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How Do You Find Your Life’s Work?

To be honest, I’m not even sure where to start this post really. I guess the best way is just to say that sometimes while you’re searching for your life’s work, it finds you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not clear, certain or guaranteed where I’m headed, and I don’t know where the road ends really. What I do know is I am headed in the right direction.

I would say the first, real clue came back in March when I took all of the stuff I had been through over the past five years and put it together in a speech that I gave at Disney Social Media Moms. Those women, roughly 200 of them, live blogged and tweeted my speech so much that they made me the number 5 trending topic on Twitter! I built on some of those same themes this past weekend at She Streams where I was honored to be asked to be one of the keynote speakers. It was exhilarating! I had a chance to speak (again) to all of these smart, savvy women I follow online. And just like Disney Social Media Moms, I was amazed at how they are taking their power and building empires! It was an incredible learning experience for me and I soaked up as much information as I could.

I also hung out with some cool women, who like me, had turned their backs on traditional TV in an effort to better reach their audience. Joyce Brewer of talked to me about life after news.



But don’t you see? There’s power in your platform, whatever that may be. Is the rebuild scary? Of course it is. But whenever I leave an event like this, I am buoyed by the knowledge that I am building something. I didn’t wait for someone to give it to me and it’s one nobody can take from me without a check worth an obscene amount of money.

Those who know me know I have a heart; yes, it is tiny, cold and black but it’s there nonetheless. The real reason I started this, the reason I wrote the book and what I try to do daily with the website, is empower women to feel good about the job they are doing as wives and mothers; to know that they don’t have to be perfect to be great parents.

For a long while I felt like I was just screaming into the wilderness, like maybe my ideas weren’t so good, my approach not so novel. Then I got an email from Kim Grenon (@Mommycosm on Twitter), one of the cool women I met at the conference. I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say, it made me cry. It read in part:

Had a thought about you.  You used to be seen by millions of eyeballs and heard by millions of ears.  Your audience is obviously smaller now, but you have the unique gift of reaching inside hearts and inspiring people to tap into their often ignored souls.  You leave an indelible hand print on everyone who hears you speak.  So, even if you are doing that 1, 100, 200, 1000 people at a time, it has a powerful ripple effect. I still think you’re reaching millions, just via a less measurable and more meaningful route. I, for one, am glad you are on this path instead of that of CBS or another major network, because I never would have met you… and that would have been a damn shame;)

Wow. Kim put into words what I have been hoping Good Enough Mother would be, a chance for me to communicate the message of imperfection in a meaningful way to women who needed to hear it when it was convenient to them. I guess I’m on my way. But more than that, she and all the people at She Streams, Disney Social Media Moms and those of you who read and comment on the site continue to show me, in ways large and small, that THIS, is my life’s work. Thank you.

Are you doing your life’s work? If not, why not? What do you think it is supposed to be? And if Not what’s holding you  back?



  1. Rob Rivens

    September 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I, like you, received a crazy wake up call just going about my typical daily business. Although I’m a professional “numbers guy” by day, by night, I live and breathe health & wellness. So, one day it hit me; I was having a conversation with a friend, centered on diet & exercise. Since I lost 40lbs+ and have a six pack that you can’t drink, people often seek my counsel regarding my “road to hotness”. So, that was it. My passion in life is health & wellness. I am most content knowing that my words — my wisdom — my experiences — may help someone change their lives! There you have it…my personal training/life coaching business was born! Now, I’m a perfectionist, so I’m not officially open for business yet. I’m doing research — trying to understand how the successful become successful — prior to introducing my brand to the world. But pursuing my life’s work? Most definitely!!!

  2. Joyce@MommyTalkShow

    September 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Rene, there IS life after TV news even though we were “brainwashed” to think that we were “slaves” to tele-prompters, on-air lights and Nielsen ratings. People ask me all the time if I’ll go back to TV news and I emphatically say “NO!” Yeah, I’m not on LIVE TV anymore, but I connect with viewers in a more authentic way NOW than I ever did as a “talking head” news anchor.
    Your voice comes through loud & clear in a way that resonates with me too. Even though I heard you speak at NABJ, SheStreams gave us the opportunity to connect in a new way!
    Can’t wait to see what’s around the corner for both of us. Hugs to you & I hope I can do another interview with you soon!

  3. Justice Fergie

    September 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    How awesome that you have found yours. I am still struggling with this daily and it’s weighing on me! I’m not entirely sure what it is either. Once I can figure it out, nothing will hold me back…I just need to know what it is!

  4. Wanda Reese

    October 1, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Great posts, ladies.

  5. Rene Syler

    October 1, 2011 at 4:52 am

    @Justice Fergie: You know I also think part of it is about letting it reveal itself to you. We get so anxious, especially us Type A’s, hellbent on “making” it happen that we forget to take a step back and let things fall in place the way they are meant to. Not saying you do, but I know I put undue and unrealistic pressure on myself while I was looking for my next act. But the more I talked, spoke, shared, learned it became clear to me… we’ll be chatting in a few weeks 🙂

  6. Lamar @

    October 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

    For me it was by following my passion and that was what really allowed me to find what I think is my true purpose in life.

    Like you mentioned I also had to learn to just let things unfold and come to me. A WashPost reporter once asked me what would I be doing in 5 years and I told her I didn’t have a clue because 5 years ago I had no idea that I’d be doing this. The life that I live is not one that I could have ever planned out for myself. And that statement isn’t based on money. It’s based on how much time I spend with my wife and kids, how much I enjoy my work and the amazing experiences and opportunities that I’m presented with.

    I’ll just keep following my passion and using my blessings to be a blessing to others. If I continue to put in the work and I continue to support other people I’m sure everything else will work out in the end.

  7. Justice Fergie

    October 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Rene (and Lamar), I think you’ve both hit it on the head. I do need to let it reveal itself to me but…I am ready for it NOW! lol. I despise this feeling of trying some of everything while I figure things out. I’d love to be laser-focused (or at least a little focused, lol) and pour my energy into something that I am sure of. I know I’ll eventually get there, but it’s frustrating in the meantime, especially since I am working a day job that is no longer fulfilling to pay bills while I wait for this other “mysterious” thing to unfold.

    See both of y’all soon. xo.

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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