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Lisa Messenger to close The Collective Hub print edition

Just weeks after revealing she may exit print, The Collective Hub’s founder Lisa Messenger has revealed the most recent magazine edition will be the last.

Messenger first launched her publication as Messenger Collective in 2013, starting out with advertisers including CommBank, Audi, Mercedes and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Messenger: “Sometimes, you have to break something you love to remake it”

She described it as “the Vanity Fair of business magazines”. However, in a Founders University podcast with Pedestrian TV founder Chris Wirasinha two weeks ago, Messenger said she wasn’t sure if the future of Collective was print anymore.

“We have a really nice problem, we have a huge highly engaged, hungry, loyal community and following which is something a lot of businesses don’t have. It’s just that how do we take them on a journey with us, how do we evolve, because otherwise, we are going to stagnate. I don’t know if I want a print mag for another six months even, quite frankly right now. This is the first anyone’s ever heard of this,” she said.

Today, the front page of the final edition read: “Dear Start-Up Community entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, creatives, game-changers, thought-leaders, rule-breakers, style-makers…our inspiration, our sole reason for being. In life, nothing stays the same and who would want it to? We pivot, we evolve, we grow, we learn. This is truly the magic of entrepreneurship.”

The Collective Hub’s 52nd and final edition

On her website, Messenger said she would continue to share the lessons she had learnt, as well as digital masterclasses, books and special events. An interview with Collective Hub editor Amy Molloy also appears on the website. It discusses the “making and breaking” of the publication and its future.

Messenger said while she believed it was “absolutely, unequivocally” the right decision, it had taken her 18 months to make the decision.

But she said her decision was “courageous” and “brave”, hoping the closure of the print edition teaches people its “okay to break things, it’s okay to pivot and morph”.

Messenger also told Molloy there was a multitude of reasons for the closure, one being they could not get enough advertising spend.

“There’s a number of factors and hopefully people can learn from my mistakes. For years, when I had a team of three, prior to launching Collective Hub, i was so embarrassed, I thought that a small team meant that you weren’t successful,” Messenger said.

“Bigger is not better because what happens is as I stepped more and more into my purpose and my why and loving doing what I was doing with Collective Hub, this business grew into this huge beast with a lot of people. What happened – and this is such an important thing – I went from being this juicy, creative, game-changing, thought leader, risk taker, always on the cusp of inventing and moving forward and creating, to having to look after the operational side of a business that was scaling way too quickly.”

“A second thing which is really important is that I’m a disruptor. I am someone who wants to buck the status quo, and to be counter-intuitive and push the freakin limits every day.”

However “largely”, money was an issue.

The first edition of Messenger Collective, in 2013

“I always say there’s more than one currency than cash but the reality is we as a team – we have never been a part of something that is so loved by so many yet supported financially by so few.”

“This is a really important lesson for so many people. And I take full responsibility for this – perhaps we aren’t creating a product that enough advertisers, partners or sponsors actually want to invest in any more – but it has become increasingly hard to attract that kind of money.

“It is hard when we tell stories of so many extraordinary brands and we see them spending with other people. Again, that comes back to me. Could I have moved faster and created better products and also I should have put a two IC [in charge] in.”

Messenger said in the interim, she had launched lisamessenger.com, a platform for content such as her books and masterclasses, whilst her attention this year will be on spending time getting out into the community. She is also in the process of creating a new book, Risk and Resilience.

In an email note to readers, Messenger added: “You may or may not have spotted the latest cover of our new issue. No image. No colour. Raw, stripped back and bare.

“Instead of a beautiful picture, we printed an open letter to our community revealing huge news about Collective Hub’s future. Our big reveal? This will be the last issue of Collective Hub.

“Sometimes, you have to break something you love to remake it. Sometimes, everybody needs to stop and ask themselves – is this my greatest calling going forward? Or, is there a bolder, braver, smarter way to fulfil my purpose?

“Thank you to our community for your support, your loyalty and love.”

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