Lessons I Have Learnt: Chris Reeve

Managing Director, Reeve Social Media

Chris reflects on his younger self and the driving force behind his business.

Published in UK Director Magazines Spring 24

About Chris

I am managing director of Reeve Social Media, a Norwich-based agency that works with masters of their craft to grow their brands and bottom lines. Starting from the ground up, I have grown my social media channels to now achieve a six-figure turnover for the business.

I also host a regular show on BBC Radio Norfolk.

We asked Chris to look back and reflect on his younger self.

Q&A’s

How would you describe yourself at 18?

Treading water to say the least! I was just starting to move forwards again after spending four years ‘numb’ with grief, having lost my Mum to non-Hodgin lymphoma cancer. I was fresh into the world of work and had just won my first ever social media client – it was my barber, £60 per month and a free haircut! That reminds me, I must go back to tell him what a great deal he had…

What inspired you to start your own business?

I’ve always wanted to truly enjoy my work. Given the adversity I had been through at the age of 14, I was laser-focused on this. Why would you spend years doing something you don’t enjoy?

If you could go back knowing what you know now, what three things would you tell yourself to do when you first became a business owner?

First – take even more risks. Most huge strides I’ve made have been in the wake of mistakes. Secondly, I’d nourish my network way more. Keeping in contact with others, and choosing to do good for goodness sake, has resulted in many contracts landing in my lap. Finally, I’d say go easy on yourself. I’ve definitely struggled with imposter syndrome, but when I realised everyone is making it up as they go along, I stopped beating myself up.

What are the biggest lessons you have learnt professionally?

  • With shortcuts come ceilings – putting in the hard yards is always worth it to reach a higher altitude.
  • You don’t have to be cold and cutthroat – you can be hugely successful by putting kindness as your number one value.
  • Get an accountant that is super switched on, genuinely cares about you and is always ahead of the game – the opposite stings, trust me!

How did you deal with a big mistake, and what did you learn from the experience?

At the start of my business journey, I remember being massively over capacity – I just wanted to help as many people with their social media as possible. However, this meant I didn’t give enough time to my proposals. I was so against the clock that I flung something together last minute – the feedback I had from that, I’ll never forget.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Put simply, I want Reeve Social Media to be 1% better every day. I suspect I’m in a minority of other managing directors out there, in that having a ‘big hairy goal’ will never be at the cost of my mental and physical health. Think of me as the tortoise, not the hare!

What does the future have in store for you personally?

In the near future, I’d love to help raise £100,000 for Big C, a cancer charity that helps local people affected by cancer. So far, I’m at £35,000, so more work to be done on that front!

Lessons I Have Learnt: Chris Reeve 1
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