1. How/why did you begin your business?
I spent over 20 years in a very successful corporate career, but I always knew that wasn’t my ultimate dream. I had pangs of desire to start my own business, but I had no idea where to start. I had never been exposed to the entrepreneurial world, and it was scary as heck!
One day, I got a call from an ex-colleague asking me to start some businesses with him. I jumped in head AND feet first. But after a couple of years, I was pretty miserable. The businesses weren’t going well, and there was tension between me and my business partner. It was the first time I hired a coach to help me figure out what the heck I was doing wrong, and what I really wanted. I realized that those businesses were based on someone else’s vision, and although I was technically a partner, my role was no more than an employee. That’s when I decided to leave and start my own business, based on MY passion and ultimate vision. Best decision I ever made!
2. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge by far has been avoiding the parts of business that I don’t like to do, or am not good at. We are all naturally drawn to certain steps in the business cycle. I love to build, and to leverage, so I spent a LOT of time in those areas. It came back to bite me in the patootie, because I really avoided not only some of the foundational elements, but also (embarrassing as it is to say) basic sales & marketing activities. I learned the hard way as I had to take a few steps back to the basics. I’ve learned to push myself through (and get help in!) those areas that I don’t have expertise in.
3. How do you define SUCCESS?
Being happy. Following your own yellow brick road. Focusing on what it is that YOU want, and then going for it. Then and only then will you truly be happy. I define success, very simply, as being happy and joyful on a regular basis.
4. If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Only ONE?? <gasp> It’s pretty tough to narrow down to just one, this journey has been such a stream of learning experiences. The main theme that I teach and preach is that you have to find your own path. I in no way understood that when I started out. I took classes, I hired coaches, I had mentors……and I tried to replicate what they taught me and what they told me I should be. It wasn’t until I spent some time discovering ME, what I stood for, what I believe in, what I wasn’t willing to compromise on, that I started seeing real success. I certainly wish I had known that sooner.
5. What makes you an innovative woman?
I am so passionate about inspiring others to follow their own “yellow brick road”. It’s very easy to try and “copy” what other successful people are doing, but I know that won’t ultimately make each of us happy or successful. We have to find our own unique path that is based on our experience, expertise, and passion. I compare it to a great martini – find your own unique blend of ingredients that fits what you like; when you mix them together, you will have exactly what you need. This is what I stand for in my own business, and with my clients. Be willing to be brave, bold, and the best version of YOU that you can be.
Lisa is also the Today’s Innovative Woman City Director for Phoenix visit her City Page to find out more!