Ten years ago Lisa Messenger was incredibly unhappy; stuck in a bad marriage, alienated from her family and drinking far too much. Yet it was during this time when she was researching for her first book “Happiness Is..” that she turned her circumstances and whole world around and began her new journey in life. She has since made a life out of writing books (Cubicle Commando, Books to Boost Your Brand and Maverick Marketing to name a few), expanded to book publishing (her company has produced more than 400 books for others such as Lorna Jane and Contiki) and launched a 176-page lifestyle magazine which is now available in 33 countries- all while “print is dead”.
Like the way she’s tackled books, anything she does in life is pretty counter-intuitive to the status quo.
Read on for more inspiring words of wisdom from this absolute superwoman.
Food Matters: Could you explain what sacred spaces means to you and how having a sacred space has helped you?
Part of my journey from broken soul to confident, focused game-changer has been giving myself permission to recognize where and when I work best, when I’m most productive and switched on and shining, and then recreate those elements wherever I go. A lot of people underestimate the importance of their surroundings, and the huge knock-on effect this has on their ability to work, play, relax, thrive, connect and contribute.
I purposefully designed The Collective office to feel like a home – soft, nurturing and feminine – rather than a grey, harsh, corporate cauldron. But when I mention ‘sacred spaces’ I’m not just talking about the place you work. Everyone needs a place where they feel they belong, whether it’s a place to create a business, connect with friends, rest, relax, sleep, read or just be, and that’s what I cover off in my new book Life & Love.
Food Matters: If we were to step into your sacred space right now what would it look like?
Light and bright! My mum often jokes that I am solar-powered. I can’t stand not being able to see the sunshine in the daytime. It sends me into a spiral. When it’s light outside I need to be beside a huge open window, or ideally, out in nature under the sky and in the fresh air. I can’t go to a movie in the daytime unless it’s storming outside – I can’t bare the thought of all that lightness, that brightness, that radiance happening on the other side of a wall, behind a concrete ceiling, and that I’m not able to experience it. It could be as simple as opening a window so you can hear the wind rustling outside, adding pot plants and fresh flowers or investing in a chair that doesn’t cramp you.
Food Matters: Could you share what your turning point was in your life that made you turn it around?
I’m not sure if there was one “light bulb moment” but rather a series of smaller, stacking, shifts, that occurred because I began investing in myself, my health, my happiness and my personal relationships. You might look at me now and think that I have it all. I’m running a magazine sold in 37 countries and growing, traveling the world public speaking and I’m gloriously (okay, sickeningly) in love with my partner. Let’s be honest, I’ve messed up every area of my life at some point, but then I’ve rebuilt it to from the ground up. In my new book I share my personal triggers, changes and strategies but I’m also very aware this is only my journey and what worked for me may not work for other. Still, I hope that sharing my personal story, pitfalls, rebounds and successes can inspire people to realize that anything is possible. Oh, and I’m still very much a work in progress. There is never a full stop of self development.
Food Matters: What words of wisdom would you share to people in a dark place?
Every day we have the opportunity to be reborn, if we give ourselves permission to forgive yesterday’s mistakes – from the small to the big – and be liberated from the past. I wouldn’t be the person I am now if I hadn’t hit rock bottom around the lifestyle I was leading when I was partying, drinking and dancing on tables. Today I still dance on tables, only now I can remember it the next morning and I do it for fun, not because I need attention. If you remain attached to those stories, those arguments, those ‘ugh’ moments that make you cringe when you think of them, you will get stuck. We all have the power to flip the switch, change our attitude to gratitude. Instantly!
Food Matters: How do you start your day? What’s the standard Lisa breakfast like?
I have a few non-negotiables in my life that ensure I stay balanced no matter how crazy life gets (and it’s pretty crazy right now!) I always, always sleep eight or nine hours a night, I work out three times a week with my trainer (there’s nothing like a boxing session to boost productivity) and my team are used to me slurping on a green smoothie in our morning meetings. No matter how busy I am, even if my to-do list is four pages long, and I have back-to-back speaking gigs, I always, always make time for these rituals. A lot of people are surprised when I say my business is my priority, but my hierarchy goes in this order of importance - health, my relationship and then The Collective. I’ve just finished writing a blog post for The Collective website about a time in my business life when I didn’t look after my health, and the drastic consequences. I learnt from my mistakes - if I’m not well I can’t be a good leader, a good partner or a good friend.
What Does Your Sacred Space Look & Feel Like?
'Life & Love' is now on sale, if you are searching for a big dose of inspiration to begin your best life possible, then this is the perfect read! Grab your copy here.
In her best-selling book Daring & Disruptive, serial entrepreneur Lisa Messenger shared the business insights gathered after years of success across multiple industries, including how to identify your true purpose, pinpoint your passions and create the working life most only dream of. But, while it can look perfect on paper, Lisa admits her life hasn’t always been that way.
Blending advice from mentors and role models, together with lessons she’s learned the hard way, Lisa’s personal journey is proof that no mistake is undoable, no relationship is unfixable and no failure is in vain if you have the right attitude and an abundance of gratitude.