Having been so successful helping entrepreneurs, corporate clients, and self-published authors to achieve their goals and dreams, as well as having had significant achievements in the areas of media and professional speaking, Leigh St John (known as Bella to her friends) now works on a virtual basis with clients all over the globe. She travels the world living a lifestyle most people only dream about!
“People often ask me where I live? My answer – “Planet Earth!”
What makes people ‘tick’…
Born and raised in Australia, Bella had a very dangerous and challenging early life that she was lucky to live through – but that lead to her diving passion to discover “what makes people ‘tick’?”
This life-long quest into studying human psychology has given Bella a unique perspective when it comes to coaching people to achieve; and also with regard to success in learning and development, marketing and branding.
“The key is understanding what drives a person… How do they view the world? What do they want? …and ultimately, how do they want to feel when they achieve what they think they want?”
A writer at heart…
During her early life, Bella’s refuge was books – both reading them and writing them, although it was not until 1990 that she actually published her first book, “Non-Profit Profitability” (now out of print).
Since then, Bella has published over 30 books (several of those as a ghost-writer), including three Amazon best-sellers. Until the end of 2016, all Bella’s published works were in the areas of business, personal and professional development. In January 2017, she published her first work of fiction, “Quantum Lace“. Since then, Bella has published three books in the Quantum Lace historical fiction series, and is currently working on a screenplay to turn the books into a mini-series.
Where is home?
Although she grew up in Australia, Bella never felt at home there – and now has no real ties to the country, apart from having a passport with a kangaroo on it. (btw, did you know that Australia is one of the few countries in the world that eats both animals on its coat of arms? …although I guess England would have a hard time eating a unicorn…)
After travelling extensively through Asia over several years, Bella moved to the USA where she lived for almost a decade. Then, in 2016 when she made what was for her a huge decision not to renew her residency visa – and having no desire to go back to Australia – Bella designed a ‘location-independent lifestyle’ for herself, made the decision to become a Luxurious Nomad, and no longer have a bricks and mortar home anywhere on the planet.
She placed the things she wanted to keep but didn’t want to cart around the world, such as her precious collection of books etc, into a small storage unit – packed the rest of her belongings into several suitcases, and then basically said, “where next?”
Since her entire business is virtual, meaning she can work as long as she has wifi, Bella decided upon a lifestyle of staying in a country for several months at a time so she could really get to know its culture and its people. She leases a wonderful home in some amazing country, usually for three to six months (as long as that country’s tourist visa will allow) – then finds the next glorious location… and has a wonderful luggage concierge who collects her ever-growing collection of suitcases and transports them to the next glorious location.
It wasn’t until Bella’s extended stay in England, however, did she finally know what “home” felt like. Although currently her visits to the United Kingdom are limited to six months at a time, eventually this is where she would like to finally put down roots.
Bella has already achieved more than most will achieve in a lifetime…
In addition to the amazing collection of items she has already checked off her ‘bucket list’ (http://luxuriousnomad.com/bucket-list/), she has an eclectic range of knowledge, skills and experience.
With her unique background in professional development, both commercial & non-profit management, web design and social media, marketing, entertainment and media, a Client List that reads like a who’s who, & her passion for making a positive difference in people’s lives, Bella brings with her an exciting blend of experience & understanding that generates results!
Despite not having finished high school due to finding herself homeless while still a teenager, Bella invested in her own education as an adult and subsequently taught for many years with Mt Eliza Centre for Executive Education (listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s top 25 business schools). She is a member of Mensa, has qualifications in Journalism, Non-Profit Management & Adult Education, has studied Psychology, Marketing & Communications… She is also a member of the Council on Foundations & licensed with the Commission for Children & Young People [License # 7849/78846].
Her media and presentation background includes a career in radio, hosting movies premieres at Warner Bros, to black-tie charity events, through to week-long corporate professional development retreats…
She has coached international trade delegations on behalf of the Australian government, corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, and much more. Her writing credits are too numerous to list individually and include authoring both non-fiction and fiction books, being an expert columnist with one of the leading small business magazines, photojournalist with a major metropolitan newspaper, editor of her own publication, and author of literally hundreds of published articles.
Bella is a self-confessed “geek” who loves technology and has a significant social media following (although now mostly only uses Twitter), but she is also a lover of the manners, charm and elegance of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and brings those values to her business and daily life, as well as her writing…
Bella is an award-winning photographer who has had several exhibitions and whose work has been featured in a variety of formats, including the international Historic Photographer of the Year Awards. She is also an official photographer for the prestigious Bradt Travel Guide company.
…and to assist her in her activities, Bella has a wonderful virtual support team she affectionately calls her ‘Elves’.
“Do or do not – there is no ‘try’!”
Books authored by Leigh (Bella) St John include:
- “Quantum Lace” – Books One, Two and Three (Book One achieved Amazon #1 Best-Seller ranking at its release)
- “Sell More Books! 173 Book Marketing Ideas, Tips & Lists“
- “Hashtag 101“ (achieved Amazon #1 Best-Seller ranking in 2 categories)
- “365 Days of Inspiration“
“What Do I Want To Be?“
“Achievement Alchemist” (achieved Amazon #6 Best-Seller ranking)
“Escaping the Small Business Syndrome”
- …and ghostwriter of over twenty books
Various Projects (Past and Present) also include:
- Executive Director, Masters Media Group
- Luxurious Nomad
- Web Producer, “Trafficked No More” documentary (nominated for an Emmy®)
- Founding Board Member, Crowdfunding Professional Association
- Host – “Going Green TV“
- Web Producer, “Seasons of Peace” (nationwide collaboration between law enforcement and community to achieve zero homicides)
- Board Member, “Courtroom Cuddlies” (Non-Profit Organization providing ‘fluffy friends’ to children in courtroom situations)
- Host – “Quiet Achievers and Unsung Heroes” radio talk show
Executive Director, Senior Industry Network Group
Relationship Manager – Conference Online Las Vegas
Associate Director – Corps of Compassion/Caring 4 Kids Foundation (501c3 Non-Profit Organization feeding homeless and at-risk elementary school children)
Consulting Lecturer and Facilitator for Mt Eliza Centre for Executive Education (listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s top 25 business schools)
Member of AFI (American Film Institute)
Ambassador for the Social Register of Las Vegas
Member of Mensa
Founder of the Australian Mentoring Institute Inc (Non-Profit Organization)
Board Member and Community Outreach Chair, NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners)
- Founding Member of WITIA (Women in Tourism International Alliance)
Member of the Panel of Professional Advisers for the Victorian Government
Australian Ambassador to the International Virtual Women’s Chamber of Commerce
Mensa National Special Interest Coordinator
Speaker Chair, Las Vegas Shared Vision Network
- Finalist in the Australian Women in Business Awards
- Finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards
Expert Columnist, “Dynamic Small Business Magazine“, Australia’s leading small business magazine
Daily Columnist/Photo-Journalist – “The Morning Bulletin – Life With Leigh” (full page every weekday covering ‘positive’ news stories in major metropolitan newspaper)
Drive-Time Co-Host, major commercial radio station (RG Captial Radio)
Sponsor and Mentor for Australian Business Week (business simulation program for high school students)
Mentor for the Commonwealth New Enterprise Incentive Scheme Advisory Committee – NEISAC – (government-sponsored small business start-up project)
Judge – Australian Film Institute Awards
Judge – SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) National Awards
Judge – APICTA (Asia Pacific Information Communications and Telecommunications Awards)
On a personal note…
Many of Bella’s most valued life lessons that she passes on to students and clients alike came from her great-grandmother (Nan), an amazing woman born just after the end of the 1800s who was (and still is) a guiding influence in Bella’s early life.
It’s perhaps easiest to describe her this way – think eight parts “Esther Walton” (from ‘The Waltons’ television program) and two parts Maggie Smith’s character, “Lady Grantham” (from ‘Downton Abbey’).
Thanks to her Nan, Bella was brought up with a love of history, along with Victorian and Edwardian sensibilities and values – values she holds dear to his day.
She extended that passion for history – combined with her love of cars – to a more modern pursuit being the restoration of her beloved classic convertible Jaguar in which she travelled across America multiple, multiple times, including several trips from Mexico to Canada along the west coast, and from Florida to Maine along the east – having now spent significant time in forty-two states. She then donated her beloved car to a children’s charity when she made the decision to leave the USA and live ‘globally’ – “I couldn’t sell her – she was one of my best friends!”
One of Bella’s greatest passions is not just learning and exploring, but the art of contemplating the impact of that knowledge and experience. She will often spend time reflecting with what she refers to as her “Hamsters” – those voices in your head that, if you are still and receptive enough, can provide amazing insights.
By her own admission Bella is a solid base of Elizabeth Bennet, spiced with a dash of Scarlett O’Hara. Add generous portions of Oprah Winfrey, Pollyanna and Gladys May Parnell (Bella’s great-grandmother mentioned above).
Blend well and to this mixture add the thoughts of Jesus Christ, Lao Tzu, Neville Goddard and Abraham Hicks, with an ample pour of Dr Wayne Dyer and Mark Twain. Fold in a little Dr Ellie Arroway and a lot of Nigella Lawson.
To all of the above add fine red wine, great company, good food and relaxed elegant surroundings, preferably near the water, and you will find what fires the heart and soul of this interesting, eclectic and inspiring woman.
So, what drives Bella St John?
One word – Freedom.
The ability to live life on her own terms, to passionately pursue her dreams – and to help others do the same.