Everyday Visionary :: Lisa Umbarger

The Collaborative No. 2

Today we are kicking off our new blog, The Collaborative, with our own submissions of The Everyday Visionary Questionnaire.

We created this questionnaire to provide you with a unique vantage point of everyday visionaries sharing bits of themselves with us in a straightforward and compelling manner.

Our hope is that the responses that we gather to these 21 questions provoke unsuspecting collaborations and demonstrate how simple it can be to live as a visionary. 

The Questionnaire

  1. What’s your name?

Lisa Umbarger

  1. Where do you currently work?

The proper response would be ZerModus…and I would replace “work” with “create.”

  1. What is your current role?

Co-Founder, doer of things and major contributor to swear jars everywhere.

  1. How would you describe to a child what you do for a living?

It is like going to school every day, but with no teachers.  We have homework sometimes, but it is only in my favorite subjects and I assigned it to myself. I go to recess whenever I want and I get to write on the walls. My friends are there and we get to listen to music really loud and tell jokes. The only bad thing is when you puke, there is no janitor to clean it up.

  1. What do you hope you have a reputation for as a professional?

I hope that I have a reputation for being authentically myself in all situations.

  1. What is an accomplishment from your career that meant the world to you?

My careers have allowed me to talk to and mentor young people. Beyond the awards and platinum records, my greatest accomplishment is when I receive and email from someone who tells me that I gave them a new perspective on life and I had a huge impact on their life. The connections with people are what mean the world to me.

  1. What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve had to learn the hard way in your career?

Oh, so many lessons in so little time. My attorney once told me that not everyone is your friend, when I was hurt in a business deal. I took the message to heart and became very untrusting of everyone. It took a great deal of energy to move against nature. Everyone may not be my friend, but if I didn’t give them a chance, then I might never know. My life is easier when I give people room to be there best selves. If it is true that we attract what believe, then I am attracting friends. They may not know it yet.

  1. What are some of your go-to sources of inspiration and staying on top of emerging trends that impact your field or industry?

Honestly, my co-founder, Elizabeth Fischer is my go-to source. We start our mornings at the office with a free flowing state of the morning address. These jaunty discussions always set the tone for the day and most days lead to an impromptu brain storming session.

  1. What is something you need in your work environment in order to thrive in your role?

There are several things: music, meaningful conversation, and freedom to execute an idea.

  1. What do you envision for your customers/clients/stakeholders/ patients/citizens, etc.?

If Oprah asked me this question, this is where I would get teary eyed and say, “I want people to recognize themselves for the brilliant forces of nature that they are.” I am sometimes baffled when people cannot see the amazing potential that I see in them.

  1. What is one of the biggest challenges you are facing or trying to solve right now?

My greatest challenge is always self-doubt. It is so easy to see the greatness in others a more of a challenge to see it in myself.

  1. What are three of your favorite books?
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • The Way of The Peaceful Warrior
  • The Alchemist
  1. What’s one of your favorite non-profits?

Music Unites

  1. If you could collaborate with any group or individual in the world, who would be your top three picks?
  • Tina Fey
  • Russell Brand
  • Ricky Gervais
  1. What would you want to collaborate on with the people/groups you just mentioned?

I have a beauty pageant answer…solving world hunger. Fuck those people for taking all of the good answers.

  1. If you were invited to give a TED Talk (or have given one), what would you speak about?

The title of my talk would be about how being non-inspirational is inspirational.

  1. How do you unwind at the end of a stressful day?

I like to Kickbox and leave it on the mat.

  1. What do you think your 80-year-old self would tell you right now?

I think that the 80 year old me would give me some winning Lotto numbers and remind me to get busy on that retirement fund.

  1. What do you think your 10-year-old self would be most impressed with about your life right now?

My 10 year old self would be so stoked at how late I stay up and getting to drive.

  1. What are your ideal retirement plans?

My 80 year self is already pissed that I have not properly planned. I don’t ever want to retire. I will still be in da club listening to music and probably catching some waves in Hawaii.

  1. Is there anything particularly compelling that you want us to know that we didn’t ask?

I love questions and even more so….I love the answers. I wish that I could ask these questions to everyone and hear their answers. Thank god we started this blog.


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