This post was inspired by my 10-year-old son Elijah. He wants people to focus on how people built their empires instead of the end product. He specifically requested that the first post was on his favorite business woman Beyoncé. Enjoy!

Beyonce Knowles with necklaces" by Parkwood. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Beyonce Knowles with necklaces” by Parkwood. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“I started my own company. When I decided to manage myself it was important that I didn’t go to some big management company. I felt like I wanted to follow the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire and show other women when you get to this point in your career you don’t have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success you do it yourself.” Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

Everyone loves to talk about the glitz and glamour of famous people, but we are going to focus on the business of Beyoncé. This includes her entrepreneurship and how her journey can help you in your life. Here are nine things that helped her to get there:

1. One thing Beyoncé has is a supportive family who was instrumental in her success. If you are wondering where she got her style, drive, ambition, focus, work ethic and business savvy, from it was from her parents. Before becoming her manager, Beyoncé’s father, Matthew Knowles worked at IBM and her mother Tina Knowles owned a salon. Her parents were there from the start. They were there for rehearsals, shows, costumes and hair. They managed her career. Her parents were the foundation on which the Beyoncé empire formed. Without her parents, she would not be where she is today. If you want success, you must be surrounded by people who support you. They must have the drive and ambition that matches or even exceeds your own. They are the people who will push you harder than you think you could go. If you do not have a supportive family, find a group of like-minded people and work together.

2. Beyoncé dealt with setbacks, but they did not stop her. The setbacks shaped her. Did you know she was on the show Star Search? Even though she didn’t win she could’ve quit, but she did not. She learned from it and it made her better. According to US Magazine, Beyoncé said about her appearance on Star Search, “In my mind we would perform on Star Search, we would win, we would get a record deal, and that was my dream at the time. There’s no way in the world I would have ever imagined losing as a possibility. I was only 9 years old. At that time you don’t realize that you could work super hard and give everything you have and lose. It was the best message for me.” What can we learn from her? If you want something and life doesn’t go your way don’t quit or give up. Learn from it and become the best.

3. Beyoncé works her behind off. Show after show, tour after tour and song after song, Beyoncé puts her everything into her work to make sure her fans get their monies worth. She has been doing this since she was a child According to her sister Solange in a Daily Mail article she said: “I have never seen anything like it in my life, from anyone. It’s absolutely insane. ‘Now that she’s become a mother, and the way that she’s able to balance that is so inspiring, If I am ever feeling like I want to open up my mouth and complain about how hard I am working, I think, “Uhhh! Sit down!”‘

Check out this moment. Beyoncé’s hair was tangled in a fan at a concert. A regular person would have shut down. Not Beyoncé. She was professional and kept on going.

What can you do? Work your behind off, focus on your goal, become the best at whatever you do and don’t let a small thing like a fan stop you!

4. Beyoncé controls her image. Almost every image you see Beyoncé approved. Remember the HBO documentary “Life is But A Dream?” She was the executive producer of it. Her company, Parkwood Entertainment, produced it. That is power! You can control your image. Think about the image you want to represent to the world about you. Manage your photos, projects and time. Pick them wisely and put it out there.

5. Beyoncé has multiple streams of income. 

  • In 2006, Beyoncé and her mother launched the clothing line named after her maternal grandmother called the House of Deron. But Beyoncé  wasn’t the only Knowles in the fashion industry. Her mother, Tina Knowles’ clothing line, Miss Tina by Tina Knowles is in Wal-Mart.
  • Beyoncé used her celebrity to garner endorsement deals with soft drink, cosmetic other companies.
  • She has produced several movies including “Obsessed!”
  • She is now participating in the music streaming service Tidal. Tidal is a service where fans can directly support their favorite artist, have access to exclusive content, watch high-definition videos and listen to CD-quality music.

Beyoncé used and leveraged her all of skills, and you can do the same. Never put all your eggs in one basket.  Take all of skills you learned on the job, in your business and in your life and monetize every one of them.

6.Own your own and be a hands on owner! In 2008, Beyoncé founded Parkwood Entertainment. Named after a street in her hometown, it handles Beyoncé’s production, merchandise, tours, website and other business ventures. She isn’t just the owner of the company in name only. Beyoncé is hands on. Through Parkwood, Beyoncé has the final say in the production process. The lesson is you will never be where you want if you are working for someone else. You will never be in charge of the creative process or your career unless you own and manage your own company.

7. She protects her assets.  Unfortunately, unscrupulous people have used her and child’s name to sell products without her permission. To curtail that, she applied to have her baby’s name trademarked. She also has trademarked many other names including “Beyhive,” “Beyonce Heat Rush,”“Beyonce Pulse,” “B Revolution,” “B,”“Beyonce Heat Dream,”“Blackbird,” “The Mrs. Carter Show” and of course “Beyonce.” So if you are going to use her name, you better pay her! You can protect your assets. For example, if you create a hashtag and it goes viral, create a website and then trademark it. If you take a photo watermark it. If you make a video, don’t give it to a third-party platform that will get rich from it. Put it on your website and run advertisements on it.  It is your property. You own it, so protect it.

8. She isn’t afraid to take a risk. She dropped an album with no promotion. Think about it. She did this while having some of the music industry’s best and brightest working on her album in secret. Why did she do it? She wanted people to focus on her art. The risk paid off. According to Bloomberg magazine, her album was the fastest selling album on Itunes.  How can this work for you? If your project fails, so what. At least you tried. If you succeed, your rewards will be endless. Don’t be afraid to take on a project. Just make it happen.

9. “To whom much is given much is expected.” Beyoncé and her mother Tina Knowles launched the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center at the Phoneix House in Brooklyn, New York. The Phoneix House is a drug treatment center for people enduring addiction. The Beyoncé Cosmetology Center provides valuable cosmetology skills along with job placement for those who want a career in cosmetology. This is just one of many efforts . Beyoncé has contributed her resources to including Oxfam, the Boys and Girls Club of America, Feeding America and Save the Music Foundation. What can you do? Always give back. Volunteer at your church. Mentor neighborhood kids or just display an act of kindness. Her generosity changes lives and yours can too.

I can’t wait to see what she does next.

You don’t have to be Beyoncé. There can only one. What you can do is study how she got there and create your own. She started from a street called Parkwood and now owns Parkwood Entertainment. Beyoncé is one of the world’s best entertainers and most successful business women. If she can do it, you can too. The only limit you have is the one you have placed on yourself. Think and be limitless.

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