Monday, August 27, 2007

Allison Bell - Inspirational Diva 

Posted by James at 7:12 AM ET

Former real-estate agent uses passion, marketing to carve niche in motivational industry

By Stephanie Paterik
The Arizona Republic
Allison Bell's career goal seems lofty until you hear what she's already accomplished.

She wants to be the next Oprah. But instead of inspiring adults, Bell wants to empower children.

At 25, she owns her own motivational-speaking company called Embrace Today Concepts Inc. She speaks at schools and churches, carving out a niche in the youth market.

Eventually, she'd like to launch a magazine and television show offering kids tools to counter negative celebrity influences and teach them to make a difference in their communities.
Allison Bell
The Indianapolis native studied broadcast journalism at Ball State University and was an NFL Cheerleader for the Indianapolis Colts. She moved to Arizona after graduating in 2003 and took a job selling real estate for a multibillion-dollar condo development in Mexico.

The Laveen resident was driving along 51st Avenue two years ago when a thought struck her.

"I had an epiphany," she says. "I just felt like I was not put on the planet to sell real estate. . . . My mission and goal has always been to make the world a better place. I just didn't know exactly how I was going to do that."

She knew she wanted to use her broadcast skills, marketing know-how, faith and personal history to build confidence in a generation of kids. She researched the motivational-speaking industry and learned how to start a business.

She doesn't have a best-selling book or a psychology degree, but is able to market herself on the fact that she's young and relatable. She calls herself the "Inspirational Diva," and her Web site features energetic photos, video and even a Web link to YouTube.

Allison Bell

"(Many) motivational speakers are old White guys," she says. "I think that's why it's been such a success, because there hasn't been someone like me before."

In the last year, she has made $40,000, booking two to three speaking engagements a month. Her topics range from "Spiritual Makeover: Teen Moms" to "Entrepreneur 101." Businesses also hire her as a consultant on youth-related issues. She didn't foresee that, but as businesses hear about her, they are tapping her services.

"Who knew that building a great MySpace page would get you a paycheck at the end of the day?" she says.

Bell's big message: Helping others can improve your own self-worth. She practices what she preaches, hosting free workshops for organizations such as Junior Achievement and Fresh Start Women's Foundation. She also is active in the community.

Read more about Allison in this article from the Ball State University Alumni Magazine.

Watch Allison in this video from Phoenix's News12.

Lots more about Allison at her Website InspirationalDiva.com.

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