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The Daring & Disruptive Lisa Messenger

There’s not many women who can walk into an industry they know little about, flip the business on its head and come out making a profit where others thought there was none, but that’s what Lisa Messenger has done, time and time again. From books to magazines, Lisa has operated as what she calls a ‘disrupter’ – literally thinking outside the box, applying what she learnt in one business to succeed in the next.

Her latest success story (and the object of my affections) is The Collective Hub – a community of game changers and thought leaders centred around a monthly print magazine (yes folks, I said print.) Since it’s deliberately quiet launch 18 months ago the magazine has gone on to be sold in 37 countries around the world, garnering a social media following of thousands (60k at last count) along the way.

The Collective Magazine

I first became aware of The Collective magazine after shots of its elegantly designed pages began appearing in my Instagram feed. The content is very much about business, featuring interviews, tips and case studies of successful start-ups and industry leaders, but looks and feels just like a fashion magazine. The reason its cover ends up in my feed every month is because the magazine cleverly incentivises its readers to share photos of them enjoying The Collective, which they do, loyally and artistically, without fail. Through social media the readers of the magazine connect with and support one another – it’s like reading a beautifully designed, incredibly inspiring blog in paper format. In short: the answer to all my prayers.

The Collective Magazine

I had the chance to hear Lisa Messenger, the game-changing CEO and Editor in Chief of renegade COLLECTIVE Group, speak at a publishing event here in Sydney last year. The key message of her talk was ‘anything is possible’ and she humbly and humorously explained how her life is proof of it. She spoke openly about her history with alcohol and struggling to find her way in her early career. Deciding to write a book on happiness ( Happiness Is…) as a way to pull herself out of this hole, she then boldly presold copies to corporate partners before she’d even finished – a skill she’d learnt from her previous job marketing events. That book went on to sell 36,000 copies (a best seller in Australia at the time shifting around 5,000.)

Daring & Disruptive Lisa Messenger

Lisa goes into more details about her custom publishing business (The Messenger Group), launching The Collective and the experience that preceded it in her book Daring & Disruptive: Unleashing the Entrepreneur. Although admitting to knowing little about publishing before starting out, Lisa is one smart lady. What she didn’t know she taught herself; investing in the training, staff and advisors she needed to reach her goals. Lisa is also adept at applying the skills she already knew to the new challenges before her; utilising her pitching and negotiation experience to bring her dreams for The Collective to fruition. Based on this personal experience, Lisa shares her advice and thoughts on creating a business you (the entrepreneur) believe in.

A lot of the advice and ideas contained in the book are beneficial for bloggers – particularly the chapters on  collaboration and creative monetisation. Although the book doesn’t go into too much detail on exactly how The Collective makes money, Lisa revealed at her Publish talk that the magazine has around 17 revenue streams, of which traditional advertising and magazine sales are a tiny chunk. Instead, they run reader events, create branded products and creatively introduce the magazine’s sponsors to the readers in what appear to be rather more effective ways than a 1 page print ad. An approach many bloggers probably find themselves already following.

Daring & Disruptive Lisa Messenger

True to her word, Lisa’s book (and indeed the magazine) instilled in me the belief that anything is possible and gave me a few steers on the steps I need to take in order to achieve my goals. Now I just need to get on with it.

The Collective is stocked in newsagents, supermarkets and airports worldwide (although you do have to move fast to get your hands on a copy in my part of Sydney.) You can also subscribe online.

Daring & Disruptive: Unleashing the Entrepreneur by Lisa Messenger can be found here.

See also Happiness Is…

About Author

Travel blogger and freelancer writer who loves boutique hotels and brunching. I've been blogging for 10 years, visited 60+ countries and called London, Sydney, Melbourne and (oh so briefly) New York home at various points during the last decade. Now travelling with a baby and trying to make it as stylish and stress-free as can be!

16 Comments

  • Maitha
    January 21, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Great post, thanks for sharing! I will definitely be subscribing online, what a legend x

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      January 21, 2015 at 11:05 pm

      I love the mag, the site, the book.. Let me know how what you think x

      Reply
  • Lizzie
    January 21, 2015 at 8:31 am

    So inspiring Thanks for bringing this to my attention Jayne – I’m going to subscribe right away 🙂

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      January 21, 2015 at 11:05 pm

      You’re welcome 🙂

      Reply
  • Janice Stringer
    January 21, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Jayne,
    this was a really interesting read.
    Looks like your getting into bringing out your daring and disruptive side. Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures and learnings. Thanks for sharing!
    🙂

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      January 21, 2015 at 11:05 pm

      Ha thank you!

      Reply
  • Michelle | Lights Camera Travel`
    January 22, 2015 at 12:50 am

    I always love having new inspiring people brought to my attention! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      January 22, 2015 at 4:43 am

      You’re welcome. Just felt I had to share this inspiring story!

      Reply
  • VickyFlipFlop
    January 22, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Hmmm, very interesting. I’ve just clicked to order the book on Kindle. Love to settle down to a good entrepreneurial story.

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      January 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

      It’s definitely a good read. I like it when a successful entrepreneur very humbly says they didn’t what they were doing but they believed in the project and worked hard until they pulled it off. Inspires good fighting spirit!

      Reply
  • Laura
    January 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

    It always gives me hope seeing people enter industries they’ve not trained in and tipping them upside down. As someone who didn’t even go to uni, it’s inspiring to read experiences where good old-fashioned determination, savviness and graft is still valued!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      January 22, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Yes – THAT! You’ll love Lisa’s story as that is exactly how she operates. She also gives tips on how we can be more fearless in business too.

      Reply
  • Amy Lynne Hayes
    January 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    How inspiring! I really enjoyed #GIRLBOSS, so I’m sure I would enjoy Lisa’s story as well. Just when I was looking for my next read! 🙂

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      January 23, 2015 at 12:41 am

      I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!

      Reply
  • Jenny Leigh Ryan
    March 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Loved this article. Really trying to educate myself on branding and taking my business to new levels so this book sounds perfect!

    Reply
    • Jayne Gorman
      April 6, 2015 at 4:11 am

      It’s a really interesting (yet easy) read. Hope you find it useful too!

      Reply

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