Hey everyone – it’s Life Lessons time again – my chance to share with you some key lessons I’ve learned over the years…
So Good Enough Mother’s life is about half over (now THERE’S a sobering thought) and I have been through enough stuff to be able to look back and draw some conclusions. The one theme that is most prominent in my life now is the idea that you need to surround yourself with the right people. Not just good people but good for YOU!
When I first left CBS four years ago, I had a long-time agent, a publicist and of course the true nucleus of my life, my husband Buff and the kids. To them I added this fast-talking ‘ideas guy’ who I thought would help me hone my Good Enough Mother message. He had credentials but there was something that made me uneasy when he talked, like he was trying to convince himself of his ability as well as me.
Well, I went into business with this guy. I paid him a monthly retainer for a few months and in return I got nothing, nada, zip, zilch. I cut him loose shortly after I realized I was foolish for not listening to my inner voice that was by then, shouting at me to get away from him.
My longtime agent, who I thought really cared for me and would be able to help me transition from where I was to where I wanted to go, well, he was as much help as the other guy. And when he saw that he wasn’t going to be making 10 percent off me – as there were no projects in the offing – he high tailed it outta there. From there I transitioned over to another agent who also didn’t return my calls and had zero passion for myself or the Good Enough Mother brand. That’s a bad thing when you’re supposed to be bustin’ heads to get your client a job.
Luckily, I had a few good people in my orbit and when the stars lined up, we started working together. One of them was my entertainment attorney, Stephanie Sanet who, like me, is a working mother. In the deal we just did (I swear details are coming as soon as I can announce it I will. And it’s a BIG one!) she understood where I was coming from, anticipated my needs and protected me by looking out for the things I may have missed.
Then of course there’s my husband, Buff. Yes he can tap dance on that last nerve but he is a charter member of the Rene Syler fan club. In his mind, I can do anything I set my mind to, including surviving a hellacious career crisis and health issues.
The life lesson is that you have to surround yourself with people who will have your back. I had a ton of people like that, or so I thought. Then I lost my big job, my big income and along with that those “friends”. When the dust settled and we dug in for the long haul, there were a few still standing there, shoulder to shoulder with me. Those people didn’t care that I was no longer on TV or that I drove around in a nine-year-old, dog hair filled car. They cared about ME, Rene. The one whose big mouth and hair trigger temper has gotten her into trouble on more than once occasion. The one who, despite not being able to find matching socks, still somehow manages to look decent 85 percent of the time. The one who may yell at her kids but craves them and cannot imagine what her life would be like without them.
When you take stock of your life and the people in it, are the majority of people the type who will stick with you when the chips are down? Or do they float away when, you’ve outlived your usefulness? If they’re the latter it’s time to make a change.