Rene Byrd: “Don’t think just do, go with your first choice”

Instagram never tells the whole story; behind the scenes I have often worked watching the sun come up to finish research in preparation for a show. People often see the finished show they don’t see the promotion, video editing or the last-minute cancellation. Success has many twists and turns, you will be challenged, so be […]

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Instagram never tells the whole story; behind the scenes I have often worked watching the sun come up to finish research in preparation for a show. People often see the finished show they don’t see the promotion, video editing or the last-minute cancellation. Success has many twists and turns, you will be challenged, so be prepared to have many days that take a lot out of you,

The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rene Byrd.

Singer Songwriter, Ambassador for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund UK, Online Influence Awards Finalist 2020.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I come from humble origins raised and born in London, UK. I have a creative background my family is from the entertainment industry. My father was signed to a major record label, and my father, uncles and cousins were regularly on television either performing or hosting their own television show. The majority of my childhood and early adulthood was listening to live studio sessions or moving and shaking with unassuming creatives who are now very high profile international celebrities

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint — and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”

Oprah Winfrey.

This is so powerful as we all have a unique purpose and I truly believe your passion will lead you to your purpose and equally when you use your purpose for others that’s the highest form of fulfilling the calling on your life. This is so relevant to my life as I am so grateful to use my passion, for purpose and to use it to heal hearts, encourage and inspire, even more when the world is going through unprecedented times.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I have read many books but the book which has made a significant impact was the Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” as a black woman this gave me hope that anything is possible. Michelle Obama became FLOTUS against all odds from South Side Chicago, studying law at Harvard and attending Princeton. The pivotal moment is her sharing the story of the journey to the Whitehouse and becoming one of the most influential black women as first lady. This resonated with me, as little black girls can now see a representation of themselves as strong, highly educated, graceful and poised instead of the negative and typical stereotypes which have weighed heavy on many black women for generations.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

I am an independent singer-songwriter and influencer so prior to the Pandemic beginning I was doing what typical artistes do to help raise by profile. Attendance at numerous events, red carpet affairs, luxury lifestyle reviews of hotels, restaurants, spas and overseas resorts and performing for charity and corporate events and collaborating with various brands. In late 2019 I started working on my major music release campaign, this encompassed a music video and extensive promotional campaign which myself and my team had spent hours working on and as you can imagine a financial outlay. 2020 started with a blissful experience I returned from Miami ready to put in the work for my forthcoming release scheduled for the second month of the year. I was so excited and ready to share my gift with the world, the button was pressed for the music campaign I have never been so happy. March 23rd, 2020 was a day I will never forget that day, our Prime Minister announced a national strict lockdown due to the Covid pandemic ranging havoc on the world. My heart sank.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

The start of the Pandemic was a very scary and confusing time, but I decided at this delicate time to do my best to use my platform for purpose. I sat down with a team member (my brother) and we agreed I just go further and use my platform to help heal inspire and create change. The successful Instagram live talk show called Who AmI Talk was born, this gave viewers the opportunity to enjoy my conversations with with experts, brands, Public Figures and celebrities within Beauty, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Fashion and Luxury. I was blown away as my social reach exploded in this season to over 1m engagement as my audience were keen to hear and learn more.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

I can’t take total credit for the idea to create a talk show. One morning whilst in a foyer of a hotel for an international performance my guitarist, at the time saw me heavily engaged in conversation and suggested you should consider creating a talk show. He said I was a natural in how I engage with people. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but little did I know years later this would come to fruition. My brother encouraged me to activate this additional path and skill-set due to the slowdown in the music industry and the pause of my music campaign, the Aha moment has paid off.

How are things going with this new initiative?

This is going extremely well so grateful. I have done over 30 episodes where my guests have had the opportunity to talk about who they are, their story and life in Covid and beyond. I had the pleasure to have a conversation with Chris Collins US face for Polo Ralph Lauren and now Luxury Fragrance Owner and Patrick Hutchinson the hero who protected a protester at a BLM in event in the UK and has since himself had a conversation with Prince Harry due to his beautiful depiction of humanity.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

It will be unfair of me just mention one person there are some many people who are instrumental in my career, my team in particular, family, loved one and friends who continuously support me. I am grateful to everyone who listened, streamed, download my music. Everyone who gave me a platform to share my story, who joined my conversations real time or who have watched it back and a big thanks to you for this interview.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

I had a guest on my show who was an expert in business she was a godsend to my audience providing very valuable advice in the early stages of the Pandemic. I was invited to be a guest on her newly created podcast to talk about my story. I was humbled when she revealed that I was the one who inspired her to create Shades and Coffee podcast to inspire, uplift and motivate.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Here are a few things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization.

Here’s my list:

No matter what the show must go on. The #whoamitalk talk show was born in the pandemic whilst under lockdown in the UK. As you can imagine this was a very stressful time indeed, as a result this played havoc on my skin and my skin broke out. I was used to flawless skin and being in the constant spotlight this is a must. Everything I tried seemed to aggravate it. I decided that I would not let this stop me from showing up for the scheduled show even though all I wanted to do was hide my face. I decided to suck it in and be bold we are not perfect and it’s important to show different sides of yourself for transparency.

Get used to being rejected. Not everyone is going to want to be a guest on your show. That’s OK — one door closes and another one opens if I get a rejection, I don’t take it personal I keep it moving to continue the purpose.

Don’t think just do, go with your first choice. You’ll be surprised that how many times your gut instinct is right, I requested my team to reach out to a high-profile guest and was nervous that they might not accept, they did.

Instagram never tells the whole story; behind the scenes I have often worked watching the sun come up to finish research in preparation for a show. People often see the finished show they don’t see the promotion, video editing or the last-minute cancellation. Success has many twists and turns, you will be challenged, so be prepared to have many days that take a lot out of you,

Most of your friends and family probably will not support you. This is a hard pill to swallow, nothing better than having support from people you love and care about. This builds resilience, awareness, understanding and acceptance that not everyone is meant to join you on every part of your life. At first it will hurt, and you will search for answers but eventually you will be still and use this to push forward on your journey.

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

This has been without question a very trying time. I am a woman of faith so practiced daily routines of pray and surrounded myself with positive vibrations. I fixed my mind on my first love music and made sure I filled my house with music which lifts my mood. Singing was sometimes hard especially at the heart of the pandemic as it comes from my soul but when I opened my voice this was the best remedy at a very stressful period.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I was saddened to hear that many people were without food due to the pandemic and all across the world saw an increased rise in the use of food banks. I would start a movement that would finally put a stop to homelessness and hunger. People should have the right to the basics, food, warmth and shelter.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Shonada Rhimes is extraordinary producer, screenwriter and author she is the first black women to create and produce a top 10 network series and most recently signed a multi-million deal with Netflix, with the first being the period drama ‘Brigerton.’ I would be like a sponge soaking up all the wealth of knowledge and nuggets from her success.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can find me on all social media platforms:

Instagram — Renebyrdofficial

Twitter — Renebyrdworld

Facebook — Renebyrdofficialglobal

Linkedin — Rene Byrd

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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