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If you haven’t heard of Lisa Messenger chances are you’ve heard of one of her businesses or books. In the last 15 years, Messenger has authored and co-authored 16 books – including the recent Money and Mindfulness – become CEO of The Messenger Group, founded Collective Hub complete with a print magazine distributed into over 37 countries, and launched the Kick. Start. Smart. conferences. As one of Australia’s most outspoken entrepreneurs who aims to ‘disrupt, challenge and inspire audiences around the world’ we felt Messenger was well-placed to address some common concerns about becoming an entrepreneur.
There are a lot reasons why people don’t start their own business and many are unique to their own situation or season of life, but here are two key barriers that I often come across:
Oops, just talked about this a little [above] but expanding on it … I love the quote “never for money, always for love” and I do fundamentally agree with that. I also know that money buys you choice and freedom, which is rather handy in business and in life generally, so I think it’s not wrong to desire money but it shouldn’t be your key driver. I also don’t think you should let a lack of it hold you back. If you are passionate about your idea or creative pursuit, then you should throw everything you have at it, to make it work. If you lack funds, get creative to get some – don’t just sit there thinking you have none and be paralysed by that. Be a “doer” not a “gunna”. Get out there and solve your problem! Research all options open to you – do you qualify for a business grant, do you have connected friends who could help, can you do a contra of business services to get some initial help? Then, be smart with every single dollar you spend so you make sure it’s all going in the right places. Think big, start small.
That will be different and unique for every person. For me, it’s always a combination of business smarts and gut intuition. Does this look commercially viable and do I intrinsically feel that it will fly in the market? Then test your ideas in a safe environment – from social media to more covert (large scale) avenues. Find out if there truly is a gap in the market or if you just have a “good” idea that makes you feel good! Be truthful with yourself and open minded to the research and knowledge you find. Don’t delude yourself. That being said, I do believe people can find success if they have enough passion and drive. Even if you have a product that is similar to someone else’s, then ask yourself – how can you make it better, different and more wanted by others?
I created Collective Hub to empower people to live their very best lives, to chase their dreams, harness their passions and propel their skills. A few years down the track and I truly believe we are still 100% on course. The idea was to create something that looked like a glossy magazine but was, in fact, something completely different; without salacious gossip but a message for entrepreneurs or anyone entrepreneurial by nature, to live their best life. I knew people wouldn’t buy it if it looked like another business magazine so it had to come wrapped in something else. The plan from the start was to create a global company with many verticals, but the vehicle to begin it all was most definitely the magazine.
Personally, I have vowed to live my own life “out loud” talking about all the good and hard times of an entrepreneur. Perhaps the difference for me is that I AM an entrepreneur running a magazine (and many other company verticals), I’m not a magazine editor running a magazine about entrepreneurism. That means I understand, I really “get it” because I’m living the journey as well. I have to worry about cashflow and staff and not getting sued like all business owners! That makes me a tad different and I feel like our community has connected with that.
After interviewing so many people and interacting with a lot of entrepreneurs themselves, we realised that people needed some help. They needed a “kick start” of knowledge, wisdom and therapy! And thus we created Kick Start Smart to help creatives, intrapreneurs and budding/new entrepreneurs along the journey. It’s a HUGE day of knowledge sharing and some of the best networking around. Our events team always do a fantastic job at creating a really creative, nourishing environment to learn in and we try to curate a selection of speakers from small to big business so we can cover off a lot of issues from culture and innovation to trademarks and legals.
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