You Have To Jump

Steve Harvey is an American television host, producer, radio personality and author – he says for anyone to be entrepreneurial and take a chance on an innovation or to succeed in business “You Have to Jump”, you have to believe enough in what you are doing to take a leap of faith to get where you want to go.  
 
Kelly Keates of Zonge knows just how this feels having founded Liquid Integrity Systems (LIS) in 2011 (with her business partner Simon Mann) at the same time continuing to run Zonge Engineering which was founded in 1984. ‘Zonge provides electrical ground geophysical surveys for the mining exploration industry and some of our clients include BHP and Rio Tinto and we work both in Australia and overseas,’ said Kelly.
 
Why then, would you decide to take that leap of faith on another business?
 
‘The idea in creating a new business was to develop its own identity as a tech start up. At the time I didn’t appreciate the difference in value of an established business with established staff and clients as opposed to “new” everything,’ said Kelly, ‘It has certainly given us a challenge!’
 
LIS has been successful in securing a TechinSA grant (see www.techinsa.com.au) for its innovation in detecting leaks in large waste facilities, ‘It is a unique system and will ultimately help to protect our environment,’ said Kelly.
 
Of course entering a new conservative industry sector where you need to create a trusted brand with new technology has high risks attached to it. ‘Although everyone is excited about the technology and the ultimate benefits it will provide, it is hard to find the business prepared to take the first initial risk,’ said Kelly.
 
One of the major challenges in starting another business has also been the adjustment in balancing both businesses, ‘I find it much harder to manage the two businesses and in ensuring that they both are healthy and sustainable. It feels like if I focus on one business the other suffers and we haven’t managed to find the right balance, I welcome any suggestions.’
 
When asked what advice she would give to others contemplating starting a business Kelly recommends learning as much as you can from others and being true to yourself and your vision, ‘Be prepared to risk everything and work hard with little or no reward for some time and don’t forget your business networks. SBC has been invaluable for me in the sharing of advice, knowledge and support.’
 
Kelly must be doing something right. She has recently received an Outstanding Alumni from Oxford Saïd Business School and is only the third woman and fifteenth person overall to receive the award based on impact, integrity and confidence. Well done, Kelly!
 
Quote of the week from author Clarissa Pinkola Estés, “Sometimes there are no words to help one's courage. Sometimes you just have to jump.”
 
Enjoy the weather – we finally have Spring….
 
Phil

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