PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: A Day in the Life: Bill Douglas, CEO of OpticWise

We chat with the who’s who of proptech and real estate, getting to know them personally as they take us through a day in their life. Today, we’re meeting Bill Douglas.
Bill Douglas OpticWise
Bill Douglas, CEO of OpticWise

Today we’re getting to know Bill Douglas, CEO of OpticWise.

Bill Douglas is a lifetime entrepreneur, having started, sold, acquired and exited multiple businesses. He’s made the INC growth list, among many others, and has been awarded a US Patent, and is a mechanical engineering graduate of the prestigious Georgia Tech and of the Entrepreneurial Master’s Program at MIT.

A survivor of two near-death experiences and a major medical diagnosis, Bill has seen both sides of life and both sides of success, earning himself the nickname ResilienceGuy along the way. He’s been shaped by his experiences in life and business, becoming passionate about passing on his lessons to help the next generation grow and succeed, especially his two sons.

OpticWise is focused entirely on monetizing technology assets in CRE, providing tenants with a sophisticated, seamless, and secure connected experience while delivering income, positioning and control to owners.

Bill Douglas’s day

05.30 – 07.30: Rise and Rock!

I wake up consistently at 5:30 AM. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I head to the gym for 75 minutes of weight training. Mondays and Tuesdays I’ll read in the morning and take a break later to ride my Peloton or take a walk. I work out each weekend day, too.

07.30 – 08.00: Time to Refuel

Breakfast is an absolute must, particularly right after the gym. I manage my food via meal planning and maintain time-restricted eating during an 8-hour window on weekdays.

08.00 – 09.00: Morning Research and Planning

Read journals/publications relative to our industry and check my LinkedIn account, then itemize my day to ensure I tackle the most important tasks first.

09.00-11:00: Strategy and Planning

On Mondays and Fridays, this time is set aside for strategic thinking and planning. On Tuesday through Thursday, this time is typically full of voice or video calls with client or employee prospects.

11.00 – 11.30: The Lay of the Land

Check back in on email and voicemail. I do not let these distract me during scheduled calls, and I only visit these twice a day.

“Working more is not the best for me – I must focus on working strategically, focused on what moves the business forward.”

Bill Douglas

11.30 – 12.15: A Spot of Lunch

This is typically my second lunch window. Not shown above, I usually have my first lunch at 10 am.

12.15 – 13.30: Strategic Problem Solving 

Strategic planning, analyzing data, problem-solving. I leave these items in a list and tackle them when I am fed and my brain is clear.

On days where I have lunch meetings, my strategic planning is moved to another calendared time.

13.30: A Quick Pitstop

Time for a high protein snack such as a shake or low carb bar. 

13.30 – 15.00: Checking in with Clients 

On Tuesday and Thursday, this is for operations or sales topics with clients via in-person, voice or video calls. On Wednesday is our weekly OpticWise executive meeting. On Mondays and Fridays, this is set aside for executive time where I tackle big issues and continuously craft our big vision.

15.00 – 15.30: Housekeeping

Check on email and voicemail again. Follow up on necessary items, delegate or file the rest in appropriate action folders.

15.30: Stay on Plan

Eat dinner per my meal plan. 

16.00 – 17.00: Getting Ahead for Tomorrow

Make outgoing calls, tidy up loose ends from the day, spend 5 minutes on tomorrow’s schedule and tasks.

Follow up questions

Do you work at weekends? If so, how many hours?

I rarely work weekends. Earlier in my career, I used to do this a lot. However, as a lifetime entrepreneur for 30 years, I’ve been able to identify the point of diminishing returns. Working more is not the best for me – I must focus on working strategically, focused on what moves the business forward. That leaves me time for fitness, relationships, rest, learning, etc. I take care of myself so that I can contribute my absolute best to our business.

If anyone reading this is burned out, feel free to download the Entrepreneur’s Reboot on re-energizing yourself, which I wrote years ago. Totally free, no registration required & no spam emails. Just want to help those that are burning out.  

Bill Douglas eBook The Entrepreneur's ReBoot

Typically how many hours a week do you work on average?

I work, on average, 40-50 hours a week.

Do you work from home?

Yes, much of the time. I enjoy travel and always prefer to meet in person, so I try diligently to be on the move. People energize me.

How did you get your job?

I joined OpticWise 5 years ago as the CEO when it was 12 years old, then we pivoted significantly. Drew Hall, the founder, had the foresight to seek management to take the company to new levels and I was fortunate to be able to accept.

If you weren’t in your role, what do you think you’d be doing?

I’ve always enjoyed coaching entrepreneurs and executives, and I typically do that in between leading growth companies full time. Helping others is one of my personal core values.

Share your day

Share your A Day in the Life with the Proptech-X community. Whether you are a CEO, COO, assessor, surveyor, lettings manager, inventory clerk, solicitor….any role in any vertical in the industry, what is your day like?

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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