"Things happen and you deal with them," Sammy Leslie on rolling with the punches
As both a business owner and cancer survivor, Sammy Leslie has learned to take the rough with the smooth.
It's probably a bit cliché to say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but that really is the case quite often. Nothing makes you appreciate the good times more than making it through the bad.
For Sammy Leslie, Owner of Castle Leslie, the darkest days of her life have also created the most wonderful opportunities. As Sammy told host Sonya Lennon on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, her diagnoses of both cancer and multiple sclerosis have opened many doors that may have otherwise remained shut.
"When you look back, some of the toughest things that you went through knocked you onto another rail track or another path that you wouldn’t necessarily have gone and actually it’s delivered some of the most amazing things.
"So you just learn to take the rough with the smooth and to keep going and to ride it out and to keep finding ways. So yeah, there’s no such things as something that’s absolutely wrong or absolutely right," Sammy said.
No doubt that this pragmatic approach is helpful when trying to run a 1,000-acre estate that naturally comes with its own challenges. The fact that Sammy was in charge meant that she couldn't exactly hand in a sick note to take leave, so it was a case of having to pull herself up and balance the business with whatever personal struggles came her way.
It's one thing saying that you have the ability to get through whatever obstacles you face, but actually doing so takes courage, and no small amount of resilience.
"There are always times where you go; 'This isn’t working.' We’d always have a belief that there’s always an answer you just have to go and find it, there’s always a solution," the 2007 EY Entrepreneur of The Year Finalist said.
Looking back on what it was in her psyche that got her through it all, she said that her upbringing played no small role. Growing up on a farm and working with animals helped her gain a better understanding of what separates fantasy from reality.
"We have this fantasy belief that our bodies should be perfect for our entire lives and always work. No it doesn't, Mother Nature in-built flaws in it and things happen, and you deal with them," she said.