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Surviving The Most Difficult Times

with Simon Leslie



In this episode of the Making Bank podcast, we welcome guest Simon Leslie. Simon is the founder and CEO of Ink, a global travel media company. He’s an expert in crafting travel media, and over the last 30 years, he has dedicated his skills to creating remarkable media in the travel space. Some of his clients include major airlines, airports, and travel groups. He’s a world record holder for the amount of inflight magazines he has launched and published, with over 250 million copies of magazines being published in the last 30 years. Simon is also the author of three books on sales and negotiating and a beautiful compilation of motivational poems. He also works as a mentor to multiple young entrepreneurs and worn-out business leaders and coaches them on how to live the life of their dreams. 

This week on the podcast, Simon talks about his 30-year journey of starting multiple businesses as an entrepreneur. He talks about what it means to be who you really are and how to bounce back from failures and setbacks. 

Listen to Josh and Simon discuss surviving your struggles:

(1:56) Getting Started As An Entrepreneur

Simon was difficult to manage while and even when he started working a 9 to 5. He realized that he could only be content with his life if he became his own boss, which was the beginning of his journey as an entrepreneur. He started a few businesses that failed before he finally managed to successfully create his company, Ink, which has been going strong for 28 years. Simon talks about business being stressful but also fun at times. So if you want to live an easy life, find what you love to do, then find what inspires and motivates you to do what you love.

(8:49) Biggest Takeaways From Owning Multiple Businesses

After failing three businesses and then successfully running one for 28 years, it’s fair to say that Simon has been through his fair share of obstacles and turmoil and knows what it takes to become successful. Over 28 years, Simon has dealt with 9/11, the 2008 crash, and most recently, COVID and many mistakes he’s made while running his business. He believes that all opportunities are gifts wrapped in problems. However, most people don’t work hard enough to get through the problems and unravel the opportunity waiting for them.

(15:13) Who Is Simon Leslie

People are often judged by their titles or accomplishments, but that’s not substantial enough to dictate who a person really is. Even after successfully running a business for 28 years, Simon Leslie doesn’t want to be known as just the founder and CEO of Ink. Today his priorities are being a good father and being more present in his kids’ lives. Apart from being around his kids, he also wants to be able to inspire people and help them get through tough times. We need to adopt a similar mindset and ensure we’re not only focusing on our accolades but truly developing who we are as a person.

(19:18) VIP Listening

There are both regular and VIP seats whenever you go to a conference. While the VIP seats may be a lot more comfortable or closer to the stage, Simon points out that there’s something called VIP listening. Where you’re sitting doesn’t matter because the same information is being relayed to you regardless. The problem is that we usually get so busy and caught up with our days that we often miss the opportunities being presented to us. So you need to be awake, awake, and available, and only then will you attract more opportunities.

(22:56) Staying Grounded

With the rise of COVID, all planes were grounded, and airports began to shut down, but through that, Simon was able to persevere. Covid was out of his control, but he understood it was still his responsibility to take care of his team and inspire them to push through the struggles. Simon talks about how he and his team were able to bounce back after their business went down to zero in just nine days.


Links mentioned:

Twitter: @simonleslie21

Instagram: @simon_leslie21