Where in the world are you located?

Paris, France

What is your small business?

I'm a career coach for womxn seeking more purpose and pleasure in their professional lives.

A cartoon sketch of a woman, Zeva Bellel, is smiling
Zeva Bellel

Tell us about your journey...

I've always been fascinated by what makes people do the things they do passionately. What inspires them? What drives them? How and when did they decide to become the person they are? How do they stay true to themselves?

These were the questions that preoccupied me as I was becoming more of my own person by leaving NYC to pursue my life in Paris, (where I've lived now for 21 years.) And they were the questions that inspired me professionally, first as a journalist, and then as a marketing and community director.

Today they're the fuel behind my work as a coach. My ultimate goal as a business owner is to help womxn discover their true desires, intuitive value and deeper purpose so that they can share their visions and voices with the world.

What obstacles have you had to overcome to get to where you, and your business, are today?

My biggest obstacle was believing that I could make a living doing what I love. I had always fallen serendipitously into my roles. Some were more fulfilling and stimulating than others, but this was the first time I decided what I wanted to do professionally.

I had just gotten laid off in a big company restructuring when I decided to explore coaching. Even though my gut told me I was on the right path, there were lots of doubts about whether I could build a business that sustained me and my family. Going from a full-time corporate identity, where you have a certain sense of security in that the paycheck comes every month and someone else decides your goals, to creating a business where you are your own boss navigating your emotional and financial stability and success is a huge shift.

What I realized is that your own wellness as a business owner is vital to your businesses' health. You need to be looking out for yourself all of the time in order to be the best service provider possible. Self care is the bedrock of a successful solopreneurial business.

What is it about being an entrepreneur that brings you the most joy?

I just love being able to use every part of my identity in my job. I can decide what I want my business to look like, sound like, who I want to serve most, what my mission is, how and when to develop my interests and skills further. That creative freedom and stimulation is so much fun! But of course, the biggest joy is watching my clients bloom into their best selves, shed their doubts and insecurities and go out and do their greatest work so that they can make a difference in someone else's life. It's a very virtuous and joyful cycle.

Tell us your favorite womxn heroes, feminist icons, etc...

Over the last few years, as I've been building my business, three voices have really stood out and inspired me along my path. First, is Michele Obama, whose book Becoming shaped the way I think about personal leadership and taking ownership of your narrative and trajectory, even when it ruffles people's feathers and disrupts norms. Second is Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I read her book Women Who Run with the Wolves as I was getting my coaching certification and it inspired me to focus my energy on helping women tap into their wild intuitive power to inform and shape their professional dreams. And last but not least is my "spiritual mentor" Tara Brach, whose book Radical Acceptance is my guide to understanding how to apply compassion and loving kindness to the sharp edges of life to help get us through whatever suffering we're experiencing.

Where can people find you online?

You can find my website at www.zevabellel.com

I'm also on Instagram and LinkedIn so feel free to reach out!

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.