BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Nicole Bellisle, Founder, Living Leaders

What is your name?

Nicole Bellisle

What is your title?

Founder

What is your business name?

What is your website URL?

www.nicolebellisle.com

What is your Instagram handle?

What is your LinkedIn URL?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women member?

Just re-joined after founding my latest company! A couple of years ago, I was a member through Collective Channel, a previous company I had co-founded.

Where are you based? How did you end up there?

I just relocated back to Boston after 5 years of living in Colorado.

Tell us more about your company! What do you do and what pushed you to start?

After 15 years of working with thousands of executives and founders around the world in roles at Harvard, Techstars, and Impact Hub, I am finally synthesizing all of that world-class experience to help startups scale without burning out. I do this through conscious leadership practices and regenerative (or cyclical) operational design, helping founders grow companies that fuel their ideal lifestyle and are built on their deepest values and intentions for the world. I started this because I experienced severe burnout through ``traditional success`` in my career, and I knew that there had to be a healthier, more conscious way to run our businesses.

What is your definition of success? How do you know when you’ve reached it?

Success to me is living by my values, and showing up to life as an embodied leader who is fully present. Success feels like channeling my creative gifts and following the joy of designing a life that I adore, a life that is unique to me. I reach ``success`` any time that I am in flow state, and in a state of being in love with my life, which I experience quite often!

Tell us about your most transformational moment as an entrepreneur?

I had been chasing someone else's definition of success for a long time, and I had an opportunity to work with a founder (who has been funded on Shark Tank), to start a global social entrepreneurship competition, among the top entrepreneurs from each company. We were so close to confirming a $1 Million prize for the winners, but there was something about the project that felt out of integrity to me, so I spoke up. Ultimately the project tanked, and it felt like my biggest failure to date. That moment changed my life because the illusion of ``success`` broke, and I became leading more openly from honesty and integrity, despite how the world around me might operate. I have never once regretted living by integrity.

What was one of your biggest challenges in business?

I find that entrepreneurship is a mirror into our shadows, traumas, and patterns. Whenever I come to a new growth edge, I find that turning inward and doing the deep work of self-healing is my path to unlocking whatever is next. Facing our traumas and fears is the hardest work there there. Those moments of devastating pain and grief that bring me to my knees are harder than anything external I've ever done in my business, but they have created the space within, to grow into this confident, self-trusting version of myself.

How do you handle the harder days? The struggles? Those moments when you feel like giving up?

I remind myself that these emotions are not permanent, and are there to teach me something. I believe that when difficult emotions or narratives rise to the surface, it is because we are ready to heal them, and to release what no longer serves. But to do that, we have to FEEL our feelings, and process them through our bodies. So in moments when I feel like giving up, I let myself fully feel that, and I do the inner work to self-nurture, reparent, and repattern. It always passes, just like a storm rolling through, and often there is more self-love available on the other side of the process. I've learned to be grateful for the lessons in the lows, that invite me into greater heights in the next wave of life. To that end, struggles don't have to be ``bad.`` I see them as healing opportunities and part of being human.

How has being a Boston Business Women Inner Circle member positively influenced your life + business?

Being in this group consistently reminds me of how conscious, generous, and creative women are! It feels incredible to be surrounded by such an uplifting community, where reciprocity is flowing and we can support each other to manifest our dreams. I feel so seen and appreciated.

Tell us about your most proud moment in your career.

Honestly, I'm in it right now! I'm finally at a point where I'm speaking authentically, sharing my unique gifts, and designing offerings that are fully representative of my value and voice. I'm so proud of the leadership consulting and education company I'm growing right now, and I literally cry tears of gratitude when I do things like replay my new podcast and witness the powerful, grounded woman I've become. The people who know and love me are reflecting this back to me too, and it feels like I've finally arrived to the truest version of myself that I have ever been.

Who is the woman behind your business? What does she like? How does she spend her free time? What does she value?

I love spending time in nature and I'm quite spiritual! I practice cycle syncing and self-reiki on a daily basis to manage my energy and stress, and build regenerative momentum in my work. I love ecstatic dance, meditation and breathwork. I have a morning practice that I call my Morning Rhythm, and it's one of my happy places. My lifestyle design is built on seasonal location flexibility and time freedom (for things like plant medicine retreats or co-living / co-working experiences with other entrepreneurs in amazing homes around the world). This allows me to prioritize self-healing and growing through aligned relationships and community. I believe we are stepping into a new paradigm of business and work, and I love co-creating, co-discovering what the future of life + work design can look like.

What makes you stand out from others in your field? What do you do differently?

I merge the worlds of business strategy and consciousness, because I am BOTH an experienced executive leader / educator AND a reiki master with 15 years of experience. I bring my feminine gifts like intuition, embodiment, and authentic vulnerability into my work with world-class leaders. I know from my own journey that self-healing is the pre-requisite for exceptional, conscious leadership. I also weave in my knowledge of biomimicry (nature-inspired design) and indigenous knowledge systems (from my studies with shamans and indigenous leaders), to bring a more sustainable lens to business. I embed regeneration and deep self-awareness into everything I touch, and I view the entrepreneurial or leadership path as a sacred journey to our highest selves.

Where can we keep up with you? What social media platforms do you use the most?

Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

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