Hi, I'm Susan, entrepreneur and the founder of GetRealLive.
As a wife, and mother of three beautiful children, I firmly believe that community starts in the home. My ‘others’ focused ethos drives me to leverage technology platforms to maximum effect – connecting people to stories, and people to one another.
I am a verified social/mobile/online media maverick (someone once referred to me as a maverick and I really liked the word, so I kept it)! It is work that thrives off being an authentic voice to engage with real life and the stories that we all have. That is my dream, vision and what keeps me going.
I am a Canadian prairie girl born and raised and I dove into the ocean of the business world early in life. At eighteen, and from our farmhouse kitchen table, my sister (Katherine) and I founded ‘Katherine’s Maternity’. In 1988, we, along with a few others were nationally recognized as ‘Young Entrepreneurs of Canada’ by our Prime Minister. This entrepreneurial spirit and stuck with me and has propelled me into some of the most interesting spaces.
Gripped by a desire for adventure, I headed overseas.
I moved to Hong Kong from Canada in 1989 and from the moment my feet hit the ground in Hong Kong, it felt like home and it became my home for 10 incredible years. Through a series of extraordinary opportunities, I learned the ropes of the media industry rapidly. I worked at News Ltd as South China Morning Post Advertising Manager for Hong Kong’s leading English-language magazine. I represented 13 USA/Canada titles in Asia including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, Worth Magazine, Sunrise Magazine, The Globe and Mail – just to name a few.
During this time, I also rose to the challenge of Associate Publisher of Expression Magazine (the American Express cardmember magazine). During this time I learned from some of the industry greats. It really was a phenomenal time of life. Who knew that from here, Australia, Los Angeles and Canada would become home as well?
As an early adopter of most things..... I started blogging in 2005 when it wasn't even really a thing...
I started my first blog in an effort to tell stories. An early adopter of the Authenticity wave, I began by telling my truth. Writing about family, raising kids and the ‘seasons’ of life. I listened to the conversations of those around me and I shared my highlights and lowlights through my blog. Vulnerability hangovers were something I was used to whether it be through my writing or everyday conversations. I was just me, all in, showing up… gritty bits and all. Thankfully what I was sharing seemed to resonate with others and I wasn’t the only one drowning in nappies, baby formula and the pain of cracked nipples with little or no sleep. I found people who wanted real, authentic community.
So from here, I did what I knew to do…. I gathered my girlfriends and put a vision in front of them. It was about being REAL and sharing LIFE and the STORIES we all have. Before long I started podcasting through a local radio station and hosting live events. True engagement was happening and it was very exciting. I kept writing and slowly but surely my community was growing, articles were being shared and people were not only connecting but engaging in meaningful conversations and truths were coming out and people were finding tribe.
I have a burning passion to see people live strong, confident lives.
I love seeing people live free, strong, happy in and out of the mess and KEEPING IT REAL. None of the fluffy, “Superwoman/Super Mum” business. Life is truly about recognising that some days will be great, others not so much and some days will seriously SUCK – and that’s ok!
Slowly the questions started coming and it was through the questions and listening that all the unseen effort, the unread articles, the vulnerability risks were all worth it. The biggest question I had time after time was, ‘How do you do what you do?’ ‘How do you make life happen? How do you manage life, work and family? How was the resounding question?
I merged my solid business acumen with my heart as a wife and mother and a believer in people when I pioneered a vibrant online community, celebrating truth, family values and building relationships through thought-provoking conversation, laughter and tears. This was the beginnings of our rebranding from thefamilyroom in 2005, to being launched into GetRealLive in 2011.
When the need for our skillset in Engagement, Social Media Marketing and Advertising expanded, SOMO Society (SOcially MObile) was born in 2015. By rejuvenating existing social spaces and creating compelling conversation this new and fresh level of connection and authenticity works on every level. Recently, I have focused on writing, speaking and online radio, and also have featured on TV and Radio in Australia and Canada, but I believe that the future of connecting with people is via the social web and live events.
Right now, my first ever book is available to purchase!
Yep, I wrote a book. How crazy cool is that. I’m beyond excited with one breath, but with the next breath, I am terrified of the vulnerability hangover that awaits me.
The goal with True You is to present authentic responses to the challenges that 21st-century women face. I put a simple call-out on social media asking people to book 30-minute interviews with me, that I wanted to hear their truth and learn about the lies they’ve believed about themselves. The stories are wide, incredibly deep and beautiful. These women have shared individual challenges around family, relationships, sex, frustrations, hopes, dreams, sexuality, desire and way more. From debunking the ‘Superwoman Myth’, to dealing with the pressures of everyday life and remaining relevant in an ever-changing world. I share my thoughts on an abundance of stories that ask the hard questions. How do women balance hectic lives, and find the best way to raise kids in a socially connected world while keeping them safe in a broken society? How can we be brave enough to make a difference? I am on a global mission with the purpose of gathering honest, raw and open input from a diverse range of women.