We had the good fortune of connecting with Arizona Bell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arizona, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I realized early on that I was not built for the corporate life of working every day for some nameless faced CEO’s dream. I had cushy corporate offers almost immediately after graduating college, and did consider taking them, but I chose to decline the big salary and cozy benefits package and get a part-time job at Starbucks so that I could develop my freelance writing career instead. I was fortunate to have a mother who worked her entire life in the corporate world and, knowing me better than anyone in the world, encouraged me not to follow in her footsteps. Every parent wants a better life for their child than they had, and she knew my personality would wither in such a restrictive corporate setting. So, I went all in on creativity and long put in my dues as an underpaid (or, early on, never-paid) writer for many years, gradually climbed the slippery ladder of the creative career path, and the tenacity certainly paid off in the end. Now I work fully for myself doing what I love, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business, Spirit Guides Media—a spiritually focused media company—is a business that was built on the foundations of grief and trauma, and there have been many defining moments of conflict, betrayal, and loss since its inception. So, no, it certainly was not something I would say was easy! But it is something I would 1,000% say has been worth it. We live in an Instagram-filter world where our accomplishments and “best sides” are always on display, and hardly anyone ever openly discusses the dark days that are often the prerequisites for shining bright. I learned from my college photography professor that “the lows produce the highs.” That is how it works—in life, in business, in art, in love. It has been these “rock-bottom” moments for me personally that have created the fertile ground for myself and for my business to take root and bloom in. Like photography, business is too an art, and success undoubtedly comes when we understand that the lessons are the blessings.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, it wouldn’t be a trip to Phoenix without delicious Mexican food and a few margaritas, so I’d start off by taking them to one of my favorites, Richarson’s. With nice weather, we’d definitely be going on a hike in the Superstition mountains. And there’s no way I’d let them leave the state without a trip to Sedona, stopping off at Page Springs Cellars for a glass of tasty local wine on the way!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Besides my mom, who was always a vigilant protector of all of my dreams, no matter how many times they shifted, I have to give a shoutout to my first love, who told me I was a writer before I even knew I wanted to be one. At that point in my life, I didn’t know much about who I was or what I wanted, but I did know that I was a lover, and so I took those words to heart!
The main one I uploaded is Bobby Quillard. The rest are my own.