RUSHING CEO: How to Stay Humble and Hungry While Leading Your Own Company
By: Fitz Mullins | ExecuTalks | April 7th, 2020
We are extremely grateful to have spent time with Rae Anne Rushing, CEO and co-founder of RUSHING Company. Rae Anne’s story is a genuine rags to riches tale.
While it’s difficult to pick just three moments from our conversation with Rae Anne, there are three take-aways that resonated the most.
Check out our three favorite takeaways below and listen to the full interview for even more!
1. Let Other’s Doubt Fuel You
At 17 years old Rae Anne was homeless with a newborn baby. She knew she had to find a way out poverty, so she enrolled at the University of Washington through a special program for minorities and low-income individuals. This program gave Rae Anne the spark she needed to get her life on the track she wanted. While taking classes full time, raising a child, and working nights as a waitress, Rae Anne decided that she wanted to study engineering.
After speaking with the engineering dean, he told her not to try because there is no way she would succeed in his program. That doubt fueled Rae Anne more than the dean could have ever imagined. She went on to graduate with four job offers from top engineering firms. Rae Anne credits her success to always showing up, being present, and trying her hardest despite what anyone else told her.
2. Solve a Problem Every Day
As the CEO of her own company, Rae Anne is constantly dealing with a new set of problems. Whether it’s undertaking a million dollar project or dealing with a sticky HR situation, there is always a new problem to solve. She is able to take each day in stride by telling herself to solve one problem at a time. She welcomes each new challenge as it gives her the opportunity to step outside her comfort zone. Rae Anne believes that having compassion and truly understanding the other person is the best attitude to have when placed in difficult situations. She firmly believes that you shouldn’t let people get under your skin because it is only going to hurt you in the end. If you can open your heart and your eyes, Rae Anne trusts that you’ll be able to turn most situations around.
3. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Rae Anne was living out her dream while she developed her successful career at a top engineering firm in Seattle, but after a while she knew she need to branch out. So why leave everything she had worked for and dive into the unknown? She had a calling. Rae Anne knew she was competitive and a go getter at heart, so she approached her then boss and let him know that she wanted to create her own company. She wasn’t sure how he would take the news, but because of her transparency in the matter he told her that he would help as much as possible. After quitting her job, she was able to work out of the same office until her new company was up and running. Flash forward to present day and the Rushing Company is a premier engineering and sustainability consulting firm with over 300 employees and countless awards to its name. None of which would have been possible if Rae Anne didn’t step outside her comfort zone and embrace her fears.
Rushing is an MEP (mechanical, electrical & plumbing) engineering and sustainability consulting firm offering a full spectrum of integrated services which includes energy analysis, lighting design, and commissioning. The firm’s project experience spans public and private market sectors including civic, multi-family residential, commercial, and educational.