We had the good fortune of connecting with Ray McKenzie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ray, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I have always liked to work…maybe you could say loved to work. I always felt a level of accomplishment from work, completing task, and being paid for the work I did. It was an achievement for me. So throughout my career work has always been important. As I started my career early, I had a young family and young son. So I had to work hard to provide for my family which was what was required. As my son got older it became more important to be at his school functions and sporting events. As my career continued to grow, I traveled more and more often. Every two weeks to be exact. I would plan my schedule around my wife and my son’s games to make sure I could make it. As our family has grown to four children, my work life balance has become more important.
I started my first company, Red Beach Advisors a tech management consulting firm, to dictate my schedule and be around my family. I started my first tech startup company, StartingPoint, to provide for my family and be able to achieve another level of wealth while providing solutions to enterprises and companies.
In the beginning work was paramount to a lot of other things and I would sometimes work 24/7. As my children have gotten older, I have definitely prioritized the time with my family and the important events in life that you just cannot get back. Time is something you cannot get back and getting older along with my family has changed my outlook.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
StartingPoint is a workflow management and customer operations platform for enterprises and company with service-focused teams. Our platform is different from others because it quickly helps companies be more efficient with daily operations, projects, and customer service management. Most workflow management platforms take 6 – 18 months for deployment and our platform can be deployed within one day or even one hour. Our platform helps customers have full visibility of their activities with the company. Team members and employees have full visibility. Executive management also has easy access to all activities between the customer and their company.
Business is never easy. I founded my consulting firm, Red Beach Advisors, years ago and grew my firm to service Fortune 1000 technology companies and that was difficult. I had to learn my weaknesses and learn from others to strengthen them. Primarily sales and learning how to sell. It was not easy. Overcoming those challenges was just being open, reading books, and learning from others. It helped me shorten the learning curve.
I have now founded my first tech startup, StartingPoint and its a completely different type of challenge. Starting and operating a consultancy or service-based firm is very different from a software-as-a-service tech startup. It has its own challenges. It has its own roadblocks. I lean on others who have done it before. I take advice from my mentors. I talk to a lot of startup founders. I learn from others mistakes. It is truly a challenge.
My journey and story is about learning, continuing to embrace challenges, and achieving things that I was not taught or even given the concept that I could complete or achieve. It’s about getting everything that I have wanted that I did not know about. I am an achiever.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend is visiting the area….the first place we are going is to Hermosa Beach to watch sports at the pier and enjoy the restaurants. We’ll then head over to Ortega120 in South Redondo Beach for Mexican food and margaritas with extra tequila. Then we’ll probably make sure we catch downtown LA to see LA Live and a sporting event at the Staples Center. The next thing on the agenda will need to be a boxing match at the Dignity Health Sports Center in Carson, CA. I am a big combat sports fan and that’s the best thing to do.
Then…we’ll make sure we hit as many beaches as possible. Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach. That’s what we live in California for.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There is a long list of individuals in my career that guided me and I learned quite a bit from.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Blue Ocean Strategy