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Making money does not equal winning.

chess board with crowned queen in the middle

Making money does not equal winning.

It took nearly losing everything for me to learn that. Read more

‘Letters to My Daughter’ is available on Amazon!

book cover for Letters to my Daughter

Since March 30th I have been telling people about the digital release of my first book through Connecting Dots Publishing

Letters to My Daughter: A collection of mentoring topics, tidbits, and tips for women of all ages 

is NOW ON AMAZON!

Letters to My Daughter is dedicated to all the women who need mentoring. This book is for anyone, of any gender, who needs help teaching the young women in their lives. It’s for parents, coaches, teachers, and bosses who need a way to share lessons of how young women can grow to be strong, confident, and resilient. We need more women leaders in the world, and it starts with our daughters.

I hope you enjoy and remember, after you read the book, I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to write a review. Next up will be the paperback version of Letters to My Daughter and then on to finishing my memoir, Semi Tragic.

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4 Life Lessons from May Day

jeans with flowers, wrench, and the words "happy Labor Day"

On May 1, while many herald the arrival of Spring by dancing around Maypoles or delivering flowers in homemade May baskets to neighbors,  workers around the globe celebrate International Workers Day, also called Labour Day. Although in the U.S. we celebrate Labor Day on September 1, the international observation of Worker’s Day had its genesis in Chicago. In America, May 1st marks a completely different, but connected, little-known observance called Loyalty Day. I geeked out a bit reading up on this day’s complicated backstory. Here’s a quick history lesson: Read more

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Courage Training 101

soldier playing with working dog

I’m listening to the audio version of Brené Brown’s book, Dare to Lead. At one minute and fifty-three seconds into the book I hear this….

“I looked at these brave soldiers and said, ‘Vulnerability is the emotion that we experience during times of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Can you give me a single example of courage that you’ve witnessed in another soldier or in your own life that did not require vulnerability?’

Complete silence. Crickets.

Finally a young man spoke up. He said, ‘No ma’am. Three tours…I can’t think of a single act of courage that doesn’t require managing massive vulnerability.’”

I heard those words and something buried deep down inside came bursting to the surface, catching me completely off guard. Even though it was five years ago (and 28 days…but who’s counting), tears rolled down my cheeks as I said quietly to myself, “I was so scared…I was so scared….” This is embarrassing to admit (vulnerability bared for all); I sunk to the floor, curled up in a fetal position, and full-on ugly cried for half an hour. For the first time, I allowed myself to feel the terror of that split-second, deadly dangerous moment when lives were at stake and I was in charge. Read more

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Have You Heard the News?

squawking chicken

Last week I heard a disturbing piece of news. A deaf couple was mocked by employees at a Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-through window for their inability to hear. At least that is what their daughter tearfully alleged in a Facebook video that went viral. The video about the KFC experience has been viewed 1.4 million times and picked up by Fox, ABC, and NBC affiliates.

The 59-year-old was with her husband when she said a female employee at the window would not help her communicate her order. “She put her hands on her mouth. I said, ‘Ma’am, sorry, I can’t hear. I need to read your lips. Could you please move it?’ She keeps standing there,” described Cole. She said she ordered again and, to her horror, the young lady walked away and began laughing with another male employee.

Read more

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Underwater? LET GO…for just a little while

ducking

Have you ever felt swamped? Buried? Underwater with work?

In the last couple of months…ok let’s be honest, all this year…I’ve been the proverbial duck. Above water, everything looks calm. But beneath the surface, these legs are paddling like mad! Sometimes you just can’t swim fast enough.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.
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