Entrpreneur Lisa Messenger shares her thoughts on self-discovery, business, and living loudly.
A journey of self-discovery can only be for yourself. While that seems like pretty straightforward advice, it’s one of the biggest obstacles to overcome when undertaking such a task. No amount of guidance, advice, or planning can set you on a path that you must determine for yourself.
Lisa Messenger’s journey—full of retreats, meaningful readings, and finding ways to work on herself—has led to her purpose today. The founder of The Messenger Group and Collective Hub took on this journey of self-discovery 12 years ago and it has helped her find her life’s mission: empowering others to find their own purpose.
“There’s no quick fix when you are working on yourself. You have to be courageous enough to do the work.”
Her journey of self-discovery was touched off by spending much of her 20s unhappy with where she was in life. Through her own personal awakening, she learned to care for herself first to, in turn, be able to care for others. Perhaps the hardest thing to understand when approaching your own personal journey, she said, is that often it won’t look like anyone else’s. You’ll have to set your own path forward.
“You have to be open enough to recognize that the hardest times can be the catalyst for the most extraordinary changes.”
As founder and editor-in-chief of Collective Hub—a multimedia business and lifestyle platform, comprised of a print magazine distributed in over 37 countries, an online news site, and event agency—Messenger has written on all manner of business that serves to disrupt, challenge, and inspire audiences around the world.
She’s also the author or co-author of 16 books. That’s where her journey has brought her today.
One of her most recent best-selling books, Daring & Disruptive, was just released in the U.S. After reaching number one on Booktopia and doing well in Australia, the U.S., where she has spent time since 2011, gives her another market with which to share her message.
“I want to impact as many people as possible with my books. Many people I look up to and draw inspiration from live in the U.S., so it’s wonderful to be able to share my message in a country that has done so much for me,” she said.
Her magazine Collective Hub gives her and her team a voice between book launches. The publication has become a true multimedia brand, encompassing engaging digital content, events, collaborations, and even unique product extensions.
And like her personal goal in live, Collective Hub is dedicated to empowering people to live out loud.
You see, living loudly doesn’t just apply to her personal life: Messenger asks that all of her employees do so as well. An open, accepting work environment encourages the sharing of ideas, dreams, and visions for the brand and the company.
“As long as they fit inside the vision and have viability, we’re willing to give it a good. It’s an excitable, free culture where they know that anything is possible and there aren’t boundaries to their ideas.”
Learning to live out loud has taken Messenger a lot of dedicated work.
“It can be painful sometimes,” she admitted. “I had a very public breakup last year. Instead of going and hiding away from it, I wanted to live my truth. You can control how you react to anything. Living my life transparently may make me vulnerable, but it has also allowed me to have a wonderful group of people gather around and support me.”
This approach to life and success also allows people to see the behind-the-scenes workings of the company. By talking about whatever she’s going through personally, Lisa allows the publication’s readers to see her as more than just the successful brand she’s attached to.
The success of The Messenger Group and Collective Hub didn’t happen overnight, either. Today, she is able to advise entrepreneurs and her own staff on something that she learned quickly from her experiences: fail fast and succeed quick.
“It took years and years of failing to be honest,” she said.
Messenger started her first company just after the events of September 11, 2001. In all manner of speaking, it was not a good time to start a business: the world was in turmoil, and people weren’t spending money. And, she admitted, she had no idea what she was doing.
“Naiveté was both a good and bad place to start. I didn’t know about networking groups. We were over-servicing and undercharging our customers. But we were passionate. Then leadership started to develop, we brought in mentors, and began working on our focus.”
Messenger believes the nature of how business works today has revolutionized how entrepreneurs work in founding new businesses.
“In a traditional, old-school business school, you write hundreds of pages of business plans. But the world, the economy, and especially consumers are moving everything forward so quickly now,” she said. “If you spend too much time building the foundation, you could be setting yourself up for massive failure because you didn’t move fast enough. By the time you may have launched, the market has moved on.
“Be steadfast in your overall vision, but be prepared for change. My vision is simple: live out loud, and show people what’s possible. That’s not going to change. What will change everyday is the delivery mechanism of that vision.”
Messenger doesn’t have a five-year plan for herself. Her commitment going forward, and what her personal journey thus far has taught her, is that to keep things on track, she must keep her vision solid.
“My vision is unwavering. I know my purpose, and I know the businesses I have founded and will found will continue to align with that.”
With a renewed focus on bringing Collective Hub and her titles to more people in the U.S. market, and launching a one-year global entrepreneurship course for interested parties, Messenger will continue to bring her vision to anyone open to listen to it.
And if her friend Richard Branson and colleague Anna Wintour trust her vision, maybe you should too.