Ignite Awards 2024 Honoree: Master Lisa Susko

Meet Master Lisa

Master Lisa Susko is true female trailblazer and an inspiration for anyone who decides when and how to change course.  Once an administrative assistant, and an individual with a 2-pack a-day smoking habit she decided to make a change and began her journey. After taking her first class, she knew that this was the path for her, and has been training and teaching ever since. She is now a 7th degree Black Belt, and to give you some context on that, there are only 9 degrees that exist. She is also one of only 3 women to own a Martial Arts studio in all of Canada and the United States of her classification, and the only woman to open, create and run a Martial Arts studio in WNY, which she’s been doing for the past 15 years now.

Obstacles have come her way as well. Being a female in a mostly male-dominated industry was an immediate challenge. Luckily, Master Susko had a fantastic mentor in another business owner which offered guidance on her initial business opening. Then there was the need to get past the “Imposter Syndrome” many small business owners wrestle with. Even in recent years, following their recovery from the challenges posed by COVID-19, the business has undergone significant adaptation to accommodate sustained business growth. Over the course of the past three years, they have experienced exponential expansion, doubling in size. And while this growth is undoubtedly exciting, fast growth also presented a unique set of challenges to navigate.

Eventually, through time and experience, Master Susko gained confidence in what she had created and the decisions she needed to make to thrive and grow.

She wanted to share some advice with her fellow entrepreneurs who may be feeling their own level of uncertainty:

First, embrace the reality that you don’t know everything, and it’s perfectly acceptable to seek assistance. Asking for help demonstrates humility and a willingness to learn, which are crucial traits for success in entrepreneurship.

Second, understand that making mistakes is a natural part of the journey. Instead of dwelling on them, view mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning. Learn from each experience, adapt accordingly, and then move forward with newfound wisdom and resilience.

Lastly, trust your instincts and have confidence in your vision for your business. Your intuition and unique perspective as the business owner are invaluable assets. Stay true to your vision, even in the face of challenges or uncertainties, and let it guide your decisions and actions towards achieving your goals.

That’s all so awesome, congratulations to you Master Lisa Susko, you are an amazing trailblazer!

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