What would your life look like if you stopped living in other peoples dogma and chased all of your dreams? Lisa Messenger’s foray into publishing started eleven years ago during her journey to search for what makes people happy after experiencing her own unhappy times.
Being ‘Queen of the Hustle’, Lisa has built the Collective Hub empire around the ‘anything is possible’ mantra. This includes publishing 12 of her own books (20 if you count co-authored books), helping publish 400 others, and also launching a magazine that is available in 33 countries.
These days she travels the world infiltrating the globe with her messages of positivity, encouraging others to fulfil their potential and live their best life. Today Lisa shares with us how she made it all happen and how you can too.
What did you study and what was your original intended career path?
I studied a Bachelor of Business majoring in Tourism but not until 8 years after I left school. At the time my decision to go to uni was more one of peer pressure and feeling I needed to belong. Needless to say, ten years later I went on to win Alumni of the Year. At the time I was working in conference and event management so I thought that would be my career path. In a funny way a lot of what we now do at the Collective is now events related so it has all worked out.
Give us a brief background on your career to date:
I started as a horse riding instructor in England when I left school. I then did a stint in Thredbo for the ski season nannying. I worked in real estate for a few years. Worked in sales in hotels and then moved into conference and event management and then into sponsorship. I started The Messenger Group in October 2001 as a sponsorship agency, morphed into an “integrated marketing agency”, wrote a book, started a publishing company and then launched the Collective two years ago. It’s a very checkered career but it has all inadvertently given me the experience and led me to where I am now.
What is the inspiration behind Collective Hub?
I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for over thirteen years and have traversed multiple industries with my businesses and always been surrounded by extraordinary inspirational people. I got so sick of the negativity out there in the media and wanted to create something inspirational and aspirational that could lift people up and show them that anything is possible. It started as a print magazine (which is now sold in 37 countries) but morphed into a number of other extensions. The platform is largely irrelevant now. The message and the vision will always remain unwavering – to be an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs and show that anything is possible.
You’re now stocked all over the world, how did you go about the process of getting stockists?
I think we often overcomplicate business. Rather than waiting for government grants or people to help us, I just started the hustle. I found out who some of the local distributors were in various reasons and contacted them. Then eight months after we launched, my Marketing Director and I flew to Toronto where the global distribution conference was being held. We had thirteen meetings back to back one day and picked up every single country. I think when you believe in yourself and are prepared to back yourself, other people will jump in to support you.
How did you finance Collective Hub?
I am the Queen of pre-sales. So I pounded the pavement and knocked on doors until someone said yes to advertising / sponsoring the first few issues. I also had some cash flow from my other marketing and publishing businesses that were still very much operational at the time.
What are some of the most exciting parts of running your own business?
There is absolutely no limit to how big we can take this baby. We are literally on page one chapter one of a very exciting big global build. I love that no day is ever the same, that I get to travel the globe and meet the most extraordinary people and experience things that some people only dream of.
What has been some of the biggest challenges for you?
Sounds so cliché but always cash flow. I think with any high growth business this is always going to be an issue. The other more recent one is that now our brand is pretty big (bigger than our bottom line) companies are starting to swoop in and try to poach my staff by offering them big dollars. We just have to keep working on the culture so that people stay for more than the money.
You quit drinking over 10 years ago – how has this impacted your life and the business you run?
It had the hugest impact on my business and my entire life. My messaging around this for others, is not to quit drinking, but find whatever it is that is holding you back. What’s your crutch. Where are you self-sabotaging? As soon as you get courageous about this and put in the work, the world absolutely opens up a plethora of extraordinary opportunities.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Find your purpose and your why. Harness the tools to have an unwavering self-belief. Be an awesome sales person. Be passionate. Surround yourself with an incredible team. I talk a lot about this in my book Daring & Disruptive.
How do you define success?
Freedom and choice to do what you want every day.
What would you say to your 21-year-old self?
Believe in yourself. No one is better than anyone else.
What person dead or alive would you invite to a dinner party and why?
- Nelson Mandela – inspires me beyond words. Anyone who can spend 27 years in a jail cell and come out as he did is beyond extraordinary.
- Oprah – she too has provided me with much inspiration.
- Angelina Jolie – she completely fascinates me.