The Origin Story
From Japan, to Napster, to marrying my best client, to CEO of a private equity-backed company before 40, it’s been quite the journey.
I was born in Japan and have called Asia, Europe, both American coasts, the Midwest, the South, and now Mexico, home.
Professionally, my experience has been no less diverse. I didn’t have a lemonade stand, but I did embark on my first entrepreneurial venture at 13, when I began subcontracting chores to my friends with my allowance. Talk about an early lesson in delegation and margins!
Then I tried my hands at trades… it turns out concrete, framing, sheet metal, tile setting, and a handful more weren’t my core competencies. I was fired from 13 trades in all. One of them twice.
So I turned to entrepreneurship.
Early business ventures included building the first online international booking agency for electronic music DJs and pivoting a small brick and mortar retailer into an international online business. Both of those were sold to investors.
I went on to join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s small business sales team, a place I called home for 16 years. 6 promotions from the sales floor led to serving as Managing Director of the national small and midsize business unit, including inside & outside membership sales, special issue fundraising, sales enablement, direct mail, digital properties, customer service, and more.
While representing the world’s largest business federation, I had the opportunity to cut my teeth in “real” sales and executive management. Just some of the wins included:
Transforming a struggling inside sales team into a world-class division and culture that was sought after by other organizations to execute sales.
Doubling revenue-per-sale by reverse engineering best practices of top performers.
Launching a digital platform that 33x’d member engagement and drove the first increase in small business membership in 10 years.
I went to become a contractor for private equity groups and entrepreneurs, servings as:
CEO of a PE-backed business to lead the turnaround of an obsolete business model.
CRO of a SaaS based business oversee the go-to-market of a new product.
CMO of a sports tech startup to win entry into a highly competitive accelerator.
Drawing on all those experiences, I founded RJG & Co., a consulting company that’s been contracted by startups, investor groups, and some of the world’s most successful business coaches to revamp internal sales & marketing operations.
We share our frameworks, experiences, and more to help other solopreneurs & small businesses build sales and marketing systems in our coaching program at Repeatable Revenue. Learn more about our coaching programs here.
Ray in numbers
From sales rep, to leading national sales programs across the US, to CEO of PE-backed business.
Aligning visions and exceeding budgets across multiple sales teams.
Transforming one client’s sales function from the ground up.
Enterprises, agencies, nonprofits, private equity-backed startups, you name it.
Built and sold businesses in music promotion, remote work, ecommerce, retail and more.
Overseeing and directly managing sales teams for my biggest superstar clients.
I’ve been fired by boards
For challenging short-sightedness in sales management and refusing to slap a coat of paint on a lemon. 🍋
I’ve experienced firsthand what happens when you aren’t given the latitude to focus on foundations, and are required to build on shaky grounds. When you’re asked to
Be short-sighted in your decisions on just about everything.
Tolerate BS from primadonnas to hit quarterly goals.
Solve issues at the surface level, like supplementing bad comp plans with contests or kick the can on fixing a bad product.
Can you guess what happened?
Employees suffered and left the company as soon as they could. Results stayed stagnant. And in one case, management had to close up shop shortly thereafter. No bueno.