The lesson is in the journey

“You can visit pity city but you can’t stay…” This was advice I received from a doctor years ago when I was faced with a medical issue that would require surgery. She told me to go home, eat cookies, binge watch movies, feel sad for myself and then tomorrow, start preparing for my surgery. Her advice was simple, yet so powerful.

How often had I let bad news or challenges weigh me down for what seemed like forever? I have shared this advice many times over the years to people in my life-friends, family, my children and even clients.  The lessons aren’t in the challenges but rather how we pick ourselves back up to continue pushing forward.

Have you experienced a situation or circumstance, where things didn’t go the way you wanted or threw you for a loop? How did you get through it? Did you have support or a plan. Those are the things to remember when another challenge comes you way.

I remember being laid off, twice in 13 months to be exact, from Best Buy. The first time, I wasn’t surprised but it still rocked me. I remember crying in the meeting where they told me, grabbing drinks with my other friends in the same situation and heading home where I went into the ‘why me’ stage. Somewhere in the night, I was reminded of the quote my doctor told me (probably because it was fresh in my mind as my surgery was only a year prior). The next day, I set up meetings to find my next home within the company and I moved forward. That didn’t mean I still didn’t feel the emotions, because I did. I was angry and disappointed. I wondered what I could have done differently to prevent this from happening. But I knew that type of thinking wasn’t going to help. I knew I had to keep pushing on. And I remember the lessons to this day.

Fast forward 13 months and I was in the situation again. This time, I didn’t bounce back right away. In fact, it took me almost 3 months to start putting a plan together to move forward, but I did. Slowly, but surely, I started to climb out of my sorrow and began to bring my plan to life. I needed my support team. My husband. Friends. Parents. There are many people in my life who could help me see my value when I couldn’t.  This very challenging time in my life happens to be one I look at most fondly. I call it the best gift from Best Buy. It took a long time and didn’t happen overnight, but over time I found myself making progress.

For those that know me well, they know that music is at the center of my life. I find joy and inspiration in songs. Sometimes they speak to my soul, like this song by Miley Cyrus- The Climb. I love it because it reminds me to keep trying and pushing forward. The lyrics are powerful. This is a song you can pull up when you need some motivation to move forward. Maybe you didn’t get a job/role you really wanted. Maybe the presentation you were giving didn’t deliver. Maybe your faced with a personal situation that throws you for a loop.  Or possibly just remembering the quote from my doctor will help.   anthony-delanoix-18803 (1)

Do you have strategies that you leverage when you are faced with a challenge, both professionally and personally? I would love to hear them-leave me a note in the comments.  

By the way, after receiving the advice from my doctor, I did in fact go home and ate an entire package of cookie dough, curled up on the couch, watched a romantic comedy and mourned what was never going to be again-the ability to have children. And the next day, I started the process of moving forward.

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To your growth, development and amazing potential,

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Lisa Hayes
Leadership Development Coach
http://www.through-the-hayes.com

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The Power Of Your ‘Squad’

There comes a time where you find yourself needing advice or guidance. Maybe even someone you can vent to or you need someone to celebrate your success.

Have you heard these words before-” tribe”, “squad” or “crew”? I hadn’t until recently. These are the go-to person(s) in your life. This could be an informal group of individuals professional contacts or close friends.

Recently, I was asked who was in my squad. I had never been asked this before. Instantly, I blurted out a few names, with my husband being the first one. But it got me thinking-did I have a bigger squad that I wasn’t aware of. So I started paying attention and noticing who I relied upon for certain things.

There was the group of coaches I talk with to share leanings, best practices and get advice from when I am stuck. Then there is my best friend who knows me best and I need to talk with when I am lonely and need a pick me up. There is the business contact I rely on to get insight into how business development continues to evolve.  The group isn’t limited to just a few people but also isn’t so large that I get overwhelmed. Without knowing, I have built a solid squad over the years. Some of these relationships evolved because of a business reason or we have a personal connection. No matter how our relationship started, these are people who I trust. I share with. Who I need to know will give me advice, guidance and sometimes laughter!

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to sit at my house for almost 3 hours with someone from my squad (if you are reading this…you know who you are!). It was unexpected. In fact, she stopped by for a totally separate reason, but we started talking about life and our businesses. She and I both are entrepreneurs and have leveraged each other for certain things over the years but this time it was to brainstorm the future of our businesses. It was a conversation and discussion my soul needed. To have someone in my life who gets it. Gets what its like to want more yet struggles to do it alone. I felt rejuvenated after our time together.

Later that same day, I was outside doing yard work when a friend stopped over to tell me to grab my purse and get in her car, we were going to get a drink with some other friends. Normally, I would have said ‘no way’ as I was sweaty, dirty and still had lots of work to do. But I didn’t. Its like my soul knew I needed something more. So off we went and for a few hours, the four of us chatted, laughed and caught up. These are friends I have known for years and no matter how long its been since we hung out, its like no time had passed.0h_posg0dlo-eddy-lackmann

Who’s in your squad? Your squad does not need to be the same people day in and day out. There will be people you leverage for many different things. Some personal. Some professional. Some frequently. Some only periodically. No matter what you rely upon them for, its probably a relationship you hold dearly. A person you know is always there for you, whatever it is you need, even if its just to lend an ear so you can vent or share your fears or frustrations with and nothing more. The power of a squad is they are there for you when you need them most.

To your growth, development and amazing potential,

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Coach and Facilitator
www.through-the-hayes.com

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Who Has Your Back?

I spent time last Friday at an event where I listened to a panel discuss the concept of Mentors, Coaches, Sponsors and Allies in our professional lives. The discussion was impactful as it had me thinking of some key questions that I needed to think deeper about. Maybe you do as well?

Who sits on your board of directors?

Having a personal board of directors is important for many reasons. The biggest reason, they can help you reach goals, give honest advice and feedback. (learn more about board of directors in this blog from ‘Be Leaderly’).

There are a few roles to consider when thinking of your board of directors, including the connector, the influencer, the mentor, the sponsor, the coach and the information powerhouse.

I realized over the weekend, that my personal board of directors has changed significantly over the years. This seems accurate as my career has done a complete shift and I no longer work in a corporate environment, but even if my role has change, my support system is just as important today as it was then.

I started thinking about this during the event on Friday and spent more time over the weekend thinking about who I had in each of my areas and where I may have gaps. I began writing down the names of people in my network. What I found surprised me.

As someone who believes in the power of these roles, I noticed that I was missing people in my network that were influencers (some who can act on or advocate on my behalf), connectors (those that could open doors for me in the coaching and facilitation world) and mentors (specifically those who can help me tackle business development).

When I dug a bit deeper into the Why behind this, I found the true reason to be my own fear and lack of commitment to networking. I know people who can play these roles for me, but I have this underlying belief that I should know these things and shouldn’t be asking for help. Has that ever happened to you? Overcoming my own fears and beliefs is something I will always need to work on. Self-identification is the key to start that process.

Here are some questions you can use when mapping our your own network:

  • Where do I need to build up my network (mentor/sponsor/coach,etc)?
  • Whom can I leverage to help me find someone?
  • What roadblocks or concerns are in my way of finding a mentor/sponsor/coach,etc?
  • What, if anything, am I afraid of in having a mentor/sponsor/coach,etc?
  • What am I excited about in relation to having a mentor/sponsor/coach,etc?

I am now starting to plan how to build up my network to support my growth and development in key areas. That leads me to the next question that came up….

Who are you advocating for?

Just as important to having people in your network to support and coach you, it’s important to give back to others as well. Who I am advocating or supporting is key. Again, I found my answer surprised me.

Sure there are many that I coach and mentor for my business (I am a coach after all!) but who am I supporting. Where can I lend my expertise, advice and guidance?. Who could I go to bat for and whose back do I have?

I did the same process as above and noticed I am lacking in my efforts to give back as well.  Ironically, as I was identifying this, I received a LinkedIn message asking me if I would consider being a mentor for a fellow women entrepreneur. Turns out the person scheduled to do it was unexpectedly able to commit. Was this the universe telling me something? I immediately said yes and am excited to begin this journey of not only giving, sharing and helping this women but in turn learning from her as well. Just like any relationship, you take from it what you give and what you want, and I love to learn in any situation and from others experiences. This should be no different.

Having a support system and giving support are two great ways to grow professionally and reach your goals. Who is in you network? Who has your back? Where are you lacking support and what your plans to get there?

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To your growth, development and amazing potential,

Lisa

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Does Winging It Work?

As a professional development coach, one thing I work on tirelessly with my clients is communication. Specifically the power of the three key parts-Verbal, Vocal and Non-Verbal communication. You must have all three components for powerful communication.

Does it surprise you that the words you say (verbal) only accounts for 7% of communication? The remainder is made up of vocal at 38% and non-verbal at 55%. It all comes down to how you say your message and the non-verbals that are associated.

Last week, I attended a conference here in MN. One of the break out sessions was led by Anthony Huey, a communications expert, and the topic was Communicating Confidently. It spoke directly to me and my passion for clear and confident communication.

One thing he mentioned was that winging any type of communication can be detrimental to your personal brand and what people perceive about you. Whether right or wrong, judgements made by others happen all the time. Being prepared is critical to making sure you deliver the message in the way you prefer.

An example of winging it gone bad was Michael Bay talking to a group at CES in 2014. He was relying on a teleprompter for his speech. When that teleprompter wasn’t working, he could not deliver his message. His response? To walk off stage. Check it out here: Michael Bay Winging It.

Make sure you take time to prepare you words but then practice what you want to say so that you come across confidently and in control of your message.
My April newsletter broke down the elements of verbal, vocal and non-verbal communication. Interested in reading it? Sign up today and I will send you a copy. Please note I ONLY send a monthly email, no more than that. I respect your inbox and won’t spam you, I promise!  Monthly Newsletter Sign Up

To your growth, development and amazing potential,

Lisa

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Coloring. Slowing Down The Mind

You know the feeling-the one where you feel like you are spinning out of control? Time is moving fast and you can’t keep up. That’s how the last few months have been for me. I recognized the feelings as soon as they happened and knew that the best medicine for me was to slow down a bit.  I needed some time to refocus on my goals, my life and where I want my business to go. Its a story I know all to often. Seems to happen each year, starting in the fall.  At first I was worried that I wasn’t fulfilling my commitments. What commitments you may wonder? The commitment I made to myself  in the beginning of 2016. The ones that meant, this was going to be MY year to finally prove to myself I could do what I set my mind to. I put some serious unrealistic expectations on myself sometimes. Can you relate?

I had to have a real frank discussion with myself and give myself a swift kick to realize that I was driving myself crazy trying to concur the world.

December started with lots of excitement. Excited to get ton done for my business before the New Year. What I failed to take into consideration was that December is a busy month personally for me. My youngest has a birthday at the beginning. And of course, getting things ready for the holidays. Planning meals my family would enjoy and fill their bellies and memories until next year. It takes a lot of time to plan for the holidays. This was my families last Christmas before some major changes come to us and I wanted it to be perfect. So I went above and beyond. Yikes….I am tired rethinking all of it.

When the holiday planning came into play, all my excitement for my business was lost. I didn’t want dive into my big plans. I was so proud to finally get my 2017 business plan together but I definitely did not (and haven’t finished) my marketing plan. There are plenty of days when I just wanted to throw it all away. Be done. Go back to Corporate America. Surely it would be easier than this. Running a business, or trying to.  Trying to be successful and make an impact. Its hard work. Harder than I ever thought it would be.  I realized I needed to refocus on my professional direction. I had to tell myself what I tell my clients-it’s important to pause and reflect on where we are and if the road we are on is the right one. And envision where we want to go. 

So I did that. I stopped. And refocused my mind. Became one
 in the moment with my family. Made memories. Read
professional articles to better myself. Started knitting aga1zr3wnstnvy-aaron-burdenin and colored.  Yes, I colored. Like I did when I was 9. I love to color and why in the world did I stop because I got older? Its funny, they say the adult color books help you focus because
the pictures are so intricate. I find so much truth in that-do you?  

You know what happened while I was coloring? My mind slowed down. I started thinking about my business. What was important and who was important in it. I forgave myself for the wrong turns I have taken this far. And I started getting excited for the upcoming year. I started believing I am making a difference in people’s lives. That the work I do matters. My heart started feeling full again and most importantly I believed in myself and my purpose. I am back on the road towards MY goals. Not anyone else’s version of my goals. Mine. And it feels great!

My hope for you is to take time to pause and reflect-its important to our mental health, but also helps us visualize where we want to be. Do you want to be more fulfilled at work, find a new job, become an entrepreneur, go back to school, or be more involved in your community? What does your heart desire? No matter what it is- don’t be afraid to quiet down once in a while and see what unfolds. What things can you do to slow your mind down to hear what its saying? 

Maybe finding a new job or growing professionally is on your list? If so, contact me to learn about new client discounts to kick off 2017!

To your development, growth and amazing potential,

Lisa

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