Lisa Messenger Australian entrepreneur and author of multi-platform lifestyle publication The Collective Hub sits down with Parlour X to share her challenges, successes and what the future holds for the Collective Hub.
What is your position and title?
Founder and editor-in-chief of the Collective Hub magazine.
Describe your role.
No one-day is ever the same. I’m in an unusual position as I am the CEO of The Messenger Group and Collective Hub so I manage all the operational as well as visionary and strategic sides of the businesses. But then I am also the editor of the Collective magazine so that takes me all over the world meeting extraordinary people and brokering all sorts of deals. Then I am also the face of the brand, which means I generally do 1 – 4 speaking gigs a week as well as author books such as Daring & Disruptive and Life & Love. Essentially my role in life is to be “an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs”
What does a regular day involve in your role?
There is no such thing as a regular day. Let’s take today as an example – I was the opening keynote speaker for the Schweppes Marketing Conference at Cape Shanck south of Melbourne at 9am. Before that I went for a run taking in the views. At 10am I slipped in a quick meeting with a consultant who also happened to be presenting. At 10.30am a car picked me up to drive me back to Melbourne. On that 1.5hr car trip I signed off on the next cover for the Collective print magazine, closed an advertising deal with a cosmetics brand, did a media interview, updated my social media and finalised my next editors letter (oh the bliss of 1.5 uninterrupted hours…). I then had more time on the plane where I bashed out a chapter for my next book and read through a contract for a very big publishing deal I’m about to close in the US (I’ve spent 17 days of the past month there on two trips). Back at the office I signed off on some cover art for the Life & Love Playbook, had a quick team meeting with my editorial team, had a briefing from my publicist about next weeks speaking engagements and events, checked emails and took various phone calls. It is never ever a dull moment!!
What inspired you to begin your career in publishing / media / fashion?
I saw a gap in the market – there was really nothing inspirational and aspirational for entrepreneurs and creatives. I wanted to focus on spreading a message of positivity rather than a lot of magazines that aim to spread negativity.
Tell us about your background, did you have any formal training?
I have a background in events, sponsorship and publishing. Although I have a business degree I didn’t embark on that until I had been out of school for 8 years and I only did it because at the time I felt pressured to… pretty much everything is self-taught and learnt on the job. I try to surround myself with extraordinary mentors and a kick arse team.
You’ve written over twelve books (wow!) – did you always intend to write, edit and publish as a career path?
Not at all – at school I did what was unceremoniously termed “veggie English” – the lowest of the low. As I got more and more confident and did more and more personal development I found my voice and realised I could be a conduit for other people to follow their dreams.
What has been your career highlight?
Launching the Collective – the print mag is now in 37 countries and I had no background in magazines whatsoever. Not bad for 2 years and truly testament to my mantra “anything’s possible”. Last week in NYC I met with Anna Wintour – the meeting was requested by her … it’s pretty amazing that we have got on the radar of so many incredible people so quickly. Another highlight was spending 4.5 days on Richard Branson’s private island Necker with him last November. Every day there is one pinch myself moment at least.
Who has influenced you most in your career?
I look to people like Richard Branson, Martha Stewart, Oprah, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela but day-to-day it is our community that inspire me the most.
You have many collaborators and are known for your progressive and fearless approach to business. What advice do you have for young industry starters interested in like-minded entrepreneurial pursuits?
1) Fail Fast
2) There is more currencies than dollars.
3) Surround yourself with an extraordinary team.
4) Have an unwavering self-belief.
5) Know that anything – and I mean ANYTHING is possible.
Which Australian designers do you admire?
How has the industry changed since you first started?
I think in order to succeed and stay relevant you must traverse multiple platforms and always put your community first.
How did renegade Collective come about?
Through sheer passion and determination to put something incredible out there for entrepreneurs and creatives.
Your favourite cover story to date?
I love all of them for different reasons but issue 8 with Martha Stewart was pretty up there as she is someone I look to on a global level professionally.
What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned professionally?
Back yourself 100%
What is your personal style philosophy?
Be authentic. Be true to who you are.
Tell me something we wouldn’t know about you.
I sleep 8 – 10 hours every night but when I’m on I’m on. I’m rarely tired!
What is your next chapter?
Very big. Very global. Very cross platform. My message remains consistent – to be an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs – things are about to get a whole lot wilder!
What words do you live by?
Never ever give up.
You can find Lisa on Instagram at @collectivehub