Profile TV: Fierce Feminine Founder Series

Host: Genine Howard


Lisa Messenger is best known as the woman behind the extraordinary success of The Collective Magazine. Also known as an industry ‘disruptor’, Lisa not only proved this by dominating the cut-throat magazine publishing world, but also when she decided to ‘break’ her business and close the print magazine. Her story is reminiscent of the Kenny Rogers song The Gambler – ‘You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run …’. And ever the disruptor, Lisa knew exactly when to walk away from her business. This is a story of unwavering self belief, self trust and knowing when to fold ‘em’. 

And on the other side is a woman stronger, even more determined and forever the business disruptor.


Genine Howard: I’m here today with the very awesome, daring and disruptive Lisa Messenger. And Lisa and I have just had a little bit of time to connect, and I want to preface to everyone watching this interview that I want you to take something from this interview that is about even when everything feels like the weight is on your shoulders, even when things feel like they’re breaking apart, that it’s actually really an opportunity to look at it differently and rebuild. 


And who better to do this than Lisa Messenger. Because Lisa, you have recreated yourself and your businesses time and time again. And that’s the one thing I’m so inspired about you all the time is your capacity to be fearless, and to disrupt and do things differently. 

So, first of all, welcome, Lisa.


Lisa Messenger: Thank you, it is good to be here. I love that introduction, and we were just talking offline before we started this about there’s nothing off-limits at all, and I think that’s the only way that we actually help each other is by talking about the difficult times. And yeah, I’ve had businesses for nearly 18 years, so there’s little I haven’t seen, or experienced, or failed at. So, yeah, let’s dig right into whatever you want to talk about.

lisa messenger

Genine Howard: Sounds awesome. So, I really want to dive into the Collective Hub Magazine and that business for you. Because that’s where a lot of people first got to know who you were. 


I mean you’ve been in business for such a long time, publishing books for yourself and others for a long time, but that’s really where your fame in Australia and overseas got known. So, before we talk about what changed in that, tell me about the pinnacle of that business. Like how did it feel? What was happening for you when it was at its peak?


Lisa Messenger: Oh my god, I’m just looking at all my 53 babies sitting in front of me. Fifty three print mags. So, at its peak, I mean that was insane. And going back a little bit, I launched the print mag in March 2013, and launched my first business is October 2001. So, it was like well, an 11 or 12-year overnight success, and I think that’s really important for everyone to remember. And thank you for the word fame, I don’t know about that. But it was literally like … I literally went from being a nobody and not really having any semblance of my purpose and things, almost overnight to being so steadfast in my vision and my purpose, and this unwavering, insatiable self-belief.


And literally I dropped the print mag, I don’t know if anyone remembers, but March 2013, overnight it became this almost global sensation. I mean within 18 months; the print magazine was in 37 countries. And that was literally from me going from a standstill, never having worked in media or for magazines, just literally. And we can talk more about this because I think it’s one of the most important things in life and business, is having a really strong sense of purpose and what your why is. And then … I mean I wrote a whole book about this, called Purpose. But then ‘the how’ almost has a way of taking care of itself.


So, I just launched it because I wanted something for entrepreneurs to tell the story behind the story, to be raw and real and relatable and attainable. And the night that I dropped that magazine, I could have had no idea if it would work, or if it would fail. I mean so many things before it had failed. And it’s just that this one just went nuts.


So, at the pinnacle, I’ve never experienced anything like it, and it was almost overnight. I mean I woke up the next morning to something like 600 emails in my inbox. And the magazine dropped into 3,506 newsagencies in Australia. And Mum and I went to Bondi Junction in Sydney, and it was sitting there front and centre in between Marie Clare, Vogue, Harper’s. And we were just screaming and crying and couldn’t kind of believe it. And from there it just went wild.


So, within 18 months, I had an email from, it said in the subject line, ‘From the office of Anna Wintour.’ And I was like is this a prank? And literally, Collective Hub had gotten onto her radar. And for anyone who doesn’t know who I’m talking about, think about Devil Wears Prada, or the September Issue. And Anna asked me to fly to New York to the Conde Nast headquarters and meet with her.


So, then I got invited to spend time on Richard Branson’s Necker Island, pretty much before anyone much had been there certainly from Australia, or in the general business sphere. And then I got invited after that to co-chair the Virgin Way conference with him in Sydney. So, it was heady and amazing. I was the only person who was invited, when was it, maybe two years ago when Jamie Oliver was in Australia, to put him on the cover of Collective. We were the only cover to have him. And I spent quite a long time with him discussing the future of magazines, et cetera. As it turns out, his sadly has since closed.


Yeah, so heady, amazing, extraordinary. Going from literally 11 years of bumbling along, over-servicing, undercharging, being everything to everyone. Living life, according to other people’s expectations. To dropping this thing and just this frickin’ explosion. It gives me shivers in every part of my body thinking about it because the opportunities that opened up, and the collaborations and everything else is just … well, fairly well chartered in the seven books that I’ve now written in five and a half years. So, yeah, I’ve been writing books in real-time through that period to kind of talk about everything, the good, the bad, the ugly. There’s a lot of it.


Genine Howard: I can imagine too going from, as you say, almost an overnight success, that would have put a huge strain on the finances and the procedures of your business and everything, because you didn’t know whether it was going to go gangbusters or just tick along. So, how did you deal with all of that?


Lisa Messenger: So, that is one of the best questions anyone could ever ask because it’s fascinating, and last year I wrote a whole book called Risk and Resilience, which covered all of this. And it’s really interesting because I’m very conscious about my decisions and my languaging, and it’s really interesting, and lots of people watching this, listening to this, reading this will relate. So, I literally for 11 years couldn’t work out how to scale a business. I never had more than three staff, and it was a very profitable business. It was a couple of million dollars in revenue at best, but it was very profitable. I was pulling a lot of money out of the business, and I managed to buy four properties with that business. And I was comfortable but comfortable is a bit boring, bit safe.


Then when I launched Collective, with three of us, literally within a couple of years, there were 32 full-time staff and over $3 million in fixed salaries. Of the 32, only three people were writers or commissioning articles. So, if you think about it, it was a global media business, but 29 of the people didn’t even … weren’t associated with writing. So, it was a very cost heavy business. And the reason I say I’m conscious about my languaging is when it all got very big, and I mean that doesn’t sound big, but I had so many other consultants. I mean there were probably 300 or so people working around the globe in various capacities, and it suddenly became a multi, multi, multimillion-dollar business.


And so be careful what you step into, because I found my vision and my purpose, and I was so strong and resolute, but I am like a brilliant visionary leader. I think things before they even start, I’m a creative, I love moving forward. But suddenly when you have a business of that magnitude and you’ don’t have the systems and processes in place, as I didn’t, and also, I’d never been the CEO of a business that big, suddenly it all became about operations and HR, and IT, and finance and legal. And all that stuff. And I can’t stand that.


And so suddenly I went from being really juiced up and inflow, to feeling like I was … well, I was haemorrhaging cash. And I feel like I was in survival mode and drowning. And it was interesting; my boyfriend in the middle of it said, “But you chose this.” And I was like, “I chose to step into something I thought would be amazing, but it’s actually very different when you’re in it.” And the interesting thing about business, or life, is until you’re actually there and experiencing it for yourself, you can intellectualise it, you can read about it, you can talk to other people about it. But I wasn’t really prepared for the enormity of that growth.


And so, what happened was I made some very silly decisions, and I hired … you know, I always say hire your weaknesses, the things that I’m not great at. And I didn’t understand a lot of the digital side of the business, so I hired some very, very expensive digital people. And then I kind of stepped away. And I didn’t learn it so well. And I learnt print inside out, I know events inside out, which was a bit part of our business because that was largely my background. But the digital side of the business I didn’t really learn enough about. And I don’t think you can be a good leader if you just hand that off and entrust that to someone else, and believe that they’re going to do a great job.


And so the business did start haemorrhaging a lot of money, and I had to make people redundant, which was horrible, because at the time, 16 and a half years of business, I’d never made a single person redundant. And so, it suddenly became extraordinarily difficult. And my vision and my purpose had not changed one bit, and I don’t believe it will until the day I die. However, luckily from launch I had said don’t be too fixated on the delivery mechanism.


And so that’s when I needed to be courageous enough to break it. And by break it, I mean cut the absolute guts out of the cost base, and reevaluate, okay, this business is amazing, but I need to break it in its current form, because it grew too quickly, it had way too many costs, fixed office space, $3 million-plus in salaries, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And so, it was grossly inefficient, and yeah, and so I couldn’t operate and be the best version of me, and therefore serve our community when it was like that.


So, yeah, it kind of went from this amazing story that I loved, loved, loved every bit of it, to I’m drowning, and I just can’t do this. Yeah. But so many people fumble along for years and years, you know? Because they’re embarrassed, or their identities are wrapped up in that. So, yeah, people often say to me what’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? And I would say it’s two-fold. Having the courage to start Collective Hub, and having the courage to break Collective Hub.


Genine Howard: Totally. And I totally get that, because as I say, in our last issue of the magazine we had Samantha Wills [on the cover].


Lisa Messenger: Yes, she is a very good friend of mine.

Genine Howard: Yeah, and I’m loving her story that she got that courage, her business was seeming like it’s massive, and it’s fantastic, and it’s successful. But it wasn’t filling up her soul. There were parts of her that for her, that visionary and creative keeps getting squashed by all of the other stuff. And I get that with you as well. For me, this is not an interview about me, but I’ve had a similar story recently that I’ve taken back my magazine. And, you know, people forget that magazines come with a truckload of overheads, especially print mags, which we’ve been doing. A crazy truckload.


And so, I just came in, and I had to just slash from the staff, the offices, everything. And literally the point I kept slashing, slashing, slashing, I’m going the only thing left is the actual print magazine. For me, after that magazine had been going for over ten years, I literally had the courage to say this is no longer what we want. So, we actually went digital, and Samantha was on the cover of our first digital magazine.


So, for you then, what did you decide? Because you did 52 issues of print, and then you stopped, but then you had another one come back out. So, how did that happen?


Lisa Messenger: Okay. I’m concerned, did I confuse the market? So, what happened was I just got to a point where I was like this isn’t sustainable. I can’t keep going; I’ve got to make the courageous decision to close the print mag. And just strip it all back and really understand, you know, what’s happened with the business.


So, I did that, the last … well, Issue 52 was April 2018. And then once I’d had time, like a couple of months to actually just breathe and really look closely, I mean when you’re a creative, data and financials are absolutely everything. So, I spent a few months just really looking at all of that really, really closely. And what I realised was actually it wasn’t the print magazine that was so much the problem, it was actually in my case the digital. And that was purely because we were doing eight stories a day. We were paying writers $300 to $500 a story online. So, that was a very cost heavy part of the business. And we just weren’t selling advertising, we weren’t putting the revenue against the expenditure of that part of the business.


And so once I looked at it all, I was like, “Oh my god, come out of this fog.” I realised that we’d already commissioned, which means got writers to write an entire issue, which we’d also subbed and edited and largely laid it into design. And that’s the process of a magazine, as you know. And so I said to Amy, my editor and my art director, oh my gosh, we’ve got one sitting here, we’ve paid for all of those costs of the editing, the sub editing. We’ve done all these articles, so the only cost to put that one out was to print it.


And I knew we’ve got such an incredible audience, a community who love the mag, so I was like, well, at least half of the costs had already been absolved and paid for. So, that’s why we decided to bring Issue 53 out, which I did in December 2018. And luckily when I closed it in April, I said if I can find a way to bring this back and make it happen, I will. And I mean that’s always tricky because I think like everyone was so happy to see it back, but I think you’ve also got to be careful, as I do around my friends and people being like, “We’re confused. Hang on, did you close that or didn’t you close it?”.


So, I’m trying to … in fact we’ve just done Issue 54, which will go to print in about three weeks, and that’s all about tech. I mean I love print, I absolutely love it. I keep writing books; I’m now producing journals and diaries and things. And so I’ve always said if I can produce them every now and again, then I’ll do it. So, there’s no hard and fast rule around when or how, it’s just when I feel inspired and my team wants to do it. And we’ve got a gap in our calendar, and we’ve got the time and space to do it, we’ll do it in a controlled way, because we’ve got extraordinary distribution, News Link and W.H. Smith, and all the amazing news agencies in Australia and across the globe have supported us, and the communities ready to buy.


So, when I can do it, I will do it.


Genine Howard: And isn’t it courageous as well because often in business we’re told we’ve got to be consistent, everyone needs to know exactly what you’re doing. You need to have a plan. But this is like the new way of doing business; it’s like well, do you know what? If it feels good to me and supports me in my business, I will do it, but I’m not going to be beholden to what the market tells me I have to do.


Lisa Messenger: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. There’s also a really important thing around that, because in business if you have a lot of fixed costs and overheads and stuff, and it’s ongoing, then you don’t have the luxury of just breaking something starting it again when you want to. But in the last year, I’ve decentralized my entire team. My latest book, Work From Wherever, everyone’s working from wherever they want to. It’s based on KPIs, so key performance indicators. And data and output. And everyone has their own budgets, and it’s all project by project.


So, what’s interesting about that way of doing business is you don’t have these constant fixed costs, where you almost have to continue to put a mag out every month, or whatever it is, because you’ve got 32 people, or 100 people, or whatever it is sitting in a seat that need work to do.


But now that I’ve chosen to decentralize everything and make it project by project, I can bring teams in as and when I want, and it gives me much more flexibility and fluidity. And it’s an interesting way of working, because for that 11 years when I only had three staff, if people said to me, “Do you work from home?” or “How many staff do you have?” It was like the more staff you had, or the bigger your office was, seemed to be a measure of success. And my identity and possibly ego was wrapped up in that. Yet now, having gone to the big, big, big level business with the multi, multi, multi-million dollar turnover, I’ve actually chosen consciously to go back to actually I don’t want any full-time staff. I want everyone on a contract basis and freelancers, and I want to do project by project.


And it’s the most beautiful, exciting, exhilarating way to work, because now I’ve actually got multiple businesses and I’m doing a very big launch probably later, either end of this year or early next year, haven’t quite decided yet. But the thing is, I’ve got extraordinary people, like the most extraordinary people I could ever find, but everyone’s project by project. So, yeah, I just redefined, what success means.  Also that business is like the most amazing thing, but not if your lifestyle is suffering, or your health is suffering, or you’re feeling like you’re hemorrhaging cash every day. And you have to come home, as I said, for a long time, and cry unceremoniously on the bathroom floor.


I mean when Collective really was hemorrhaging cash, that’s what I would do most days. And that’s hard. You come home and cry, and then you’ve got to front up for the next day. And when I started my business, it seemed like everything was in increments of $100, and maybe $1,000. And suddenly everything, and I mean everything, every day was increments of $100,000. Every day my CFO, my chief financial officer, would say to me, “We need another $100,000.” Every frickin’ day.


And I am the queen of ideas, so I kept being like, “We’ll do another event,” or, “We’ll go another mag,” or “We’ll do this, or do that.” So I was always coming up with new ways to make money and partnerships and collaborations. But there’s a very big difference about doing that when you need to survive, and when you actually do it because it’s fun and juicy and you love it. And I couldn’t care less about money for money’s sake; I just couldn’t care. It’s not what drives me in any way, shape, or form. But when the business got so big, suddenly it was all about we need another $100,000, we need another $100,000. And that after a while wears pretty thin and drops you to your knees.


Genine Howard: I hear this from a lot of women too that because there was such a success-driven way of getting ahead, and we all kind of, especially in our age bracket, we all measured success by having that beautiful office, and the big team, and how much money I can make. But one lesson I’ve been learning. You know, “learning” is it’s not about just making more money to plug the holes. Because I’m like you, tell me what you need, I’ll go and make the money. I can come up with the ideas. But at some point, it’s really got to stop.


So, for you, from a personal perspective, was there a pinnacle point that you went, “Oh, God, this is enough for me.” I know, for example, I don’t know if you can talk about this. Actually, you said you can talk about anything, your dad suffered a heart attack and passed away. Was that something for you that was a real wake up call?


Lisa Messenger: Yes and no. Funnily enough, I mean I was so fortunate to have this incredible weekend with dad up at his property. He has an apple orchard in Orange of all places. And so I had spent two days with him up there, and driving the tractor, and feeding the cows. It was the most beautiful weekend. And it was interesting; it was Sunday the 17th of September. And I said to him, “Dad, I’m going to sell the business.” Or, “I’m going to close the business.” Or, “I’m going to do something with the business because it’s driving me into the ground.” And he said, “Yep, great idea.”


And it was the next day that he died of a heart attack. So, I made that decision, and I voiced it to him, which was quite beautiful. And we had the most amazing weekend. But then that happened. So, then I had this … I mean life throws you stuff all at once. So, then I was trying to work out how to wind out of the business, which was in a very unhealthy state at the time. And then the very next day, working out how to organize my dad’s funeral and navigate something.


So, I was navigating two things that I’d never navigated, and both of them were coming at me hard and fast. I had these guys that I appointed to try and help me either get investors or do something with the business. And they were like, “We need this; we need this; we need this.” I had my CFO saying, “We need another 100 grand, we need another 100 grand.”


And then on this side, I had my dad’s lawyer and all of that kind of thing going you need to organise the funeral. And you’re the executor of the estate. And so you need to do this. Then I was really drowning. So, the most important thing, and I mean I’ve written lots of books about this, Life and Love, and about the importance of rituals and routines, and working on yourself. And I’ve done years of therapy and everything else. But when two things so big came at me at once, I was just … I had several horrible anxiety attacks, and it was a really tough, tough time.


But, yeah, a massive wake up call as well, because for anyone watching or listening who’s experienced something as traumatic as sudden death of a family member, or someone who’s really close to you, yeah, it’s… where am I even trying to go? It’s completely debilitating. And I can’t remember my train of thought. I’ve gone off into dad land.


Yeah, it made so many things around me … I was probably at my angriest almost, because so many things that were almost of no consequence, or ridiculous conversations that were happening around me, suddenly I just thought this means nothing. Someone just died, and this stuff is still going on. And I just … my tolerance level for ridiculous minutiae became almost zero. I was like I just don’t care at the moment.


And I think yes, to answer your question in the long and short way, I think it definitely puts things into perspective, and it was definitely like I’ve always been in business because I love business and it’s fun. And as soon as it wasn’t fun, I was like nah, I’m not doing this anymore. I’m just not doing it. So, it’s like whatever cost, which was very difficult financially and also having to make people redundant, and that was all hideous because they were, and are still my friends. So, that was incredibly difficult. But I was like sometimes; I don’t know, you’ve got to short term pain for long term gain. I was like I just can’t keep going along like this.


And the reality is, unfortunately, as a business owner, or someone experiencing grief unless you’re the one in it, I’ve realised that no one really truly understands. So, in one way, my staff, I was showing, this is the bottom line. This is the financials; this is what’s going on. And they’d be kind of almost like this, “Oh, wow, okay.” And then it almost felt like half an hour later someone would be like, “Oh, can I have a salary increase?” And I was like, oh my god.


And then, in the same way, people when someone dies, they’re kind of there for the first day, “Oh my god, how are you feeling.” And then it’s like business, as usual, the next day. So, yeah, two excruciatingly hard things, and so I just made a decision I think then and there to go nothing’s worth it. You know, life should be fun; life should be full of joy. And if things are really draining us and we’re not actually able to be the best version of ourselves because all sorts of other external factors are sabotaging, or internal factors, then it’s time to break ship and move on. Yeah.

lisa messenger

Genine Howard: How does it feel now? I know you were saying you’ve got a different way of working. So, how does it feel personally for you having contractors instead of all the heavyweight and no one’s turning up every day asking for another 100 grand? How does it feel?


Lisa Messenger: It’s amazing. I mean it is incredible, and it takes some adjustment, because, you know, I think people … there’s something quite beautiful about having a place to go each day and having gorgeous 32 staff through your door. And the energy around collaboration, coming up with ideas, and getting excited together, and sharing that sense of community, is beautiful. So, sometimes I miss that a little bit. But it’s amazing how resilient and flexible and adaptable we are.


This way of working I much prefer. Look, it far outweighs the benefits of that, because the beauty of this is that I’m now running three businesses, two of which I can talk about in a few months. So, Collective Hub still consists of the online, and then books and 

printed products, and a few events and bits and pieces. But then I have two other startups.


Now, the beauty of this is when I was in the office; it would be like 32 people would be in on one conversation. And it was very unproductive, and everyone knew exactly what was going on in the business. And so there was a lot of conversations and a lot of meetings, and a lot of managers managing managers, you know?


But now I have different teams for different projects, so my Collective Hub team are working on all of that, that I previously discussed. But then my startups are completely different teams, and so there’s no inefficiencies, because people are working on exactly what they need to work on, and they’re not distracted. Because, you know, everyone loves bright, shiny things. So, if my Collective Hub team knew particularly about one of my startups, they would be like, “Oh my god, amazing.” And I need them to focus on producing amazing stuff over there.


And so it’s really good that these other teams are focused on what they need to be focused on. So, it’s actually quite extraordinary, because my output, I mean I’m sitting at my home here, I’m sitting at home today, and I have, I don’t know, my team now is certainly bigger than it was when I had a full-time office. But I have three different lots of teams out there working and being productive as I’m sitting here at home chatting to you. And I went and did the Bondi to Bronte this morning, and I’ve had a very lovely, relaxing morning.


And also they’re really happy. I mean a lot of my staff that worked full-time in our office in Surry Hills are now working remotely. And my art director is in Greece for five weeks at the moment getting married. And we are on and off emails and things. But the thing now is that people can work from wherever they want, as long as the output is there. So, I’m much happier. Yeah, I think everyone seems to be happier. As I said, it takes some discipline, more discipline, because you know, you can’t get up and open the fridge and be kind of like what’s for breakfast? Or what’s for lunch? All-day every day. You’ve got to have certain rituals and routines that keep you focused.


But we use amazing tools like Asana, so my whole team is on Asana for different projects. And so we report regularly, and there’s all that to-do list sitting there. We use Zoom a lot. We use Slack. So, we all feel very connected; it’s just that we’re not physically in the same space a lot. And sometimes if ever to be honest.


Genine Howard: Yeah, and that’s what I love about the new book, Work From Anywhere, which is on my desk at the minute.


Lisa Messenger: Everyone says that. It’s Work From Wherever, but everyone says Work From Anywhere. I should have called it that, everyone says that!


Genine Howard: I think the culture of the world which … I mean I’ve been working from home since I’ve had my children. My children are four and six years old now, I literally haven’t worked in an office with people since then, and I love it. People say to me all the time, “Don’t you go and do the washing?” You’re like, “No, that’s the last thing that I’d be doing.”


Lisa Messenger: Yeah.


Genine Howard: I mean we’re very blessed, my husband’s an actor, so he doesn’t have a traditional job that he goes off to every day. So, today he’s looking after the kids and doing the washing, and all that kind of thing. But I think as a culture we’re really breaking out of that going to an office from nine to five.


Lisa Messenger: Yeah.


Genine Howard: Even just from an employee perspective, most people are wanting to have more fun and more lifestyle.


Lisa Messenger: Exactly.


Genine Howard: So, what I want to ask you is, what is fun? Other than business, what do you do for fun, what lights you up?


Lisa Messenger: So, yesterday … I still have two of my four investment properties. I sold two, as bridging finance when Collective Hub was hemorrhaging, so I no longer have those. But I love … so I have one in Bondi, and if anyone was watching Instagram, I’ve been decking that out and doing a makeover and painting the bathroom tools white, they were blue. So, I love any kind of creative pursuit like that. I love interiors and that kind of thing.


I also love being in nature. I mean most weekends, so my week’s are relatively regimented, but my partner and I have a thing where we pretty much try to not plan anything too much on weekends. But we’re mostly at the beach, or in nature with our dog, Benny. And a lot of family stuff, we’re very, very family orientated. And I have a lot of dinner parties. So, we’re fairly well known for having dinners for 14 to 16 people every few weeks. And I think that’s really important.


So, for me, it’s about I love cooking and connections. So, yeah, everything kind of creative, creative pursuits that aren’t my work, like writing, and I don’t know, all sorts of things. But I just love being creative, whether it’s cooking, or doing interiors, or doing places up. And I think, you know, no matter how successful you get, don’t underestimate getting your hands dirty and going barefoot, and getting in and mucking things out. I find that kind of thing really cathartic and grounding. Yeah, and things we love.


I also love to go indoor rock climbing. Sometimes I’ll go to the driving range and hit golf balls, or my partner and I will play tennis. So, you know, I’m very, very active and a lot in nature. And it’s often different creative pursuits and things. So, yeah, we’re always trying different things.


So, I think it’s really important, and I think that’s a great misnomer as well, like when you’re an entrepreneur, or you have your own business, it’s like, “I’ve got to work all the time.” Well, what I’ve found is that my best ideas always, always, always come when I’m on a rock climbing wall, or I’m walking on the beach, or I’m cooking for friends, or whatever it happens to be. So, I love all of that stuff. And we travel a fair bit as well. So, yeah, I just live life, push the limits on everything really.

lisa messenger

Genine Howard: And that’s what’s made you an absolute trailblazer in Australia, and overseas. And I really thank you from my heart to have someone like you to trail blaze, to show women there’s another way of living, there’s another way of doing things. And that even though on the outside it may look like you’re at the pinnacle of success, if it’s not filling you up within, then it’s time to break.


Lisa Messenger: Yeah, thank you. And you mentioned Samantha before, I mean I broke Collective in April, and I think she decided to close Samantha Wills only like four to six weeks after. And Jodie Fox with Shoes of Prey, Sarah Wilson with I Quit Sugar. So many of my girlfriend’s I think around the same time. And I think that’s the beauty of you almost give permission to others by saying it’s okay, and then other people sometimes are like, “Ah, thank god, I can do this too.”


So, yeah, I think just live life according to your own terms, and I think what I would say is, yeah, if something’s not juicing you up, or you don’t feel like you’re being the best version of yourself, then yeah, be unafraid to break it and change things. And just know within yourself, I guess that’s where the unwavering self-belief comes in, is that it will be okay, and you will rebuild in a more sustainable way. So, yeah.


Genine Howard: Wonderful. All right, well, thank you so much for your time today, Lisa, it’s been an absolute pleasure.


Lisa Messenger: Thank you.


To watch and listen to the interview on Profile TV CLICK HERE