Entrepreneur Lisa Messenger is the publisher and editor in chief of The Collective magazine and owner and creative director of The Messenger Group. She is also the author of 12 books. She says unwavering self belief is a key to success.
A non-traditional career
My career has been pretty non-traditional. I went from being a horse riding instructor to real estate, then to event management and sponsorship before starting my own business 13 years ago. My business changed from being a sponsorship and marketing agency to a content agency, and then I launched The Collective magazine. It doesn’t really make sense at all but that’s the beauty of it.
It’s important to know what your values and belief systems are, but there are opportunities everywhere. So many people get stuck on a specific career path, but if you stay open, anything can happen.
The beauty of ‘doing the opposite’
If something’s been done a certain way, I’ll pretty much do the opposite. I take lessons from every other industry to make The Collective go forward. It’s imperative to stay ahead of the curve, keep reinventing and keep innovating.
I was surrounded by extraordinary, inspirational people and I thought I could create something about positivity, inspiration and aspiration.
In 2013 people asked me “Why on earth would you launch a print magazine when print is essentially dying?” But because it’s counter intuitive to what everyone else is doing, it’s afforded us a lot of opportunities to do things differently.
I published the magazine because I was fed up with all the negativity in the media. I was surrounded by extraordinary, inspirational people and I thought I could create something about positivity, inspiration and aspiration. Your pain points are going to be something other people are experiencing.
A business built on intuition
Business is actually pretty simple at its core, but there’s a whole lot of fear. You’ve just got to jump in and test the market quickly then morph, pivot, iterate and come back quickly with something the market actually wants to buy.
My business plans are never more complex than one or two pages. And then I shop it around. I fail 20 times a day. I throw ideas at the market all day, every day. It could be as simple as putting an idea on social media or emailing a contact and saying "if I make this will you buy it?". If I’m able to sell it before it exists then I work out how I can make it.
You’ve got to back yourself – until you do no one else will back you.
Ninety-five per cent of what I do is gut feel and intuition. But The Collective is now in 37 countries so there’s a certain amount of planning that has to happen as well.
Finance has been one of the biggest challenges. For years I thought money was a dirty word. But now I know that to have a platform, to have freedom and choice in this world, you need money. It’s not the end in itself, but I need it in order to be able to grow The Collective and to continue to inspire people and make it accessible.
My vision is very big with The Collective. You’ve got to back yourself – until you do no one else will back you. But it takes time to build unwavering self-belief. I’ve got to a point where I’m pretty unshakeable, but it does take a lot of work. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix or one-size-fits-all option – you have to find out what works for you.
Three tips for success
1. Have unwavering self-belief.
2. Know your ‘why’– understand what your purpose is and what you’re trying to achieve in this world.
3. Surround yourself with a great team.
I believe everyone is equal and any of us can do anything. Anything’s possible.
What I’d do again
All the things we think that we’d do differently I wouldn’t at all, because they are the things that have helped me grow.
The Collective is a monthly lifestyle magazine that brings together entrepreneurial and creative minds from across the globe. Connect with Lisa Messenger and The Collective on social media: @lisamessenger, @collectivehub.