I'VE KNOWN LISA MESSENGER for a few years now, how she fits all that she does into one lifetime, I'm not sure - But she does, and she kicks ass while doing so. A force of nature, Lisa speaks the truth & does so passionatly. A bestselling author of a series of books that have inspired women (and men!) everywhere, Lisa is also the founder & Editor in Chief of one of my all time favorite magazines, COLLECTIVE HUB. Lisa's new book 'Break-Ups & Breakthroughs' releases this week, it was the book she thought she'd never have to write, but has bravely done so, and for that, I have endless admiration.
Lisa invited me to appear on one of her coveted covers last year, title ‘The New League’ it was a HUGE inspiration behind giving me the push to start the SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION – and for that, I will be forever grateful to Lisa & The #CollectiveHub team. Lisa lives her life transparently, and by doing so, inspires many, and what I think is the most powerful, is it makes people experiencing the same thins not feel so alone in the journey. Here is her story in her words....
NAME: Lisa Messenger
COMPANY: Collective Hub
TITLE(S): CEO and Editor-in-Chief
How would you describe yourself in 5 words? Optimistic, honest, soulful, tenacious, dreamer
What is the long version of how you got to where you are today? I wrote a whole book about it, called Daring and Disruptive.. as it is has been a very LONG journey.
I think it is really important people can explain their main message in a concise paragraph – if the above is the full version - What is you elevator pitch on what you do? An entrepreneur for entrepreneurs, living my life out loud to show that ANYTHING is possible!
Are you doing what you thought you would be doing 10 years ago? (If not, what did you think you would be doing?) Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to do for the week! So I definitely didn’t know I’d be doing what I am now 10 years ago. I did however have a better understanding of my Purpose and my Why, “Anything is Possible”, so I could have gone into something like coaching or social work.
What does ‘success’ mean to you, and do you consider yourself ‘successful’? I view success as a continuous journey for me. I’d like to make a difference in this world – and we all know that there isn’t one solution for millions of problems. New ideas and projects will always sprout to life so in that, I’m always striving to accomplish bigger and better things.
I’ll admit I LOVE being my own boss and making time for the things that matter most, family, friends and interests – in that respect, I am very lucky.
What do you still want to achieve (personally & / or professionally) Similar to my view on success, there’s so much I still want to achieve. Overall I want to continue to nourish and grow the Collective Hub, explore more industries, live life to its absolute fullest with no “what-ifs?”, stay open to opportunities and continue to work on things I love.
Did you study anything specific for the career you are in? I completed a Bachelor of Business out of the expectation that it was supposed to be done. I didn’t really know or understand why I was doing it at the time! I think my most effective study came from professional learning curbs and road blocks that popped up along my career. Asking the right people at the right time, learning how to ask the right questions and always having a curiosity cap on.
What have been the most rewarding things in your career to date? The results of the Collective Hub has definitely been one of the most rewarding, I didn’t realize the impact we were making on peoples’ mindsets, choices and in general, lives! We hear daily from our incredible readers through face to face run-ins, emails, letters and social media. We hear how the Collective Hub has encouraged, inspired and in aspects, mentored them through their own journeys whether it be personal or professional. It couldn’t have had a more fulfilling outcome, I’m so happy in that regard.
Tell us about your workspace (Office / café / couch / aesthetic) what inspires you about your workspace? Light and bright! I’ve always appreciated the blend of work and play, so our office is a home-convert- office situation! We started off with only 3 staff with almost too much space - now we’ve taken up almost all corners! It’s floor to ceiling windows, lots of day light, pops of colour and collaged mood boards.
We have a big outdoor area with rugs, chairs and a lounge - where we host parties, meetings, lunches and sometimes make-shift work areas.
Overall a comfortable and relaxed environment, it encourages me and the people around me to be themselves - we also definitely see the best side of people shine (both staff and visitors) so even if we move we will definitely bring the same aesthetic.
What are some frustrations you have experiences on your career journey? Mindset blockages from those outside of me and my team. Sometimes when you have a bloody big vision and there are naysayers and “red tapers” in your way, it can be really frustrating.
When was the last time you were overwhelmed & cried from something provoked by work / work load? I wouldn’t say it was long ago hah! I have the birds eye view of my business and seeing a lot of the things on the daily - it can definitely be overwhelming, but I’ve practiced to get over it very quickly and focus on things I can make a difference in. Although I admit it gets the better of me sometimes, and a small cry really does help! We are all just bundles of energy at the end of the day and it’s better just to let it out.
It comforts me to know I have an amazing, supportive and independent team that have it under control.
Would you say you put pressure on yourself? Has this gotten more or less as you progress in your career? Yes, I put immense pressure on myself. All day every day I have my hustle on and I always push myself to do better, make a bigger more positive impact on the world and be the very best version of me.
If you are a business owner – and you often can’t just check out / have a week off when you are dealing with personal things – how do you keep on keeping on with your business when things get tough? As people we have to face tough situations all the time! But we certainly don’t choose to give up. As a business owner, I view it the same way – I also absolutely love what I’m doing which means I’ll take the good with the bad.
I also have non-negotiables including family first, exercise regularly and making sure I make time to see close friends. My team know not to mess with that if it’s in the calendar!
Has your career affected your personal life / relationships? If so how? My career has definitely affected my personal life, it’s probably revealed my most authentic friends and has helped me (by natural selection) be surrounded with people that keep me grounded, happy and motivated. People I truly love and want to invest my time and energy in and vice versa.
If you had your time over again, from when you started your career to right now, would you do anything differently? Life’s too short to ponder on what-ifs. I think if you put yourself out there and at the end of the day you can genuinely say, “I did my best”, then what is there to change! No one is better than you.
What advice would you give your 21 year old self? Believe in yourself. Think big and surround yourself with amazing people.
Who are some women in business you admire & why? So many really. There are of course the bigger influencers such as Martha Stewart but then closer to home it’s really the everyday women in business that blow me away. They keep stepping up, inspiring me with their courage. I just met the CEO and a Board member both women that have been disrupting the charity industry. It’s these women making movements in unassuming roles that are making the difference in this world. Also my mum has been a HUGE driving force in my life and influenced me in so many positive ways.
What traits do you admire in people you surround yourself with? Loyalty, tenacity, guts, humbleness, healthy, generous, spirited, loving, family values, fun, passionate, curious, creative, a little bit crazy
Work life balance… Does it exist (I don’t think it does!) and how to maintain it, or a sense of it? I like to call it a blend, I’m lucky enough to do what I love - so my work is my life, and my life is my work! Like I’ve mentioned before I have non-negotiables that I will make an effort not to miss.
Have you ever thought about giving up / quitting? If so, does that feeling hit from the same triggers? Why haven’t you quit? This is my passion and purpose, I truly believe this is my calling. So if I didn’t have this, I would still be soul searching and living a life of expectations. Now I write my history and I love it!
What is the biggest misconception about what you do? That we only produce a print magazine. We do soooo much more than that.
What advice would you give someone who is starting out in your industry? Naivety is your friend
If you knew what you know now, about how much work was involved to get you to where you are now, would you do it again or do something different, if so, what? Yes, I would do it all again. All the sweat, blood, tears (there have been many) and the pain would all be worth it. I have never in my wildest dreams been at the centre of something so positive that has so much potential and is already, even in its infancy touching so many people globally ever single day. It’s a true blessing.