Lisa Nicole Bell
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Lisa Nicole Bell

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"Dude, Where's My Time?"

“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”

Time – it’s one of the most precious things a young CEO has and yet we often use it so carelessly. Between family, friends, social outings, seminars, and running a successful business, there are a lot of demands on our time. Take a moment to consider how you spend your time – are you using it wisely or are you spending time on busy work that isn’t truly productive? In some instances, you’ll find yourself spending your time – watching television, socializing, and oversleeping. Other times, you’ll find yourself investing your time – reading books on personal development, networking with other successful people, and working on your business.

Time management is an important skill necessary to succeed, and as you excel and evolve as an entrepreneur, time becomes your worst enemy or your best ally. As adults, we assume that we know how to budget our time and often become indignant at the suggestion that we could improve. However, as with many things in our lives, we can always go from good to great. Think about how your life would change if you had 2 additional hours in every day to spend as you pleased. What would you do with that time? What if I told you that you could get that time?

Oftentimes, we are misusing and misappropriating time without realizing it. I’ve always considered myself a “productive” person, but several years ago, I came to the realization that e-mail is a huge time sap for me. In light of this discovery, I decided to limit my e-mail usage to three times per day: first thing in the morning, mid-afternoon, and just before bed. There are few e-mails that I receive that are so urgent that they cannot wait. What is your time sap? Is it the phone? Do you look up after a phone call and wonder where the time went? Is it video games? Maybe your time sap is social networking, long lunches, or poor meeting planning. Whatever it is, eliminate it and take control of your time. Suddenly, you’ll observe that the day is more forgiving to the countless things you want to get done.

Remember that you can’t manage time – it’s an elusive object that is constantly slipping into the past. You can only manage yourself. Use the tips below to maximize your productivity and create more leverage in your day:

Map out your day on paper before you do anything. Brian Tracy, the personal development and business expert, advises never starting your day before you’ve written a list of things to do. Planning the day’s activities is a great way to improve efficiency. Time is often wasted figuring out which activity to do next. Setting an intention for the day is a powerful way to get clear on your purpose and be sure that your activities are productive, not just busy. Plan 70% of your day then leave 20% for unanticipated developments and 10% for a buffer.
Make lists. Lists are a productive person’s friend. Think about the amount of energy you spend trying to remember a grocery list or trying to remember the things you need to take care of before you leave your home or office on any given day. A list frees up your mental hard drive space to be used on something more profound. Use lists as miniature assistants that keep you on track and remind you of the details.
Budget your appointment time. Networking is important for any young CEO building a great company. We need to create and maintain relationships with people. However, as you begin to assess how you’re spending your time, consider the return on the investment of spending time with certain people. In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson noted that there are people you should spend 2 minutes with and others you should spend 2 hours with. As with activities, there’s a difference between spending time with a person and investing time with a person. Know the difference and make choices that are consistent with your stated goals. The key is to know who is who. Be honest with yourself about whether you are growing, flourishing, and expanding in the presence of those you spend your time with, and make adjustments accordingly.
Get organized. Are you spending hours and hours trying to find things? Organization is essential to moving quickly from task to task. Clear the clutter from your home, car, and office, and not only will be thinking more clearly, you’ll observe that it’s easier to find things. Form the habit of putting things in their proper place once you’re doing using them.
Do it, delegate it, or dump it. Most of us have what I call backlog – papers, emails, calls, appointments, projects, and ideas that we haven’t gotten around to. Our intentions are the best, but we’ve yet to make those things a priority. Instead of putting things off, consider each task and what should really be done about it. Either do it right away, pass it off to a helper or partner, or get rid of it altogether. Using this method will free up much of your time and energy. Do what needs to be do - Under 30 CEO

"Art Meets Commerce: Inside The Brilliant Mind Of Lisa Nicole Bell"

Lisa Nicole Bell is the personification of what happens when art and commerce collide. Lisa is a unique hybrid of on air personality and behind-the-scenes powerhouse. As an award winning filmmaker, media personality, social change agent, international speaker, and media entrepreneur. Lisa is the conductor of her own orchestra of media and entertainment. Blending her creative instincts and business acumen, Lisa creates media properties and brands that give birth to new conversations and inspire meaningful change. Her way of integrating lofty ideals with practical applications and sustainable business models have made her a respected authority on personal development, social change, and business. As an entertainment professional and entrepreneur, Lisa’s projects and companies have earned various awards and nominations including the NAACP Image Award, the Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 70 Legendary Women in Social Media, and the Cable Positive Award. Lisa was named aWoman Making A Difference by the Los Angeles Business Journal and was listed as a Breakout Business Mogul by YFS Magazine. Lisa is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, the California State University Alumni Association, the National Association of Professional Women, Women in Film, and the Screen Actors Guild. She produces weekly content on her blog and web TV show, Art Meets Commerce.

Lisa’s answer to our “CustoMonster” question was so unique and she had such an interesting story about how she fired a customer at one point and turns out they told her “thank you” later after it happened. We already loved her but when she was in agreement about our mission we literally did a little gig here at BB.

Lisa is one amazing and authentic person. You can see the passion pour out of her as she speaks and it’s contagious. She is so willing to offer advice to those who take the time to listen (and believe me you want to listen to her) and she loves to connect with people. She’s not kidding when she says she loves to network with people but who would not want to network with this awesome entrepreneur?! Make sure and learn more about her and even reach out to her when you get the chance. Lisa, you ROCK. - Business Beware

"Splitsville: How To Breakup With People in Business"

Books, songs, and articles have been devoted to the art, science, and heartache of breaking up. Many heart breakers turn to friends and family for advice on what to say and how to say it when the loving feelings fade and it’s time to walk away.

Breaking up is tough. Even when you know it’s necessary, it can be awkward and uncomfortable. Most entrepreneurs start relationships without having an exit plan. We say “It’s just business,” but that’s rarely true. Our emotions tie into many of the decisions we make about people. We often find ourselves avoiding important conversations that would move our businesses forward because facing people can be intimidating.

Whether it’s a vendor, a joint venture partner, or an employee, here’s a basic guide for calling it quits with your business — and sanity — intact.

Be Clear about Why You’re Breaking Up: If you were to ask the average person why their last relationship ended, they would probably give you a reason that wasn’t entirely accurate. There’s a good chance that there was miscommunication somewhere in the breakup process. Take the time to think about why you’re breaking up with this person in your business. Are they chronically late for meetings? Have they consistently missed deadlines that are costing you money? Put the issues in writing and know exactly why you’re breaking up before you make any moves.

Have the Conversation: The discomfort of confrontation lends itself to avoidance. Vague statements such as “This isn’t a good fit” leave the other party to wonder what really happened that led to the breakup. In most instances, you do yourself and the other a party a favor if you clearly articulate your reasons without being accusatory. This is especially true in situations with employees, where wrongful termination could become an issue. Talk with the person before breaking up. Your issues may be a product of a misunderstanding.

Accept Responsibility: Dale Carnegie, the leadership and relationship building legend, advised readers to point out their own shortcomings before those of others. Other people find it easier to acknowledge their part in a situation when we’re able to first point to our own issues. When you’re breaking up with someone in business, acknowledge how the circumstances or your actions may have contributed to the erosion of the relationship.

Offer Praise: Even if you’ve decided that you can’t move forward with a person, you can probably think of at least one or two things that you appreciate about them and their work. Extend praise before criticism. It will disarm the other person and create an environment that lends itself to a productive conversation instead of a shouting match.

Communicate Clearly: Thinking through your reasons for ending the relationship will allow you to communicate those reasons more clearly. Avoid vague terms and sugar-coating. Be honest without being abrasive. If a breakup is the goal, the other party should clearly understand that the relationship is being terminated and why.

State the Next Steps: State your post-breakup intentions and offer the other party an opportunity to tie up any loose ends or gain closure. If paperwork needs to be signed or property needs to be returned, state when you’ll address those things.

Put it In Writing: Send a confirmation email or letter that sums up the final conclusions and stated actions. If a contract needs to be terminated, send an official letter doing so. Be firm yet polite in reiterating the conclusions and making any necessary requests.

Many entrepreneurs are taught how to build good business relationships, but they’re rarely taught how to end one that isn’t working. Now that you’re armed with a step-by-step method for breaking up, you can manage your relationship from a place of power. - Forbes

"I Now Pronounce You Art and Commerce: Lisa Nicole Bell on Building Creative Brands Without Losing Your Peace"

Art and commerce are the inseparable yin and yang for visionaries that want to create for a living. Even though they were destined to be together, marrying the business and creative aspects of our lives takes work. Lisa Nicole Bell counsels artists, entrepreneurs and organizations on how to enhance their brands without compromising their artistry or truth. She also offers her own brand of practical inspiration–not what she calls the “fluffy type”–through her radio show and various speaking engagements. As an award winning filmmaker, media personality, social change agent, international speaker, and entrepreneur she has helped many women develop the tools to live their creative dreams by living her own.

Here, Lisa explains the union of art and commerce in her own life, breaks down the idea and importance of branding for artists and shares how she realized all of her accomplishments by working towards her highest self.

Can you tell us how you went about, as you say, “putting art and commerce in a blender and blazing your own trail”? Would you say you had a lot of guidance?

It’s a path that I had to find as I walked it, and continues to evolve. I didn’t have much help early on, but that actually turned out to be a good thing. I needed to really sort out what my identity would be and what I wanted to accomplish as a professional. I have released the need to fit into a box or a set of definitions. There’s definitely a lot of trial and error. I think most successful people will admit that they are successful because they’re willing to fail as much as necessary to attain success.

It’s nice to have mentors and support on your journey, but even when you don’t, you’ve got to mentor yourself. I have been a voracious reader from the beginning and much of my growth can be attributed to that. Above all else, I’ve been committed to growing as a person and making meaningful investments in humanity. I believe the rest will take care of itself.

Could you rank the art and commerce loves of your life? In other words, would you say that you’re an artist before you’re an entrepreneur, or the other way around?

I get this question often, and I’ve never been able to truly rank them because I believe both are necessary. It’s like saying, “What’s more important – your legs or your arms?” There are arguments for both sides, but when you have both, you maximize your physical potential.

My creative side supplies the concepts and broader ideals that I pursue. My entrepreneurial side supplies the vehicles I need to actually bring those things to fruition. For me, creativity and business are two sides of one coin. In order for the work to matter, it’s got to come from creativity, integrity and it’s got to be well-executed. I can say that I am a born writer and performer, but I couldn’t imagine not being an entrepreneur and resource organizer.

You also know a lot about branding and I’d like to talk about that. I was chatting with an artist friend about building her brand and she was resistant and said: “But, I don’t want to ever think of myself as a product.” How do you define branding and why do you think it’s important for artists? What advice would you give artists who have issues with the idea?

I define branding as owning a concept in the minds of those who matter to you. I don’t believe that anything is as important in this new digital landscape and new
economy. The people who are weathering and thriving through the economic transition are those who understand and leverage branding. It’s not logos and repetition. It’s a set of intentional and thoughtful signals sent to a group of people with the intention of creating a decision-making shortcut for them. A well-crafted brand saves us the trouble of research and contemplation; we see the brand indicator, and we can assume with reasonable certainty that the outcome will be similar to that of previous experiences with that brand. To achieve brand recognition that translates to the bottom line is an artistic feat in itself.

As an artist, you really can’t afford not to be branded these days. I was discussing this with the co-producer of Deal Breakers (my first full-length stage production), and we agreed that too many artists lack a working understanding of how marketing and branding impact what they do. Even the greatest artists can be replaced. The irreplaceable among us are those who have created unique identities around their talent and have developed intelligent ways of delivering that to us.

The internet has turned the branding paradigm on its head which is good for the average artist. Artists are now much more empowered to share their work with the people who care. If an artist is willing to do the work of figuring out who they really serve, they’re miles ahead of everyone else. Ultimately, an artist, in my opinion, has a responsibility to learn how to effectively brand themselves so that the people who need and want what they have can get it. I und - Live Unchained Blogozine


Still working on that hot first release.



Lisa Nicole Bell is a young, high-energy speaker who consistently receives high marks from audience members and meeting coordinators. Lisa’s funny, practical style simplifies complex concepts and leaves listeners inspired. Lisa has spoken at colleges and universities such as UCLA, USC, and more. She is a featured speaker on the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, an ongoing event that teaches young people about entrepreneurship and business.

Having spoken to thousands of people all over the world, Lisa has uncovered the secret to dating attractive people, landing dream jobs, and making a million dollars: networking. Lisa shares her top networking secrets from the stage, helping students understand the currency of connection and develop a personal strategy for leveraging relationships.

Lisa is an entrepreneur and change agent who is passionate about inspiring students to become strong leaders and relationship builders. Lisa’s work in business and social change has been featured in media outlets such as the Huffington Post, Forbes, Under 30 CEO, and more. Lisa was named a Woman Making A Difference by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and she was nominated as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year with the Small Business Administration.