Spotlight Member Shelley Hayes
Tell us about your business and why you chose this path?
Our business is a self-defence and empowerment company. We teach self-defence courses based on the real experiences of police officers and pair it with the expertise of an executive coach. We provide private courses, speaking engagements and individual Empowerment coaching.
I chose this path with my wife and business partner, Lynn MacDonald, in order to create a world where all people are safe, confident and empowered. Our primary focus is on empowering women. My 15 year professional development and coaching career has been about strengthening the mental and emotional lives of those I served. Lynn’s over 20 year policing career and 10 years of teaching self-defence has been about protecting the physical safety of those she serves. We knew that these two levels of expertise created a fierce combination that could make a lasting impact on women, individuals, teams, and businesses. It is the most amazing feeling to wake up every day knowing we get to do this work in the world!
What support did you need to get started and keep the dream alive?
I had the support and matching enthusiasm from my wife and business partner, Lynn. We are both passionate about empowering women in the world and when we realized we could do this work together we both lit up with joy and excitement. I also have an amazing group of friends & family who also happen to be experts in many fields both in Canada and in the U.S. They have been my cheerleaders and have supported me each step of the way. Cheers to women empowering women!
How do you create work-life balance in your world? Is there such a thing?
Balancing work and life is very important to me and I acknowledge that it is an ever changing and shifting target. One week might be more focused on work, but then I strive to balance it with fun on the weekend. I've had the career that was all encompassing and stressful and I'm not willing to do that anymore. I choose joy, health, love and peace before stress as much as possible. And, I rely on Skype & other technology to keep me connected to those who live far away. Connection to the people who matter to our hearts is absolutely essential to keeping us grounded.
What do you think it takes to be a successful entrepreneur or business person?
I think it takes determination, persistence, passion, joy, authenticity, dedication, and intense inner meaning behind what you are pursuing. For me, there is nothing more fun and meaningful than being a part of another woman's journey toward empowerment. I will do whatever it takes within my own values and alignment in order to continue to do this work. I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing. These inner values will help me continue to be successful.
What is your life motto?
I strive to live this motto every day: Empowered women empower other women. I love seeing how women are lighting up the world right now. Another one is "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." - Goethe. I truly believe I have the ability to do anything I desire once I put my whole heart into it.
Tell us about a challenge that you have faced in your own life that has influenced who you are today!
I have faced many challenges in my life starting with overcoming the effects of childhood traumas. After realizing I could make different choices and create a new type of life for myself, I did everything within my power to do so. I have always had an inner search for meaning in my life matched with a desire to help prevent others from experiencing the things that were so difficult for me. I believe this inner searching and desire to help has guided and influenced who I am today - my education, my career choices, my path as a single-parent, my volunteer commitments, moving to Canada with my loving wife, and the choices I make in who I bring into my community - these all tie to me wanting to make the world a safer place.
Who has influenced or inspired you and why?
My grandmother was a huge influence on me and inspires me still. She was an avid reader, a teacher, a loving grandmother, and my unconditional supporter throughout my life. She was fiercely independent, owned her own home as a widow and single woman, and traveled as she pleased. She was my safe place to land in a world that wasn't always kind. She supported her women friends, her family, and always had a treat ready for anyone who needed it. Her love was big for me and I truly believe it saved me. I hope to be a safe place for many, like she was for me.
Who is a Woman of Inspiration to you? Why?
My wife, Lynn MacDonald, is a woman of inspiration to me. Personally, she is the bravest person I know. She is not only brave in the range of her chosen careers (Military, Emergency Medical Technician, Police Officer, Self-Defense Trainer) but she is also brave with her heart. She has a huge heart and gives of herself daily with the hopes of making the world a safer and better place. She has truly helped members of our community become safer, and more confident, in their own abilities to protect themselves. She has a safe, calming energy; a fantastic PEI sense of humor; the biggest, most beautiful smile; she's fiercely protective, truly humble and she loves animals!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself, with Lynn, continuing to love this life of empowering women in the world and successfully running our business. We have a goal of buying a retreat facility on Vancouver Island and creating Empowerment Retreats for women that will include various aspects of adventure in addition to self-defence. We love Alberta and British Columbia and plan to explore the beauty in each province as much as possible. We also plan to walk the Camino!
What attracted you to The Nest?
I was drawn to The Nest because of the focus on courage, confidence, connection and integrity. These are all values I hold very dear. The concept of "joining The Nest" appealed to me because I saw Monica and the rest of the members embody a safe and caring community concept that appealed to me. The first time I met Monica I knew she was a kind and authentic woman with a passion to "move mountains" - that was something I knew I wanted to be a part of!
My go to drink is...
Fresca for a refreshing treat or wine for relaxing.
I cannot live without my....
My wife, 2 sons, 2 grandkiddos, family & friends, and 4 fur babies. And books, all.the.books., I'm constantly reading and love to learn.
My passion is....
I am passionate about so many things! Empowering women, reading, having adventures, love & family, being physically strong & healthy, authentic connection & community and having fun!
My favorite destination is....
So far, my favorite destination was Italy but my wife and I have a very long list of places we want to see.
Charity I support .....
The Famous 5 Foundation, Calgary Reads, the Pride Foundation in the United States, and I'm looking for recommendations to add to the list!
My power song is.....
There are so many! Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys; Fight Song by Rachel Platten; I Love Me by Meghan Trainor; Diamonds by Rhianna; Wild Things by Alessia Cara; and a long time fave - Thank You by Alanis Morissette.