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key to success

Leigh Rust – Co-founder and Director of Safetyline Jalousie

The Key to Success in Entrepreneurship – Why you need to believe in yourself and step outside what’s familiar

As a business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a business that it’s rare to sit down and reflect on the journey that got you to where you are today.

With over 11 years at the helm of Australian manufacturing company Safetyline Jalousie, I’ve developed key insights and skills regarding resilience, business development, entrepreneurship and success which I hope will be of benefit to emerging business leaders. 

Resilience in Business – Parallels between sports and entrepreneurship

When I think about finding and utilising resilience in business, as a business owner and avid sportsperson, I draw a lot of parallels between the two.

In both business and MMA fighting for instance, you have to be resilient and adaptive, and you need to be able to read a scenario and plan ahead.

I’ve learned that if you get caught in the past you’ll fall behind, and having a door close in your face, or copping a punch in the ring can feel very similar.

When competing in both environments, you need to be confident, back yourself, and no matter what, always get back up. If ever I have doubts about my trajectory, or that of the business, or if I think “maybe this is all too hard”, there’s this fire that ignites in me saying: “shut up and get on with it.”

It’s from pushing through the tough times, and coming out on the other side, that you prove to yourself just what you’re capable of – often it’s much more than you could have imagined.

Expect the unexpected – Learn to be proactive not reactive

With over a decade spent running a business, I’ve certainly had my fair share of challenges – Covid being just the latest of many things outside of my control I had to navigate.

One major challenge that stands out to me, which I discussed with Dr. Yishai, is the changes in building code regulations that were introduced in 2019.

In navigating this situation I learned you have to be prepared for change, and to expect the unexpected. It became apparent that if you’re not proactive, you’ll be forced to be reactive.

As a result of this, at Safetyline Jalousie we’re always assessing what’s happening in the industry and using this information to help us be on the front foot of any changes that may occur.

While you can’t predict everything, putting more time and energy into considering what trends or changes may arise will allow you to act proactively, not reactively.

Success Lies in Discomfort

In business and personally, I’m a big advocate that there’s great value in testing yourself and pushing your boundaries of comfort.

As self-development, motivational speaker Brian Tracy said “The comfort zone is the great enemy of courage and confidence”.

I believe it’s only when we’re outside of our comfort zones that we’re able to grow, and if we’re not growing, then are we really living?

My desire to constantly push my limits is why sporting events and challenges are so appealing to me. From the early morning starts, the sacrifices and the gruelling physical discount, the opportunity for mental growth they offer is second to none.

Ultimately, if I were to outline the “criteria to business success”, I would put it down to (1.) The ability to think on your feet, (2.) The ability to be nimble and adaptive – no matter how big you get, and (3.) To have a deep-seated determination to keep pushing, even when the times are tough.

Applying these things won’t always come easy, but if you make a commitment to pursuing them, they will certainly become easier.

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Leigh Rust

Leigh Rust

Leigh Rust is the Co-founder and Director of Safetyline Jalousie Louvre Windows - a family-owned, Australian-made manufacturing business. With two decades of experience in Australian manufacturing, Leigh is fast becoming a trusted and experienced authority amongst entrepreneurs, government and stakeholders alike.

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