The Story of Dr. Richard Smith

I was raised by my father, who left school in the 6th grade, and my mother, who left school in the 10 th grade, which wasn't unusual during their era. They were great parents but they never expected me to go to college because it was expensive and nobody in our family ever did it. Since I never planned on going to college, I never "applied myself" and I graduated in the lower-half of my high school class. My parents believed that, if a person finished high school and was a honest, hard-working person, they would be a success. That would be fine, if that is what they wanted, but everyone has different goals and, unless they achieve them, they often feel unfulfilled the rest of their life.

During my senior year, my mother asked me what I wanted to do after high school and I said "I don't know". She said, "Would you like to be an X-Ray tech like your cousin Joe?" and I said "Ok" since it was a free school and it was a hospital based program - not a major college - so I thought I could do it. That's as much thought as I gave to the most important decision of my life.

During those two years of X-Ray school, I took studying more seriously since I had to pass a "board" after I graduated. I worked around doctors and I noticed that the doctors had nice cars and houses but I figured their parents were probably well educated and mine weren't so they would be doctors and I wouldn't be.

I worked for two-years, as an X-Ray tech, and one day, our hospital administrator - Mr. Barkley - walked into the laboratory and someone mentioned to me that he used to be a lab tech and he went back to school to become a hospital administrator. At that moment, I decided that I wanted to go back to school to get a better career.

The Nuclear Medicine dept. was next to the X-Ray dept. and that looked like a better job so I went three more years of school to be a Nuclear Medicine tech.

I worked as a Nuclear Medicine tech for several years. I had worked around doctors for the last 10 years and I finally realized that they weren't any different than I was except that they had chosen to be a doctor and they were willing to work hard to achieve that goal. I had worked 7 days/week for 3 1/2 years. I worked as a Nuclear Medicine tech during the week and as an X-Ray tech - 48 hours straight - every weekend. (The jobs were 70 miles apart.) I wasn't getting rich, only tired so I decided that I needed to change my career again and this time, I would pick the correct and final career for me so I went through the yellow pages of the Daytona Beach phone book and when I got to "Optometrist", I thought ... "I'm going to be an Optometrist." By that time, I realized that I would have to work very hard but I was willing to do it because I was already working very hard and I wasn't getting where I wanted to go.

I didn't have the money for college so I made a plan. I decided to work for 3 more years, and live at home with my parents to save money, so I could go back to college. After three years of saving money, I went to Indiana University for six more years and I became an Optometrist! It was the best decision of my life!

I have worked as an Optometrist for 28 years and I have enjoyed every day of it so I decided it was time to "give back". I wanted to do what Mr. Barkley did for me, to as many children as I could. I wanted to:

  1. Give them the confidence to "shoot for the stars" and pick a career that would make them "thrilled" to go to work every day and not just be "satisfied" with their career for the next 30 years.
  2. Pick the correct career for them the first time! That's why I wrote a book called "What Will I do after High School?" which you can "download" for free by going to the Free Book box on

It took me over 20 years to write all of the Books, Calendars and Articles and to design the websites (Lifetime Mailbox and The Better Business Website.) on Now, I want to offer them to you for free to help you achieve your goals!

Dr. Richard S. Smith
Founder of