raised in San Diego – America’s Finest City. I’m a father, son, brother, & aficionado of the culinary arts, cocktail culture, cars, and old-school conversation. I am also a licensed real estate and insurance agent dedicated to representing those in San Diego looking to procure and protect their most precious assets.
In an age of fast fashion, big box stores, and large corporations, I dedicate the time and effort to curate a handcrafted and meaningful experience. I apply these core values to all areas of life, whether that means enjoying a glass of fine scotch with friends or carving out time with my daughter as she navigates high school. Experiences such as these cannot be rushed, only developed over time with patience and dedication.
As I mentioned, I have an extensive background in Healthcare Management – 15 years to be exact. The companies I worked for ran the gamut from small startups to my last position being with the 3rd largest hospice provider in the United States. Conveying these facts is an important matter, as it further differentiates me from other people in this space. Through my 15 years in healthcare, I developed a set of professional skills that the general population lacks, skills in project management, negotiation, product launches, systems implementation. I learned operations and process flow, contract review, recruitment, the list goes on. These are some of the reasons I say there is nobody else like me in this business, period.
On top of that, I am my brand. Paul. It’s me in a nutshell: classy but not stuffy, serious but still fun, refined but casual, and simply sincere. As we all know, in the business world, brand is everything because it’s your first introduction to everyone you interact with. With my name as my brand, I cannot allow my brand to reflect anything other than my truest self. Because of that, it is important that I live my life with drive and purpose. Anyone can just talk about the importance of having a strong work ethic, the drive to make real sacrifices in pursuit of your goals, and the ability to see and take the right kind of risks. Just recognizing these values is not enough. Life is about action and our actions need to speak for themselves. You have to be willing to execute on those decisions.
Had you asked me 5 years ago if I would ever leave healthcare and reinvent myself in another industry, I would have said that Healthcare was where I would make my money until I could go do what I wanted to do. Fate had other plans for me, and thankfully so. In hindsight, I was miserable in healthcare, just staying with it because I had invested so much time and energy without real fulfillment. Now, and for the first time in my life, I have been able to understand firsthand the experience that saying “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” I still have plenty to do, but I absolutely love this path I’m on and wouldn’t trade it for the world. #BetterCallPaul.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh, I was built for this question. Once I picked up my friend from the Airport we would go check in to the recently remodeled Town and County Hotel in Mission Valley, now I am not a fan of mission Valley as it lacks any sort of personality or soul, however, the Town and County is an exception to this rule. It’s central and a great “Homebase” for the week. We would most certainly have to break up our adventure into different groups, ex: Downtown, Metro, Beaches, Mountains, North County Coastal, etc…
The first order of business would be to go grab a quick burger and Slice from the Friendly on 30th street, from there we would head down to Cantina Mayahuel for a proper Paloma before we headed over to Madison on the park to indulge our senses and tastebuds on their bone-in breaded Porkchop. The following day we would load up the beach cruisers and head down to Mission Bay to ride the boardwalk to Miss B’s Coconut club for lunch and drinks. PB isn’t my favorite space in San Diego however if you know where to go, it can be palatable. After a day at the beach, we would head to Cafe Bar Europa on Turquoise Street for fireside tapas and some chill live music.
The following day we would head to the mountains to hike Stonewall, go explore Julian and eat pie until we couldn’t move, because “When in Rome…” The following day would be dedicated to Downtown San Diego. We would visit the Whisky House on 3rd Ave, it’s not a bar, it is more of a drinking establishment. Then we would head up to Metl in the Gaslamp to enjoy some live music, Mezcal, and south of the border street food. After there we would take off to the Moxy hotel and visit Room 56 before we headed to Cowboy Star for a proper steak dinner.
Day 5 we would take the coaster up to Carlsbad and enjoy their wonderful food scene, visiting Jeune et Jole, and Campfire in particular while taking a walk down the beach as we admire the beautiful coastline that is San Diego, after all, they don’t call it Americas Finest City for fun… Day 6 would start in North Park at Metl bar and Creamery for a carb-cuterie board and boozy ice cream before we explored the shops up and down university ave. Once we worked up an appetite we would head to South Park to visit Fernside or their burgers and cocktails and more than likely grab a coffee and some chocolate from Eclipse Chocolate Bar. From there we would head to Balboa Park to go enjoy the architecture and some people watching, we would finish out the night at Turf Club, a fun little dive bar where you can grill your own steaks, it’s a San Diego staple, besides, you can never have too much steak.
On the last day of our adventure, we would go all in, Brunch at Kettner Exchange in Little Italy, head to Coronado to check out the Del and have lunch at Saiko sushi before we head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at the best new restaurant in all of San Diego, Kingfisher.
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?
There are so many people who I draw inspiration, love, and encouragement from. My parents, family, my business partner, but if I had to pick only one person, hands down it would be my daughter. She inspires me, pushes me forward each day to be better. This kid is great at everything she decides to do, so much so, that not only does she keep me young, honest, and moving forward she accepts me for who I am, flaws and all. My daughter has had more impact on my life in her 17 years here on this earth than anyone else I could possibly think of, and I am stubborn as can be, so that’s saying a lot..
Darling Darlene Jesslan Lee Cirina Catania Chris Wojdak Bridget McGee Houchins