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Columbus Entrepreneurs' Podcast is primarily for members of the Columbus, Ohio chapter of Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO). Our members include business owners with a majority ownership in companies with at least $1 million in revenue. The stories are inspiring and focus on core principles of EO, including speaking from experience instead of advice giving, building peer learning experiences, and focusing on the top and bottom 5% of our lives. EO is a global organization that offers many benefits and learning opportunities. If you would like to learn more about EO, please visit www.eonetwork.org.

Sep 12, 2017

Lisa M. Cini has spent many years developing her business and curating important technology for senior living. Her background in interior design led to the development of Mosaic Design Studio and Best Living Tech. In this episode, she talks about her lifeline and the impact EO has on not only her own life, but her family’s as well. She shares some stories about some rough patches in her life, and how she overcame them and continued to grow her business.

 

Key Takeaways:

 

[1:24] Looking back on her lifeline, Lisa’s greatest realization is how much her perspective has changed. She talks about some different big moments in her life that led to where is now — starting with a leadership camp in middle school. She attended a variety of school programs in college, finding the one that was going to give her the degree that would allow her to do what she wanted with interior design. The birth of her children and their early childhood was also a defining moment.

[3:30] In 1998 she started her company and made $1 million in business in her first year. She won an award and joined the Women’s Presidents Organization, which was defining for her development as a business owner.

[5:00] Lisa talks about her relationship with her parents, and how they helped with Lisa’s daughter when she was sick. Having her mom around allowed Lisa to take care of her daughter and keep/grow her business at the same time. In 2004 she joined EO, and also joined Strategic Coach — the family conferences they attended through Strategic Coach had a profound impact on her family, especially her kids. Her son is now an entrepreneur.

[6:45] While she was working on her business, Lisa got sick as well. For a couple years they didn’t know what was going on, but she was eventually diagnosed with lupus. She started to receive treatment and now things are much better. While it is still part of her everyday, she has found ways to make it work so she can continue with her business, and is also looking to more homeopathic remedies.

[10:18] Another organization she joined was Genius Network. She is a big fan of joining organizations, and her forum benefits from the knowledge she gains. She was able to apply some of the stuff she learned in EO and with Genius Network to goal-setting for her children’s sports team. This had a profound impact on her and her kids, as well as the other students on the team.

[13:05] In 2014, a very personal tragedy shook their family. Her nephew was killed in a car accident and in addition to the emotional grief, there was also family matters that needed to be taken care of. She says the blessing of it all was that the family was able to be together to celebrate his life and love. This was a big point in her lifeline, personally and emotionally, but also in her business. Her business doubled in revenue and she also published her first book, Senior Living Reimagined.

[18:10] She wrote her second book in the aftermath of this tragedy as well, about the daily life of having four generations living in her household. She also began trying some of the technology she had seen at Abundance 360 on her family members; she created an online company called bestlivingtech.com, that includes things used in the home to help people age in place and be independent. She shares an amusing story about testing some of the products on her family members.

[23:50] Lisa talks about some of the other technologies they use in her family for her parents and grandmother, including a robotic cat. At Best Living Tech it’s like Sharper Image meets AARP. They have health tools as well as other technologies that might be appealing to the Baby Boomers as they age.

[24:55] Lisa talks about her decision to make Best Living Tech a separate business. Her goal is to keep this an evergreen company that will keep growing without a huge staff. She is also starting a personal brand as well.

[26:35] Lisa talks about how the dynamic of interior design has changed with the development of technology and applications — some of these apps provided things that interior designers couldn’t. Why thinking about how to best service her range of clients, they transitioned the company to be an 80-20 split, where they project manage their designers, but they do the work. She talks about how they used their books as a marketing strategy.

[29:55] Most of her work focuses on senior living, but she also has the flexibility to work on other projects, and they’ve even expanded to some different countries around the world. This helps her to feel invigorated as well as to be able to focus on some of the projects outside her business, before bringing them to the business.

[31:50] The first book positioned them as a company consistently, and created them as an expert, and attracted a staff that was aligned. The next step was to get their work out in the world.

[33:53] Some of the ways she manages all her projects is by creating some partnerships. Someone else runs Best Living Tech, but she still curates the products and manages projects. She has been exploring where she is needed and where she can let go, which has been instrumental for her.

[36:20] EO was very important not only for Lisa’s development in business but also for her kids’. Being involved strengthened her relationship with her son and daughter, and a mutual respect was able to develop for how the kids learned and for the kids to see how hard their mom worked.

[40:50] Some of the next things she is working on are finalizing their training and testing platform, and being able to leverage that to sell to her competition to create software as a service. She’s also been building another software that is a 3D visualization program that will allow you to build your budget as you add things in real time. Hopefully this can help cut development time in half. Her next book is called Boom, and explores the latest technology that Baby Boomers can use.

[42:41] Lisa talks about the process of getting her first two books published, and how they helped to propel her business. Her books have given her an authority she didn’t know she had.

[48:05] If you know of someone who has great tech that could be applied to senior living, let Lisa know!

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Columbus Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization

Mosaic Design Studio

The Future is Here Senior Living Reimagined, by Lisa Cini

Hive: The Guide to Multi-Generational Living, by Lisa Cini

Best Living Tech