The Game Changing Attorney Podcast - Rodney Scott
The Game Changing Attorney Podcast - Rodney Scott

Episode 103 — Rodney Scott — Humility & Focus: The Antidote to Complacency

There are few better ways to bring people together than by cooking delicious, high-quality meals. Rodney Scott has dedicated his life to cooking whole hog barbecue and sharing it with people all over the world — and he’s created quite the following in the process.

In this episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast, Rodney and Michael sit down to discuss:

  • Why true excellence is in the details
  • How to scale your impact without compromising on quality
  • Why the most successful leaders stay humble and focused
Episode 103 — Rodney Scott — Humility & Focus: The Antidote to Complacency
Show Notes:

A difference you can taste. “Whole-hog barbecue is a lot different than cooking ribs, hot dogs, or hamburgers simply because you have the entire hog. You have the head, shoulders, loins, hams, and belly, and all of those parts are cooked together. Personally, I believe that when you cook the hog in its entirety, you get a different flavor because you have all these different parts that complement each other. In my restaurants, my partner and I describe it as ‘a difference you can taste.’”

Dedicated to the craft. “One of the most difficult parts of cooking the whole hog is the 12-hour cook time. You give up at least half a day to cook this thing, lift it up, and move it around. It typically takes two people to lift an entire hog. It takes a lot of time and preparation to cook it, but one way we keep things unique is by essentially making our own coals. We take whole pieces of wood, burn them down until they fall down into a burn barrel, and we take those coals and cook our hogs with them instead of an indirect heat, putting them right under the hams and the shoulders of the hog.”

Setting yourself apart. “What set me apart from people who simply enjoy cooking barbecue is that I stuck with it and kept a positive vibe going. I like to interact with the people I’m serving as much as I can. I took art in high school because I was passionate about art, and I always felt like food needed to be like art: it should look a certain way, just like the pit should. My team laughs at me to this day about my obsession with wiping everything down to make it perfect, even the parts that people ‘can’t see,’ but I always remind them that I can see it and it matters to me.”

Learning from past mistakes. “I’ve made so many mistakes over the years, and I’ve taken notes on them. I’ve had things catch on fire, and that only needed to happen to me one time before it became something I knew to never let happen again. I’ve always been good at asking questions and taking advice, so no matter what happened from financial to physical mistakes, I’ve taken notes and wisdom from others to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.”

An unexpected opportunity. “We had an event in San Francisco, so we flew out and prepared for an all-night event where we would serve everything the next day. I’m known to stay up for 24 hours when cooking and serving because that’s what I do and love. The crew of Chef’s Table came up to me at this event when I had been up for hours, I was completely exhausted, and they asked if I was interested in doing an episode. I said, ‘Sure!’ I didn’t pay any attention to how tired my body was after only four hours of sleep. I had no idea it was a big show or had anything to do with Netflix until after the fact. It was almost magical that I acknowledged them and agreed to the show. Then I sent them a message later, and the rest is history.”

Always room for growth. “Even though I’ve cooked upwards of thousands of hogs, I still don’t believe I’ve mastered the art of cooking them. I feel like the second you admit that you know everything is the second you know nothing at all. I continue to listen and learn from anyone I can, including pitmasters that are new to the game. I want to give them a chance to express their thoughts and ideas at the very least. There’s always room for learning and growth.”

A worthy opponent. “McDonald’s is my biggest competition. I used to read their signs stating they’ve served billions of people, and as a kid, I knew I wanted to serve a lot of people myself. McDonald’s is all over the world. There is a clown serving burgers all over the world. I said to myself, ‘We can do this too. We can serve barbecue all over the world.’ Now that we know how to make it consistent and have a guideline on how we’re going to prepare all of our foods, I know that this operation can go anywhere. That’s the goal I’m trying to reach: to get out there and have great-quality food all over the world.”

Drowning out the haters. “I didn’t let the naysayers take away the vision that I had back then. I hear people criticize something I do, make a note of it, and work on it so that no one says anything about it ever again. It’s simply just more information for me to work with.”

What does being a game changer mean to you? “Being a game changer means to be humble, spread positivity and love, and serve good food to good people all over the world.”

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q
Nick Pihakis
Chef’s Table (Netflix TV show)
Eric Church
Billions (Showtime TV show)

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