Linda Hayles is the friend that every woman needs. Lucky for us, this author, coach, motivator, and speaker realized her gift early on enough to turn her pain into her passion. After a conversation on the phone with this undeniable change agent, I quickly realized that her brand is true to her gift and ability to keep it real all while uplifting and motivating at the same time. With a combination of humor and candor, her approach to open communication is extra inviting and engaging. Her story is a testament to the fact that "everything you do is aligned with your purpose". After dealing with infidelity in her marriage, it was her thoughts about the other woman and her mindset that led her on the quest to rebuild broken women into "A High Valued Woman". I had the privilege of getting her insight on entrepreneurship, relationships, and more. Check out her interview below:
Being that you are relationship and dating strategist, what is your take on how entrepreneurs build business relationships verses how they should build personal relationships? Should they be approached differently?
There are obvious differences in both types of relationships. When the emotion of “love” or romance is not involved it is easier to cut ties with a business relationship gone bad. However, just like in romantic relationships there are key things to look for to help you quickly determine if that relationship should move forward and those are called values.
Let me give you an example:
Sally meets Joe. They go on several dates. Their conversation just flows. It’s so comfortable to just chat. During these chats, Joe tells Sally about all the times he cheated on his ex-wife and boasts a little about flying a woman in to see him on business trips. He justifies it by explaining how bad the marriage had gotten at that point. THIS should be where Sally decides not to go on any more dates with Joe. However, what usually happens is that Sally begins to rationalize Joe’s story because they already have this “vibe” or chemistry. She ignores this very important CHARACTER trait/character flaw and enters in to a relationship with a man that later ends very painfully because she ignored that his values didn’t align with hers.
Sally meets Jane at a networking event. They hit it off and communicate like best friends almost right away. Once a week they meet at happy hour to talk about business. As the friendship strengthens Jane begins to open up to Sally and shares that she has cheated on her husband of 15 years. She is currently separated and seeing a new man. Sally actually admires Jane a little because that’s such a bold thing to do. Sally and Jane are both GIRL BOSSES. Their creativity meshes and together they launch a business and then two! One day Sally realizes that Jane has been embezzling money little by little from their companies. Sally confronts Jane but mainly from a place of hurt because she doesn’t understand how her friend could have abused her trust and betrayed her. Again, Sally ignored Jane’s very important flaw/character trait. And Jane ended up lying and stealing from her in business as well.
Although there is a world of difference between romantic and business relationships your moral compass should be very calibrated so you can make the decision to stop investing time and emotion into a person whose morals, values and character are not sound.
For those with service based businesses, there is an art to interacting with new clients and dealing with so many different personalities successfully. How has your degree in Psychology helped you convey the idea of “A High Value Woman’ to a diverse clientele?
The fact is that one cannot deal with all personalities “successfully”. There are some people who will be rubbed the wrong way or get their feelings hurt. And this is why I love research marketing. When you know exactly who you serve you have a greater chance of pleasing your tribe and your followers because they “get you”. And although the personalities might be diverse, they like YOU and your style.
High Value Women don’t waste time with low quality men. As soon as a man is not making her a priority, not treating her like a Queen, or not making her happy she ends that relationship. With that said, women come to me when THEY WANT CHANGE, WHEN THEY WANT RESULTS. My clientele chooses me so they know I’m going to say things that they may not want to hear but not because I want to be mean or speak down to them but because they need to hear some truths so they can understand their behaviors and change them.
One day I was doing a Periscope broadcast on the topic, “How To Find A Good Man”. A woman asked if it was OK to send a man a drink. I told her High Value Women don’t send men drinks. They position themselves to win with men. And sending a man a drink doesn’t set a woman up for that. She got offended and wrote me an email. I told her I was sorry she felt offended and that my intention was to help her and add value to the marketplace but she still unsubscribed from my email list. So, I walk in my truth. I am who I am and I let my clients choose to work with me after they have seen me on social media and have made up their mind that I’m the change agent for them.
When it comes to content marketing, what has been your best vehicle to get your message across to really draw in your audience? Social media, blogging, speaking engagements…
My first love is Facebook. Youtube allowed me to make videos early on when you didn’t have the ability to post videos from an app right on to your platform. Periscope is my favorite place to do livestreams. Currently, Instagram is THE PLACE TO BE for me! But writing posts on LinkedIn and blogging for the Huffington Post have catapulted me into the speaking arena. Social media is FREE! And I know I don’t maximize it, yet I still get results. I love, love, love social media.
As someone who is the face of their brand, what advice would you give another female entrepreneur that is wanting to brand herself as a business?
I can’t stress enough how important it is to know exactly who you serve. When you know who you serve you’re never desperate to close everyone who wants to work with you because not everyone is a good fit for you. But you only know that when you do your great market research.
I’d like to add that you MUST look like what you want to ATTRACT. I can’t tell you how many times I turn on Periscope and see women entrepreneurs looking less than presentable. As the face of your business you should take care to represent your brand the way you would if Steve Harvey called you to be on his show. Too many people are laid back about their appearance in the name of “transparency”.
Conduct yourself with the highest business ethics. If you can’t deliver on a deadline, let your client know or have a business bestie you can count on to give a project to if you can’t meet a deadline so that you always have a satisfied customer.
Being yourself is great but finding the balance of being yourself while being professional is where it’s at. When people meet you it’s your “first date” with them. Put your best foot forward.
Many of my readers are girlfriends and wives, as well as entrepreneurs. On your website you speak openly about your own past involvement in an unhealthy relationship. Do you see a correlation between unhealthy relationships and poor work ethics?
That could be very hit or miss. Many women who are involved in unhealthy relationships have great work ethics. They show up to work on time. They are neat. They are professional. They crush goals at work. No one knows that they’re being abused in any way. This is why so many people are shocked to learn about the abuse once it is exposed. It is the people you least expect.
While I was living in a verbally and physically abusive marriage, I was earning free cars with Mary Kay Cosmetics. I was a Sales Director. I flew around the country recruiting women and speaking. I had great work ethic. I was a BEAST team builder. I received accolades. And no one knew what was going on at home. There are people with poor work ethics who are also victims of abuse or live in unhealthy relationships, yet I don’t think one makes the other true or not.
What are your future goals for your brand and how can people support your movement?
I plan on launching my Find A Great Man multi city tour in June. I’m super excited about that. I also will release my second book this year. It will be a guide for “side chicks” to stop putting themselves in a position to be victimized by a married man, stop playing a part in another woman’s pain and get her self-worth in alignment with who God created her to be, which is to be a Queen and not a peasant picking up left overs and scraps from another woman’s marriage. There is a TEDx talk coming at the end of the year and several other goals that I’m crushing with God first, of course.
You can find me and support me on your favorite social media platforms using the handle @lindahayles