Entrepreneur. Executive Coach. Advocate.
I first met Lisa back in 2012 and her projects and power of positivity have been popping up ever since, reminding me that life is indeed what we make of it and not just what happens to us.
For all of us who tend to burn the candle at both ends, Lisa's story of strength and vulnerability is such an amazing lesson that perspective and self care are crucial to our success - which she learned the hard way.
In Her Own Words
What I Do : I’m a speaker, executive coach, mindfulness teacher, maternal mental health advocate and entrepreneur. I co-founded Mindfulness Based Achievement, The New MBA, which has been taught at Salesforce, Microsoft, Uber, Cisco, The Stanford Graduate School of Business and many other organizations.
How I Got Here: My drive to achieve or what some might call “overachieve” has always fueled me.This intense drive and focus on achievement has been a factor in my successes and also my failures. Like when I was named a woman to watch by a leading trade publication and was the youngest, and first female, on the executive team at a rapidly growing tech start up. It looked great on paper, but inside I was completely burned out, exhausted and unfulfilled. I felt stuck and lost, and I kept thinking to myself that there must be more to life than this. If this is what “success” looked like, then I wasn’t interested.
So I went searching for tools and practices that would allow me to harness my ambition and drive, while also optimizing for fulfillment and wellbeing. I studied mindfulness, self-compassion and willpower and realized that the combination of these practices within a supportive coaching environment was the key to sustainable success and also what I so desperately needed.
So I quit my safe and well paid job. I went on a 10 Day silent meditation retreat. I started my own executive coaching practice and co-founded Mindfulness Based Achievement in order to share these tools and practices for creating sustainable success. I knew I was onto something when the pilot program for MBA quickly sold out and I was invited to teach at Google, Salesforce and LinkedIn. That was over three years ago and I haven’t looked back since.
How do you handle the hard parts of marching to the beat of your own drum? For me, meditation is essential to quiet the noise and listen to what my heart is telling me.
What advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now? You were put on this earth to give and grow, and each struggle and challenge you’ve faced is an opportunity to see just how strong you are and how much love surrounds you.
What breaks your heart? Anyone who feels alone in their struggles. Struggle is the one thing we all have in common yet it can feel so isolating when we’re having a rough time. And on that note, it truly breaks my heart to see and hear about moms who feel alone and “like failures” because of maternal mental health disorders. That’s why I’m an advocate for maternal mental health and speak so openly about the challenges I faced after the birth of my daughter. See my Tedx Talk (below) for the whole story.
What is your message to the world/entrepreneurs/mothers/girls? Joy, love and connection are available to you, and everyone, on a daily basis. And you always have the choice to turn your attention towards what’s good and towards love. The choice is yours. It’s not always easy, especially when things aren’t going your way, but the choice is always there. You can think of life as something that’s happening to you, or something you’ve created or something that’s happening for you. I choose to think that life is happening for me.
What has been the hardest lesson you've had to learn? Letting go of control. I’m still learning every day.
What are your favorite quotes? “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure” - Tony Robbins and “The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear” - U2
Who or what has been the biggest impact on who you’ve become? Surrounding myself with women that inspire me and believe in me. From my daughter to my mom and all my girlfriends, the community around me has given me the courage to share my voice with the world.
Meditation is the most important tool I know for hearing my inner voice, and self-compassion the most important tool I know for trusting myself and having the confidence to take the road less traveled.
What advice would your give to someone who has a mission they want to start or pursue? Start by making a commitment. One of the best ways to show that you are truly committed to getting results and creating the change you want is to TAKE ACTION.
Book a session with a coach, buy an inspiring book or take a program that will support you – whatever you do, just do something NOW. As soon as you take action, you will start to feel momentum in a new direction. It might be scary, you may have resistance, but trust me, it’s so worth it.
One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is a bracelet inscribed with the quote "she took the leap and built her wings on the way down" - and it's so true, your wings won't appear until you make a commitment and actually take the leap. I've seen it time and time again when clients are on the edge of something REALLY big and they let fear hold them hostage. That's where I love to come in and help clients align with their values, create a roadmap and work through what's really stopping them from having a life full of joy, love and meaning and whatever else they’re seeking.