Meet Lisa Marie Platske, President & CEO of Upside Thinking, Inc.

Tell us about your business.
Upside Thinking, Inc. is an international leadership development company committed to transforming lives personally and professionally.

Through motivational leadership seminars and workshops, coaching and consulting services, upside events, and edu-taining resources and products, we inspire leaders to take action and give them the tools they to achieve excellence personally and professionally, create a positive change in behavior and performance for themselves and their organizations, and guarantee that through our work they will experience increased health, happiness, success, and meaning which will directly affect their wealth-building capacity.

As for our ideal client, we work with professionals not of a certain level, occupation, or age, but of a particular attitude – those who are seeking to increase their ability to achieve and succeed and are looking for proven strategies to help them. Clients from countless industries, walks of life, educational backgrounds, and levels of business experience have used our services to create more effective and enjoyable work environments, motivate their employees to excellence, and achieve success they only dreamed possible.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being a business owner is incredibly exciting. While there is the benefit of having the freedom and flexibility to create your life moment by moment and day by day, there is an incredible responsibility that I feel in using my gifts and talents to the fullest. Because it is my business, I set my own calendar and choose how much I’m going to give. If I give less to the world, I ultimately cheat not only myself, and my business, but my clients. However, when I let my light shine by choosing excellence, my light is so bright that it serves as a beacon for others to do the same and that is magical.

I became an entrepreneur because as I outlined my values working for someone else no longer fit in my life. And, making that decision has enabled me to enjoy the journey in a bigger way than I could’ve ever imagined.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
That’s a tough question. I rely on so many people to set myself up for success. There have been incredible motivational speakers like Mimi Donaldson who have inspired me and my work, authors such as John Maxwell and Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner that have influenced my content, there have been individuals like Linda Hollander, the Wealthy Bag Lady, Cynthia Renee Frazier of Tech Divas, Jo Della Penna of The Business of You, Becky Whatley, Quality Printing, and Tammy Wong, Fostering Executive Leadership, that have worked with me on developing an effective business strategy and serve on my board of advisors, there are clients to whom I am grateful, and mentors in the Federal government, and passing conversations with strangers that have had an incredible influence. And, then there was my grandfather who inspired me to write several chapters about his life in my book Designing Your Destiny because of his great influence on my business and life. My Mom is also a great cheerleader, challenging me to do more in the world. If I were to pick one person, it would feel incomplete. However, my incredible husband Jim who is also a leadership expert acts as a sounding board and serves as a positive voice behind the vision of Upside Thinking. Without his love, understanding and life-giving attitude, the business wouldn’t be where it is today.

 What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

I’ve won many awards, including the 2007 National Association of Female Executives Woman of Excellence award, and received incredible accolades for my vision, service, and leadership. However, my greatest professional accomplishment has been falling down over and over and getting back up again. I’m proud that I’ve chosen to keep moving forward with my dream, saying “yes” to my success even when I felt that it would be easier to go back to having a regular paycheck.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Choose to surround yourself with people smarter than you. If you’re the smartest person in your circle, you need new friends and business associates.

What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Word of mouth referrals, and email marketing have both helped me to both promote and grow my business. I’ve created a system though trial and error that works and has been effective.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Be authentic. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be Yourself…Everyone else is taken.” It’s important to know who you are, what you do, and why it all matters. It all starts with being authentic. People can smell a phony from miles away.

Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
Gosh, once again there are soooo many. I love getting Thoughts from the Universe which is a free resource by Mike Dooley that can be found at . Jo Della Penna, The Business of You ( ), has a great form called the Daily Prioritizer which I use regularly. Voted one of the top 50 most influential women in social media, Nancy Marmolejo, ( ) has fabulous fr*ee resources for business owners on becoming more visible and attracting more clients. Linda Hollander, the Wealthy Bag Lady and founder of the Women’s Small Business Expo ( sends out effective fr*ee tips for the small business owner that have brought clients and dollars to my business. Reverend Margaret Shepherd ( ) has a weekly newsletter called Thank God It’s Monday that I absolutely look forward to every Monday because it helps me focus on what the Upside vision and serving my clients. Jeffrey Gitomer ( offers the most profound and on-the-money sales advice for entrepreneurs. My favorite quote is, “It took me 20 years to be an overnight success and I wish the same to you” meaning there is always preparation, perspiration, and inspiration before elevation. Paula Fellingham just launched The Women’s Information Network ( ) which has almost 300 women radio show hosts who are experts on topics that are valuable to small business owners, like public relations, media, and life balance. Ellen Rogin, author of Great with Money ( ) sends out weekly tips on prosperity building that are in alignment with Upside Thinking. And, of course, the Napoleon Hill Foundation, ( is all about Upside Living. Of course, WE Magazine for Women is the bomb!!!

Plus there are countless organizations and other tools…………..As you can tell, I rely on so many resources and tools to help me run my business effectively because I cannot do it alone!

What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I am a huge spa enthusiast and enjoy spending hours being pampered with manicures, pedicures, massages, and facials. However, I am having the most fun and the most relaxed when I spend time with my loving husband, Jim. Anything and everything we do together is fun and relaxing.

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Host a sold-out annual Leadership Success Summit with incredible sponsors and vendors in the marketplace to enrich the lives of the women who will be coming from all over the world to have an experience that they’ve never had before at a conference that will leave them with a-ha moments to grow their businesses and their lives that last throughout 2010

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Yes, remember to give, give, and give to others on their journey. And, or give for the sake of giving not because you think you may get something back. Give to give, don’t give to get. As a woman business owner, we have a responsibility to all other women in business to help each other succeed. Be an authentic connector and share your gifts and talents with others.

In addition to your website, how else can our readers connect with you online?

Be sure to check out Lisa’s Leadership Success Summit at: