“Don’t Neglect your Personal Relationships” Words of Wisdom with Founder, Investor and Miss Nevada, Lisa Song
“There’s a reason why they say entrepreneurship is lonely, and I admittedly did not do a good job of managing my personal relationships during my start up years. I’m a different person and different partner, both personally and in business, now than I was then, because I’m more cognizant of the selfish mistakes I made previously.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Song Sutton, a successful serial entrepreneur from Las Vegas. Not only is she a founder in the wildly popular Sin City Cupcakes (alcohol infused cupcakes!) she’s also the youngest female Asian owner of a Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate brokerage. She writes for Forbes, has other companies in her portfolio from bikinis to glowing plants to bitcoin and was even a former model/ Miss Nevada US 2014.
Yitzi: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Of course! Thank you so much for having me! My backstory…I’m so blessed to come from a loving and supportive family. My Mom was, and still is, your quintessential Tiger Mom. I was in every extra-curricular activity known to man lol tap dance, piano, flute lessons, I did it all. Those definitely formed early lessons in time management and multi-tasking, which has served me well today! I went to college in Arizona and grad school in Miami, and didn’t even think about starting my own business until I was 2 years in to a successful legal career. I liked my day job, unlike most traditional entrepreneurs I think, and really just started Sin City Cupcakes on a whim.
Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
Oh my goodness, well, certainly selling alcohol-infused cupcakes in the entertainment capital of the world doesn’t make for any dull moments! We have so many fun and outrageous stories (laughing) I’ll have to keep this PG! We have had hilarious requests for certain decorations on top of the alcohol cupcakes, specifically from our bachelorette clients! We service bachelorette parties every single weekend and love being part of their special occasion, and sometimes we do get really outrageous requests involving, um anatomy (laughing) so it makes for fun and creative environment!
Yitzi: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Paramount across all the ventures I’m involved is our commitment to customer service. We understand and appreciate that our number one priority is to enhance our client experience, whether that’s through making their vacation better with alcohol cupcakes, or assisting in selling their property in a smooth, swift manner. The client experience is very important to us.
Yitzi: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
There are so many incredible people that I’m thankful for. Certainly my parents, of course. In business, I have some really incredible mentors from the casino, real estate and business industries that have always graciously made themselves available for any of my questions and crazy ideas.
Yitzi: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I find that some of my most fulfilling moments are when I’m not engaged in business per se, but engaged with the community, giving back. During my time as Miss Las Vegas and Miss Nevada, I conducted hundreds of community appearances. Everything from reading in schools, to volunteering in hospitals, to walking red carpets, I was everywhere! Engaging, giving back and meeting new people. That was, and still is, such a positive and uplifting experience not only selfishly for how it makes me feel but also finding that’s great for business too.
Yitzi: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why.
Enjoy the journey. I think we all get caught up, especially in the beginning in wanting to make the first $1M and there are so many beautiful moments that occur when you’re small and still growing.
Don’t neglect your personal relationships. There’s a reason why they say entrepreneurship is lonely, and I admittedly did not do a good job of managing my personal relationships during my start up years. I’m a different person and different partner, both personally and in business, now than I was then, because I’m more cognizant of the selfish mistakes I made previously.
Capture your processes. We didn’t realize until nearly 2 years in, how important capturing our everyday processes are, until we had to duplicate them and teach them to others. Capture them early and tweak as you go!
Build your team around culture. Often, especially in the beginning, you’re majorly concerned with the bottom line revenue. So hiring becomes a search for who will do the most work for the least amount of money. And that’s not a sustainable way to build a team. Your staff has to believe in you as a leader and in the company as a whole.
Don’t be afraid to take yourself seriously. There were times in our first year of business when I would attend meetings and was the youngest person in the room, and often the only female. Instead of feeling diminished, I quickly learned to embrace the feeling of standing out, because you have a very short window in which to assert that you belong there. So do it straight away, don’t wait.
Yitzi: I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.
I would love to sit down and chat with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She’s such an inspiration and truly had an impactful career.
Yitzi: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Thank you Yitzi!