[By Jordana Ripp]
With seven world surfing titles, countless charity involvement, books, apparel, awards and founder of Aim For The Stars Foundation, not to mention being branded with the coveted title of Aussie icon (phew mouthful!), Layne Beachley isn’t your ordinary sporting star. Talking to The Renegade Collective in their third installment, Layne openly tells of her struggles and triumphs both professionally and personally that has lead her to where she is today. I won’t spoil the rest of it for you, just promise me you’ll run out and get a copy as Layne’s story is a source of inspiration for woman not just in business or sport, but in life and love.
While you’re waiting for that Renegade copy to download, take a squizz at the chat Perth Style was given the opportunity to do with Layne. Here’s what she had to say:
PS: As an Australian icon as well as a role model for many Aussie women, what would you say has been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome as a woman in business?
LB: As a young girl growing up surfing in Manly, I learned very early on the value of being really clear on what I want to achieve, surrounding myself with positive, encouraging and knowledgable people and standing up for myself by fighting for what I believe in. The major hurdle in business for me has been asking the right questions, being willing to stand up for myself and asking for what I want. Contrary to my success in my surfing career, I failed to maintain the same level of clarity, good people and the inner strength and resilience required to succeed in the business world. Extremely valuable lessons.
PS: We are all aware that the retail market has some very defined struggles at the moment, in Perth recently we’ve had a number of talented designers have to shut their doors due to mounting pressures such as rising production and overhead costs etc. How did these oncoming market issues impact the hard personal decision to close Beachley Athletic?
LB: There is no doubt that the current economic climate and retail environment is experiencing a lot of uncertainty. Beachley Athletic is one of 3 brands that have got up and then failed, all due to a variety reasons. Primarily the reason for the demise of my retail brands was related to quality. Quality of the product, quality of the shopping experience established by the distribution channels, quality of the people involved and quality of my skill set. None of it was right so the best thing for me to do at the time was to swallow my pride, cut my losses and move on.
PS: Having been an active personality amongst various charities of various dedications, what was it about the concept for Aim For the Stars that inspired it’s inception?
LB: My rise to becoming world champion was extremely challenging on a variety of levels, none more so than the financial strain of supporting a sporting career. I established the foundation to prevent girls from having to endure that same level of financial hardship and adversity, which ultimately leads to a lot of disbanded dreams and broken hearts. The foundation has changed peoples lives for the better and enabled hundreds of young girls and women to maintain a determined focus on their goal. The have the courage to ask for help and we have the means to support them. It’s a very rewarding and satisfying charity to work on.
PS: The personal struggles you’ve had to endure are some of the hardest anyone has had to go through. Having worked through them and come out the other side stronger, how do you think this is shaped the way you approach life and work today?
LB: All of my challenges have presented me with opportunities. The opportunity to grow, become stronger, wiser and more successful. Setbacks, disappointments and adversity are a necessary part of our journey through life so maintaining a positive attitude with a healthy dose of gratitude which keeps me moving forward. There are days when it all becomes too hard at which point I share my challenges with others or I go surfing to rinse my mind, body and soul and let it all go. All mistakes are learning opportunities.
A big thanks to Layne and The Renegade Team for sharing with us. Perth Style salutes you both!
For more information about Layne and Aim For the Stars, jump here.