Take charge, take control and the outcome might surprise you
Kyle Hamer: (00:03)
Welcome to the summit. This is your host, Kyle Hamer. I’m here today with a very special episode and episode called human to inspire us. The reason for today’s episode is because as I look across podcasts and I look across the different things going on, I realized that I love telling people’s stories and some of those stories are just too good to pass up. Our first guest today is one of those stories. Elizabeth C Haynes is a woman who has dealt with tremendous adversity and yet she shines through it with determination, grit, and a positive outlook. In today’s episode, we’ll talk a little bit about workplace bullying. We’ll speak a little bit about dealing with a debilitating disease and what that means for your productivity and just your overall life, and then ultimately we will share with you the outcome of taking your worst day and turning it into your best, how the moments that you have where you don’t know what’s coming can be the most transformative and most incredible life changing experiences and help you live your dream. Join me in listening to this interview already in progress as we support Elizabeth c Haynes.
Kyle Hamer: (01:25)
Elizabeth C. Haynes. Elizabeth, how are you today?
Elizabeth Hayne: (01:28)
Hello? I’m good. How are you?
Kyle Hamer: (01:31)
Um, you know, I am excited to actually get to meet you or, or virtually meet you. I’ve been following you for a while, so it’s really an exciting time for me to actually get to meet you. Yes, likewise. So tell me a little bit about, uh, about yourself and about what you do or, or our listeners, what it is you do and then, uh, we’ll tell everybody why we’re, why we’re here.
Elizabeth Hayne: (01:52)
Yeah. Right now I’ve done a lot of things in my career, but right now I’m a managing editor for B to B marketing group there in Atlanta. I work remotely from home. I have a health condition. They’ve been kind enough to offer me a legit job. It took a long time. And so I’m, I’m a writer by heart. It’s kind of cool being an editor now, but that’s my first love is writing.
Kyle Hamer: (02:15)
Look. Uh, yeah, I think I was, I was messaging you the other day and I realized that you were an editor and I was like, Oh man, I spoke pretty dissipate. Wrong, sticky. I’m not judgmental. Well, you just make sure that it’s right when it comes off the door, Huh?
Elizabeth Hayne: (02:29)
Right. Yeah, exactly.
Kyle Hamer: (02:30)
That’s fantastic. Well, look, you know the reason that we’re here today and the reason that you’re our first guest on people that inspire the human spirit, which is kind of a special segment for me and something I think is, is fitting. You have a really interesting story. You wrote a blog article, was it three months ago? Four months ago was in like April says, I hacked social media or I cracked social media. What, what? Like what was, what was the, do you remember blog post I’m talking about?
Elizabeth Hayne: (03:00)
Yeah, it was like I, I think it was called, I cracked social media, but hat can be good too. I’ve written a lot of posts since that time. Yeah. I wrote it because I, I suddenly became very popular on Linkedin. And it was strange to me because I’m not usually the person that people are like, Ooh, we love her on social media. And so, um, I wrote that post just out of surprise. And, um, and because I think I figured out what made it so popular, what made me so popular and it was not what I expected.
Kyle Hamer: (03:32)
So it was almost overnight success. Right. So you, you had, you made a post on linkedin and we’ll talk about the post in a minute, but you made this post on linkedin and it was, what, 24, 48 hours later you had, how many, like what, what happened?
Elizabeth Hayne: (03:45)
Well, it was kind of, it went back a couple months. Um, I had been very vocal about how an employer of former employer had treated me and um, without naming them of course, but sharing my experiences just in the workplace with bullying and abuse and mistreatment and you know, all that kind of stuff. And I just, I did it to raise awareness, um, and to help prevent it from happening to other people. But I also just was kind of fed up with being treated badly in the workplace and I wanted to share my story. And so people just kind of latched onto it. Um, which surprised me. Um, and then I wrote that post after, you know, a month or so of that and going on where I just suddenly was getting new followers, followers every day, new requests, every day. It’s getting like hundreds a week. And I was like, okay. And so I wrote the posts and then that one took off. And then I wrote a few more and then I had some other things take off and all of that. It’s kind of a long story, but all of that is how I landed in my job today, which was just by being authentic and telling the truth. And um, yeah, it’s kind of a weird story.
Kyle Hamer: (05:00)
Well, it’s a weird story, but I think it’s a good story to tell because I think the part that they’re at least resonate the most with me was, is there’s this level of authenticity and fear that you wouldn’t let your voice be squelched. Tell me a little bit about what was going on at the, the former employer or the things that happened maybe that you’ve written about, but like expand upon this, this office bullying. What is that?
Elizabeth Hayne: (05:24)
Yeah, I mean the bullying is one thing, but kind of what happened on the way out is what made me so determined to use my voice. You know, when you get let go from a company, there’s a standard thing. If you want a severance, you have to sign an agreement. Cool. That’s fine. You know, in my case I had a lawyer come in and review it and um, towards the end of that process they tried to insert a clause where they could charge me like $2,000. Anytime I said anything, anywhere that they felt was somehow disparaging to them or indirectly disparaging to them and they could send that bill to me for the rest of my life, I would have no legal recourse. And, um, I would just basically have to keep my mouth shut and they would monitor me and everything. So I felt like my free speech was being taken away.
Elizabeth Hayne: (06:14)
And to me, after the treatment I’d had at the company, that was like the ultimate bullying to me because they knew I had a health condition. They knew I needed the extra month of medical insurance that I was going to get with that severance. Um, they knew it was sudden and that I didn’t have a lot of job options because of my health condition. And so yeah, that felt like the ultimate and bullying. And so I rejected it and I said no. All my lawyer rejected it. And then I went and just started talking. And again, I’ve never mentioned the company. Um, and I won’t because I don’t need to. That’s not really the point. The point is that this happens to other people. It happened to me and I don’t want it to happen anymore.
Kyle Hamer: (06:54)
Hmm. So w when you talk about you have a health condition, help us understand. Tell us a little bit about what it is that you, you struggle with. What is, what is your condition?
Elizabeth Hayne: (07:04)
Yeah. I’m very open about my condition because I want to change mindsets. It’s not because I want people to feel sorry for me cause I don’t, I have a disease called mass cell disease. So your mass cells or red blood cell, it’s kind of a rare condition. Um, it’s becoming a little more widely known. But I think I’ve had this my entire life and basically my immune system is malfunctioning. So it’s not an autoimmune disease because I’m not like building antibodies against myself. And this, this is my understanding. Um, it’s that my immune system thinks my body is constantly under attack. And so it’s spewing out inflammatory chemicals all the time. And that’s going on in every organ. My skin, my bones, my brain, everywhere in my body, all the time at random times for various reasons. Like maybe I stepped into the sunlight and my body went, Ooh, bad or I ate.
Elizabeth Hayne: (07:58)
It seems to think that digestion is, um, some sort of attack on my body. So I react every time I eat. It might be to nothing. I can just be sitting here and all of a sudden know I have a problem. So I’m very fortunate. There’s a lot of people with my condition that go into anaphylaxis all the time, which we know is like deadly. So that’s always in the back of my mind. Um, there’s people that are on Ivy drips of Benadryl to keep from dying. So I’m very fortunate that that’s not me. Um, it’s always there though, cause that could be me. Um, there’s people with other diseases kind of mixed in. Um, and I don’t have any of those yet. Um, so you know, in a lot of ways I’m very fortunate, but it is very debilitating when you know, it kind of flares like lupus or ms, you know, like any disease like that. I experienced the same sorts of things, but it’s not the same disease.
Kyle Hamer: (08:50)
So when you experienced this, how does this impact your ability to do work? Like what does it mean for, for people who are listening, who have been healthy their whole life, they have no full appreciation of what somebody with ms or Lupus or fibromyalgia goes through. What is that, what is, what is the actual physical response and how that impacts you on a daily basis?
Elizabeth Hayne: (09:12)
Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing, the reason it was so hard for me to find employment for so long as I have to control my environment as much as possible, which means I’m at home a lot. So, you know, if I have a reaction sometimes, um, my whole body will ache. Like I have the flu and it’s like, okay, I have to push through that to try to continue to work. Or, you know, sometimes I struggle to type, I lose some kind of motor ability because something’s flaring in my brain and I’m like, okay, I have to slow down. I have to correct myself, things like that. Um, there’s a lot of pain that happens. Um, I get rashes, I get itching, I get all kinds of things. Sometimes my face will swell and you just kind of, you know, being at home and being able to work is the only way that I can do it. Um, and it’s not easy. It’s hard every single day. But, um, you know, most people that have a disability of some kind really want to still work and contribute. It’s just that the way America is set up, they don’t support it very much. So it’s really challenging for people like us. [inaudible]
Kyle Hamer: (10:17)
and so in your, in your previous role, they knew about your health condition, they knew about what was going on and then you said that they still there was still obvious bullying. So were you going into the office or were you working remotely?
Elizabeth Hayne: (10:29)
I was working remotely. Yeah. You can still bully without being in the office, you know, by threats, for example. And again, I don’t want to talk too much about this employer because I know they’re probably still watching me, which is fine. I don’t care. Um, but I mean, everything that I say is the truth. So, you know, you can bully in a lot of ways. It’s not just physical bullying, it’s emotional bullying. It’s, um, you know, there’s just a lot of different ways to go about it. So, and I was not the only one that it was happening too.
Kyle Hamer: (11:04)
Well, okay. So let’s not talk about the employer, but let’s talk about how when you’re in a toxic environment or a toxic relationship, a toxic work relationship,
Elizabeth Hayne: (11:13)
Kyle Hamer: (11:13)
And you’re already dealing with physical challenges, what, what does that do to your ability to perform? What does that do to your ability to experience life at its fullest? Like what, what kind of stress does that create for you?
Elizabeth Hayne: (11:26)
Well, I would say I talked to a woman, um, shortly after that job, um, and I was just looking for work. I was networking and she had come out of a, a work environment that was the same way. She had been really bullied and abused for a while and she left and it took her, I think she said six months to a year to recover from that experience. Just, you know, self esteem wise and you know, all of that. So think regardless of what you point on have going on in your own life, it’s a beat down. It’s like being in a bad relationship, you know, it’s just this constant beat down every day, over a time. And it kind of accumulates. So for me, when I came out of that job, I was very sick. So all of the health gains I had made, um, over the prior year, um, I ended up kind of like 20 steps back from where I had prom and I was very frustrated because for me stress is a really big trigger.
Elizabeth Hayne: (12:23)
A lot of people with chronic conditions, stress is a really big trigger. And so I had gotten so stressed out that I was very sick and I had to take, before I could even look for another job, I had to take some time to just rest and not do anything, talk to my doctors, try to figure out how to get me, you know, level again. So, you know, regardless of who you are, anybody that I’ve ever talked to you that’s been in an experience like that, I mean, it kind of messes, it messes you up physically. A lot of times, you know, you get sick from the stress, but you also just lose your self confidence and you start thinking, you know, you’re not worth anything. Again, it’s just like any kind of messed up abusive relationship. That’s just Kinda the natural side effect of being somewhere like that. Okay. So you,
Kyle Hamer: (13:15)
you deal with the health and how long you were you diagnosed with the, the health condition when you were, when you were born or when did you find out that you had the condition?
Elizabeth Hayne: (13:24)
I had some surgeries in 2015 and I fell off a cliff. I never recovered. And so it took a couple of years to finally get a diagnosis. But you know, my doctor said this happened sometimes with people that have your condition where you just kind of, it’s mild, you’re, you’re barely kind of making it and then something happens and you just fall off. And so that’s kind of what happened for me. But it’s such a hard condition to diagnose that it took a long time to figure out, you know, and I have amazing doctors that I work with and I, um, you know, that I trust and that we’re continuing to say, yes, we believe you. There’s something else wrong, we’re going to figure it out. And so, yeah, just, um, that’s kind of how bad happened. It was a long process. That was for a couple of years now,
Kyle Hamer: (14:16)
silver before 2015 you knew something wasn’t quite right. It’s just you had an, you had an accident and then all of a sudden everything was amplified. Is that, do I understand that right?
Elizabeth Hayne: (14:25)
Yeah. I kind of, I mean like I can look back now and now that I know what it is and I can go, oh, that’s why I got hives in reasonable of nowhere all the time and nobody knew why. And Oh, that’s why I had these rashes when I was like five. Then the doctors couldn’t figure out why. Oh, that’s why my face used to swell up. I would wake up in the morning and my eye would be swollen shut and nobody would know why. And Oh, that’s why in my twenties when I was having GI issues and I would pop up Pepcid, which is actually in any histamine, it would take care of it. And so I was able to kind of put those things together. The thing that clued my doctrine was I, you know, he took a holistic look at me. He started asking me a lot of questions, not just his, the gastroenterologists.
Elizabeth Hayne: (15:05)
So he’s not just asking me about GI stuff. He’s asking me about other things. And the thing that include him in was when I said, yeah, I’m just very itchy. I’ve been itchy my whole life. I scratch my legs to bleeding while I’m sleeping. And it’s just the way it is. It’s the way it’s always been. The dermatologist can’t find anything wrong. And that’s kind of when the light bulb went off for him and he said, I think you have this. I just learned about it a couple of months ago. We can do a special stain on a biopsy to see if you have it. And I was like, okay. So that was the first time anybody kind of figured out maybe what was wrong.
Kyle Hamer: (15:38)
I bet that was like a, it was kind of like, it’s both a moment of great hope and try and be like, Hey, I can name it and understand it, but also kind of a moment of, Huh, just makes everything in life a whole lot different or at least gives it a different perspective.
Elizabeth Hayne: (15:53)
Yeah, it was good because by that point, but the time I had seen him, I was suffering so much and I had almost been completely disabled by that point because I was just getting sicker and sicker and sicker and nobody can figure out what was wrong. And so, you know, to hear that he thought it was something and he thought he might know what it is, was kind of amazing. And yeah, I didn’t want to go through all the biopsies and all that, but I went through them and we came back and said, yeah, I found this. Everything else looked normal. But I found this with the special stains. You know, when you hear that you have something that’s incurable, there’s that, but then you’re like, oh my gosh, at least I know what it is now I can figure out, you know, what options there are for me. And from there I went into a whole other thing because you know, I was self employed at the time. Uh, I didn’t have great insurance. And so then there was the whole process of, well, there’s actually some drugs we can try. But, oh, I can’t afford them because they’re $600 a month or $1,300 a month. There was one that was $7,800 a month and so I spent a long time just crying because like I have this condition now we know what it is but I can’t get the treatment for it.
Kyle Hamer: (17:06)
Hmm. And then you find a job working for somebody with benefits and it doesn’t turn out the way that you’d hoped.
Elizabeth Hayne: (17:14)
Correct. Yes. That happened during that time and so
Kyle Hamer: (17:20)
frustrating. Four year run.
Elizabeth Hayne: (17:22)
Yeah, it’s been a really hard four years. And you know the book that I put out recently, I started working on during this time, I started working on it around the time I got sick in 2015 or shortly thereafter. Took me a long time cause I kept kind of falling off and I couldn’t do anything. Sometimes sip lay on the sofa and so you know everything, I wouldn’t give it back. And people are really surprised when I say that even though it’s miserable. I hate it, but I wouldn’t give it back because it’s given me new perspective. I’ve met a lot of great people. I landed in a great job that I’m in right now and I got this book written finally after like 15 years of trying to write books so I wouldn’t give it back. But it’s certainly, it’s been an interesting journey for sure.
Kyle Hamer: (18:10)
Sounds like it’s so.
Elizabeth Hayne: (18:14)
Kyle Hamer: (18:15)
Talk to me just a little bit before we, before we talk about your book, cause I, we’re going to get to that as part of what I wanted to talk about today cause it’s really encouraging. But there’s this, there’s this section here over the last six months where four years ago you find out how I can name my disease. I know what my problem is. I know that there’s potential treatments out there, there’s a way to manage it. These are all positive things to get in, in a situation that’s less than ideal. It ends horribly with, you know, you being stuck in a spot where hey, you know, you actually have to take some time to physically let your body level out and try and figure out how to self cope and self actualize or, or manage the stress. So you’ll continue to trigger yourself and find a job,
Elizabeth Hayne: (19:03)
right? Not Easy.
Kyle Hamer: (19:07)
No, not at all. What kept you going? Don’t, oh, and I forgot. I probably forgot the most important part, which is
Elizabeth Hayne: (19:14)
Kyle Hamer: (19:14)
you’re an introvert, right? Like this. This isn’t something you’re like, hey, sign me up. Let’s go figure this all out. You’d rather just kinda have moments to yourself and with the people that you love.
Elizabeth Hayne: (19:25)
Yes. I’m an extreme introvert. I was painfully shy growing up. Me Speaking is a learned survival technique. It’s what I like to tell people. Um, these kind of interviews are not easy for me to do. Speaking out about treatment by a former employers and not easy for me to do. It makes me very nervous. Um, you know, but I know that I need to do that. Um, so yeah. What keeps me going? My husband bless him. Um, if I didn’t have him, I don’t think I would be here to be quiet. Frank. Um, he really, really keeps me going. He’s kind of my rock. We’ve been together for over eight years now. And um, he’s just awesome and he’s the perfect person for me. So it’s awesome. I give him a lot of credit. It’s really hard having a wife that has a chronic health condition and watching her struggle and, you know, not being able to fix it.
Elizabeth Hayne: (20:21)
I know that that’s difficult. And then the emotional, so cause you do go through a grieving process. I was very active. I was a yoga teacher for a while. I was a dancer, I used to be a ballerina and now I can’t even walk most of the time. And so there’s, you know, there’s a whole grieving process that’s going on in this person that you love and you can’t really do anything about it. It’s that just try to be there, you know? So I give him a lot of credit for keeping me going, but also just on Linkedin, I didn’t ever think I would find a support system on Linkedin, but I have strangers that send me messages. You know, you’re one of those people that when I’m just really rock bottom and I’m just like, Gosh, how do I keep going every day? And the people just send me nice words. And that really helps too.
Kyle Hamer: (21:07)
That’s awesome. Well, you know, I think, um, I think if I remember this timeline correct and if I got it wrong then we’ll have to edit this out. But wasn’t, wasn’t the interview process and stuff that you were figuring out for your current job, your current happiness, really close to like a special holiday anniversary, birthday, something like that. And you guys is life.
Elizabeth Hayne: (21:30)
Oh, we had a, we had a five-year wedding in a restraint, April. Um, so we didn’t get to do anything this year, but I didn’t have a job at that time. But you know, that’s just life, right? You just were like, well, we’ll go to dinner or something like that. But yeah, it’s been a really, the last couple of years have been really tough. Um, just, I loved being independent. I couldn’t afford it. So I was trying for a really long time to find something more sustainable and we’d like a years. And when you have the limitations that you have, it’s just, um, employers don’t want to give you a chance. So yeah, it’s, it’s been an interesting time.
Kyle Hamer: (22:10)
You look at it and I can, I can fully appreciate one of the, uh, one of the individuals we hired at the last place I was at, uh, I said, Oh man, I love working remote. It’s great. It’s freeing. Like I get more done and more productive. There are studies after studies after studies that show that people who have the freedom to stay in their space where they feel comfortable and they can control their environment and they don’t deal with interruptions are far more productive than those of us who, you know, go to the office. And at nine o’clock we’re at the water cooler and at nine 15, we’re in front of the coffee maker and at nine 30, we’re in the bathroom cause we drink too much liquids at the last few stops. Right. Like, um, w why do you think it’s such a challenge for organizations to appreciate the, uh, flexibility and productivity that remote remote talent can bring to an organization?
Elizabeth Hayne: (23:02)
Yeah, I’m, I’m a huge proponent of remote work, but to me, I mean you have to know yourself. You can either do it or you can’t. And I always say people are going to work or they’re not going to work. It’s all about their work ethic, not where they are. And I really think with companies it’s just a control thing where they feel like they have more control if the person is within site sightlines you know, if, if they’re in a chair for a certain amount of time, they have somehow they have more control and maybe a little bit but not really, you know, you have to trust people to do what you hired them to do. I understand that there are certain jobs where you need to be present and you know, do that in person kind of collaboration or if you’re a cook, you obviously can’t do that from home.
Elizabeth Hayne: (23:44)
You have go cook in the kitchen. But you know, I think companies really need to think about the modern America and what that means in modern American means. It’s very expensive. We can’t always live close to the company and we’re getting really tired of driving for an hour or an hour and a half each way to work, you know? And we’re not productive that way. We’re de-motivated and I just wish people would be more open to it because we have the technology. So for me, I just hired somebody new on my team. She’s awesome. She’s in Arkansas, I’m in Dallas, someone else on my team is in La and someone else is in Atlanta. And we do just fine. We use video conferencing, we use chat, we get on the phone, whatever it is. And 99% of the time there’s no problem. There’s been a couple of occasions where for me, being at a senior manager level, yeah, it would have been nice if I was present for that.
Elizabeth Hayne: (24:40)
But that’s like 1% of the time. And so the, the payback that the company gets and so far I’ve told I’m doing a really good job. You Act that they get by allowing me to work where I need to work. Where I can work I think is a lot. And it’s the same with the people that have been hired onto my team. They’re excellent people. They might be better than somebody local that’s sitting in the office. And so I just, I hope that companies slowly come around to like the reality of what it is for us and um, that life is demanding. We have a lot going on. Finances are tight. You know, being able to work at home saves on guests, it helps the planet. I mean saves on rent. You don’t have to have as big of an office. There’s all kinds of benefits that people don’t want to give up because they want to feel in control. Okay.
Kyle Hamer: (25:32)
Look in email. I think the thing that’s interesting about that is the, the rise of the GIG economy and the distributed workforce, freelancers, etc. We work, you name it. I mean it office space and come into the office. You’re right. I think it’s, I wouldn’t say it’s becoming a thing of the past, but it’s, it’s becoming a, a work preference, right? I do, I prefer to work in the office or I prefer to work from home. And one of the best things that ever happened at our organization is, uh, because of this individual and there, uh, their desire for that type of workspace and they were so talented. They came in, they said, okay, I’ll deal with going into the office. But after about six months, they had advocated enough that we began experimenting with it and it became the type of thing, but department by department, they could choose [inaudible] do we want the, do we want to have everybody in to, they can work from home. What’s the, what’s the remote worker policy? And what the organization found was, is that when we hit a growth spurt, they didn’t have to buy as many desks. They didn’t have to have as much overhead because now they weren’t, they weren’t absorbing, needing to buy the additional square footage to house a desk and Internet space for somebody who could do the same thing from home.
Elizabeth Hayne: (26:44)
Exactly. And I think that’s the key is giving people the option. Because for example, the person on my team that works in Atlanta, she actually likes to go to the office, you know, quite a bit. That’s her thing. She enjoys it. She’s more productive that way. The other two people hate going into offices are a little more free spirited. They like quiet or introverted like me, you know, people in my line of work, especially if you’re a writer, you don’t want to be in an office with all this noise going on cause you can’t do your job. And so yeah, I think giving people the option really is key. And I think that a lot of people take at least partial remote work. I’ve never met anybody that said they didn’t want it at least part of the time. So, um, I think it’s kind of a win win if people start opening themselves up to that.
Elizabeth Hayne: (27:30)
And you’ll see also, I think what companies don’t think about. You’ll see really quickly who your high performers are and who your low performers are. And you can start making your team better because you can fill it with higher performers that don’t need all that babysitting and you know, because high-performers gonna perform wherever they are. And so I think that’s a good way for you to also examine your talent in your organization and see where you have gaps based on, okay, we give this choice. How do people handle it? If they abuse it, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad policy. That means that’s probably not a great employee. You know what I mean?
Kyle Hamer: (28:10)
Yeah, absolutely. I mean that’s the thing. I think the thing is, is, oh well they’re here. I can, they’re going to get a high production. But
Elizabeth Hayne: (28:17)
to your point,
Kyle Hamer: (28:18)
if they’re not here and they’re not producing, it’s pretty easy to say, Yep, I was right. And if they’re not here and they are producing, it’s pretty evident. It’s, I mean it shows itself very quickly.
Elizabeth Hayne: (28:30)
Yes, I think so.
Kyle Hamer: (28:32)
Look the the reason that I asked you to be here and wanting to tell your stories, not only cause I think it’s really, really awesome what you’re doing for bringing awareness to the challenges that you have. Two things that should not happen inside of the workplace. Um, and then also,
Elizabeth Hayne: (28:51)
Kyle Hamer: (28:51)
talking about remote working, but you, you, because of this whole transition in this, this disability to focus and work on things, maybe it was cause you needed you to distraction while you’re trying to find a perfect job. You’ve decided to live one of your dreams. You want to tell us about that?
Elizabeth Hayne: (29:08)
Yeah, I mean, um, my dream has always been to, well I wouldn’t say always, I didn’t know what my dream was for a long time. It started kind of jelling as I was going through a lot of pain in my twenties, in my early thirties. And I think I, I kind of write about this and um, and, and some of the things that I write about how some people know when they’re five or 10 that, oh, I’m going to be a doctor. That’s what I’m going to do. And they go and do it and that’s their thing. And other people are like 30, 40 years old. And I’m like, what am I doing here? And I think sometimes you have to take a journey before you figured out what you’re supposed to do. So for me it was a journey where I said, okay, I started out as a good writer.
Elizabeth Hayne: (29:50)
I’ve always loved to read. My 11th grade English teacher told me I was a strong writer, so that’s why I became an English major, you know? But I wasn’t really thinking about that at the time. I was like, well, I’ll figure something out, you know. And so it wasn’t until kind of my mid, late twenties after, um, my first marriage fell apart that I really started knowing myself and figuring out what I might like to do. And it really didn’t become evident to me until a long time. I didn’t really, I was writing all the time, but I was like, oh, I’m just writing blogs. I’m just, I’m a tech writer. I’m writing computer manuals or help systems or whatever it is. And I didn’t let it count in my head. And at some point along the way I was like, wait, yeah, I want to write books.
Elizabeth Hayne: (30:33)
I want to write stuff that matters. And so, um, yeah, so the, the book that I have now is my fifth attempt at trying to write a book. And it was the one where I said, okay, I think this is finally the one that I’m supposed to put out there. And so yeah, it’s a big dream of mine. It’s extremely scary to put out there because it’s a book that’s that I wrote to kind of help other people make sense of life the way I’ve tried to make sense of life. I’ve had a lot of hardship, a lot of loss, a lot of pain. So there’s a lot of personal stories in there. [inaudible] it’s kind of tied into Whoa, yeah, who cares about your story? But it’s really about how my story can explain to a reader how they might be able to make sense of what’s going on in their life that maybe is similar or that they’ve felt before or something like that.
Elizabeth Hayne: (31:22)
And so, you know, for me, yeah, the book is called halfway there lessons that midlife and people look at me, they’re like, oh, you look young and you look vibrant. And I’m now, I’m almost 39 when you have a chronic illness. You know, this could be, I could be past midlife. I don’t know. I feel like I am because my body feels old even if I don’t look old. So to me, you know, I am at the mid point in my life or I’m past it. And so that’s kind of where this book came from, was like, okay, I have something to share now I’m ready to share it. I think this.
Kyle Hamer: (31:55)
Oh, that’s cool. Well, you know, I think the thing that I heard you saying, Elizabeth, that is, is really important is that oftentimes there are a lot of people out there who are, I wouldn’t say stuck, but maybe their perspective isn’t wide enough to realize that there are other people around them who are suffering or struggling or going through things that are challenging. And it sounds like the intent of your book is to let those folks know that, hey, you’re not alone. There’s somebody else out here who’s walking alongside with you, maybe on a different path, but in a path no less painful. And, and here’s how we’re trying to find brightness in the future.
Elizabeth Hayne: (32:37)
Yes, that’s pretty much what it is. The, the goal of my book is because it took me a long time because I used to think I had been through so much trauma that I used to think, oh my God, I have the worst life ever. Everything bad happens to me. And granted, a lot of that has happened to me and continues to happen to me, but I’m not the only one. And it took, I remember when this finally became clear to me, and I’ve told several people about this. I went by myself to Hawaii for six days, um, after I got laid off from a teaching job. And I just need to reset. And, um, I just met people there randomly. So there was a gentleman from California that I would just meet for breakfast. And that’s what we did every day. We would just meet at this restaurant for breakfast and just talk and have breakfast and then we’d go on our way.
Elizabeth Hayne: (33:22)
And I don’t even know how that happened, but I remember him sharing his story about being divorced and his sorrows and how he would love to surf and kind of that helped him get through some of it. And something in my brain went, oh my gosh, people, everybody’s suffering from something. Everybody is struggling, might not in my life is not the worst life ever. Like a lot of people think my life is the worst life ever. And so yeah, kind of the point of this book, we have a lot of intolerance right now and a lot of people just looking at themselves and I kind of hope that people read it and they look more holistically at the world and at life and about, you know, maybe what you’re going through is kind of a blip on, on your journey. Um, and you’re going to get through it.
Elizabeth Hayne: (34:07)
And that’s, that’s a term that one of my aunts used while my first husband was deployed in Iraq. And it was a really hard time. I mean, having your spouse overseas and you don’t know if they’re going to die, you know, any day you don’t want the military to come knock on your door because then you know they’re gone and things like that. And I remember she said, you’re probably going to look back and this is just going to be a blip. And it really was. It was like 14 months. But now I look back and it was like a blip. And so you know, that’s kind of look I hope does, is help people just look at life a little bit differently, look at themselves a little bit differently, stop disliking things about themselves. Like for me, being such a an introvert, I was like, you know what, maybe that’s okay. Like I thought I needed to be more outgoing and there was something wrong with me. I never had a lot of friends growing up. And then at one point I was like, no, this is okay. So I actually have an essay about that, about only being an introvert, being an extrovert, being whatever you are. And so yeah, that’s kind of what the book is about.
Kyle Hamer: (35:09)
Look, I think it’s, I think it’s super great. And I think that your, your aunt was a very wise woman.
Elizabeth Hayne: (35:15)
Oh yes. Several deployments. So she knew,
Kyle Hamer: (35:20)
well even, even, even if she didn’t, the fact that she articulated that in a way that left an impression. It sounds like through your writing, through your passion and through you finding your own self, right. You, you’ll be able to pay forward and pass that along. And I am excited to read the book. Uh, how can, how can people get involved or how can people help support you? Cause at the book’s not published yet, it’s kind of in pre-order presales. So tell, tell us what, tell us what’s still left on this adventure of,
Elizabeth Hayne: (35:54)
so the book, um, I wasn’t ready to put it out, to be perfectly honest. I was afraid and I was like, no, I’m not ready. I’m like, I’m going to wait till later in the year it was done. I still want to do some more edits on it. And I had a literary agency approached me just because of my LinkedIn activity. This is again just owning myself, owning my truth and speaking out about it. I got a job, I got this literary agency interested in me and they said, hey, have you thought about writing a book? And I said, Hey, I’ve actually got one that’s done that. I was gonna maybe try to shop around later. And they’re like, okay, well here’s what we have. You have to go in August if you’re going to do this. And it was, it was scary. And I said, okay, let’s do it.
Elizabeth Hayne: (36:35)
And so what this agency is helping me do, um, there are crowd funding agency, which I was like, what does that even mean? Is it like go fund me? What is this? And they were like, no. What we’re doing is we run a campaign, you try to show a publisher that you have support of your book idea and that will encourage them to want to say, okay, we’ll sign you and we’ll publish your book because you’ve already shown that people are interested enough to purchase a copy. And so that’s what this is about. It runs from August 1st to August 30th, 2019 so the number of copies I sell by August 30th, 2019 determines how many publishers my agent can pitch me too. So if I sell a lot, they can pitch me to more because I’ll have, you know, and maybe more traditional publishers buy, sell less than they can pitch me to as many.
Elizabeth Hayne: (37:22)
It might be a hybrid publisher or a smaller publishing house. And so that’s what I’m doing now. And so you can go to my website or you can go to their website, which I’m sure it will be linked here somewhere. Um, to check out what the book is about. I have an excerpt out there. You would order a copy through them. So it’s legit. It’s a literary agency. They’re based in Amsterdam. I have an office in New York, it’s a PayPal thing, a you will get your book. Um, and so that’s where I’m at now. So it’s not published. It’s an a pre-order phase to try to help me get a publisher. So if they fail in negotiating for me, which I hope they don’t, then I would just self publish it and give you your copy afterwards so you’re not just contributing to nothing. You’re actually buying the book. You’re just doing it earlier to try to help me get where I need to go.
Kyle Hamer: (38:12)
Now in typical crown funding means are ways there are different levels. Tell us, tell us a little bit about the levels and how people can get involved. Because pre-ordering is one thing, but sometimes when you’re doing this, I mean you’re, you’re, you’re contributing to good cause. And I think at least based on your story, we are contributing to a good cause of no more workplace. Being able to have the ability to have freedom to work wherever you want and then, you know, tackling life with medical challenges head on in a meaningful way. Those, those three things right there to me seem like a good enough reason to get involved. But there are other ways or other things that could be benefits. Tell me about those.
Elizabeth Hayne: (38:53)
Yeah, I mean, my overall mission is for just everybody to be more kind to one another, whether that’s in the workplace, whether that’s kindness to yourself. If you’re suffering kindness to somebody else, if they’re suffering, there’s several options on the page where you go to order. Um, there’s an option if you want to have your name listed in the book, just saying, Hey, where I’m going to thank you publicly for helping me get this book out. Um, there’s bigger packages that you can buy if you want to buy like two copies for example. There’s also options there. If you want to consult. I, I’ve run a business. I’ve been an entrepreneur, I run marketing campaigns now, um, where I can look at your website. I’ve written resumes so I could look at your resume. I could, um, you know, advise you on, on just your strategy on how you’re presenting your business. Or I could look at your own writing if you’re like, hey, actually I’d really like some tips. Um, my own writing. There’s an option there too, where if you buy, you know, like a $50 package, then you get a, a free consultation that’s worth like 100 bucks. And so if you’re wanting to do that kind of thing anyway, say, Hey, I want a new resume or I need help, and that would be a good way to help me. Well, so helping yourself, so
Kyle Hamer: (40:06)
awesome. Uh, when, when should we expect the book?
Elizabeth Hayne: (40:11)
Yeah, I, I’m assuming next year it’s gonna depend on, um, what happens at the end of the campaign. So the target was 500 pre-orders. I’m a little over a hundred right now. I have a long way to go, but I’m still proud of myself regardless. My agent is really happy with everything so far. So it’s really going to depend on if they find a publisher that wants to sign me and then what their timelines are. And so I, if you buy a copy or you can go and click subscribe on that, that publishizer page where I have the copies for sale, you can get updates and so I will keep everybody updated on when it’s going to come out. You’ll get a copy if you buy one. Now my understanding is that you get a copy before it even goes out to the public, so you’ll get an early version of it. Um, so you don’t have to wait for it to go on sale at the store at Amazon or wherever.
Kyle Hamer: (41:05)
That’s super awesome. Well, we are here rooting for you and wishing you the best. If a, if people want to find you and they can’t find you in a links, what’s your, what’s your blog address or email address or what’s the best way to get ahold of you?
Elizabeth Hayne: (41:18)
Yeah, you can just go to elizabethchaines.com. So that’s my website. This is my personal website. Anyway, I have business stuff, but this is my personal site. I have my blog on there. I have everything about my book on there. There’s links to order. There’s a signup tab. You just want to get on my mailing list. I don’t send things out too often. I usually just will send a new blog posts, um, through there. Right now I’m sending him a little more often cause I’m promoting a book, but it’s still not very much so you won’t be spammed and won’t give it away. Um, that’s the best way. Or you can find me on LinkedIn. I’m very active on LinkedIn. Um, I’m connected to Kyle so you can just go look me up there. I get a lot of messages. I always try to respond to all my messages. So I’m, I’m happy to talk to anybody. I like
Elizabeth Hayne: (42:05)
people. I try to find as much good and people as they can. There’s some mean people, but the more I talk to people it kind of centers me and I’m like, yeah, there’s a lot of good in the world, so I’m happy to talk to any, any nice person that wants to talk to me. Yeah, I have had a couple of those and that was, you know, being somebody that’s grown up with trauma and stuff, it’s, it’s really hard when you’re putting your personal workout there and then you get kind of hate mail. Um, but I’m, I’m getting thicker skin there, so yeah, I would prefer if you’re a troll, please find somebody else to troll friend. Different bridge. Yeah, exactly.
Kyle Hamer: (42:48)
That’s awesome. Well, I really, really appreciate you stepping outside of your comfort zone. Uh, taking the time to share a portion of your story with us. Uh, I, I applaud the courage that you’ve had to face not only your health challenges but um, injustice in the workplace and then, you know, face the fear of failure and put yourself out there to share your book, your stories and a little bit of your heart with us. So look forward to reading the book when it comes out and really, really appreciate you taking time to be on the podcast.
Elizabeth Hayne: (43:22)
Thank you so much for having me.
Kyle Hamer: (43:24)
Awesome. For those of you who are still listening, we will have the links for Elisabeth’s website, her LinkedIn profile, as well as her, uh, pre-ordered a book in the, uh, in the bio or the summary. Don’t forget to hit subscribe and check us out, but we’re really, really, really just wanting you to go follow Elizabeth and help her reach her dream of getting in front of a book publisher 500 plus books. Nothing would be better to kick that sand in the bullies faced and then come back and be like, well, you know, what you did is you actually put me on an entirely different path. Who knows? We might actually be speaking with the next J K Rowling.
Kyle Hamer: (44:06)
Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.
Pre-order her book, Halfway There: Lessons at Midlife
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