04: Cultivating True Beauty

When women want to get ahead in the professional world, many will turn to their looks. They have been taught since they were little girls that a tilt of the head and a coy smile will get them what they want. The sad truth is that looks will fade, and many middle-aged women will try to play the pretty card unsuccessfully.

“Beauty comes from your personal presence.”

We need to be teaching young women the leadership and interpersonal skills that will get them ahead in their careers and then stay there. After all, true beauty comes from self-assurance and presence. Let’s cultivate inner beauty to produce professional women who are both pretty and smart.


Show Highlights:

  • The tool we should use to get ahead professionally. It’s not looks!
  • Being smart and being pretty are not mutually exclusive.
  • What low self-esteem does to women’s behavior.
  • Women do not have equal representation in the workplace.
  • Practice the leadership skills that will get you ahead professionally in the long term.




03: An Incredible Mother’s Life

When I think of the women who taught me the lessons for success, the first one at the top of the list is my own Mom. Mom wouldn’t consider herself a “wild feminist,” but she did do amazing things within male-dominated industries that paved the way for many women to come. Instead of seeing setbacks because of her gender as unfair obstacles, Mom simply worked harder to reach her dreams. In a time when it was weird to educate women just as we do men, Mom pushed to have every opportunity.

“I don’t think of myself as a feminist. I think of myself as a woman in the world trying to do what I wanted to do.” 

Mom’s biggest advice to my daughter, and to daughters everywhere, is to keep challenging yourself. Do the hard thing. There are still industries out there where women are the exception to the rule. We have a place and we have a voice in those industries! Push yourself towards your passion, and life will always be satisfying. I cannot wait for you to hear the story of my incredible mother’s life. She is an inspiration to me and will be an inspiration to daughters everywhere. Thanks for joining us today!

Show Highlights:

  • My mom’s love of education was fostered by her own father.
  • Most women went to college to get an “MRS Degree,” but mom got her degree in Chemistry and Math, and a Masters in Cardiovascular Pharmacology.
  • Getting an MD was a way for my mother to help people.
  • Mom didn’t have traditional female role models.
  • Mom definitely had setbacks due to her gender when applying for medical school.
  • Keep working and challenging yourself.
  • The message my mom would send to my daughter.
  • How to fight back against the 10 year rut.
  • Advice for young women who are facing setbacks because they are a woman.


For your freebies! 


Press for Progress

hands up for progress

What are you doing to Press for Progress on International Women’s Day 2018?

Are you proclaiming? Protesting? Performing? …or prognosticating?

Are you wearing purple (the official color) or praying for an end to violence against women?

Perhaps you are doing all…or none…of the above.

However you choose to pass the day, make it purposeful. Press for Progress (this year’s theme). Call attention to unfair gender biases. Call attention to extraordinary women leaders. Call attention to the need for less focus on gender and more focus on the quality of ideas.

And for crying out loud, call your mother! If that’s not possible, call another strong female mentor in your life and simply say THANK YOU. May I also suggest, that you take a few minutes today to listen to the second episode of the Letters to My Daughter podcast and share it. When we mentor women to step into their presence with strength and grace, we open opportunity to accelerate the pace of progress for all people. And that’s what International Women’s Day is really all about.


02: Celebrating International Women’s Day

In a show about women mentoring women, it is important to pay tribute to the women who came before us and paved the way to equality. The fight for equal representation in our workplaces and in our society still continues, but I am inspired by the words of Florence Nightingale, “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” Today, let’s take a leaf out of Florence’s book and stop making excuses and start being the leaders we want to see change the world.

“If you want to see more women in leadership, be in leadership.” – Elisa Hays

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and the theme for 2018 is “Press for Progress.” I want to take a look together about how you can I can embody the press for progress together. What will it take to see women in corporate leadership roles? What about diversity within those women in leadership? Changes are happening, but they will only stick if we show up! I am excited to continue the conversation with you today in this episode!

“Leadership is not bullying…Leadership is the expectation that you can use your voice for good.” – Cheryl Sandberg 

Show Highlights:

  • Let’s learn some life lessons from Florence Nightingale.
  • How International Women’s Day came to be.
  • You run your life!
  • How progress happens.
  • The surprise waiting for you in the next episode!




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March 1st 2018

Letters to My Daughter imageMarch 1st will forever be an extraordinary day. On this day in 2014, at approximately 8:00 PM Central time, EMTs raced my hemorrhaging body into an emergency room in Wichita, Kansas. I was given less than a 5% chance of living. As one surgeon said, “The only time I’d ever seen that much of the inside of a human body was on a cadaver in medical school.”

Ten days later I opened my eyes, surprised to discover I wasn’t dead. It took a painfully long…and well, just plain painful…battle to arrive at the life I have today. But this isn’t a post about the accident, and you can certainly read about it on my website. This is about one piece of what I want to give back…Letters to My Daughter. Read more


01: Introducing Letters to My Daughter Podcast

As the great Ruth Bader Ginsberg once said, “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant to be your own person, be independent.” It’s tough to learn how to be independent and self-assured without some guidance. The role of a mother or a mentor is absolutely important for young women on the rise, so I wanted to create a place for women to teach one another how to be a lady. My name is Elisa Hays, and this podcast is something like a letter to my daughters, and any daughters anywhere.

Today, you will hear not just why I think mentorship is so important, but also why it became very important very quickly. You will get the chance to hear my story about a tragic accident that left me on the doors of death. Even though I had less than 5% of a chance to survive, here I stand today, and I am not going to let that life go to waste! My daughter almost lost her mother and her mentor, so here are the things I would have wanted my daughter to know in my absence. I want to collect all the best wisdom, stories, and tools that women young and old can use on their journey to becoming the lady they were destined to be.

So share this with a sister, a friend, or a young woman in your life who might be in need of some guidance. These are open letters, after all. You might hear just the wisdom you need!


More in this episode: 

  • Why do young women even need a mentor?
  • My story of the accident that left me an unusual amputee.
  • How my daughter and I drew closer together after the accident.
  • My sources of inspiration and insight.
  • What to expect next!


Listen to the show on iTunes and Apple Podcasts!

Listen the show on Stitcher!


4 Steps to Quit Saving Money for the Wrong Reasons

For the last three years I’ve been using my wheelchair as a desk chair in my office. It’s not comfortable, not even a little. I’m practical and it just seemed that having one wheeled chair was enough. I put up with it creating more pain than I already have. Silly, I know, but I’m stubborn. On Saturday I suddenly couldn’t take it anymore. My husband kindly raced off with me to Office Depot to buy a new chair.

The first office chair that we saw of course was the fancy, schmancy (aka overpriced) featured new “executive chair.” I looked at the price tag and flatly said, “Ha! No way would I pay that much for a desk chair!” So I plopped down in another nearby puffy looking chair…and then another…and then another until I had paused my half-amputated bum on every seating solution in the store. None of them solved the problem of my painful posterior. Finally, I reluctantly sat in the fancy chair. “Oh geez!” I exclaimed with exasperation. My husband calmly replied, “We’re buying that chair, aren’t we?”

Have you ever tried to avoid spending money in your business, only to eventually come to the reluctant realization that you were creating more trouble than you solved? Use my office chair story as a lesson to help you avoid creating a bigger pain in the butt in your business. Follow these four steps to quit saving money for the wrong reasons. Read more

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Empathy by Design

“I think like a designer,” I commented to a friend recently. “No,” she answered, “you ARE a designer. “ Hmmm….come to think of it…..

For the last two weeks I’ve obsessed over tiny details of the plans for our new house. A tape measure, 1/4” scale ruler, sharp pencil and an eraser have been my best friends. I didn’t create the house plan, but I’m making it work for our family and my accessibility needs because I use a cane, walker or wheelchair at any given time. We love our current custom house, but the lack of universal design creates a lot of challenges.  Read more

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Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Each year I choose one word to be my focus for the year. Typically by the last quarter of the year I already know what my Word of the Year needs to be. For example, 2016 was a brutal year that included the death of my beloved grandfather and a fierce case of shingles. Then in the fourth quarter the year wrapped up with a badly broken right wrist that cost all of independent mobility. By then I knew that my word for 2017 would be FEARLESS. Read more

Give Up Expectations, Receive Love

What Christmas is really all about.


In the simplest of terms, the message of Christmas is to Love One Another. Why do we sometimes find this so hard to do?

The answer is just as simple – We want to be in control. Our way, our expectations, our ideas of how things should play out. At least that’s where I get tripped up. Perhaps this rings true for you as well. Read more