My name: Chip Reaves
My company: Bigger Brains
My title: President
My location: Anderson, South Carolina
Best business advice I ever received: Most of the best advice I received I never took! But at some point in my career someone used the phrase, “All you can do is all you can do,” and for whatever reason that really resonates with me. I like it because it works in both directions.
There are times in any business, project, or activity when you know you could do more but can’t because of deadlines, resources, or energy. You should always strive for the best possible outcome, but be willing to accept that there will be limits that keep you from perfection. One of my sales managers used to say, “If you wait for all the lights to be green, you’ll never drive to town.” Sometimes it’s better to move forward with something good rather than wait for something perfect.
At the same time, “All you can do is all you can do” is a reminder to me that I can and should be giving 100 percent to whatever I’m involved with—whether it’s business, my personal life, or the charities I work with. Never settle for subpar, especially when we live in a world where we are judged on our reputations. I never want to be known as someone who didn’t try hard enough!
Most daring personal career move: After a 22-year career in IT and franchising, I decided to switch gears and start an eLearning content company—even when I knew almost nothing about xAPI, Kirkpatrick’s levels, MOOCs, gamification, or a thousand other important things. (Fortunately, I know a lot more now!)
I made the switch after leading eLearning initiatives within my previous franchise business. I saw opportunities helping IT companies offer online training to their clients, as well as helping businesses in general with off-the-shelf content. Thanks to the help of a great team, who had far more T&D experience than I did, we’ve been successful with both.
What I’m most proud of: While I’ve had many setbacks along the way, I’ve been fortunate to have started six companies in my career, including one that became a leading global IT franchise. Working with my partners and the franchisees around the world was an immensely enjoyable experience, and something I’m very proud of.
Current workplace challenge: Growing our leadership team to scale Bigger Brains up to the next level, including expanding our support for our partners and continuing to improve the quality of our off-the-shelf courseware.
Something people don’t know about me: One of the most unique experiences of my life was being thrown out of a country at gunpoint! I was a missionary in Rwanda, and we had arranged some work to do nearby in DR Congo. For reasons we never did understand, people in the DRC government were suspicious about our group and stopped us at a customs checkpoint when we crossed over for the second time. After an hour or so of trying to plead our case, soldiers arrived and “escorted” us back across the border to Rwanda.