When rumors began to fly about Actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ failing marriage, Ok! Magazine called S. Renee to assess the impact on Katie’s self-esteem. When Television Personality and Celebrity Rachael Ray signed an endorsement deal with Dunkin’ Donuts, Marketing Daily sought S. Renee’s expertise in personal branding and brand management. And, when syndicated Columnist Mildred Culp (Workwise) needed to quote a branding expert, again S. Renee’s phone rang. (See some television appearances: NBC (The 10! Show), CBS (Speak Up!), CN8 (Your Morning) and (Art Fennell Show).
A thought-provoking and insightful leader in the areas of personal, professional and spiritual development, S. Renee is the author of There Is More Inside and The Bridge to Your Brand: Likability, Marketability, Credibility. Reaching national and international audiences with a message that inspires, transforms and empowers, her popularity has continuously grown serving over 50 clients across seven industries. Ninety-five percent are repeat clients.
Highly intuitive and engaging, S. Renee has been called “a leading authority on personal branding”. S. Renee has been endorsed and invited to share the stage with CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies and with other national leaders. Her business savvy and vision of steady growth has led to a partnership with BCT Partners, a multi-million dollar firm whose CEO is The Apprentice season four winner Randal Pinkett.
S. Renee can point to numerous clients who have experienced the positive results of her advice, but perhaps her strongest endorsement is her own life. Using the principles she teaches today on courage, confidence and personal accountablity, she went from being a timid outcast to queen of her middle school in two years. Later she attended Delaware State University and graduated cum laude in only three years. After gaining valuable corporate experience, S. Renee then launched a modeling career — despite being told that her 5’3” frame prevented her from being “model material.” That career lasted for more than a decade. She has worked with IMAN, Susan Lucci, Joan Rivers and others.
Using the branding strategies she teaches today, S. Renee secured a talk show host position with United Paramount Network (UPN–Philadelphia) without taking a single class in broadcast journalism. As the host, producer and spokesperson, S. Renee reached millions as she held a strong stance on addressing issues such as women and diversity, inequality in education and health care, neighborhood revitalization, violence and the impact of negative images and lyrics on youth.
Knowledgeable and savvy in understanding value proposition, in just 8 months, she negotiated a promotion from admissions counselor to director of public relations at an institution of higher learning. The deal included numerous perks, including a $15,700 pay raise. In addition, she served in the president’s cabinet. Before making her first speech as a full-time speaker, she received endorsements from top motivational speakers in the world.
In acknowledgement of inspiring thousands nationally and internationally, Mayor Byron W. Brown of Buffalo, NY declared July 17, 2010—S. Renee Smith Day. Delaware Today Magazine named S. Renee an Influential Woman in Business; December 2011, one of Delaware’s Black Leaders; February 2010 and one of Delaware’s 40 under 40 to watch; April 2002. In 2006, she received the Distinguish Alumni Award from the National Association for Equal Opportunity.
S. Renee has the distinction of being named a 2013 Honorary Commander at Dover Air Force Base. Dedicated to enriching the community, S. Renee led the 2010 launch of the William J. & Rev. Shirley M. Smith Sr Scholarship Fund, which has awarded $3,500 in college scholarships and raised over $40,000 since its inception. She continues to serve as chair of the board. She is also an active member of United Way of Delaware Women’s Leadership Council, United Way of Delaware’s Community Impact Fund Review Panel and the Delaware Community Foundation Kent County Advisory Board–Delaware’s largest philanthropic organization.
S. Renee received training in sales and persuasion at the prestigious International Center for Management and Training Development, Leesburg, VA. She is also a 2010 Leadership Delaware graduate.
Hannah Spivey: For those who aren’t familiar with S. Renee, please enlighten our readers.
S. Renee: I launched my business in 2005. It’s now 2013, so it’s been 8 years since I started this business of being an image consultant and motivational speaker. And interesting enough, that same year I became an author.
Hannah Spivey: How long have you been an image consultant and motivational speaker? Ya know, we get to choose whether we answer the call and I answered the call because I think that my pain is my purpose and that I have something very significant to say to people and so, I choose this forum and platform to share my message with people, because I thought it was a logical next step from my past. I was a model and I was a television talk show host, and so it became an easy transition for me to go from that platform to this one, and it made perfect sense and I will say that it has been my desire to do what I’m doing now since I was probably about 18 years old.
Hannah Spivey: Why did you choose to become an image consultant, author, and motivational speaker?
S. Renee: I always knew that this is what I was going to be doing, and I just believe I was called to do it. So, I don’t know if I chose it or if it chose me but never the less, we’re together and I’m excited about that.
Hannah Spivey: Assuming that you’re an author and your book correlates with you being a motivational speaker and image consultant, what kind of topics do you cover the most and why are they so important to you?
S. Renee: Absolutely my voice and my writings. Absolutely correlate with me and I think first, it is important to know that my message is spiritual. It’s not not religious. I don’t tell you who to believe in. I am the follower of the master brother teacher and Jesus the Christ but I don’t always mention that. I will say to people, higher power – I read the works of Buddah, Allah, and others, so I feel like every master that has walked the earth has had some significance, and some significant things to say. I just happen to be the follower of Jesus the Christa, and believe and live according to this teachings but again, I think all of them are very significant and therefore my messages about the spirit and messages that are out there. So, that’s number one and I just believe I’m a spiritual being first. Even though, sometimes it gets a little challenging to stay in alignment. Also, the topic I most often talk about, I find myself working with corporations often. I just signed a contract with Sigma the health care giant with about 38,000 employees. Wonderful gig. And I’m talking to them about personal branding and as you know, personal branding is a process that takes you within yourself and helps you to identify your talents, gifts, skills, and creates a brand around that and a package. Not just a brand but a brand is a package and so, I’ve been working with them. I’ve worked with Bank of America, Key Bank, I’ve worked with Walmart and so, but also I’ve worked with colleges and universities – Alabama State University, Delaware State, University of Delaware, Langston University, Towson State, and the list goes on. I worked with church organizations, non-profits and so, my message that I convey to them of course, it depends on the audience. Courage, confidence, personal accountability, decision-making, attitude, development, communications, verbal, non-verbal, owning your space. Anything really around personal development but I think probably give you almost all o f them. And of course, my primary is believing in yourself, self-confidence, trusting your opinion of yourself, more than you trust other people’s opinion, your courage courage, your willingness to fall knowing that you have the power within to get back up, and owning your space and moving to a place from confidence to empowerment where you won your space and the power that is within that you don’t let other people tell you how to be and how to show up but your own understanding of who you are in the moment. You’re able to stand in that truth. This exciting time to be on the planet and to learn that.
Hannah Spivey: Please tell our readers about your book.
S. Renee: I actually have two books. One is called “There is More Inside” and the second one is “The Bridge to Your Brand, Likability, Marketability, and Credibility”. “There is More Inside” is about having the courage to own your space and to be come a manifester of your dreams and I share my story of growing up and being teased and taunted to ultimately becoming a model and working with Iman, Susan Lucci, and Victory Principle, to become a host of a television show without ever taking a class in broadcast journalism. So, really how do you go within and identify what God has sent you on this planet to do and to navigate and use the spiritual principle that he has given us and to move your life forward. That what “There is More Inside” is about but ultimately going within and of course, I share my story about being fired from a job and how that catapulted me into the place that I’m in today and it is probably good to mention that 10 years later, I received an email from the person that bullied me and she shared with me that she always knew I was talented and that she had her own issues that she was dealing with and that she was at peaceful. Now, she’s just so thankful that I treated her and her words gently in my book and so that’s what the first book is about. My second book, “The Bridge to Your Brand, Likability, Marketability, and Credibility” is about basically, we all have a brand and it’s important for us to be intentional and deliberate about creating our brand and that we all have a mission for which we been sent to this plant, and if we can develop a message that resonates with the audience that we are sent here to reach, and create the value for them, and we have to say or do or provide, then we will have a brand that helps us to live our passion but also live on purpose and make money in the process so those are the books that I written so far and I’m working on another book. Actually, a book of prayers that’s gonna help people to move their lives forward and I’m going to be working on actually, have started the sequel to “There’s More Inside”. Not sure sure when we’e gonna go there but I know where I’m gonna go, but I’m not sure what the subtitle is gonna be for the second, the sequel to “There is More Inside”.
Hannah Spivey: Tell us about the projects you’re involved in and what we can expect from you in the future
S. Renee: Present moment, I’m working on a project that includes Jack Handfield and a few other speakers but I’ve mentioned because his the most recognizable person. The Chicken Soup for The Soul Series, he’s the originator of that, have sold 500 million copies he is certainly Harvard Grad really excited to be on that platform with them and with him along with I think three or the other people and are have put together a package that helps speakers to build their business and I was invited to that platform, which I’m very excited about. That’s the first thing. I think that are gonna be more. I’m on the platform with them giving tips on my journey and I actually built my speaking my speaking business but also, I’ve become a coach within their system. They called and invited me and I’m humbled for that awesome opportunity and it’s actually headed by a guya named Steven Harrison, who is the publicity guy, who has done a lot of great work for individuals who want to be in the media as well as build their speaking business and this is his calling and has done a lot of great work in that area. Also, I’m working on my own platform in addition to working with corporations. I probably shouldn’t say my own platform first. I’m about for the first time in the history of company I’m going to be doing my webinar called “Check a Buzz, Grow Your Life, and Business” and it’s going to be about personal branding, building, your brand, creating a buzz, whether you’re an employee or whether have your own business. Moving your life forward in 2014. I am ecstatic about this. I’ve done webinars for major corporations within the corporation for their employees and this is the first time I’m going public with this love of information. It’s free, opened to the public. If you go to S.Renee.com you can sign up. I’m excited about that and I will continue to do more on the internet because I think there’s a lot of potential there and I think that not only am I sent here to work with major corporations, colleges, and universities, churches, non-profits, I’m also here to work with the individual and to help them to grow their life and business and so, I’m really excited about that and I think that in the future, you’re gonna see more of that. I think, I don’t wanna say it out loud but you might even see me doing a little television somewhere, somewhere out there in the cosmos. So, I don’t know, we’ll see. I find myself doing a little bit more on the internet television so why not and not only that, that’s my background. I was in television. I really, really enjoy it. Probably have a little bit of a yearning to go back. So, we’ll see what God has in store for me cus’ you never know what the future holds but that’s what my sights are on – to do a little bit more of that and to take this message to the masses.
Hannah Spivey: Who inspires you the most and why?
S. Renee: I think my parents. I have a wonderful father and mother. My father’s a very gentle soul, loving person, just will do anything for you. Very humble man. I’m very inspired by his life, by his hard work, his business savvy, acumen, despite the fact that he has an 8th grade education, very successful. So, I’m inspired by that. I’m inspired by his ability to deal with people, work with people, move people along and of course, I’m inspired by mother. Both my parents are very spiritual. But my mother’s an energetic spiritual person. She’s not a fire and brimstone, kind of person. She has high more standards, just a very loving soul and really wanted good for every body. She lives in that world and really wants good for everybody. She lived in that world and really love to bring that love and compassion and understanding. She’s good at meeting people where they are. She can meet a person where they are. She has great wisdom in how she goes about doing it. So, I’m inspired by both of of them, I think the most.
Hannah Spivey: Which strategies do you possess in order to achieve your goals and what kind of advice would you offer to one who is trying to achieve their goal(s)?
S. Renee: Strategies. Ya know, I didn’t know if I have a strategy. I think I have a mode of operation and that includes meditating. I love to sit in quietness and ask God what are we going to do today and how we are to do it and what am I to do and let him know to receive and if he talks I’ll move and he always does. So, meditation is very important to me. That’s how I start my day, prayer, making my request known onto him but also yielding to his will. I think that you use the world strategy but I think what talents I have to actually fill my goals, I think I have a great size of people. I’m intuitive, highly intuitive. I know to connect with people. I am continuing to develop a business savvy to become a business woman because it’s great and wonderful to be good to people and to help people move their life forward. But how do you make money so you can give back. I think that’s very important and so, I think it’s more talent that I use my ability to write, my ability to speak, my ability to, I have an eye for video and putting things together. I launched the scholarship fund along with my siblings and their children and their children for my parents called “The Williams Jay and Reverend Shirley M. Smith Scholarship Fund” and so, I know how to pin an event, I know to bring people together. I’m really good a marketing and branding. As I mentioned before and so, using that skill set where I’m lead to and where I’m call to is really my strategy, is just being opened to God in spirit and to be able to hear the call. Just being opened to answering it and that’s what I would encourage the other people to do but I do wanna say this – I done a lot of work on myself since I was thirteen years old. Working on myself, I was teased and bullied growing up and then I picked up a a book by Zig Zigler “See You at the Top” I read it in two years. I was queen of the school’s most popular, best personality, most friendliest and that followed me all the way through high school when I graduated. I got the superlative, best personality, friendliest, I was queen at the one of the court, home coming queens court, all of that. So, I really wanna say I’ve done and continued to do a lot of work on myself and really understanding who Renee is, why she’s been sent to this planet, learning how to own my own space, giving people permission to own their space and learning how to respect people when their in they’re in their space and I have no right to tell them how to live it. My job is simply to guide them with or way from certain things. So, I think that what I would tell people is to do the work own yourself and number two, once you understand what your skills, talents, and abilities are and that you state what it is that you wanna do and value to the planet. Just be opened, just be opened and great. This will come your way. I wanna share something else with you that’s interesting. I also this year, signed a partnership agreement with Randal Pinkett, who is the fourth season winner of the Apprentice. You probably know him. He’s written several books, etc but again, just when you are open and these opportunities come to you based on what it is that you been called here to do. You ask and you raise your awareness and your vibrations and you move to a new space and a new opportunity can present themselves and you’re ready to take advantage of them. So, that’s how I would tell people to prepare.
Hannah Spivey: What is your advice to someone who is need of encouragement and motivation?
S. Renee: I think about when and write about this in my book “There is More Inside” when I was fired from my job and four months later my fiance walked out of my life and I never heard from him again and I was diagnosed as being depressed and the doctor ave me antidepressants and I came home, threw the in the trash and I was made my way back to myself hence, “There is More Inside” is born. A that point, what did I need? I needed to connect with myself. I was lost myself. I forgot who I was. I forgot my own greatness and excellence. I had forgotten that no one on this planet can define me, tell me who I was was or tell me how to show up in life. I had forgotten I was talented and brilliant and bright and shining. There was light within me and so, I would encourage someone who is feeling down right now that just remember, my friend, brilliant one, that you are light and love that you are bright and that you hold a piece of divinity within you. I would encourage them to look within and shoot down every voice that you’ve ever heard and ask yourself here: “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What I am here to do and to look what you being able to do accomplish in your life. That took courage and that took confidence and that took brilliance. Just remind yourself, my friend of who you are and look to the dream because the dream is the hope that there is a better day and there is because there are more inside. God bless you. I’m S. Renee. I hope this helps you with your upcoming interview and If I could be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call, brilliant one. God Bless you.
You can connect and learn more about S. Renee via her site: www.SRenee.com