How to Think BIG and Build Confidence with Miss Nevada 2014

“Be cognizant of opportunities that present themselves and ask whether your past accomplishments can help you succeed in a particular endeavor.” 

– Lisa Song Sutton, Lisa Song Sutton Miss Nevada 2014

Many inspirational articles proclaim that as an entrepreneur you should “find your passion.” We have all read the motivational quote “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Rather than trying to conceptualize “your passions” just study past accomplishments. What moments in your life (even if short and fleeting) have you so thoroughly enjoyed that if you weren’t paid, you would still do it anyway? 

I grew up in the performing arts: piano recitals, tap dance showcases and flute competitions. I thrived in the pressure of being on-stage. When the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Las Vegas presented itself, I knew I had to seize it. Pageantry was an opportunity to utilize my on-stage skills, my personal interview skills and most importantly, to give back to the community.

Becoming Miss Las Vegas and Miss Nevada 2014

Long before the pageant took place, I was already committing myself to volunteer work in the community. I knew that, if I won, the crown and title would serve as a microphone to bring attention to charitable causes that were important to me. Additionally, on a perhaps more self-serving level, having lived in Las Vegas only 3.5 years at the time of initially competing, I looked forward to meeting new people to partner and collaborate with.

All the hard work paid off and for 18 months of my life, I was Miss Las Vegas 2014 and subsequently Miss Nevada United States 2014 (I crowned the new Miss Nevada in April 2015). I had an unbelievable experience, met so people and made so many contacts that otherwise probably would not have been possible.

Lisa and Dannielle of Sin City Cupcakes

Lisa and Dannielle, founders of Sin City Cupcakes…yes, those cupcakes have alcohol in them

Pay Attention to What You Like and Think Big, From a Birds-Eye View.

This concept was originally imparted to me by my parents who helped me cultivate a love of reading from an early age. In general, I believe that we like what we’re good at and we’re good at what we like. Reading and writing were my favorite subjects in elementary school. As with all Tiger Moms, my Mom was very particular that I specifically focus on my weaknesses: math and science.

By the time I was in junior high, my parents encouraged me to choose a career that was reading and writing intensive. That’s when it was decided that I would pursue law school and that background has served me well.

Sutton and Chase Sothebys

Sutton & Chase collaboration with Lamborghini Las Vegas…the power of thinking BIG and going for it

Fast forward to today and my companies are in three seemingly unrelated industries: real estate, retail and food & beverage. The commonalities become clear when you zoom out and take a birds-eye view. At the end of the day, whether its alcohol cupcakes, swimwear or a penthouse, my companies and I provide a product that certain types of people actively want. Scale up for a moment and ask yourself: what do you like? What are you good at? And how can that translate to filling a need in the market? 

Personally, I enjoy working with people. I also know I’m good at selling. Am I deeply passionate about baking or showing homes? Not necessarily, I can’t say those activities are my life calling. However, I am able to marry something I like (working with people) and something I’m good at (selling a product) to feel fulfilled in my life as a business owner and entrepreneur.

Be Naïve – Have Unlimited Confidence In Your Abilities.

Some may call it selfishness, some may call it a mild form of narcissism, but I think the spirit of any entrepreneur contains unbridled confidence and naïve courage. I was able to single-handedly obtain a marketing collaboration for my real estate company with Lamborghini Las Vegas due to my own naïve confidence. Jaguar Land Rover Reno was one of my sponsors when I was Miss Nevada. I called the general sales manager whom I had worked with in the past and became a friend, and I asked him if he knew the general manager at Lamborghini Las Vegas. He said he did and gave me the GM’s name and phone number. I called, introduced myself and explained the collaboration concept between Elite Homes | Sotheby’s flagship penthouse (at the time, $38M listing) and Lamborghini.

Liquid and Lace Swimwear

Bikinis For a Cause, a charitable approach to fashionable swimwear

Given the opportunity, I refined my pitch about how our clientele were similar, and how it simply made sense that we combine our efforts to target this demographic. He politely laughed at my naivety (as if he hadn’t heard all of this before, he’s been in the industry for a long time) and informed me that his dealership spends zero dollars on marketing. In fact, they don’t have to do any marketing or work any collaboration deals. Their clients simply come to them. Further, they were over-sold for vehicles for the year 2015 (our conversation was in the fall of 2014). I pleaded for a 15-minute in-person meeting at the dealership and he finally acquiesced.

That 15-minute meeting turned in to 2 hours and I walked out of Lamborghini Las Vegas with a collaboration agreement! Having naïve confidence that if I can just get my stiletto in the door I can help my company and clients, resulted in a win-win situation for all parties.

Most things in life are easier said than done, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record: the quickest way to gain momentum is to get started. Inspiration can arise through the process of initiation and development. Grow, learn, and seize the day – and Think BIG!

The Lisa Song Sutton Website –

Sin City Cupcakes –

Liquid & Lace: Bikinis for a Cause –

Elite Homes US | Sotheby’s International –

About Lisa Song Sutton

Lisa Song Sutton, J.D., is a serial entrepreneur holding ownership interests in several companies in the real estate, retail, and food & beverage sectors. In addition to her professional careers, she writes about entrepreneurship and is actively involved in her community as a former Miss Nevada United States 2014.

Learn more about her and her companies at


  1. Fantastic post, Lisa!

    Thinking big is definitely an advantage of all successful people. On top of what you said, I think that the best way to build confidence is to put yourself in extremely uncomfortable and difficult situations. Once you pull through them and realize that it actually wasn’t as hard to succeed as you originally thought, your confidence will jump – a lot.

    Thanks for the inspiration, keep up the great stuff!

    Jordan of Another great post 🙂

    You hit the nail on the head. In order to build a business (not creating a job for yourself), things need to be able to run when you aren’t working. The only two ways to do that are by 1) delegating work to others, or 2) building tools that can work on their own. If you have a business and don’t have one or both of those things on your side, what you have isn’t a business, it’s a self-created job. I like to use Elance (now UpWork) for delegation to people, and there are thousands of tools you can use, they just depend on the nature of your work.

    Keep up the great stuff 🙂

    Jordan of

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