There are many things that I admire about Lisa Messenger but my resounding admiration lies deeply within her ability to be brave.
Lisa has resonated as an icon for many budding, aspiring and actual entrepreneurs and business owners alike. As an ambassador for an disruptive and entrepreneurial movement, that started around the same time that she started her magazine The Collective Hub, she has now accumulated more than 2.4 million people across her various channels.
Some would say that she was a pivotal player in starting that movement – or certainly bringing a visibility to it.
Cleary her message rings true with many. Why?
I believe it’s because she is authentically connected to her vision; to ignite human potential by living her life out loud.
She believes by generously sharing an honest account of her own entrepreneurial journey that it will allow others on the same path to feel that they are not alone.
This sounds really simple and easy. But it requires so much bravery. To be completely transparent about the decisions that you have made in business and how much they have won or lost you – brave. And so, so generous.
If you have followed Lisa’s journey you will be familiar with her businesses ups and downs. The latest up, (or down – depending how you look at it) involved the discontinuation of her much-loved magazine; The Collective Hub.
Throughout this journey Lisa has penned a series of books where she bares all as she honestly tells the stories around her personal and professional journeys.
Her first book ‘Daring & Disruptive‘ challenged us to tap into our why and to zig to everybody else’s zag.
The concept of disruption was new and exciting and one that an up-and-coming breed of entrepreneur could find inspiration in. This came at a time where technology was ‘disrupting’ industry like nobodies business. Think AirBNB, Xero, Uber etc.
In her book titled Money & Mindfulness she talks about her financials. I loved this one as this is the topic I seem to have the most questions about and it seems to be the topic that no-one wants to talk about!
She wrote a few others and is releasing Risk and Resilience at the end of the year. I’m hanging for this one as this talks about her recent move to ‘break’ her existing business model and ‘pivot’ to something altogether different – of which has not yet been revealed.
Mostly her books have granted me permission to feel OK about decisions I have made in my business. I’m so judgemental and critical of myself and this business journey can be really rewarding when you get something right but when you make a mistake – it’s devastating. The self-critic goes to town on myself when I realise I’ve taken a wrong turn. I compare myself to others, I take off-the-cuff remarks from other people as criticisms and mostly I just feel like I’m not cut out for this.
What Lisa has provided me with is someone else who is also out there taking big risks and making mistakes.
Now that she has so openly ‘owned’ closing down a business due to financial reasons, I’m sensing another movement as people, like myself, take this permission to break and pivot in their own existences. It’s that disruption all over again.
So today – I attended the ‘Live in Conversation’ lunch that Lisa has very generously toured regional NSW with.
Armed with so much information and background into her journey, I almost felt paralysed by the thought of what question to ask her.
For me, the biggest challenge in my business is myself. A lot of this stems from fear. Fear of failure. Fear of what other people will think. Fear of losing money (I have three kids and a mortgage – that’s a legitimate consideration – #justsayin).
So I asked Lisa what her biggest fears were when it came to making the decision to shut the magazine. I mean, this is what had propelled her to where she is today. It was a huge part of her. It was an organisation that employed 30 or more people. It’s an international brand.
What fears crept into her head when she started to make the decision to close the magazine?
It’s what she didn’t identify as a fear that surprised me. I thought she would worry about her credibility, her reputation, what her critics would say. Nup. She didn’t care about any of that.
She was concerned for the staff that she had to make redundant and of course a little bit concerned about the financial loss. Although – she backed that fear up with the fact that she would have spent $20 million dollars to have gone through all that she had in the past 7 years.
But most of all Lisa was excited. Excited about what the future held. She celebrated the successes of her previous journey – she certainly wasn’t dwelling on the failures. She didn’t regret a thing.
And once again I reel in admiration for her bravery. Her bravery to tell that story and her bravery to unabashedly back herself and to get get up and do it all over again.
They say to surround yourself by people who lift you. And for me, this is one person who does just that. Lisa, you have certainly achieved your vision to ignite my potential by living your life out loud.