oops error Yellow Sign on white backgroundMonday Morning Motivation:
3 Ways To Make An Embarrassing Moment
Work For You! (VIDEO) 


Hey y’all! Happy Monday! We’re wrapping up season one of Sweet Retreats with out final shoot out here on the west coast, Napa Valley to be exact. Yeah, rough life I know..

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 Sweet Retreats Shoot-Napa Valley, CA

It’s a lovely place and I’m thrilled to be wrapping up our first successful season at such a lovely place. Still, work is work so I’m juggling things here on Goodenoughmother.com (with the help of our amazing blog coordinator Jackie Gailey, of course) which means there have been quite a few balls in the air.

I got home the other night after travel and work and was met with kind of a surprising Facebook message. It was from Siobhan Riley, a young woman who was an intern at CBS back when I was at The Early Show.

Related: My Target Moment: How I Left TV News Behind

Riley is a reporter in Flint, MI. About a month ago, she made a genuine mistake on air; using a Telestrator to illustrate a story, she ended up drawing what looked like male genitalia on the screen.


It was clearly a mistake and Riley was mortified. Of course, in this day and age of social media, it got shared again and again by people, myself included.

Then I, and probably everyone else, forgot about it except for Riley who wrote me on Facebook and said this:

Hi Rene

I hope all is well. Last month I became a YouTube sensation when I was trying to draw a picture of construction and instead it ended up looking like a males penis and The video went viral. I really hesitated about wether or not to send you a message. I met you in 2004 when I interned at CBS News and always looked up to you as a journalist and always felt that you paved the way for young aspiring journalist like myself and I thank you for that. When the YouTube incident happened, It was very humiliating and quite depressing. It was hurtful when I read the comments that you posted on your Facebook page about the incident. I did not read a lot of the comments over the Internet for that reason and by no way am I trying to be disrespectful but because you are someone who I have always looked up to since college and always thought you were and still are a great journalist I just wanted you to know that your words that were posted on Facebook were very hurtful. Even though you may have meant it as a harmless joke when the clip was posted to your page. Sometimes words can be so hurtful and we have to be so Careful


(For your edification here is exactly what I said under the video:  1. That damn telestrator, 2. *snicker* In response to someone saying traffic was hard that day,  3. Yeah we’re 12-year-old boys (which was a dig AT ME!) 4. lol and 5. LOL).

So I responded to Riley, giving her advice I’d learned over the course of my own career on how to make a defining moment work for, rather than against you.


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Yeah, so you made a mistake. Big deal. Show me someone, anyone, in any job, who hasn’t and I’ll show you someone who never tried anything new or moved out of their comfort zone. Is that the way to live? No. It is not. When you try new things, you’re going to make mistakes; of course on TV those mistakes are a thousand times more visible and they never go away (How do I know? Because there’s evidence of me doing any number of my flubs floating around somewhere). But the mistakes I made in my career I did so because I was learning. I admitted them; then moved on.

Read more: Guest Posting: Reading, Writing, Responsibility! Preparing Kids For The Real World



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I’m sorry but that was funny. Really, really funny. I’m convinced the ability to laugh at oneself is critical if you want to make it through life in one piece. It takes way too much energy to be offended each time someone laughs at you; instead, pull up a chair and laugh with them. Once they know you’re not bothered by it, they’ll move on, which is, ironically, the same thing I tell my kids when they’re razzing one another.

Read more: Guest Posting: Oh, CRAP! 5 Social Media Mistakes To Avoid In 2013



I told Riley that, if she had any designs on a career in the big leagues (network news or other major markets),  she was going to have to develop a REALLY thick skin. Life Lesson #1: Not everyone will like you. Some of those people are going to write nasty things about you, ESPECIALLY if you’re in TV. Take it all with a grain of salt, unless there’s some truth there, then work hard to change it. Otherwise, let people talk.

And in this case for God’s sake, don’t go around reminding people about it! The public (mercifully) has a relatively short memory. Do not remind them of your screw-ups. That goes for any career.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Minutes To Take You From Business Man To A Business…Man! (VIDEO)


Now, an epilogue to this story. Riley read my response to her note to me and opted not to respond. She has since unfriended me, which I sort of knew she would.

For the rest of you reading this, I would leave you with this:

It’s not the mistakes that define us, it’s how we recover from them. Don’t be hurt or hobbled by them; use your moment in the sun, no matter how you got there, to show what you can really do.

More from GEM:

Ask Rene: My Husband Did WHAT?

Ask The Good Enough Guy: Why Don’t Women Just Say It?

Single Mom Slice Of Life: The BIG Question From My In-Between Teen