Entrepreneur Advice from Lisa Messenger at KICK.START.SMART
Last month our super talented Art Director Tia Queen went along to KICK.START.SMART, the forum designed by The Collective to help entrepreneurs take their dreams from start line to start-up and from established to exponential. Lisa Messenger, the mastermind behind all of this has created a community of people chasing their dreams. She’s become the entrepreneur of entrepreneurs, and an incredible source of inspiration and wisdom, so we thought we’d share some key takeaways from her speech at the event.
People Buy Into People
When Lisa took to the stage at KICK.START.SMART, one of the first points she hammered home is that your success is dependent on the relationships you build. There is no better person to communicate the vision and values of your brand than yourself. For example, a large reason behind the success of The Collective is that Lisa is such an intrinsic and visible part of the brand. She’s dedicated a great deal of her time guest-speaking at events, coaching fellow entrepreneurs and writing a number of inspiring books, all of which communicate the values of The Collective. She’s a big believer that as the face of your brand, you have to be out meeting people and remembering that they’re all your equals. People buy into other people, not faceless companies.
Value Exchange Isn’t All About Money
Lisa went on to talk about the time when she started The Collective, saying that one of the most important things she had to remind herself is that there are so many currencies other than cash. Once you have a clear understanding of your vision and values, asking yourself ‘what’s my currency?’ will get you closer to figuring out what you can offer people. Things like partnerships and exchanges of skills can all be used to leverage success when your start-up is a little strapped for cash. To Lisa, this concept of value exchange is what makes business more exciting, and something of a game or a dance.
The Channel Doesn’t Matter
There are so many different ways to express your vision and your purpose, or that of your company. Whether it’s a website, a magazine, a physical store, a podcast, or a combination of a few, it doesn’t matter what channel you choose if the ‘why’ of what you’re doing is consistent and clear. If you’re still trying to decide on a channel the most important thing to be sure of is that you’re delivering your vision where people want it and when they want it. If you’re doing that then you can’t go wrong.
Hire Your Weaknesses
Lisa is a big believer in hiring your weaknesses. She believes that the best way to focus on what you’re good at is to hire other people to do everything else. From accounting to photography to operations or advertising, it’s better to hire people who specialise in these areas and can do a wonderful job than you slaving away, wasting time and ending up with a sub-par result. Lisa advocates that you shouldn’t be afraid to step out of your own way! In the end, it’s vital for your business that you’re productive and not busy.
There’s no question that Lisa is an incredibly talented businesswoman, and it was an absolute pleasure to hear about her experiences at KICK.START.SMART. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be posting a few more blog articles featuring the thoughts and advice from some of the other industry leaders who spoke at the event. We love hearing stories of businesses taking risks and making an impact, which is why we want to share them with you as well, so watch this space!