Dream & Do


Tara Shelton10 Comments

I usually take MONTHS to write a blog post and get around to sharing them, but this needs to be shared. Today. I am literally bouncing off the walls as today I met (by chance) Lisa Messenger.

Any women with a business or dreaming of starting one would have heard of this woman. When you are in business you are the leader. Everyday you need to motivate yourself and your team to work towards your goals. But every leader needs to be led too. They need to be inspired, mentored and humbled and for me, Lisa Messenger is just that.

Like most of her following, I could write a book about how much I love her and The Collective but that wouldn’t be that original. I want to tell you a little story about meeting Lisa Messenger. TODAY!!

My mum is the queen of storytelling but she is notorious for exaggerating, makes for good entertainment but I am going to tell you the truth right now. Here goes….


I go to Bali next week so as much as holidays are so essential to work towards, the week leading up to it can be very stressful and you struggle to tie all the loose ends before you leave. So this week has been one of those weeks and I really didn’t get much sleep last night.

Today I woke and thought, I am going to the gym today and I have no meetings so screw it, I will wear no make-up and my gym gear to work…(all essential information I promise you, keep reading.) I live in Balmain and my office is in Surry Hills, so in a plight for work-life balance I get the ferry to Circular Quay and walk to Surry Hills to clear my mind before the start of the day.

It was raining in Sydney this morning, but that did not stop me. On with my poncho and off I went. I had planned to kick off the day with a one to one meeting with my designer/photographer Renata and meet her at Brooklyn Hide for a coffee and a creative show and tell and catch-up. As I am at Hyde Park (25 mins from destination) I get a text from Renata. “Tara!! HURRY! Lisa Messenger is here.” I rip my headphones out and stop in my tracks. I reply “What?! OMG!” and Renata says “RUN. You have a little bit of time, she just ordered a bagel!!” Followed by, “Do you have cards?” Thank god I have business cards on me but what the hell am I going to say? I have to talk to her.

Ever since I have started the business, I have thought that I need to collaborate with Lisa Messenger in some way or another. This was my chance to get in front of her and get noticed amongst the hundreds and thousands of people that want the same. But I am in my gym gear? And now I am WET!! And now I am RUNNING to get there before I miss her. Ok. Breathe. Ok. RUN!

On my run down through Hyde Park and Elizabeth street I planned and practiced what I would say to her. I finally arrive at Brooklyn Hide and there she is, deep in her meeting and half-way through her bagel. (I do realise how creepy I sound but I don’t care.)

Renata and I swap seats so I am facing her, business cards out and ready to catch her as she finishes her meeting.

1 coffee later, some nervous scribbles and slightly less sweaty my time has come to approach her. This is what I said. Almost word for word as this is a fake email I drafted whilst I waited.

Hi Lisa! I just wanted to introduce myself, I’m Tara.

I am not joking when I say I ran here to see you today! I was meeting my designer here anyway and she told me you were here so I ran. I am hoping you can spare me 90 seconds of your time..I have planned it on my run here. Haha.

I own a creative agency called Dream & Do. A creative agency for start-ups, business visionaries and dreamers everywhere. Since starting my own business last year, I have read all your books, followed you on social and read your magazines. It has been an ambition of mine to work with you and the The Collective in some way as we share the same audience.

Since reading Daring and Disruptive I have not wanted to ASK to be featured but OFFER you something in return. Since you have a creative team yourself, I have been thinking of ideas beyond what they may be able to do for you.

Such ideas include. A short film on following your dreams, a range of inspirational products that I could design with you, or a beautifully extravagantly printed book that people purchase a loan to read and then pass on it on to so someone who needs it, "Dream it forward." 

The result you ask?!

She was warm, beautifully natural, calm, kind and everything I had hoped her to be.

When I handed my card to her she recognised the name (she really does read every comment on instagram!) She loved the ideas, vision and branding and she said she would get her Art-director, Jade to get in touch with me. She said “Thank you” for coming up and saying hi and wished me a great day.

Renata (professional and i-phone photographer as well as graphic designer) was completely on the ball and papped the action. I got a photo with my humble hero and I am literally bouncing off the walls. When she asked Lisa if we could take a photo, She responded “Sure oh I look like such a dag today!” She totally didn’t. But I can honestly say I did. But I didn’t care and you know why? Because Lisa has taught me that if you live totally authentically to yourself then you will never disappoint you or others.

Keep on dreaming dreamers, dreams really do come true.