If you follow Rubber Cheese on social media, you’ll know all about the #15yearsofRubberCheese charity cycle we completed.
Walking in the footsteps of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton and Mark Cavendish, we rode a whopping 15 hours between us (thankfully, on stationary bikes from the comfort of our air-conditioned office).
We live-streamed the event on Facebook and, throughout the day, our Managing Director, Kelly Molson, picked the brains of three business founders while she pedalled.
One of those founders was Blake Henegan, founder of Optimus Learning Services.
Since 2009, Blake and his team have been trailblazers in the world of learning and development. He believes every business should invest in the professional growth of their employees (and rightly so!).
Keep reading for some juicy interview highlights.
Hi Blake, it’s lovely to have you in. Let’s begin with your career history. How did you arrive here, a Managing Director of your own company?
You could say I have entrepreneurship in my genes. My parents had two successful businesses, as did my granddads. Maybe, we just don’t like being told what to do by other people!
I followed a traditional educational route. After A-levels, I went to university and somehow got a degree. From there, I worked at various sized organisations within the learning and development space.
I took the plunge and set up my own business in 2009, after realising there was a gap in the market to help small and one person L&D teams.
The recession helped in many ways. L&D teams had reduced in size but were still expected to deliver all this great training and support. It just isn’t achievable.
That sounds like quite a smooth trajectory.
Oh, the reality was very different. It always sounds easier on paper.
My initial business plan disappeared after a year. I had to evolve and adapt plans along the way.
Starting a business is a massive learning curve like that.