Listen to this Podcast Episode
Nationally award-winning business owner, author, speaker and small business coach, Bella Vasta, is here to share her story about taking back control of her life and business after tragedy struck. Now she teaches other people all over the world how they can set up their own business to survive.
“Be a leader in your own life, your family life and then your business life”.
Upon graduating from college, Bella’s parents wanted her to get a ‘real job’. She was hired at a huge corporation, but couldn’t stand the training, so she quit after two weeks. While working part time at Starbucks, for the health benefits, she went on to build a six-figure pet sitting business. Two years later she applied for some national awards in her industry and won. When people started coming to her asking how she did it, what they should do as a business owner, it opened a door for her as a business coach.
And Bella believes in walking through all the doors.
She met her husband, Alex, in 2012 on Match.com at age 32. They honeymooned in Rome and came home to find out they were pregnant. Within months, the doctors gave her news that changed her life. Bella was told her baby was not growing. She said every doctor they consulted told her something different. They even tried to scare her out of having the baby, but Bella insisted her child would survive. She chose not to abort saying she felt so close to God at that time.
“It was the most beautiful and scary time ever”.
Olivia was the smallest baby born in Arizona. Her daughter was just 12 ounces at birth. She measured 10 inches in length, shorter than a Barbie Doll. Bella said it was after her daughter’s birth that her dreams came crashing down. She couldn’t hold her, breast feed her, and was told by the hospital staff not to get too attached.
But Olivia survived.
When Bella took her daughter home, she also brought home a great deal of trauma. She started a very dark phase in her life. Bella gained a lot of weight. She suffered from what she believed was PTSD. Her darkness affected all those around her, her husband, her family. She was not getting out of bed and didn’t want to go out of town to celebrate her anniversary.
Finally, Bella decided, “Enough is enough”.
It was then she started holding herself accountable by talking about her tragedy. She is now on the national stage sharing her own story and exciting other business owners, speaking and counseling so they can survive.
She believes if you are going to have a successful business, and something tragic happens, you will want to step aside. But are you ready? She challenges business owners if their business is strong enough to run without them. As a business owner, Bella shares with others the tools needed to be prepared.
“Don’t let your business eat you alive”.
It’s all about balance. She cautions owners not to let their business burn them out. If you do, your family will resent you. She says it is important to first take care of yourself, your own life, and then your business.
After struggling with her tragedy for three years, Bella was introduced to EMDR therapy, a treatment for handling trauma that she says has a huge success rate. Bella feels this therapy helped her get rid of her “emotional hangover”. She explains how it has allowed her to learn to filter her trauma and get rid of the nightmares. She has been able to go back to the hospital and have “happy moments”. She feels she is now able to talk about her trauma and not get overwhelmed. EMDR has given Bella the ability to “stand in that power”.
Her daughter has taught her that “I don’t know where I’m going”, but Bella knows she is okay.
Today she feels amazing. Bella feels she is exactly where she should be. Everything she has gone through has helped her get where she is, and now she wants to inspire other business owners. Bella wants us to remember there is a person behind the business, and she wants to address the person, and their mental health and their mental being.
Her favorite quote is, “always keep jumping”, which means you keep going even when you don’t want to.
Bella has gained perspective through her tragedy. She has gained appreciation for life. She will never get upset when her daughter gets her up at 5:15 in the morning. Bella just remembers she was able to bring her baby home.
She feels she went through this for a reason and she says, “I want to be able to be a light, or an encouragement, or a connector for anyone that might need it”.