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“Without our health we have nothing.” Lisa Messenger on her number one priority

By Camilla Wagstaff |


“Without our health we have nothing.” Lisa Messenger on her number one priority

Unless you’ve been living in space for the past few years, you’ve probably heard of serial entrepreneur, author and speaker, Lisa Messenger.

She’s the CEO of publishing house The Messenger Group and editor-in-chief of website, print magazine and event agency The Collective Hub. Oh, she’s also written and co-written 16 books of her own.

Lisa’s become a strong and passionate voice in the startup scene. She’s renowned for her innovation, creativity and unwavering self belief. As well as her staunch commitment to eating healthy, staying mindful and moving every single day.

After being in each other’s orbits for years, Lisa and Sarah finally met in person a few months ago. As Lisa gears up to speak at The Wellness Festival next month, we were lucky to grab some of Lisa’s time to find out how she balances a thriving global business with her “health non-negotiables”.

1. What does being “healthy” mean to you?

I always say my health is my absolute number one priority. This surprises a lot of people as they assume it will be my business.

But without our health we have nothing. We can’t be a good leader, friend, partner or anything else.

Being healthy for me includes a pretty holistic approach (mind, body and soul). From eating well (but also allowing myself some treats and not beating myself up), to exercising every single day (I have a dog, Benny, who ensures that if I do nothing else, I do a great walk!). To journalling (so that I get everything out of my head, even if it’s never read by anyone), mediating and taking time out just for me.

2. You’ve talked before about “health non-negotiables” – which ones do you swear by?

One is that every single morning, no matter where I am or what the day brings, I have a green smoothie. I also pretty much never get to the office before 10am when I’m in Sydney.

I exercise every single day.

This is an absolutely immovable piece in my diary. NOTHING – and I mean nothing – can trump it.

I do a lot of Barre classes, loads of walks, spin classes and weights sessions at the gym. I also have a lot of time out just for me. Just being. Not doing, doing, doing.

3. What’s the best piece of health advice you’ve ever been given, or one that you always share?

Your health should be priority number one. Always.

4. What’s your go-to comfort food, or a food that’s always guaranteed to lift your mood?

This might sound really strange but it’s probably one of those childhood foods that just make me feel nurtured. Something simple like macaroni and cheese or bangers and mash… not very PC these days. But good for the soul.

5. What food do you always have in your handbag/desk drawer, for emergencies, and why?

I can have quite low blood sugar quite quickly and unexpectedly. And my brain can quite literally just switch off. This can be detrimental when I’m in big meetings and spending a lot of time on stage and in the public eye. So, I always have a bag of mixed nuts and a protein ball with me.

6. You suddenly remember you have dinner guests due in an hour! What do you cook?

My go-to is probably a roast. I always have loads of veggies in my house at the ready and a good supply of organic meat in my freezer, so it’s kind of an easy one. Throw it all in the oven and a yummy, nurturing, no-fuss meal appears.

I’m quite a simple cook really. I’m not into over the top. I just like wholesome, uncomplicated, healthy, fresh food that comes from as close to the source as possible.

7. We’re huge believers in “going with your gut” – a philosophy we share with you! How does trusting your gut play into your daily life?

My gut and intuition are my absolute guiding beacons. And they are right literally 100 per cent of the time.

When I deviate from what they are telling me, I always mess up. My gut and intuition are things that I have honed to a very finely-tuned tool over many, many years.

I believe we do develop a much stronger sense depending on the level of adversity, risks and challenges we have had to face in business and life.

I have certainly had my fair share, so there’s little that phases me now. And little that I don’t intuitively know the answer to.

8. What does mindfulness mean to you? How can we learn to be more mindful in all aspects of our lives?

Aha! I wrote a book called Money & Mindfulness which came out in October 2015, so this is a topic very close to my heart.

I believe it’s about being more present, connected, human, empathetic, compassionate, conscious and awake. And applying this to our everyday lives and those around us.

9. What one thing are people most surprised to find out about you?

That I sleep 8–10 hours every single night.

10. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to people who feel afraid to embark on a new project or a new chapter in their lives?

Have an unwavering self-belief.

Know your passion and your “why”. Just start. Surround yourself with an incredible team. Fail fast. Know that anything is possible.

See Lisa at The Wellness Festival 2016.

The Wellness Festival Brisbane: Saturday 3 September 2016. Lightspace, 30 Light Street, Fortitude Valley

The Wellness Festival Sydney: Saturday 15 October 2016. Commune, 901 Bourke Street, Waterloo

Grab your tickets at colourandcoconuts.com.

Do you have health non-negotiables like Lisa Messenger?

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