Twenty nine years designing and manufacturing beautiful things and spaces (first lighting for clients like Home Depot, then luxury turn-key residential interiors) only tapped into a small amount of Lisa Ferguson’s gifts and passions.
After Lisa used Gallup’s StrengthsFinder® results to successfully reverse engineer her business around her core assets, she realized she had discovered her sweet spot and the path to her fullest potential! Lisa became one of Gallup’s first outside facilitators in 2013 and since founding 1000 Watt Life, now helps others design uniquely perfect lives around their own unique strengths and passions!
Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey and how it led you to where you are now.
Seventeen years ago I lost most of my memory. This physical manifestation of being out of alignment with my greatest strengths, passion and purpose stopped me dead in my tracks and I asked myself, “who’s life is this anyways?”
Growing up, I interpreted messages such as “you can’t” and my response was “I can do anything with excellence that I put my mind to”. Some might call me a rebel! Delivering excellence became my cross to bear.
My own moment of truth and transformation came when my business coach twisted my arm to complete GALLUP’s StrengthsFinder assessment and an audit of how I spent my time revealed that I was only spending 20% of my time doing what lit me up the most. (I now use a quantifiable scale of 40, 100 and 1000 watts to make this tangible for my one on one clients and in April, 1000 Watt Life will be debuting an app and community that will help anyone get this clarity!)
With the memory loss and my new found clarity, it became really clear that I was not owning my fullest potential. I no longer needed to prove anything to anyone. My measurement for “success” shifted to more joy, more freedom, more impact as well as the profit piece. And wanting to be in MY sweet spot 80% of the time. MINE. Not any one else’s.
Even though closing one business and leaning in to another felt like a leap at the time, once you know better, you do better and I choose happiness and impact over profit, potentially. I say potentially, because there was risk. There was the unknown.
I’ve taken two big leaps in my near thirty years as an entrepreneur. The lesson is the same. When you follow your 1000 watts and once you close doors on the 100 watts, better doors open. Within weeks of deciding to shut down my interior design business [my 100 watts!] in order to lean into my 1000 Watts and to help more people with the 1000 Watt Life, a brilliant investor/advisor, who believed in my mission, came on board.
I’ve talked to about 10,000 women and there are always two main themes. They are living out a life similar to what their parents wanted for them or something more like the complete opposite. Oddly, neither is one they would design from scratch. If you see yourself in this story, please consider this my personal permission slip to you, to design from scratch, your very own unique 1000 Watt Life and reverse engineer around that. And to link arms with the natural talents that complement you.
You are probably wondering abut the memory loss?! Just like a computer, completely unplugging for 3 months and getting clear on my “sweet spot”, and my memory slowly started to re boot! Our body is the most under-used compass.
Beautiful design has been a key element in all of your professional endeavors. What are some of the most crucial aspects you look for in great design?
I could write a book in response to this question, but let me offer up two thoughts:
- Attention to detail and craftsmanship in any space or product, shows care. When I feel that care, I am inspired to be live a more intentional life.
- I value the power combination of aesthetic beauty that makes us feel like better versions of ourselves, and smart function that brings more ease into life.
…Be sure to come back next week to hear the rest of Lisa’s story including where she currently calls home(hint: we’re jealous) and how traveling has inspired some her greatest work.