I have a testimony. In 2009 I started writing a book. It started as a joke. My aunt and I were talking about relationships we’d been in, in our lives and I started to tell her about one of mine that almost killed me. We’d gotten pretty emotional during our talk, but by the end we’d found a way to laugh at ourselves. In our laughter I said to her, “I should write a book about it.” She said, “Girl, please write that book because I want to read it.” Later that night, I went in my room, logged on to my computer, and started typing.
Seven years later, that book is coming out. It took seven years because God had to do so much work on me first. I had to relive a lot of horrible memories and I had to truly be delivered from all of that pain before I subjected myself to the world. Not only had I had to forgive myself and all the parties involved I had to find God in the story. I had to really see His work through my suffering – and I finally did. After three re-writes, three drafts, three editors and a final review, God finally got the glory out of my story.
Now, of course, I had to also fictionalize the story. Although I must admit the first draft was raw and almost identical to the real life version, but after a lot of work it is finally a work of fiction, however, it is based off of real life heartache and struggle that many people face everyday. I pray that someone who reads it will find their own deliverance. That’s my prayer, that someone can be saved and heal from my testimony, my story. I know that it is possible, I’ve lived it. Now all I can do is give God the glory and thank Him for rescuing me out of my darkest moments.
As an artist I’ve always used my real name. What’s funny is I have a nickname that my family calls me but never once have I ever thought to use that as a public figure name even though while I was in grade school everyone including my teachers called me by my nickname. The moment I moved away to college I started using my real name – I become Shireal when I was eighteen. There was never any motive behind it it’s just what felt right.
Shireal Renee is my legal first and middle name. I was named after both of my aunts, my mother’s sister who is Shireat and my father’s sister who is Renee. My aunt Shireat’s name somehow along the years has been pronounced Sharelle so many times that we all just ended up calling her that. So my mother named me Shireal spelled like Shireat replacing the (t) with a (l) and pronouncing it Sharelle after the name my aunt has adopted. It’s all so very complicated but that’s how it is. Maybe that’s why I am so complicated. As far as the name Renee that has always been easier road traveled in my names sake.
Now that you have the history of my name let me explain the branding. When I started my journey as an entrepreneur I always envisioned myself as a household name, but not just as an artist. I knew it would never be enough for me to be known as a great talent I always wanted to leave something behind for my grandchildren – a real legacy a brand. In doing so I decided that my businesses would all be under the “Renee” band umbrella.
Almost ten years ago I had a vision that was By Renee Visions (BRV). I decided that my first company would be called BRV using the word visions because I would create and establish every vision that God gave me. The first company was the publishing company so it is my heart. BRV is the vessel that keeps my blood flowing through my body. As an author it is my therapeutic outlet and as a businesswoman it is my way to give other authors an opportunity to become fulfilled in the writing community.
Five years, four books and a DVD later God gave me the vision to start Renee Shopping Services (RSS). This time sending conformation that the Renee brand was his word by sending me a business partner who was also a Renee. Again God gave me a vision that would serve others solidifying to me that I am one of Gods servants. It is through service that I will find my greatest success and truly fulfill my purpose in this world.
The “RENEE” brand is just getting started. There are so many other visions that God has given me. One thing I have learned along this journey is they will all take a lot of hard work, patience, dedication and an enormous amount of faith. I am excited to see what God has in store for Shireal Renee and all of the Renee ventures. But for now I am putting all of my focus in developing the visions that he has already blessed me with. One vision will fuel the next until one day there will be an overflow and the Renee brands will become the answers to so many people’s prays. All this will be done in God’s time. In the meantime I will continue to do his works and stay faithful to the visions. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
www.byreneevisions.com / www.reneeshopping.com
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I started thinking about getting a job. Then I was reminded that every job I get I quit. I just can’t work for anyone. Then I thought ‘what am I thinking?’ I have a job I need to reevaluate how I run my businesses. They should be my sole source of income. Since they are not my sole source of income right now that means it is time for me to go back to the beginning and re-write my business plan.
In the five years of running By Renee Visions I’ve learned so many things. Now that Shireal Renee brand has become incorporated and I’ve launched Renee Shopping Services with Sheila Renee and Tim I have to put all of my energy into making those ventures successful. It is time to come up with a new formula that can bring BRV into profit mode because the formula of the past has failed to do that. I have to make my workweek schedule the same way I did when punching a clock for other people. When I invest 40-80 hours a week into myself that will be the manifestation of greatness. That is how I chose to live my life. At the end of the day we all have to work to live in this world. You’re spending half of your life if not more at work. You may as well be something you enjoy and love.
This is my year of #transformation that makes it the perfect time to reinvent myself as a businesswoman too. Why would I go work for someone else when it is now or never that I start manifesting my career goals? My new philosophy in life is doing it different until you get it right. Someone once told me that the cleaning product Formula 409 is named that after how many times it took for him or her to get the formula correct. In other words they had to fail 408 times before they got it right. If they had given up the 408th time they would have never come up with Formula 409. Now I don’t know how true that is but it sure does sound good.
Ready for the next level! #transformation
Five years ago today I opened up the doors to By Renee Visions first office. It was downtown Hartford at 75 Pratt St. It was a cute little office. I published “The Things Inside Me: Collectors Edition” in that office, I published several issues of Street Connfinement Magazine out of that office, I shot the first season of Poetz Corner TV in that office and birthed my baby the stage play “Wide Open” into the world in that office. Then the day came that I had to let that office go. I would have had to let it go eventually because my goal for By Renee Visions is to own a building but nevertheless I was there and it was worth it.
They say the first five years in business are the toughest. Oh God is that an understatement. I can’t speak for everyone but let me tell you sacrifices have to be made! Looking back at my original business plan from 5 years ago I can not believe how much I was able to accomplish and how much the plan has developed. This new five-year plan is more clear. I remember everything seeming so broad and experimental when I was writing the first one but this time I am very clear about the direction of this company. Even more importantly I understand the ways to make money in my industry. Once you figure that out it is now all about action and a little patience.
In honor of our 5 year anniversary I am going to do 30 days of “The Things Inside Me: Collectors Edition”. Everyday I will choose a poem from the book that relates to my day and whatever I am going through at the time. As a part of my transformation I am finding it important for me to do a lot of reflection, research and review. This book launched my publishing career as well as my career as an author. Now I am going to dissect what it taught me and weed out what worked and what didn’t. This is going to be an exciting next 5 years with greatness beyond belief in the works there is infinite possibilities for our future.
This episode gives a history of my encounters with Oprah and my Shoe Crazy audition for her network which was the beginning of my shoe crazy consulting. We take Jami shoe shopping, introduce the new By Renee Visions website and sneak preview the cover of the new book set for release this winter Me & My Man’s Wife.
Special thank you to Valerie Tyme who helped us get our shoes for the “Shoe Crazy” segment, also to Jami Williams for being a guest on the show and Macy’s for letting us shoot in their Westfarms Mall store.