A Lesson on #CrushingIt With Lisa Copeland
Happy birthday to Lisa Copeland! We're so thankful to call this amazing woman a friend to AskPatty. A pioneer in the field of automotive marketing and management for more 25 years, Lisa is also a sought-after speaker and a prolific writer.
Until just about six months ago, Lisa was the managing partner of Fiat of Austin, an award-winning Texas dealership that has been the all-time number one Fiat retailer in North America since the brand returned to the U.S. in 2011. But earlier this year, Lisa turned in her keys to the dealership to write a book, speak around the world, and to help businesswoman and men "FEAR.LESS" through programs she has developed at CrushingItAcademy.com.
And, as if that wasn't enough, Lisa has also taken on a new role as Chief Marketing Officer for "Empowering a Billion Women" (EBW2020.com), a financial literacy company that's working in 72 countries around the world to give women technology, education, and a powerful network to succeed as leaders and entrepreneurs.
I recently spoke with Lisa to talk about her latest accomplishments starting with "Crushing Mediocrity: 10 Ways to Rise Above The Status Quo" a book she co-authored with her friend René Banglesdorf. I read the book myself over a couple of coast-to-coast flights, and found the tales useful, and highly motivational. The book examines the importance of knowing your purpose, owning your choices, working together, standing out, and using your influence for good. The pair draw from their own -- and others’ -- experiences to explore tried-and-true principles you can use to improve your current situation and become extraordinary. "The road to success wasn't always an easy one," Lisa explained. "Success looks easy, but it's not. We've all had our dark days."
"If you wrote a book about my failures, you'd have a novel," said Lisa, "but if you wrote about my successes, it would be a short story." According to Lisa, their book was a way to "share some of the tough stuff experienced by people they knew who were also wildly successful... to encourage the people who are really crushing it, to keep going, and to challenge people who are settling to rise above the status quo."
Rising above the status quo no matter where we start or what disrupts us is also the pivotal message to educating people to FEAR.LESS at the Crushing It Academy. "To be FEAR.LESS is to take one more step forward tomorrow than they took today," explained Lisa.
Rising above the status quo is also an important aspect to her most recent role with "Empowering a Billion Women." Lisa said "My life's work is to take other people to another level." Because 80% of women want to be mentored by other women, EBW2020 provides an in-person environment that offers community, resources, and tools to help women succeed personally and professionally.
Having come from a strong automotive background and facing difficult challenges as a woman in a largely male industry, Lisa said "some days I felt like I came to a gun fight with a knife," but she was thankful for the experience and grateful to leave when she did to find new ways to empower women. During her time as dealership managing partner, Lisa supervised a staff of 74 employees, of which about half were women. "It's a tough business, and dealers have to be really focused. Retail hours are long and grueling, and can be very challenging for women, but I wanted to find ways to bring more women to the dealership, and show the industry how important it was to employ women."
After all, Lisa explained, "It's important to look at who is the customer, and mirror that demographic with your sales and management team. As a customer, we at least want to know that someone like me is valued by that organization. We want to see someone who looks like us, even if we choose not to work with them." As has been demonstrated by Lexus, with their new “Lexus Difference” and “Lexus Plus” programs, this can be a strong motivator for women, multicultural, and millennial buyers.