Known as Bella to her friends, before she essentially retired Leigh (Bella) St John’s career was that of achievement strategist, executive coach, professional speaker, and a leading authority on ‘abundance thinking’, working with some of the world’s top companies and helping organisations to increase shareholder value by focusing on and leveraging their strengths, possibilities, and successes. She has helped senior executives, entrepreneurs, corporate clients, and self-published authors to achieve their goals and dreams; as well as having had significant personal achievements in the areas of media/entertainment, event management/MC, and writing.
Thanks to the residual income streams Bella has created from licensing her professional development programs, she now travels the world as a Luxurious Nomad, living a laptop-lifestyle most people only dream about – that is, until she is finally able to settle down in the place she will one day call ‘home’.
…but as a result of her travels, she now has an accent that includes tonalities and peculiarities from several countries.
If you want to know more about Bella, one could do worse than review the amazing collection of items she has already checked off her ‘bucket list’ (http://luxuriousnomad.com/bucket-list/)…
What makes people ‘tick’…
Born and raised in Australia, Bella had a very dangerous and challenging early life – but that lead to a choice – either allow her past to define her present, or learn from it and move forward by focusing on discovering blessings in every situation, and achieving levels of business and personal success far beyond the norm. She chose the latter – along the way exploring all facets of what it means to live with a positive mindset, and how an abundance mentality can fuel success in every area of life. In the process, Bella developed an almost constant ‘Pollyanna’ outlook, and a driving passion to discover, “what makes people ‘tick’?”
This life-long quest into studying human psychology – including studying the psychology of ‘happiness’ at Yale – 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.
“My fascination is in understanding what drives a person… How do they view the world and their place in it? What do they want? …and ultimately the key to unlocking it all, being 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” – combining her loves of writing, history, quantum physics, serialised novels, and otherwise forgotten and/or little-known historical facts. 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.
“Heaven to me looks like floor to ceiling books that are safely nestled in wooden shelves lovingly built by craftsmen at least a century or two ago… Add an overstuffed sofa, a roaring fire, a glass of good red wine, and someone delightful with which to share it…”
Bella has already achieved more than most will achieve in a lifetime…
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 generated positive 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 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 – both modern digital technology – and the technological advances made during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. (…and although not normally one for attending events as such (Bella avoids crowds whenever she can), the photo above was taken when Bella joined friends at a Steampunk fair (‘Steampunk’ according to Wikipedia: a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery)).
Bella is an artist and award-winning photographer who has had several exhibitions and whose work has been featured in a variety of formats, including several of her photographs being shortlisted in the international Historic Photographer of the Year Awards. She is also an official photographer for the prestigious Bradt Travel Guide company.
“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, faith-based organisations, 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 a guiding influence in Bella’s early life.
It’s perhaps easiest to describe Nan 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 largely to her Nan, Bella is definitely a ‘woman out of her time’ in that she is 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…
She writes with her beloved gold fountain pen, seals her hand-written letters with a wax seal, uses silk handkerchiefs, and wears long skirts as a matter of course, whether something long and casual when out exploring, or definitely breaking out a long evening gown when going to an elegant dinner.
“I am only in my early 50s, but many friends are convinced that I was born in the mid-to-late 1800s (although if that’s the case, I think I hold my age well!)” 🙂
Bella extended her 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 (repeat multiple) times, including several trips from Mexico to Canada along the west coast, from Florida to Maine along the east, and literally more trips east-west/west-east than she can count- 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 my best friend!”
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.
Bella also has some physical challenges that she says slow her down at times, but never stop her.
By her own admission Bella is a solid base of Elizabeth Bennet, spiced with a dash of Scarlett O’Hara. Add generous portions of Nigella Lawson, and an abundance of Pollyanna.
Blend well and to this mixture add a sprinkling of Gladys May Parnell (Bella’s great-grandmother mentioned above); the thoughts of Jesus Christ, Michael Talbot, and Abraham Hicks; with an ample pour of Dr Wayne Dyer and Mark Twain. Fold in just a little Oprah Winfrey, and Dr Ellie Arroway, and pour slowly into a vintage crystal glass.
To all of the above add fine red wine, great company, good food, and relaxed elegant surroundings, preferably near the water and/or in the country, and you will find what fires the heart and soul of this interesting, eclectic and inspiring woman.
So, what drives Leigh (Bella) St John?
One word – Freedom – however not in the way you might think… It has nothing to do with travel – and in many instances, is the exact opposite…
‘Freedom’ for Bella in her own words is, “the ability to live life on my own terms – and that means the freedom to put down deep, glorious roots from which I may venture out every now and again, but to which I always long to return… The sense of freedom that comes from loving and being loved… The freedom to passionately pursue my dreams – and along the way to help others achieve their dreams wherever I can.”
Will your future self thank you for the choices you are making/not making today?