HOWYA? – LISA REGAN
We’re having the chats with some familiar faces around town. This time up it’s Galway’s girl boss, Lisa Regan.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Lisa Regan and I run a niche public relations company here in Galway called Lisa Regan Public Relations.
Where is your favourite spot for a drink in town?
That’s a tough one. Down in the Westend I go between Universal and Bierhaus, but if I’m uptown, it’s always Neachtain’s.
Where is your favourite place to spend a rainy day in Galway?
When it’s raining, I would probably sneak into Charlie Byrne’s for a look. They’re dog-friendly there so I can bring my dog Toby along. Even if it’s pouring rain, I like to go swimming out in Salthill.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Getting to meet people who are passionate about what they do. I’m able to bring that idea to life through stories, language and communication. I’m obsessed with language and I don’t think people realise how important it is. It’s really lovely seeing an idea and watching it come to life. When people say, “Aw, I actually heard about that” – for me, that’s when it’s a job well done.
What are your goals for the rest of 2020?
For me, a big goal for the past four to five years – and leading into 2020 – has been to get everyone I’m working with to be more sustainably conscious. It’s been a leading light of my business. Sometimes I feel like I’m Captain Planet, but I need to keep pushing the agenda. There’s strength in numbers and power in people, so that’s a big goal of mine this year.
What is it like being the Galway Girl Boss?
Oh my god, well that is not true at all – that’s hilarious! I’ll tell you, I got a lovely compliment at the weekend from Pól Ó Conghaile, who’s the travel editor from the Irish Independent. He said to me, “Lisa you’re fantastic. An unreal ambassador for the West of Ireland” – and I’ll take that. I’m really proud of where I come from and all the great things that we’re doing over here.
How do you find a balance between your personal life and your work life being your own boss?
So, this is a thing we’re all striving for but it’s definitely something that I have a check on. Obviously, I work with a lot of different people and it’s all about them, so I like to start my day on my own terms. I always love to start the day with a swim, all year round. I’m out in Blackrock every morning. This morning was amazing, it was just after a full moon and the tide was full of energy. Turning off notifications is the best thing I do and I had to learn how to say no. At the end of the day, there’s nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow.
What do you think is the next step for more sustainable living in Galway?
We need to get in a proper public waste management system. At the moment, our bins are for all rubbish. People are getting used to dividing their rubbish at home, kids are doing it in school, yet we only have one bin system on the streets. Also, where are our bike lanes? It’s a small city but we have such a car culture. We need to move away from that and get people on their bikes. I also think we need public water stations around the city. Fortunately, we live in a democracy, but that democracy has to work for us.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to young people in today’s world?
Everything is an opportunity. Do things that take you out of your comfort zone and engage with people. Everyone is a whiz on their phones but then in real life, they can’t even make eye contact. You could meet someone at a job, a meeting or at an event and they could change your whole life. Get up, get out and engage in life around you. Watching Love Island isn’t going to get you anywhere.
What inspires you the most?
People around me inspire me. I see them doing incredible things, taking opportunities and risks and that inspires me. It’s not even about being a success, it’s just about taking the chance. I always think you don’t have to be the best at everything in life, but you do have to try.
Is Toby the real mastermind behind your operation?
Tobes is the CEO and the brains behind it all- he is an absolute genius. He’s the most beautiful little guy and he’s such a buzzer, I’m so lucky. He goes everywhere with me, I tried to teach him how to swim and he sank. No one really talks to me anymore, they’re always just like “Howya Tobes”.
What does it mean to be a successful woman in business?
I think it’s about remaining true to yourself and not running ragged chasing everything that’s out there. If you’re earning what you need to live a sustained happy life, you can give time back to different projects and give people a leg up when they need it. I think that’s what success is. I’d love to see more women being championed in different roles. Hopefully going forward people will believe in themselves more and put themselves out there and go for it. Come on girls!
WORDS: Ciara Brennan
PHOTOGRAPHY: Boyd Challenger