Barry McNamara  |  Published May 22, 2020

Mixing the Professional with the Personal

To find success, Lindsey Sandage Hale ’01 urges people to ‘unite your purpose and your passion.’

MONMOUTH, Ill. – As a student, Lindsey Sandage Hale ’01 believed that her Monmouth College professors were invested in her well-being.

LINDSAY HALE: Author of Lifted: How to Ditch the Fear of Obligation and Guilt and Live Your Best ... LINDSAY HALE: Author of Lifted: How to Ditch the Fear of Obligation and Guilt and Live Your Best Life.She says that same investment is required in the business world, even if it runs counter to what people have been taught.

An entrepreneur, author and life coach who lives in Hudson, Ill., Hale explained her philosophy of mixing professional and personal elements in Monmouth College’s Tartan Talk series. Titled “Taking It Personally,” her talk was on May 21. The Tartan Talk series offers the College’s alumni a digital learning opportunity.

“We’ve been taught our whole entire lives that we need to separate personal and business, and you really can’t separate the two,” said Hale, senior executive director at Thirty-One Gifts and the author of Lifted: How to Ditch the Fear of Obligation and Guilt and Live Your Best Life. “When you start to unite your purpose and your passion, your personality and your personal life have to come into that passion. To dismiss those or compartmentalize those is such an old-school way of thinking.”

A top leader at her company, where she has worked for 13 years, Hale has seen firsthand the value of investing in the personal lives of her team.

“I started building a team a little bit at a time, not really knowing what you could do with it,” she said. “I was a stay-at-home mom (thinking), ‘Let’s see what happens here.’ As my organization started growing, what I would find is the most productive people on my team were the people who I knew the most. I really want to encourage people to not only not separate personal and business but also to really embrace what’s going on with the person to get the most productivity out of them.”

That’s not much different from Hale’s college experience. She transferred to Monmouth after struggling her first semester at Illinois State University, where she said she was often in large lecture halls with as many as 900 other students.

“Nobody cared if I showed up or not,” she said. “For me, that didn’t hold any accountability. When I was struggling with something personally, nobody cared.”

After sitting out what would’ve been her second semester of college, Hale enrolled at Monmouth the following fall.

“So much of what I do is what I learned at Monmouth,” said Hale, who majored in communications and theater arts, which was commonly referred to as “CATA” at the time. “The professors were always so invested in the students. They really wanted us to think differently than we’d always thought. They didn’t just push us off the deep end to do that. They walked alongside us while we did that. It’s such a cool place to be where I’m at now and to look back and to realize what they were doing was more about educating me about life than it was about skill.”

Her most impactful classes, she said, were taught by communication studies professor Trudi Peterson.

“She poured into me, she got to know me, and she really loved on me in that tough love kind of way, and I think that’s what people are really looking for,” said Hale. “Everybody wants somebody who is going to come alongside them and make them a better person. Trudi did that so well.”

Now it’s Hale who’s playing that role through her coaching and speaking, helping others “create a life they love.”

“Sometimes people in that middle age group between 35 and 55 realize that following their (original) path wasn’t what brought them happiness. So what I try to help others do is ‘Let’s talk about not what you wanted to do. Let’s talk about bringing in some character. Let’s talk about who you wanted to be when you were on that original path.’ When they realize that they can still be who they always wanted to be and they can do whatever they want with that, there’s a light that goes on.”

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