Jessica Valor, left, and Colette Belisle have created the Empower Your Vision Academy in the Twin Cities.
The partnership of Jessica Valor and Colette Belisle has all the earmarks of something we all should be binge-watching on television: The Medium & the MBA.
The ingredients: two intelligent and highly intuitive and empathic women living in the Twin Cities. One, Jessica Valor of Woodbury, is a spiritual medium, quantum healer and empowerment coach who once served as vice president in a thriving but toxic corporate environment and survived a near-death experience. The other, Colette Belisle of Minneapolis, has an international MBA from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and is a leading business growth strategist, fearless success coach, Huffington Post contributor and speaker who helps entrepreneurs globally design businesses and lives they love.
Singularly, they thrive. Together, they create thriving, empowered leaders of light who ripple the cosmos with a melded passion and purpose to serve others.
Jessica Valor and Colette Belisle have launched the Empower Your Vision Academy to give business and spiritual mentorship to soulpreneurs — men and women who have the passion to serve others by living their purpose and expressing the gifts of their souls.
The two women spoke with The Edge to share how their combined resources can assist those who may have taken a leap of faith by creating a soul-driven business but may be hanging by a limb in this highly competitive marketplace.
You are all about empowering individuals. Let’s begin by talking about purpose. What misconceptions do people have about their purpose and why are so many people asking you about their purpose right now?
Jessica Valor: As a medium and someone who works with the Spirit guides and Ascended Masters, I know that the Earth is in a time of Ascension where we are all moving forward together into a new dimension of light. The way that we live is all reflected in energy. Energy is everything. So, we want to raise our vibration so that we can go through that Ascension process seamlessly in a way that feels good and feels safe for everyone.
In our real world, the day-to-day, that is all reflected in why we came to the planet. Why did we incarnate? We came here for a purpose, for a Divine reason, and this is reflected in our world today in our work, in our purpose, what we do to be of service to ourselves and others. That always goes back to what brings me the most joy.
Everybody we talk to wants to help heal the world — and everyone wants to help heal themselves in the world. Maybe you just don’t know yet what that looks like.
During the past two years as a medium, everyone has asked for some guidance or a quantum healing as to, “What is my purpose? How do I move any blocks in my way to fulfill my purpose? And how do I turn that into a business and make money?” Money is how we sustain ourselves to live on this planet at this time. It is an energy exchange.
So it is really all about the spirituality and the fundamental way in which we live today. Spirituality is all about unconditional love. Why do you go to work? You go to work because you love yourself and you love your family and your friends and because you want to contribute to yourself and the world. This is a time of ascending our energy and evolving our soul, and our purpose is how we achieve our goals in the ways that we want this.
Colette Belisle: One misconception people sometimes have about their purpose, and the reason it feels so overwhelming for them, is they think their purpose has to be huge. They think that their purpose has to be going out to save the world.
As Jess was saying, it’s really about finding the way that we can contribute and share our gifts in society in order to help and inspire others. That can be simply on a family level or on a community level — and there is a ripple effect that one creates, and that ripple effect is really what changes the world.
Can there be a conflict between one’s soul purpose and the purpose our minds and egos think we have?
Jessica: I think yes and no. I mean, it’s all about alignment. We lived in an old paradigm when our ego told us that we had to push hard and hit the grindstone to earn something, as opposed to tapping into the essence and the genius of our soul and designing who we are into the world — and turning that into our business, whether it’s as an entrepreneur expert, executive, employee or employer. It doesn’t really matter how you want that to look for yourself.
Colette: I don’t know that too many people have really dug into their purpose. There might be some people who aren’t pursuing their purpose, who are pursuing just what they believe they have to because that’s the way we’ve all been raised in the old paradigm. Your work is separate from your passions and purpose, and your work is how you make money, and if you’re lucky you get to pursue your passions and purpose on the weekends or when you’re retired.
Because we are not encouraged to follow our purpose, many people have never had time to explore their purpose. They didn’t even have a chance to know what it was.
Those who are truly seeking their purpose and are doing that self-examination are constantly refining it as they learn things about themselves and about their gifts and about how they can engage in the world.
Jessica: When we incarnate, we forget where we came from and find ourselves in the old paradigm of living and thinking and believing with our ego in the forefront, as opposed to putting our soul’s journey in the forefront.
What I’ve been shown by Spirit is that we’re here to learn, evolve our soul, and ascend our energy. That is actually the soul’s evolution, the whole cycle of a life that never ends, not even in the spirit world. We’re always ascending our energy and evolving our soul.
Some of us have now shifted into the new paradigm where our soul is in the driver’s seat. People are awake and aware of this new paradigm, which has everything to do with ascending into that new dimension. As souls, we all chose to come in and live the lives that we are living right now. We all chose to be here at this time of Ascension. We all chose to come to support and help this planet so it would not blow up and wouldn’t be harmed. We have all chosen to come in and support this process.
I feel that most of the souls, perhaps all of the souls, are really here to help this process. We’re much more aware and awake than we were 500 years ago — or even 50 years ago.
Many small business owners in the holistic and metaphysical arenas are struggling to make ends meet financially. What are your perspectives on why this is so and what shift may be called for in this community?
Jessica: My number one key related to that is empowerment — and this involves two different things.
For many, many, many lifetimes, people were crucified for using their light and speaking the Truth. I work with a lot of people through past life regression and quantum healing to release all blocks and fears they may be still holding onto through all lifetimes and dimensions, all the way back to the beginning of time. It all boils down to this, “Am I safe to speak my purpose and be in my power?” The key is to feel safe and to be empowered in expressing your individual gifts with the world.
The other aspect relates to the ego, which tells you that you’re not good enough. Who do you think you are to use your voice? People stuck in the ego are in the comparison game versus the collaboration game. When you’re there, you’re separating yourself from others. You don’t believe that we’re all connected, and that feels really bad for people. Every human being needs support and validation. Every single one of us is part of the Oneness.
Colette and I support our business clients and witness their transformation in this spiritual atmosphere. The magic happens when they start collaborating and they let go of those fears and they get out of comparing themselves with others. We watch them grow exponentially and really achieve the goals that are important for them when they are aligned with their purpose and priority.
Unfortunately, many people come to us feeling that they’re not supported. They haven’t invested in themselves or found the right support system or gained information to actually grow their business in that way. Part of the validation piece is an element of business strategy. You need to have real strategic business solutions and plans for your business so you know how to move forward. A lot of people who have spiritually based businesses do not have those resources and tools or they don’t know how to get them.
Colette: Most of these people that we’re seeing in that (holistic and metaphysical) arena started their businesses because they had a passion or a purpose, not because they studied business. Their ultimate goal is to serve others.
Some of the more traditional consulting services, so to speak, are targeting larger businesses, and so these larger firms aren’t accessible to the local entrepreneur, especially the soulpreneur. Traditional consulting focuses only on money and growing the business, not on the actual impact the business has on people’s lives. At the end of the day, yes, money is important, but the clients we work with ultimately are in it for the impact. They’re in it to serve others.
That’s why we created Partner Together. We saw that our model of helping businesses serve others while thriving financially didn’t exist out there in a way that was accessible. Nobody was speaking to their underlying desires and priorities — while helping them better understand the technology that is available. It’s essential today to understand the new business tools and the way technology is moving in order to grow your business.
Two other things came to mind as Jess was speaking. One relates to this shift in the paradigm of working for money and then doing your purpose on the side, usually in the form of non-profit or volunteer work. We’re now moving to more of a spectrum where it’s not just non-profit profit. We’re moving into the area of social enterprise and service for the greater good.
But for us to step into that as a full-time job, we need to be paid for that. We need that exchange of energy so that we can continue to serve. The issues relate to those underlying limiting beliefs that we were raised with, that if you are doing good in the world you should not be paid for it, that you should be doing this just out of the goodness of your heart.
So shifting that energy around our perception of money is really important, and it’s a challenge for those of us who are stepping into a place where we’re focusing on service.
The other issue relates to value. Many people are still learning — especially in the holistic community — how to communicate their value to people who don’t yet have the level of knowledge that they have. For example, you may have learned Reiki and you know it’s value, but Reiki’s value is not yet common knowledge in the greater community. The key is learning how to communicate that in a way that expands your market instead of contracts your market.
Honestly, this is a learned skill and that’s part of business. Jess and I are seeing that as our clients are able to step into that place of being able to communicate their message on a broader level, they’re able to grow their business far more quickly. It’s not so much about the modality; it’s more about the results and the value.
Would you say that people whom you call soulpreneurs really just need a better understanding of how to run a business?
Colette: Yes, exactly — and that’s really our mission. That’s why Jess and I started this business: to empower people. We understand the importance of what all of these soul-based entrepreneurs are putting out into the world. But they just haven’t had access yet to the knowledge of how to run a successful business.
They need education. They need empowerment. They need support and validation. They need love. They need community. A tribe. Resources. They need everything to get them from A to Z. It comes down to this: where do they want to be?
From an individual standpoint, how do you know when you are on purpose? Is there a shift in which you intuitively know that you’re doing what you’re intended to be doing?
Jessica: Yes, absolutely. I feel that this shift, this kind of revolution, happens in people. It happens a lot when Colette and I are in conversation with people and we are engaging with them. It is the result of Spirit coming through as I am channeling with the Masters and their Spirit guides and asking that particular soulpreneur questions.
I can’t tell you your purpose. You have to come forward and speak your Truth. We can support you with Spirit and share our knowledge and resources with you so you can state your purpose out loud. We witness this happening every day. People declare, “I’m a flower healing expert.” Or “I’m A Course in Miracles teacher.” Like, yes, that’s it! And we watch them light up.
Seriously, there’s nothing better in the world than watching people become empowered in who they are and what they came here to do. It brings tears to my eyes, because I am so happy. We really live to love these people and lift them up. We do it because we are so excited to watch people bring their vision to life. It’s so cool to watch that happen.
It’s difficult to come to that place on your own because you need validation and love and support, and assistance in understanding that none of us is separate from anyone else. This is a process of unfolding who you are and really feeling safe in that space to come out of your shell and say, “This is who I am. This is my purpose. This is what I came here to do, and I’m ready to go put that in the world and turn it into a thriving business.”
Colette: On a personal level, when you finally tune into that purpose and it’s really clear, you have no doubts. Just as I have no doubts that in some form, I will continue to empower people to step into their purpose and make that their life’s work for the rest of my life.
I know that I would do that even if someone said to me, “Colette, you can never be paid a dollar for this. You’re going to have to get a full-time job.” I would still do it on the side, because I wouldn’t feel fulfillment in life if I went through the rest of my life and never did it again. This is something I can do every day, all day, and it continually lights me up. I don’t get sick of it.
When you finally step into that and get clarity around what that is, it feels like a no-brainer. Once you become aware of it, you just feel it so deep in your intuition and in your soul: “Well, of course this is it.”
Jessica: I’ll add one thing here. More often than not when we work with a new client, we’re having conversation with an entrepreneur or soulpreneur and it ends up that they have too many ideas.
What happens is that they’re actually talking to Spirit. Someone, I think it was Abraham Hicks, said that we all channel 30 lifetimes’ worth of ideas in one lifetime. So what we say to clients is, “Okay, those are all amazing ideas. It’s getting real clear what your big vision is, so let’s bring that to life and then you can move those other things underneath your umbrella and launch them at different times so they are all aligned with what you’re trying to deliver.”
Often, people will step into their purpose and it is very easy. They are so immersed in a swirling river of ideas that it’s less about, “What am I going to do?” It is more like, “What am I not going to do with this?” (Laughter) It is really cool.
What are the conditions in the business environment today that make your academy necessary at this time?
Colette: I think it goes back to the question you asked earlier. A lot of people in the healing arts or soul-driven businesses — a lot of them who are soulpreneurs — work together or have a very small team and they simply don’t have the knowledge to run a successful business. They’re struggling and, unfortunately, a lot of them are failing. There is no need for them to fail. The market for their services exists, but the conditions are such that they’re not necessarily sure how to tap into that market. They’re not sure how to clarify their message. They’re not sure how to get that message out into the world, and sometimes they’re not even sure how to share their gifts in a way that creates transformation for their clients and creates that value.
I think the reason we have a market is because people are stepping into their purpose with the Ascension. People want to do that for their personal lives. I’m sure people wanted to do that before, but not on the scale that is going on right now. So, now it is suddenly not, “I want to help people so I’m going to work within a hospital.” It’s more like, “I want to have my own practice and work in a different way with people.”
But that means I’m no longer just a specialist or an expert in what I studied to learn, I’m suddenly a business owner — and that’s a whole other toolbox and a whole other set of talents and learning that most people don’t have.
To be totally honest, I have an M.B.A., but for the soulpreneur much of what I learned in my M.B.A. doesn’t necessarily apply — and there’s not really a way to learn the knowledge that you need to know. What is the basic knowledge I need to know to run a successful small business? How do I do it in a way that I can actually afford to learn this stuff or hire someone to do this stuff, without having to earn a degree in school? As you said, many of these businesses are already struggling. They can’t afford a six-figure consultant to come in and transform their business. They just want to make money doing what they love.
Jessica: What we’re talking about is accessibility and affordability and alignment, and having everything online, having everything manageable while maintaining your own lifestyle, priorities and time. What Colette and I have done is combined our talents, resources, education, knowledge and put everything in one place so you don’t have to go over here to learn A from this person and B from that person and C from over there. You can learn everything in one place and be connected to the experts in that location. All aspects of your business, spirituality and support system are in one place; it’s all there when you need to access it.
You were talking about not comparing yourself with others. I know that healing practitioners and psychics and intuitives sometimes look at each other as competitors. So it takes an energy shift within them to not look at it that way, right?
Colette: Definitely. The key is focusing your energy on creation and collaboration instead of competition, because that is how truly successful people become successful.
Whatever line of work we’re in, we end up in this fishbowl within our own industry and it’s easy to fall into the competition mindset. You are in this little fishbowl thinking, “I’m a psychic. You’re a psychic, so I’m competing with you, because there’s only so many fish in this fishbowl.”
What the healing industry really needs to do is to learn how to craft its messaging to move out of the fishbowl, because there are millions upon billions of people in this world who need healing in many ways, shapes and forms. So how do you transition out of this tiny fishbowl mentality and get your message out to the market on a larger scale so that you’re not competing? Let me tell you, when you start to step out of that fishbowl, you’re going to need those other people who you were formerly viewing as competitors. You’re going to need them as collaborators in order to move your message forward on a greater scale.
Jessica: I recently I heard an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, about her new book, Big Magic, and the process of creating. She said, as a human race we’ve been pretty innovative over the years. You’re probably not going to invent something that has never been invented. That is very rare. She used the example of Shakespeare, who wrote these beautiful stories. But these were stories that he had already heard and he put his own voice to them, his own flavor, his own genius, and now they are stories we treasure today.
There are billions of people in the world and one person cannot service them all. There are going to be a thousand people out there in the world who need you. They need your voice, because they resonate with your message and your energetic vibration, and they love your unique genius and you’re their teacher and they’re your students.
It’s so important to get back to Oneness, the understanding that we all work so much better together instead of against each other. It creates a higher vibration, a better flow for everyone’s life and business, and an environment in which we all thrive. Clients are always there, every single time. You just trust the flow, and when you align with your purpose and priorities, the Universe supports you tenfold and opens every single door you can ever imagine, and you live beyond your wildest dreams.
Doesn’t fear keep people from not stepping through that door and moving that direction?
Jessica: Yes, fear is the elephant in the room. So I always tell people, “That elephant is going to be with you for your life, okay? The fear isn’t going to go anywhere. Fear is your best friend, so shift your perspective about fear and ego.” I say embrace your ego. Embrace your fear. Touch your elephant every morning or whenever it is looking at you and saying something.
You love elephants, right? Elephants are so cute, and they are so sweet, but they’re big, right? You can’t ignore them. So, you just pet your elephant and you take its little nose and you walk along together and you say, “Okay fear, okay elephant, what is it that you need me to see? Show me what I need to see and tell me what I need to hear so that I may learn from this fear in this moment today so that it may fuel my positive momentum inside of my divine purpose and my highest vibration so I may serve myself and the world. Please show me. Please share. Thank you so much, and I love you.”
That is how I tell people to face their fear every day — to embrace and walk with it. Don’t let it drive you. Walk beside it.
You talk in your business literature about leading with your light. What does that mean?
Jessica: We’re in a time that’s all about leading with your light. That’s a leadership movement that evolved as Colette and I have started collaborating. We’ve moved in this new paradigm where we’re no longer lightworkers. We’re light leaders. We’re focused on supporting people to understand their Divine genius and their light so that they can be light leaders in the world today.
Colette: A light leader is someone who steps into their purpose. It’s not to say they’re fearless, but they don’t let their fear drive them — and they are sharing that message with the world. And in that process, they are inspiring others to step into their message, too.
You don’t have to be like Jess and me, out there on a stage or teaching people. All it takes is stepping into what you were meant to do, and that gives others permission to do the same. That creates a ripple effect in which we go out into the world looking at obstacles as opportunities. What some people might call obstacles are really opportunities for me to get even more clear on my message and my purpose — and share that with others and increase the vibration and expand the love that is in the world.
When we’re making money by doing our life’s work, what we’re doing is showing people that service is valuable, that by helping others we can help ourselves. It always comes back to us.
What we want to encourage people to do with this movement is to do exactly what Jess said, to step into that, to feel empowered and know that they can lead with their light and put more love in the world and create that ripple effect together. It’s not just one drop. Together, we’re seriously shifting the ocean.
How did Empower Your Vision Academy evolve and what pieces did each of you bring to the business?
Jessica: Colette and I had a common thread. We worked with a similar designer and that’s how we met. I was talking to the designer one day and he said, “I think you’d really resonate with this girl, Colette. I feel like you’re supposed to connect with her.” I looked her up on Facebook and looked at her website and, while we work in very different avenues, we shared a similar vision. So, we met twice for coffee and were instantly fond of each other.
I had a company that I left where I was the Vice President and grew it into the millions. I have a very strong business background, but that’s not really my main focus. I want to support my clients. I love my clients.
So, one day I was sitting at my home office trying to figure out how I was going to merge myself as a spiritual teacher and mentor and a business coach, and how I was not going to work 100 hours a week to do this. Colette happened to come over to my house that day. She was on her way back to see her family in Eau Claire, Wisc., from Minneapolis and she dropped by to chat.
I was pulling my hair out, still in my pajamas, and I was stressing about how to reconfigure my business. She was talking to me about the same kind of thing on her end. She was creating a course and wanted to run a program, but she did not want to do it all herself. So I looked at her and asked, “Do you want to partner?” And, she’s like, “Yeah, I do.”
So we got together and, God bless her, she’s the most brilliant woman. I’m so blessed every day. We worked really hard. We created an amazing program, and our first launch was very successful, which is amazing, since we’ve only been working together since July and August.
In those few months, we’ve done a lot. With Spirit and our own endeavor, it’s all just blossomed and evolved into this “Lead with your Light” movement and its Empowered Your Vision Academy. In two months’ time, our clients have grown immeasurably. It’s unbelievable where they started and where they are now. The feedback is phenomenal. They tell us, “I feel so empowered and I know I’m doing the right thing and I feel so good about myself and my life is amazing,” and two months earlier they were lost, confused, scared, didn’t know what to do, where to go, or how to bring their vision forward.
When you align with your purpose and your priorities and you say yes to who you are and what you want to bring forward, the Universe says, “Here’s the door, honey. Go through it.” You’re supported because the Universe resonates with how you feel. So, we help people feel empowered and feel loved and supported so that they can receive that reverberation from the Universe to be supported in what they want to do.
Colette: I think the real reason our clients have had so much success with this program is that we really approach it holistically. It goes back to the fact that I have a business background, but I’m aligned with the spiritual side, and Jess’ genius is in the spiritual purpose — moving through mind blocks and limiting beliefs — but she also has a strong business background. We really understand how to piece that together and use our genius.
When I first started out working with soulpreneurs, before I met Jess, I found that I could teach people everything they needed to know about how to grow their business. But at the end of the day, if they had some sort of limiting belief about their value or weren’t comfortable being visible or had blocks around receiving money or whatever the case was, they would constantly self-sabotage or they would hit a plateau and they wouldn’t be able to move past it.
The reason we get success is because we’re really approaching it from all angles: we have the spirituality, the mindset and the actual straight-up business strategies. It’s that combination that helps our clients feel supported and confident.
When somebody signs up with Empower Your Vision Academy, what do they receive?
Jessica: We have several different programs and options, depending on whether they are just starting out or have been in business longer, how quickly they want to move, and what level of support they are looking for. We offer group programs and one-on-one coaching.
Everyone has access to our Mastermind Program, which is a group process. We find that there is so much power in community and being supported by people who are going through similar experiences. A key part of our coaching, whether as a group or one-on-one, is having that community.
Colette: Our programs range from intensive group business skills through modules and workbooks and videos to actually tackling what they need help with now, whether it’s the business strategy or technology side or the more spiritual and mindset side.
What changes will individuals realize after working with you? Can you give a case study of what you’ve seen in the short amount of time you’ve been together?
Colette: I’ll give a few examples based on what I’m able to share at this point. We’re two months into our group course, and after only a few weeks people were already sending us messages and telling us on Facebook how much clarity they had around their vision, how they didn’t feel overwhelmed because they actually understood what steps they needed to take, and how much more confident they felt in their messaging and that they were seeing positive shifts in getting clients.
All of them have been gaining incredible momentum, and some of them have received offers for collaborations or affiliate opportunities with bigger names. Some of them are already doing speaking events and getting clients that way. One woman has been approached by people who want to wholesale her material almost before she had a website up. It’s really about getting clear on your messaging and the marketing and who your target market is — and then removing those blocks so energetically you’re confident and open to receiving that. Then things flow really quickly.
Jessica: Another thing that we do really well together is help people synergistically, in a multifaceted way, with bringing forward new and fresh ideas. We pass out ideas like candy, things they would never think of, and we have this way of helping people think outside of the box and elevate those ideas in a whole new way.
To one of our clients, we mentioned, “Hey, you know it would be really smart if you went and connected with A, B and C, because we feel like what you offer could really do well in that space. Just reach out and see what they say.” She did. She set up a meeting at a big place in Los Angeles and they invited her in to be a teacher. It’s a large opportunity. Often as an entrepreneur, you would think, “Oh, those people will never talk to me,” or “Oh, that’s too big.” When people feel supported, they can step into that space and embody that.
Colette: Many of our clients don’t know some things even exist, but we live in this world, so to speak, and so we’re very familiar with what’s going on in these different places. A lot of our clients haven’t stepped into the ocean. They’re still in the fishbowl, so honestly they’re just not even aware of a lot of these opportunities.
One of our clients is a dietician who works in functional medicine involving good health and hormones and such. She was working under the umbrella of a wellness center and did not even realize what was possible for her. Within a month, we had her move completely online, creating group programs within two months.
She is now expanding into other areas and doing some larger speaking engagements. She is now working with complete flexibility, just three days a week, because she prioritizes her family, too. She is not only earning more money, but her expenses are incredibly lower — and she is able to serve more people in a way that she had never considered, because in her industry she didn’t realize that was possible.
There are a lot of new ways of doing business that people aren’t even aware of — and even if they’ve seen someone doing it, they have no idea how they could do that themselves or how it could apply within their business.
Jessica: It’s estimated that there will be three billion more people online in the next few years. So the resource for your audience is endless. Positioning yourself to be in an online market is a whole other game. It’s not just building a business. There are a lot of other things to learn and resources to connect with to position yourself in that space.
What final thoughts do each of you want to leave with our readers?
Colette: The big picture is just, honestly, that you can do it. There is a way to turn your purpose into profit. It’s possible. It’s all about getting the right resources and education that you need to do that.
When you step into that, you create not only a ripple effect of change in the world, but you get to spend your life feeling fulfilled — and there is nothing greater in the world, truly, than feeling happy with what you’re doing every day. I wish that joy for everyone. Finding your purpose and following it is what this life is all about, creating joy in this world.
Jessica: Yes, it’s all about raising your vibration. I want you to realize that you’re brilliant and you’re beautiful and you’re a genius and we want to see you move through your fears. We want to see you create and share sacred space and own your power. Really stand up, show up, share your vision, and understand that you’re never alone and that you’re deeply loved, unconditionally.
For more information, visit Empoweryourvision.academy/discovery