For the past 10 years, she’s really just been avoiding getting a real job by creating a company she actually wanted to work for, and hiring people she actually wanted to work with.

Running a creative business and snowboarding through a chute full of rocks have a lot in common: You have to hold it together. Lisa Slagle, owner of Wheelie Creative, an outdoor-focused creative agency, talks about running her company and navigating life with a mindset of humor, grace, and the power of play. From having to tell clients that their logos look obscene to slicing multiple fingers open while flying a drone five miles deep in the backcountry to guiding creative work from good to great, the adventure of entrepreneurship is easier to handle when you treat it like one giant game.

About the speaker

Lisa grew up in Fort Collins, working in bike shops, instructing snowboarding, attending Colorado State University, and building drop-in ramps off of rooftops into rail parks that she welded herself. She spent the past ten years avoiding getting a real job by creating a company she actually wanted to work at and people would actually want to work with.

She believes powerful creative work beats “advertising” every single time and that work should be fun, so in 2009, she started Wheelie Creative, a new school creative agency for people who thrive outside. She snowboarded all day and worked all night by the light of a laptop. She handed out business cards on chairlifts. Her hustle and passion spread with every project, and now in the 9th year of business, Wheelie Creative has offices in Whitefish, MT and Denver, CO full of an incredible crew of talented creatives and project managers.

Lisa believes in wearing t-shirts to business meetings, shaking creativity out of cracks, and the unlimited power of play. Her approach generates successful projects that are fun and unabashedly human.

Recently, Lisa and the Wheelie crew noticed the lack of female action sports photographers and decided to do something about it. Thus, a second company, Wheelhouse Workshops, was born with a mission to tell a bigger story of the outdoor industry by getting cameras in the hands of women through creative, action sports workshops.

When she’s not working, Lisa enjoys putting core shots in her snowboard, crashing her mountain bike, and digging her snowmobile out of deep powder in the backcountry.

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