Michelle J Raymond is a B2B LinkedIn Strategist, international LinkedIn Pages expert and best-selling author. Michelle founded Good Trading Co, to share her expert knowledge in social selling, content marketing, employee advocacy and B2B community building techniques. She designs and delivers tailor made strategies and training programs to help businesses generate brand awareness and attract opportunities using LinkedIn.
If you are an entrepreneur, what motivated you to start your own business?
I had changed jobs three times in around six years. Each time it was due to a lack of recognition of my high performance on any level. The last, I quit a job on the spot due to an incident that did not align with my personal values. The following day I decided with the support of my partner that I would never work for anyone again and that I would apply my skills and effort to creating a business of our own.
What does success mean to you?
This is a good question that I think has changed for me over time. Right now, I want to continue to grow a financially successful business that is recognized as an industry leader. It’s important that the work that I do impacts others and helps them to fulfil their mission. I want to make sure that I don’t compromise my own wellbeing in the process. Ultimately I want to create success that allows me to set up my own projects that will be my legacy.
What is your mantra or favorite saying? (If it's a known quote, please let us know who said it first!)
I’m known to quote my mum Judy Raymond “Michelle, if you hang out with garbage you will smell like it”. As a 17yo I thought I ignored it. Now I’m 45 I see the importance of surrounding yourself with quality people to lift you up.
What failure taught you the most about life or business? What was the lesson?
When I first quit and decided I was going to set up my own business, I jumped head first into a deal that I thought would be easy money. I should have slowed down, down my research and then decided. I was so eager to prove I could do something I overlooked details. The lesson – slow down, do your research, listen to advice from others. Then make the choice.
What's your favorite book - fiction or non-fiction! - in the past year?
Business Gold: Build Awareness, Authority and Advantage with LinkedIn Company Pages. It’s my favorite because I was the co-author and it was my first book!
If you could teach the world one five-minute lesson, what would it be?
Businesses need to embrace social selling to compliment traditional selling methods. Learning how to attract awareness, nurture relationships, and convert opportunities online is the way of the future. Especially with hybrid working arrangements in place globally.
Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?
Manage my expectations of how quickly things will be done. I naively thought that I could tick off a to do list and my business would be built. Now I realise that every day I will be building my business. It will always be evolving, there is always something to do.
What does women's empowerment look like to you in action?
It’s not just women’s empowerment. It’s about opportunities for inclusion of all minorities. We are only as strong as our weakest link.
What would you tell 19-year-old YOU?
You are going to go through things that at the time feel like they will break you and your future feels small. The good news is that those trials will develop your super powers – authenticity, empathy, make others laugh and care about helping others rise. You will explore the world and your future gets better and better.
What will 86-year-old you want you to know TODAY?
You fulfilled your potential, you have created a legacy and can look back with pride.
Congrats! You just met a Genie in a Bottle. You get three wishes. One can be worth $0-100, one is worth $100,000, and one is worth $100 million. What are your wishes?
Wish 1 – chocolate is always the answer Wish 2 – an overdue overseas holiday and keep the rest in my rainy day fund Wish 3 – Set up my family for the future and then work on a project that would be a long term legacy that would impact the community.