The Little Voice on Your Shoulder

Happy New Year! I can’t believe we are into another year. Seems like yesterday I was looking at excitement into 2017 and now its come and gone. What a year it has been. There are have been excitements. Challenges. New adventures. Stresses. Travel. New opportunities. New connections. Its been a whirlwind and I am excited to see what this year will hold!

I ended 2017 meeting with a client, who has made a great impact on me over the last year. He and I have been on a journey together and its been a fun ride. During the end of our engagement, I gave him an assignment. It was to put the initials W.W.L.D somewhere in his office. He looked at me funny and I said it stands for What Would Lisa Do! I said he could also chose W.W.L.S (what would Lisa say) if he wanted. My hope was to help him remember the things we worked on during our engagement. I wanted to leave a piece of my coaching with him when I was gone, as reminder.    kelly-sikkema-382044

He is not the first, nor will he be the last, client I share this technique with. I am often telling clients to think about what I may say in a situation or where I would guide them when problem solving. These techniques are meant to have them working on their goals even when I am not there. This way, they can implement the strategies and techniques we practice.

There are times where we need the advice of people in our lives, even when they aren’t there.

I am no exception. There are always little voices on my shoulder guiding me and helping me reach my goals. Whose voice that is depends on what I am trying to conquer.

Recently, I have been trying to work on my own development and I have a group of women in my life that have been critical in my journey.  Some day’s when I find myself spinning, I pause and think about them. I visualize what they would say to me in that moment. I even picture their faces talking to me. I can almost hear their exact voices giving me advice! It has really helped point me in a direction towards my goals. I may make a choice that I remember one of them telling me about or I may phrase something differently when viewed through their lens. Either way, I am moving forward. Toward my goals. Using my tribe along the way, even when they are not with me.

If you have ever been in a workshop with me or been a coaching client, you will hear me say that awareness is critical to our development. I believe this to my core. To me, it is the foundation of all development.  Being aware and mindful to situations, work, relationships, etc. can help us grow and develop. Awareness of those in your life that help support you is just as important. Who do you lean on? Whose advice do you seek out?

How can you leverage their advice when they aren’t there. Maybe visualizing what they would say is a strategy to try. Even writing a note, like my client did, will be the visual reminder you need to pause and think about how that person would guide you.  I am always looking for new techniques or tips to use and share. If you have any, please share below-I would love to know!

Working on your development can be stressful and challenging. There are ups and downs. And there are many people in our life we lean on for support. When you find your self stuck or struggling with somethings, whose voice can you call upon to help you move forward?

To Your Growth, Development and Amazing Potential, 



Lisa Hayes
Leadership Development Coach and Facilitator


Pressing Pause

Can you relate to this feeling- pulse racing, head spinning, feeling out of control because the to-do list is a mile long and your worry you can’t get it all done? We have all been there and can probably identify a reason it was happening.

Earlier this year, that was me.  It was beginning of June and I was embarking on taking a month off to prepare for my husband’s upcoming deployment in July. Winding down was easy. I had a plan and worked it. I got everything done. Stopped working and focused on my family.

Fast forward to July after. I sat down to map out the rest of my year. Suddenly the hats I was wearing were many and the roles I had to play grew. All of a sudden, I was not just mom but also the person making sure the house was maintained (inside and out), rules were followed, appointments were made and kept, kids got the school year started off on the right foot, college planning for my oldest took place and so on.

Thankfully I have a great support team here that helped when needed because on top of all that, I run a business. One that requires me to travel, be present for my clients, seek out new business to pay bills, etc. By September, I was toast. Burnt out and overwhelmed. Not sure how to get it all done. And it was only 2 months into an almost 7-month deployment. I knew what I had to do.

Press the pause button.  Notizblock mit Tee Hintergrund auf Holz Konzept

I had to reset my priorities. Determine what I needed to do to make it through and be the best  I could be.

That meant some things took a back seat until such a time I could pick them back up. I stopped being so consumed with having a perfectly organized life and learned to alright with okay.

In my professional life, I cut out work that caused me unneeded stress, even if it cost me financially. I needed to feel in control and not spiraling. If I didn’t, what good would I be to anyone?I stopped writing. Stopped blogging and putting my thoughts on paper.

Surprisingly, I missed it. You see, two years ago, I hated writing. Then I took a class and learned to enjoy it. I was seeing opportunities to write everywhere I went. I used those opportunities as the guide to my blog posts. They were inspiring me.

It wasn’t until this month that I realized how much I missed writing. A month, I purposely slowed way down to enjoy life- to put goals on paper for my life and business.

So here I am, un-pausing. Writing again. Thinking of topics that inspire. Finding inspiration everywhere I go. Sharing development of all who read these blogs (thankful for all of you!). Living and breathing what I teach my clients. Take care of you. Be in control of what you put on your plate.

So, when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed or wondering how to get it all done, pressing the pause button for a short time may be just what you need.

To your growth, development and amazing potential,


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,

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Development Coach

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

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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,



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,



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,


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