When Toronto-based entrepreneur Lisa McGrath talks about her work, it’s clear from her energy and enthusiasm that she’s passionate about what she does. As the founder of CAVEA Studio, Lisa puts her years of sales, marketing, and management experience to use, helping entrepreneurs build strong brands and sustainable businesses.

A mother of two children, Lisa started CAVEA Studio when her youngest child entered Junior Kindergarten and she hasn’t looked back since. We interviewed Lisa to learn more about her journey, including what she loves and finds most challenging about working for herself.

How did you make the decision to start your own business?

Ten years ago when my first child was only 2 years old, I decided that one day I would start a business that helps other businesses enjoy longevity in the marketplace. I noticed a trend of business failures within the first three to five years and thought, these folks need help.

From my outside perspective, I saw underdeveloped brands struggle to connect with clients and to build brand loyalty and I wanted to design and build a business that offered solutions. CAVEA Studio was a concept I quietly researched and plotted for years while my family grew and when my youngest child entered Junior Kindergarten, I launched my company.

What do you love most about your work?

I love being of value to others and know that a conversation with me can bring clarity, offer options that weren’t previously considered, or extend a fresh perspective that helps someone get ‘unstuck’. I treasure that moment when I see the client’s body language go from tense and anxious to confident and excited, or when I see a client find a renewed sense of resilience because they now have a strategy that makes sense and they feel supported throughout the process.

What do you find the most challenging about being a business owner? How do you cope?

Being responsible for everything it takes to build and run a business, is both a challenge and a reward. Being able to choose, plan and build every aspect of my business is amazing, but knowing that I’ve made the right choices to lead me to the best outcome is sometimes daunting, because I can’t see around corners and I can’t be prepared for every possible result (good or bad).

Tips for dealing with the fear of failure and uncertainty:
1) keep moving forward and do not get stuck in indecision,
2) build a curated network of experts that offer experienced guidance and
3) clearly understand why you are motivated to do what you do.

You’ve assembled an impressive creative team at CAVEA Studio – what can you tell us about the women you work with, your working dynamic, or how you built your team?

I am honoured to be able to work with the brilliant women on my team and the deep network of other independent contractors, who our clients can have access to. Almost all of the women I work with share the same transition path to entrepreneurship: After having children, the typical 9 to 5 grind and office politics no longer fit our needs, so creating a venture tailored to support our family-style life and allows us to shine and be paid for our well-honed expertise, became our new reality. Also, there is a shared value system in place that understands hard work, professional output, respect and joy.

“Being amazing at what you do and running a business are two separate things of equal importance.” – Lisa McGrath

What can we expect from your talk at the #OwningIt conference? Or, what are you most excited to share with the participants?

My intention at the #OwningIt conference is to share information and tools that will help the participants to either take the ‘right’ first steps into launching a venture of their own or help them to identify and focus on what could help them grow the seedling they’ve already planted. Being amazing at what you do and running a business are two separate things of equal importance and I’m looking forward to offering support for the business and brand side of their venture.

To learn more from Lisa McGrath on building a strong brand, connecting with clients and growing your business, join us at the #OwningIt Conference on April 16, 2019 in Toronto. For tickets and a full list of speakers visit: https://www.motherworks.ca/making-self-employment-work

CAVEA Studio supports business owners with solutions to achieve their business growth goals. Whether launching a start-up or growing an existing business, we work with B2B & B2C companies across a wide selection of industries. Our supportive and engaged team of experts are ready to customize our services to meet your needs with an experienced hand, enthusiastic attitude and productive mindset. http://www.CAVEAstudio.com