Meet Lisa Nicole Bell

CEO
Inspired Life Media Group

Inspired Girls International specialises in the provision of content and programming for young women aged 14-21 years.

Founded by the award-winning filmmaker, author and entrepreneur Lisa Nicole Bell in 2008, the organisation is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and part of the Inspired Life Media Group.

Using film, television, stage and new media, Inspired Life Media Group illuminates social issues and personal development themes with thoughtful and unique angles.

Schools, churches, agencies and corporate brands turn to Inspired Girls for insight on attracting and engaging emerging feminine leaders. The organisation provides tomorrow’s successful women with their toolkits for the future.

As an entertainment professional and entrepreneur, Lisa’s projects and companies have earned various awards and nominations including the NAACP Image Award and the Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Why did you decide to start Inspired Girls International?
I created Inspired Girls in response to the lack of actionable content available for girls. There’s a lot of information out there about self-esteem and beauty but almost nothing is being said to girls about personal development, leadership and lifestyle creation.

I also noticed how much programming was available for so-called “at risk” girls and wealthy or smart girls. There was little available for the girl in the middle. I grew up being one of those girls in the middle and didn’t have much of what I think I should have had in hindsight. Inspired Girls is a response to a need in the marketplace and in society.

What led you to start your first business at the age of 19?
I kind of stumbled on to my first business. I was working with families throughout Los Angeles on standardised test preparation while attending business school. It started as a side hustle before I realised that I actually had a business and started intentionally growing it.

Can you tell me more about the books you’ve authored?
My first book, Divine Inspirations, is a blueprint for applying spiritual principles to the practical aspects of your life. It takes ideas like “love”, “joy”, and “peace” and drills them down into concrete actions that can be taken daily to improve your quality of life.

My next book is an anthology entitled The Legacy Letters. It features 30 high profile women writing letters to the teenage version of themselves. I consider it a love letter to the next generation of feminine leaders.

What are you working on at the moment?
I finished shooting a documentary that will act as a companion to my anthology so we’re editing that and preparing to roll the both of them out. I’m in pre-production on a feature film. Inspired Girls is preparing to roll out a digital destination for young women later this year so I’m building a team to execute that project.

Can you describe your typical working day?
I don’t have a typical working day, and I love it that way. Because I also speak, appear in the media, and write, my days are unpredictable.

If I’m in the office, my day usually starts around 8 and may go until 6 or 7. Some days are what I call “meeting fever” where I may run in and out of as many as six meetings in one day. When I’m travelling or on set, the day can be completely unpredictable so I go with the flow.

I crave variety so my life and my work is set up to feed that. Because much of my work is project based, the flow and patterns change. I love it.

What have been the highlights of running your own business?
Flexibility and freedom. I really love being able to make my own schedule. Granted, with that level of freedom comes the responsibility to make things happen, but I’m disciplined enough to manage that.

I’m also very proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far. My books, my films, my play, my companies – I consider all of my media properties to be investments in humanity so anything I complete and launch is a highlight of its own.

What is the hardest part of running your own business?
I used to feel that it was time management, but I’ve become much more proficient at it over the last year or so.

I think the challenge for most entrepreneurs and business owners is that there are so many things competing for your attention. There’s a certain level of thinking and clear prioritising that has to be ongoing for a business to thrive without its owner going crazy.

What has been your biggest triumph so far?
Thinking for myself. Any obstacle I’ve overcome can be traced back to having the courage and self-esteem to believe in myself and trust myself. The more I trust myself, the clearer the path before me becomes.

I used to really struggle with believing I was good enough to be, do, and have the things I wanted. Once I started trusting my thoughts and instincts at least as much as I did those of others, my business and life changed dramatically for the better.

If you could turn back the clock would you do anything differently?
I’d say no because I truly believe that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and to change anything would be to disrupt divine order.

I don’t believe in living with regrets; I get up every morning and play full out so that when I reflect, I can say I gave my life and my business the best I had at the time. I say what I need to say and do the things that stretch me because I want to grow and not live with a bunch of “what ifs”.

What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
Great question! I’m inspired by social change. I am most passionate about creating positive change in society so that inspires me. I’m inspired by travel. It never fails to ignite my creativity and innovative thinking. Great film and television inspires me. So do good books.

There are a number of people who inspire me. Some of them include Tavis Smiley, Eli Broad, Rebecca Walker, Colin Wright, Ava Duvernay, and Tyra Banks. I’m most inspired by people who are authentic and creative independent thinkers and doers. My clients inspire me too because they’re so committed to growing and expanding their possibilities.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting multiple businesses?
Think big and start small. The most important thing a person who wants to run multiple companies needs to understand is leverage.

You must master systems if you want to run multiple businesses efficiently. I would also say developing leadership skills. When you’re running multiple businesses, you need other people whether it’s contractors, vendors, employees, joint venture partners or interns.

You need to be able to clearly and effectively communicate with people, and you need to be able to build healthy business relationships. If you can’t manage people and processes, you’ll quickly spiral downward.

Fast forward five years, where do you think Inspired Life Media Group will be in 2016?
I would say the group as a whole will be the global leader in socially relevant media creation and production.

As of today, all of our activities revolve around our mission which is to “create media with a message that inspires, educates, and entertains.” All of our brands align with this mission so the intention is continue solving problems, addressing issues, and creating change.

With that in mind, I see us leveraging media to further our agenda of creating meaningful social and economic change whether that’s film, television, live events, books, digital properties, or consulting.

Lisa, is there anything else you’d like to share?
Every week I share tools, truisms, and resources with my Inspired Living community. I encourage you to join by visiting www.LisaNicoleBell.com and entering your information on the right hand side. I’m a social person so I’m happy to connect on social networks as well.

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For more information visit www.lisanicolebell.com. You can also find Lisa on Twitter and Facebook.

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Lisa Nicole Bell was interviewed by Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club.

The Twenty Ten Club is an award-winning networking organisation designed to connect, inspire and support Black female entrepreneurs. You can also find Twenty Ten Club on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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