What Would Your Rock Say?

Last week I had the honor to spend the day with an amazing group of women with a local corporation. We participated in a larger event for the company’s Women’s Networking Program. After the main presentation, our small group gets together to debrief the topic, support and mentor each other.

It’s been an honor to be with these women for the last four months. We have built relationships, dove into development and helped each other solve problems. This last friday was our last day together for the year. While bittersweet, I know I will get to watch these women grow in their development over the years.

During our small group, I provided an activity. The goal- to create statements or words on rocks that meant something to them-whether to remind them to be courageous, keep family a priority, etc. I told them they could share these with others. Keep them in a place only they knew about or display them proudly on their desks-whatever they desired.
I shared a story with them for the intention of this activity. When I first became an entrepreneur, I knew I needed courage. This was not something I planned, but after being let go from my corporate job, it was a path I felt I was meant to take. At that same time, I received a stone with the word Courage written on it. From that day forward, that stone has been in my purse. Always there as a reminder to have courage in all I do. Even after numerous purse changes, that stone is still with me.

I also purchased another stone in the last few years with the word Inspiration inscripted.  Again, another reminder that my goal as a coach is to inspire others. These two stones are ones I reach for and touch before I walk into an event I am leading. I touch them before any big meeting or any time I walk into a coaching session. To remind me to be courageous and inspiring. It’s been powerful for me. Spending just a moment touching or seeing these rocks brings forth my intention for the moment, something that can easily be forgotten or pushed aside when the stress or excitement for the moment can take over. I wanted this group of women to have their own rock(s) for whatever they needed them for. Great reminders for each of them.

This turned out to be such a fun and freeing activity. We talked and laughed while creating our rocks. Some got very creative (wish I could say that was me)! No matter what we wrote, the message meant something to each of us. I even received one – DREAM BIG. And you better believe I am keeping that with me in my purse! See our final results below!


If you had to define the words that would inspire or remind you of your priorities, dreams or goals, what would your rock say?

I would love you to share your words with me by commenting on this post.

To your growth, development and amazing potential, 

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Coach

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Finding ‘Something More’

For the last few weekends I had the pleasure of watching a group
of talented high schoolers put on a production of singing, dancing and jazz music. During this production was a song that has been an inspiring song in my professional and personal journey over the last few years.

It’s a song called ‘Something More’ from a country band called Sugarland. I have always loved the song but after being laid off from my corporate job the words hit home. You see, I was trying to figure out what to do with my career. There was a moment after being out of work for a few weeks when I realized that for the first time since setting off on my corporate journey, that my soul was calm. I was able to think clearly and it became clear to me that in order to live my life fully and be present with my husband, Vgu1RUfKT3WN1ZYxSWaR_14672519443_13d8873062_kchildren, friends and family, I needed to do something different. Something more.

Then I heard the song again as it popped up when I was listening to a playlist. It spoke to me in a different way than before. It was as if the universe was reminding me that there was more to my life than climbing the corporate ladder. Playing the games that didn’t feel authentic to me. I began planning a career that allowed me to feel fulfilled professionally but allowed me to be present and happy in my life. I knew there’s only one shot at this life and I wanted to be present in mine.

Starting a business has been a long journey. One filled with bumps, challenges, learnings and blessings. I am thankful for a husband who has supported and believed in me. In fact, he has been my biggest cheerleader, especially when I have wanted to throw in the towel. It hasn’t been easy for us financially but he is there to remind me that I am doing great work. He knows that the work I do is not only inspirational to my clients but important to me. Because of him, I feel fulfilled-as a coach but more importantly as a wife and mother.

So, when I heard the song being sung during this high school production by a talented young lady, I teared up. Not just because she sang it beautifully but because I had been toying with the idea of throwing in the towel recently (remember when I said it was journey….its always up and down and this wasn’t and wont be the last time I think about this!) and hearing that song was sign to me. A sign to keep going and remember exactly why I am doing this. Because there is something more. Something more for me to do in this life.

Here are the lyrics that specifically spoke to me:

“I could work my life away but why, I got things to do before I die.There’s gotta be something more. Gotta be more than this. I need a little less hard time, I need a little more bliss. I want to take my chances. Taking the chance I might find what I am looking for…there’s gotta be something more.”

Watch and listen to Sugarland’s Something More here.

We all have one life to live. I hope yours is being lived to the fullest with those that are most important to you.

To your growth, development and amazing potential,

Lisa Hayes

Leadership Coach




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,



Not Sorry

Recently, I attended a Women’s Leadership program where I was a participant in the learning session and a coach in a small group working session. One of the speakers in the learning session shared a very short video in which women were constantly saying “I’m Sorry”, when someone almost walked into them, when asking a question in a meeting and when asking for help with a task. While I don’t believe it’s just women who find themselves saying “sorry” for things, the session was eye opening.

I never really paid attention to how often I personally say I am sorry in a given day. Now there are times when saying sorry isn’t a bad thing. In fact sometime, self-deprecating humor or apologizing can be a way to ease into a conversation or discussion.

Take a recent board meeting. I had a question that in my opinion I felt maybe I should know. I leaned over to another board member and said “I’m sorry, this is probably
a stupid question…” Would you look at that? In one short sentence I not only apologized for a legitimate question I needed answered but the listener now has a tainted viewpoint of the question…that it will be stupid.

Changing the wording can be helpful. In fact, I caught myself in the moment and told him that it wasn’t a stupid question but rather question I still had not found an answer for.Vgu1RUfKT3WN1ZYxSWaR_14672519443_13d8873062_k

Take a look at how often you are saying ‘Sorry’. Can you change what you say? Just today, I found myself and another person trying to get into the same doorway. I would normally say “I’m sorry” but today I said, please go ahead. Maybe it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks!?!?!?

Interested in seeing the short video that was played at the event I mentioned? Check it out here: vimeo.com/150848276 Continue reading

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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I Never Thought It Would Happen To Me. Again.

I remember it like yesterday. Feeling lost. Stressed. Uninspired. Unenergized. Sad. Burnt Out. I was working my ass off in Corporate America. Doing work I loved but burning the candle at both ends so to speak. It wasn’t until I got laid off in the spring of 2012 that I realized how burnt out I was. My soul was in complete disarray. It was then that I made the decision to leave the rat race behind and take total control of my ‘work/life balance’.

One business venture turned into another. Taking a leap in June 2014 to launch a business based upon my passions not my technical aptitude was exciting, thrilling and fun. And I was doing it my way. On my terms. As fast or slow as I wanted. I was in control and happy.

Fast forward to the fall of 2015. Those feelings crept back in. Lost. Uninspired. Unmotivated. Unhappy. Really unhappy. And I noticed I shut down. Stopped writing. Stopped believing in myself and my business. Stopped caring. I was BURNT OUT. It took me until after the holidays to admit it to myself. Here I was, in total control of what was happening and I let myself get burnt out. I was embarrassed with myself. How could I let this happen. I never thought it would happen to me once I left my corporate job. This was what I coached my clients on. Keeping up the harmony between work and life. I felt like a failure.

Once I acknowledged it to myself, I was able to begin the process of climbing out of the hole I had dug. I found that the tools that I used to help me better myself as a coach were those that were causing me the most stress-social media. Now, I love social tools like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.I love learning from experts in my field. I enjoy hearing new viewpoints from others.

What I noticed though was I starting judging myself against what others were showing online. Do you ever do that? Judge your life from others based upon their social presence. Other business owners seemed to have figured out how to market to their target clients. “Wow, they have it all figured out” was all I kept telling myself. And with each post I read or newsletter that landed in my inbox, I sunk deeper into my funk. They were posting on every platform, numerous times a day. I have hired social media experts to show me when you should post, how often, etc. That gave me even more anxiety. Any networking event for business owners kept throwing in my face how bad I was at this business ownership (or so I thought…). I was trying to fit into their mold. Not mine. One thing I have always prided myself on was being just a bit unique in all I do.

I can’t tell how many times I almost gave in in the past 6 months. Shut down my business and found a 8-5 job. Then it hit me-I wasn’t taking care of me first. I was letting myself get burnt out just like I did in my corporate job. Just like I would again and again if I didn’t pause and take back the control.

So I created a rule in my outlook that puts those newsletters in a folder that I can look at when I want to. I moved facebook off my phone to not get distracted. I limited the notifications I get when on facebook-I don’t have everything in my newsfeed anymore. I am trying hard to ensure I exercise daily (harder here in MN in the winter as I prefer to be outdoors).

I am taking baby steps. Determining what really is important for ME to do with my social media. With MY business. What fits with MY authenticity not someone else’s definition of it. And I must say, it feels good. I feel like the I am starting to come back to who I was last year. I am more concerned with doing awesome work inspiring others (and being inspired in return) than fitting into the rat race. I want to make an impact in my community and with my clients.

Just like the winter turns into spring, the sun is starting to shine a little brighter in my world and it feels good.

To Your Growth, Development and Amazing Potential, 


Leadership Coach


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