Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of The Lisa Larter Group

img“I shoulda…”

Lisa Larter hates those words. “I stopped the ‘I shoulda’ a long time ago,” she tells me from her office in Ottawa. These days Lisa just goes out and gets things done. The social media entrepreneurial wizard has climbed quickly through the business world and all her hard work has given her a certain financial freedom many of us can only dream about.

“I can afford to buy a pair Jimmy Choo shoes without thinking twice about it,” she says with a laugh.”

Lisa’s infectious smile and “Can Do” attitude put her on the road to the life she enjoys now but it wasn’t always easy. Born in New Brunswick, her parents split up when she was in fourth grade.  Moving with her Mom to Ontario they settled in Haliburton, a beautiful but small community popular in the summer with cottagers and boaters. Work was hard to find for Lisa’s Mom and she watched her struggle to make ends meet.  Hoping for a better education she moved to Ottawa to be with her Dad but there were a lot of challenges and Lisa dropped out of High School.

“My dad got really upset,” Lisa recalls, “and told me that I didn’t have what it takes to go to University, so I got a job in retail.”

Schooling may not have worked out for Lisa but she was smart and a fast learner. She powered her way up the retail management ladder moving from sales associate to store manager in a short period of time. At 19 she was earning great money but Lisa knew there was more that she had to do.

“I always knew that I wanted my own business. I just didn’t know what it was.”

Now married, Lisa dabbled in the organic gift basket business.

“I was bringing in $30,000 a year with a part time business so that told me I could make some money in a business on my own. In the corporate world there was a glass ceiling.  I was also tired of traveling so I thought, ‘Why not open up a Telus store?’”

As her mobile phone store business began to grow she started to navigate her way through the emerging world of social media.

“One day the ‘F’ word showed up on my blackberry and I thought ‘Oh God, now I’m going to have to learn Facebook.’  I thought it was just for kids and cheating spouses. Now I was selling phones with the latest greatest features and I didn’t know what they were. So, I went home that night and signed up.

As I started to explore and navigate Facebook, I learned that opportunities for business and ways to connect and market to people were more effective than the traditional ways I was used to.”

Lisa was hooked. Shortly after mastering social media, Larter found herself at a woman’s networking luncheon and was shocked when someone told her she would pay good money if Lisa showed her how Facebook and Twitter worked.

“I thought, ‘Hmmm, I’m on to something.’  I offered a beginners course and ten people signed up.”

Four years later, Larter’s consulting business has multiple six figure sales, her retail phone store is doing over one million a year and she owns three houses. The key to Larter’s success?  Keeping her eyes open for new opportunities and then going for it. Lisa has a big message for people using social media.

“We’re not using it to engage people. We’re broadcasting our message just like TV did in 1970s and expecting to get the same results.  I don’t want to be a 1980’s consultant that doesn’t get what it means to connect with people in the 21st century.

There has never been better time to be in business because we’ve never been able to access people like we can today. I have built amazing relationships over the past four years and it’s helped to elevate my presence, reputation and credibility online.”

Final thoughts on being successful?

“Act in spite of your fear,” Lisa says, "because when you push through it, there’s magic on the other side.”

Lisa Larter’s C.A.S.H. Model

Courage - take a risk and take action or your idea will always be a dream

Aptitude - invest in yourself because you need the right skills and tools to be successful

Self-confidence - comes from courage and gaining the aptitude you need to become successful.

Habits - you need strong habits for your business to grow. Systems, routines and getting things done make a tremendous difference in the results you accomplish.
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