Harnessing Your Superpower with Rene Syler – TypeACon 2012

Our closing keynote speech is Harnessing Your Superpower with Rene Syler. The last time I heard Rene speak was at Disney Social Media Moms in 2011. I sort of love her.


Harnessing Your Superpower - Rene Syler

Rene says she rarely gets out of her pajamas because she works at home, something a lot of us can relate to. She says it’s amusing she’s here talking about superheroes while HeroCon is going on around the corner. She has a picture up where it looks like SubZero is getting to second base with her, but she swears he’s not because “he has standards.”

“I have never met a camera I didn’t like.”

Sometimes it comes in a brown paper bag crumpled up in the corner. You have to own it. You have to know what it is. “My it is different from your it.” You have to be honest with yourself before you can be honest with other people. You have to know what it is that you want before you can map out how to get there. Rene says she feels woefully inadequate in this room because we are all professionals and she just fell into blogging. (I’d like to argue with that.) But she doesn’t feel like an expert.

Her it was different a couple of years ago than it is now. A few years ago, she was walking through CBS Studios, and Dan Rather said, “Hi, Rene.” She’s stomping her foot for emphasis because Dan Rather knew her name. And then, one day, she was fired.

Having boobs and getting older is the #1 risk factor for getting breast cancer. Family history is not the biggest risk factor. We are all at risk.

One of Rene’s last interviews was with the cast of Dreamgirls. Jennfier Hudson told her, “You are going to love me.” And that was Rene’s prevailing thought when she got fired. She was going to show them!

Now she says getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to her. (Me getting laid off from the Internet marketing agency was the same way, so I know how she feels.”

Brand It

Mission statement…What is it and why is it important?

Who can state their mission statement right now? Not many hands.

Rene’s mission statement for GEM:

Good Enough Mother seeks to help mothers and others feel great about the job they are doing as parents through support and shared experience.

Protect your brand. Secure the domains and trademark it. Don’t just buy the .com – buy the .net and all other related domain names. (This isn’t necessarily expensive unless you do private registration, like I do.)

Rene has already had two trademark battles. It’s expensive, and no one wins in the end, but she was the one who had it first, and she needed to protect herself.

Build It

How GEM works:

  • Program the site like a TV network
  • Columnists
  • Debatable, controversial stories

Don’t shy away from controversy. Controversy is good because it drives traffic. (Whispers at my table from people who disagree about being controversial for the sake of traffic.)

We’re looking at Rene’s blog calendar. She also uses BaseCamp as a virtual office. (I use it too. So easy to use.)

Shed It

Get rid of your bad habits. Lots of us procrastinate.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Get rid of bad people. If you hear nothing else… There is no room in your life for people who make you feel bad. Period. Surround yourself with people who will stoke your fire, not soak your fire. Don’t let bad people drag you down. It can be hard. it can be painful. But sometimes an end is a cleverly disguised beginning. You don’t know how high you can fly until you cut your tether.

“You and I are more than friends. We’re like a really small gang.”

Assess It

Metrics can help you measure growth. The numbers are measurable. Use Google Analytics, Get Clicky, etc.

Assess your life, too. “This is the part that’s squishy.” It’s an abstract measurement, assessing your family and yourself.

You can work so hard, and sometimes you have to take your foot off the gas a bit. Rene says she has no greater supporter than her husband. Cute little slideshow about Rene’s family, how they keep her grounded.

No matter what it is you’re doing, your family is what matters. Make sure you have your priorities straight.

Enjoy It

Time to drink champagne and dance on the table. “Like I was doing last night,” she said. “Did you see me?” Someone says, “It’s on YouTube.” Rene doesn’t miss a beat before replying, “I put it there.” Laughter.

You never know how close you are, so never give up on your dreams. Rene feels like she’s saving the world and mothers one mom at a time. She says people need to know it’s okay to be imperfect. She won’t fail unless she quits.

The only way you will fail is if you give up. So find what it is you need to keep you going, and latch onto it.

“There is nothing about what I have done over the last seven years that has been easy… I did what I did on my own and with the people who believed in me. Some of those people are in this room.”

Give them hell and live to fight another day. For a while, Rene thought she was going to be rescued, that someone was going to ride in on a horse and pull herself out of the crap she was in. And someone did…she did.

“And that’s all I have to say.”

If these liveblogging posts are helpful to you, please consider liking WELL, in THIS House on Facebook.

Christina Gleason (975 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.


  1. It was GREAT to see you again my friend! xo

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