We recently featured Lisa Messenger on Addicted2Success and after popular demand, I have decided to release part two of the interview. To recap, Lisa is most well known for her magazine The Collective that is now available in thirty-seven countries, three thousand five hundred newsagencies, all the Virgin, Qantas and Emirates lounge’s and in retailers such as Coles, Woolworths and Big W.
At one stage in her life, Lisa found herself living in a bubble because she had surrounded herself with so many inspirational people. Lisa’s basic human need of contribution kicked in, and she began to dream up how she could share these experiences that she learnt from influential people, with the rest of the world.
When she was at school, she was put into what was known as, “Veggie English,” which her peers considered to be the class for the dumbest of the dumbest in English. Like any great entrepreneurial story, Lisa took her perceived weakness at English and her need for contribution and launched The Collective Magazine against all the odds.
***Meeting Richard Branson***
In November 2014, Lisa was invited to go and spend time on Richard Branson’s private island on Necker. There is a lot of PR hype about Richard Branson in the media, but Lisa says in Richards’s case, he definitely stacks up to all of that and he was everything she thought he would be.
The best traits about Richard that she admired was he was humble, a great listener and even showed up on the day after the Virgin Galactic crash because he believes in keeping his commitments. Lisa said that Richard always believes in working away from his businesses and Lisa has a similar philosophy.
“When you’re not at the office, you empower your people to get on with it and when you are in the office you get in their way”
The Collective is now on the tables of all the rooms at Necker Island and Richard was kind enough to give a testimonial on the cover of Lisa’s latest book “Life & Love.”
Below are Lisa’s five tips for running your day as an entrepreneur, which have contributed, greatly to her own success and creation of a global media empire.
1. Spend time with influential people
One of the secrets to Lisa’s success is that she has spent time with influential people who are relevant to her business and this even included being able to sit in with the staff of the New York Times, page one editorial meeting twice.
Some of the influential people Lisa has met include Anna Wintour (the editor of Vogue Magazine), John Cleese, Martha Stuart and Charles Townsend (CEO of Condé Nast). The most important lesson Lisa learnt from meeting each of these extraordinary people is that they are just like you and me.
Lisa strongly believes that we are all equal and the only difference between extraordinary achievers and the average person is that they are prepared to back themselves, prepared to take risks, prepared to jump and learn to fly on the way down, and they have this insatiable, unwavering self-belief.
The more Lisa hangs out with influential people, the more she realises that they’re not this unattainable being from the moon that’s unapproachable, and they are actually quite normal. The other way Lisa spends time with influential people is through speaking gigs. One of the most valuable things you can get out of a speaking gig is to be able to meet the other speakers and stick around to listen to their speeches.
Whenever you’re not in the presence of influential people, you always need to be wary who you surround yourself with and what you tell people. One tip that Lisa gave is that it’s important to surround yourself with “yes people” and “no people”. If everyone that you surround yourself with build your ego up and tell you how great everything is, you could end up putting low-quality products and services out to the market.
I asked Lisa why it is that influential people want to contact her and setup meetings. She explained it to me like this: there are over 5500 print magazines in Australia alone. Some little punk (as Lisa likes to call herself) comes in with a team of three, no money, no idea what she is doing and consistently sits in the top ten print magazines within this market.
Influential people are realising that disrupters are important, and they want to find out how an earth people like Lisa pull off these mammoth triumphs. When Lisa did a speaking gig for the age-old brand Schweppes she told them that brands like theirs need to be careful because now any disruptor can come along, start a soft drink company with the power of collaboration and get in bed with like-minded, non-competing brands.
It’s worth mentioning though that these influential people don’t just want to hear Lisa’s story, they also want to do deals with her, and there are plenty of those happening so keep an eye out.
“When you really get to know what your purpose and your why is, absolutely anything becomes possible and the whole world opens up allowing really extraordinary things to happen. You have got to believe in yourself”
2. Insert some personal development into each day
Over the years, Lisa admits that she has done a lot of personal development, and she practices doing things to improve herself every single day. The wackiest and most profound personal development she ever did was to go to a cemetery and perform this exercise:
Step One: Find a gravestone,
Step Two: Lie down beside it
Step Three: Imagine what people would be saying about you if you were dead
This is one of the most sobering things Lisa has ever done, and when she was doing this, she imagined what people would be saying about her when she was in her old drinking days. The next step was for her to imagine what they would be saying about her now with this new life that she has created from nothing.
The result of this exercise for Lisa was that it helped her get on and get things done and not waste time. Try it for yourself! Do you want to be in your grave having not left your mark on the world?
3. Do the creative things outside of business hours
Chatting to Lisa I began to understand how important her schedule has been to her running her day. She typically does creative tasks, like writing, when she is on holidays, out of the office or on planes. Being busy at the office is not necessarily productive for Lisa or for any entrepreneur.
Lisa’s everyday life as an entrepreneur involves her having to travel a lot, which she says gives her time to strategize and write. Travelling also allows her to immerse herself in something different and get new ideas that she can then bring back to her team.
If travelling is not something you have done a lot of Lisa recommends trying to travel somewhere you have never been, even if it’s only five suburbs away. Never underestimate the power of opportunity; if you’re open to it, there are opportunities everywhere.
The big visionary and strategic tasks, as well as meetings with potential partners, occur outside of the office. Many people think that you need to be in the office all the time but Lisa would be in the office around two days a week which allows her to be productive and execute on the big tasks that entrepreneurs are expected to undertake on a day to day basis.
4. Find out what’s holding you back
Ten and a half years ago Lisa gave up drinking because she thought that alcohol was not serving her in any way, holding her back, and it was not helping her to be the best version of herself. Find whatever it is that you are using as self-sabotage like certain relationships or unhealthy eating patterns and remove them from your life.
Fear of success can be more burdening than fear of failure for a lot of entrepreneurs. We often set ourselves up more to fail than we set ourselves up to succeed. For Lisa, it wasn’t just about giving up drinking it was about finding out what was holding her back and using personal development to improve her life.
She has done anything from living in raw food, vegan communes in Costa Rica to trekking across the Western Ghats of India. Lisa did everything she could and was willing to try anything to find out what was holding her back. This is what it takes if you want to be a successful entrepreneur like Lisa.
5. Take up some positive daily rituals
On a micro daily level Lisa has certain rituals that are non-negotiable such as a morning green juice (she calls this her Devil Wears Prada moment), exercising every day with a personal trainer or doing the Bondi to Bronte walk in Sydney.
Some of Lisa’s daily rituals are:
- Doing gardening on the rooftop office deck
- Meditation – Lisa changes hers up regularly and calls it freestyling meditation
- Walking meetings – Lisa negotiates deals by walking and talking with prospects rather than sitting down at the office every time
- Reading – Lisa doesn’t usually read cover to cover and suggests dipping in and dipping out of different books
“As an entrepreneur you need to learn to be calm otherwise you will spend all your time in the clouds AHA-ing”
Lisa wanted to leave us with this final thought. Know that anything is possible and have unwavering self-belief. Do something where you can leave a legacy and make a real positive difference in the world. Surround yourself with an extraordinary team and don’t ever be afraid to fail fast. DISRUPT, have a go, there are no limits, and it’s only your own mindset that is holding you back.
Lisa’s Favourite Book Is – “The Motivation Manifesto”
Lisa’s Favourite Quote Is – “Anything is possible!”
If you would like to check out Lisa’s magazine or attend on of her events then visit The Collective to find out more.