You can listen to Raymond’s story by clicking below:
‘I wanted to do work that meant something to me and meant something to others, whatever it might be. I wanted to enjoy doing it and I wanted to get paid for doing it. In that order.’
Raymond Smith, President and Learning Strategist, Modos Learning
Fylde College, MA Management Learning 1992
Raymond Smith is an influential learning and change strategist in both the corporate and academic worlds in South Carolina USA, with a reputation for creating effective learning and change solutions. Ray is the creator of Multi-Modal Learning, a model using a range of mediated communication technologies and live sessions to purposefully create immersive learning environments for adults no matter where they are on our planet.
Your successful career spanned time in the NHS in the UK, Deutsche Bank and academia in the USA, what made you decide to start a company?
I got to the point where I was getting a little bit fed up with spending a lot of my time doing things that I didn’t really want to do. I was sitting in lots of meetings, doing lots of stuff like that which really wasn’t what I cared about. Also of people were interested in my work and coming and talking to me about what I did care about. So I decided, ‘Well let’s do something about it!’ So that’s when I started my first company called Edupresence and that’s really what launched me into this. So really for me, I never had an intention to be rich, I never had an intention to have a logo on top of a big building somewhere, that’s fine of course, but for me it was a lifestyle issue.
What lessons can you share with people starting up today?
The thing I’ve learned above all is about if you’ve got an idea, the idea on a whole is pretty useless unless you can actually get it to something that’s understandable and recognisable. So if it’s a product it’s a lot easier, but if it’s a service that’s tricky. So if you can find a way of… Find a way of expressing those ideas that are understandable in the market place and get feedback from the market.
I created a kind of e-book in that book was an embedded video. They’re short movies, so people can see the movies, they get to see the book, they can see the model, they can see the design.
You say you like to start up with other people, what are the difficulties with starting up on your own?
In each of the start-ups I had I worked with somebody else to keep myself fresh and get different skills sets so that we had 2 different approaches that we could put together. So for me, being on your own is a huge challenge. Where are you going to get fresh ideas from? Where are you going to be challenged? When business isn’t coming in and you’re feeling a bit down, how are you going to get pepped up? And that’s part of the experience I think of starting up.
You can see Ray’s LinkedIn profile here.
For more inspiration and stories of success and failure, return to the Startup Stories gallery.
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