Become an icon like Beyonce - The Unstoppable Podcast

044: Becoming an icon – a profile of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

There is only one woman in the world who has been so successful she was able to drop an album with no advanced notice and see it achieve platinum status within just one week. That woman is Beyoncé .

From her first talent show aged 7, to selling over 118 million record worldwide at 35 years old, Beyoncé has built herself a global empire – in addition to her jaw dropping record sales, she has won twenty Grammy awards, she has a history of sell-out worldwide tours AND it does not stop there…Beyoncé doesn’t just dominate the music charts and the stage … Beyoncé is a global brand and works hard to keep it that way.

Her name appears everywhere from fashion labels to fragrance bottles, she has earned millions in endorsements from brands such as H&M, Topshop and Pepsi and through her partnership in love with her husband Jay-Z they form the pop music industry’s first billionaire couple. Aside from all her career achievements Beyoncé has made a lasting impact through her philanthropic initiatives and prides herself on her ability to give to others.

With a career that has spanned nearly two decades, Beyoncé ‘s talent and her results clearly speaks for themselves. She has proved to the world that she has got what it takes to always be at the top of her game – however, it takes more than talent to become an internationally-acclaimed powerhouse. Surely, there are several key factors that have helped Beyoncé to unleash her greatness, build her empire and make her impact?

I spent an entire day reading every article that I could find on Beyoncé’s success, I watched and listened to countless interviews, I watched her documentary, I studied what her management team have said about her and I’ve identified 10 factors that I believe that have helped Beyoncé become an icon…

So, in today’s episode you will discover the 10 steps to greatness that I have learned from Beyoncé – it is my goal to inspire you so that you can implement these steps in your own life to unleash YOUR greatness!

Listen to today’s show on iTunes and Stitcher now!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Your self worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone else to tell you who you are.” – Beyonce

THE DEBRIEF

My top 4 lessons from my interview with the traffic guy that the millionaires recommend, Mr Justin Brooke:

I took a LOT of value from the interview with Justin Brooke in our discussion about traffic and conversions – I’ve got 4 key lessons that I’m going to briefly share with you today:

1) Figure out what your people are buying and why they buy and create enough urgency and scarcity so that they buy TODAY –

Right now I am in the midst of a product launch and I validated my initial concept and ideas through research, however the product will only be validated by people taking our their credit cards and making a purchase! I do believe that I have a great offer so I’m going to be taking a look at some of the triggers I am using within my marketing to prompt my audience to firstly take action and watch my educational webinar and secondly to make a purchase and enrol in the Unstoppable Entrepreneur Program.

2) Everyone is advertising in the same place…but where is your traffic? The ability to place an ad right in front of the audience, at the inception point…WHERE IS THE SUPER LOW HANGING FRUIT, the inception point where your audience will see your ad? 

This was a big lesson. Like many I have defaulted to using Facebook for my ad strategy – I am of the belief that it is important to master one source of paid traffic before adding others, however this certainly made me sit up and take notice. As I progress my marketing funnel I’ll be taking a look at other advertising sources that can bring me the quality traffic that I need to drive my business forward.

3) Traffic Hail Mary –  why first wave of advertisement is investment rather than the end-all be-all of your campaign

Buy traffic, spend 20% of budget testing, 20% verify the results – can you replicate the testing, 60% scaling – be strategic and systematic – this is now work in progress for me, I made some initial assumptions about the maths of my campaign in terms of the budget required to generate X amount of sales, the ads are now in progress so I’m still in stage 1 of budget testing and reviewing the performance of both my ads and my funnel overall. One week in the overall challenge is not the quality of the ads, I’m seeing some decent results (with plenty of room for improvement I might add) but the biggest challenge I seem to have is to get my webinar registrants to actually take the time to watch the webinar – a critical component to the success of the funnel – I’ve seen some gaps in the process that I can easily resolve but it is a little too early to make any real assessment of the quality of the funnel – this is the exciting part,

4) Do not be emotional about the money you put into the ad network – the money is now a tool, it is not yours anymore. 

This came at a great time – this is the first time I have put a launch campaign together at this kind of scale and there are a lot of moving parts and assumptions being tested – all of which are only tested by injecting cash into my ads, but as Justin said, the advertising budget is an investment in my business and it becomes a tool to grow my business therefore it is necessary to lose any emotional attachment to the cash I am using.

SHOW NOTES:

1) ENVISION YOUR GREATNESS

“It’s hard for me to commit to something until I’ve seen it, until I’ve had the vision – but all of my great performances I saw happen before I made them happen”

Beyoncé inspires others to dream because she is always reminding us that she was just a young girl from Houston, Texas, who had a dream to be a performer.  She had a dream, she envisioned it. Hard work, determination, and everything that she has now created is the result.

It all started with a dream and a specific set of goals. Beyoncé says;

“I believe with hard work and with a goal and love and positivity, then eventually we’re going to be just fine.”

When she took control of the management of her company, her first question was “WHAT DO I WANT?”. Beyoncé gained total artistic freedom to create what she wanted for her business! In a similar vein to Steve Jobs, there’s an obsessiveness about detail in Beyoncé’s artistic life. In her studio she has elaborate “vision boards” to stimulate her creative process— including photographs, writings, reminders of past achievements. You will find the cover of her 2003 album Dangerously in Love, photos of her Grammy performances with Prince and Tina Turner, concepts of songs and potential titles.

Many speak about the importance of using vision boards to manifest success in their own lives, Beyoncé is testament to the fact the process works! To give you a recent example around how Beyoncé sets her goals, when it came to releasing her self-titled album in 2013, Beyoncé had three specific things she wanted to accomplish: 1) She wanted fans to experience the album at the same time as critics, 2) she wanted every song to have a video, and 3) she didn’t want the album to leak.

With hard work and dedication, she defied all odds to achieve these goals and make her vision a reality.

What is the dream you envision for your lifetime? What are your specific goals right now?

2) FIND YOUR GIFT AND LIVE YOUR DREAM

Beyoncé developed a strong interest in music when she participated in a school talent show and now lives her dream doing what she loves to do, to entertain through song and dance.  She says

“We are all stars; we just have to figure out the thing that we are supposed to in life” –

Beyoncé acknowledges that she WAS BORN to be a performing artist and that there are things she knows that one ever taught her that simply came naturally to her.

She says “I don’t count the recording of 72 songs in preparation for my album as work, this is what I was born to do.”

Despite having the blessing of finding her gift at an early age, Beyoncé continues to focus purely on her passion, she says:

“My focus is my art, and that’s what I love to do. I have to be really passionate in order to do something. I’ve turned down many things that I just didn’t believe in.”

What is your natural gift? Have you found your superpower yet? What are your deepest passions? When you find the answers to these questions and go all in you really can live your dream.

3) KEEP YOUR WORK RATE HIGH, BE THE COMPETITION AND PREPARE TO WIN.

Beyoncé is a self-confessed workaholic. In an interview with MTV she said” I am a workaholic and I don’t believe in no. I don’t believe in I need to sleep. If I’m not sleeping nobody’s sleeping. I’m one human being. It’s a lot. If I want to be a businesswoman, I’m a businesswoman.”

She says: “It takes so much hard work, but the more you work for something, the more you cherish it.”

Her work ethic is exceptional. She never went to her high school prom or graduation because she was working on her dream. Beyoncé refers to the sacrifices she made when she was young, the thousands upon thousands of hours of spent practicing and performing as critical to her success.

DO TODAY WHAT OTHERS WILL NOT DO TOMORROW and be willing to make choices that support your dreams.

Why is Beyoncé so flawless? Not only does she have an untouchable work rate, she has incredibly high standards, a phenomenal appetite for competence and she won’t accept mediocrity from herself or anyone else.

Beyoncé does not compete with others. She is the competition. When compared to others Beyoncé says – “I have an authentic, God-given talent, drive, and longevity that will always separate me from everyone else.”

Every time Beyoncé starts the process of creating a new album she watches all her performances to figure out what works and what she could have done better. She uses herself as her own reference point when it comes to competition, she doesn’t focus on competing with others.

Beyoncé is completely relentless in her pursuit of perfectionism through her attention to detail and her preparation. How did she prepare for her legendary Super Bowl halftime show? By watching every halftime show in history and taking notes of course. She set out to replicate what had worked in the past and avoid what hadn’t. The Superbowl half-time performance was sheer perfection from the costume, the choreography, the symbolism, the timing.

Don’t settle for being average. Demand more of yourself and let your results speak for themselves. Keep your work rate high and your standards even higher if you want to experience true greatness.

What about the naysayers? Bey seldom goes on the internet, and when she does, she stays away from any negativity. To quote Dream Hampton, “Never waste your time explaining yourself to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” We only validate negativity by responding to it.

When Beyoncé was asked about how she deals with negativity she said: “When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.”

To become a commanding force in your industry you must be ready to outwork the rest without compromising on your standards and be willing to shrug off your critics

4) KEEP AIMING HIGHER

“sometimes we don’t reach for the stars, sometimes we are satisfied with what people tell us that we are supposed to be satisfied with…I’m just not going for it”

Label executives didn’t think Beyoncé could be a pop star so she proved them wrong by becoming a pop ICON. She says;

“As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.”

Beyoncé never allows her last achievement to define her and is always aiming that little bit higher every time. She doesn’t just want to be a pop star; she wants to be iconic.

To Beyoncé, Success = Progress. She says “If I stay in one spot, I’m not doing my job, I’m not growing as a human being. I always want to challenge myself and my industry, I want to set the tone and be the example”.

When you finally discover who it is you want to be, do as Beyoncé would and map out exactly who you want to be, keep aiming higher and life will open up the opportunities.

5) YOU MAY NOT ALWAYS WIN BUT KEEP GOING ANYWAY

Aged just nine-years-old Beyoncé performed on TV talent show called “Star Search” believing that she would get a record deal that this was going to be her shot at the big time. Despite performing an energetic routine and singing her heart out with her group, the performance was not enough to win over the judges. For many, their dreams would have been crushed. Not Beyoncé. She kept going.

She has faced plenty of challenges – her first record label dropped her, and she faced severe depression before making it “big”. According to various sources, when Beyoncé when she was going through these challenges she researched other pop stars like Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake and learned how they, too, had faced major rejection before hitting it big. This was exactly what she needed to hear to keep going.

No matter what challenges Beyoncé has faced, she’s proven that being resilient will help you to move forward in spite of pain, embarrassment, or failure.

Never get discouraged when things don’t go as planned or you face struggle. Victory is near. Embrace change, look for the way forward and bounce back stronger in the face of any challenge.

6) DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY, TAKE RISKS AND CREATE YOUR OWN PATH

“I’m not afraid of taking risks. No one can define me. I don’t like to gamble. But if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on is myself.”

Throughout her multi-faceted career, Beyoncé has consistently proven that taking risks and being fearless is the key that unlocks the doors to success. From leaving Destiny’s Child to her decision to pursue an acting career to her 2013 self-titled guerrilla launch on iTunes, Beyoncé has always forged her own path even when against the odds.

For example, Beyoncé’s move into film was initially met with widespread criticism by those who believed that she lacked sufficient talent to appear on the silver screen. This did not deter her. Over 12 films and several million dollars later, Beyoncé is willing to defy fear, do things differently and create her own path.

We saw this again in 2013 where out of nowhere she launched her unannounced self-titled album, giving exclusivity to iTunes even though she was risking big disagreements with Amazon and Spotify and the major retailers! In fact, Target and Amazon refused to stock the record even after iTunes’ exclusive weeklong sales window closed, yet her brave decision paid off and the album went to number one in over a hundred countries!

In doing so she also changed the rules of music.

Unlike most digital releases where users can just cherry-pick a song or two, with Beyoncé’s self-titled album consumers were required to buy the whole record! Why? Because her album was deliberately designed to be consumed from start to finish. It tells a story that must be listened to in the same way you would read a book, from start to finish.

In the face of a music industry within which listeners have become accustomed to buying one or two songs off a given album and where many artists don’t release a full album of songs worthy of owning, Beyoncé went against the grain and it worked.

Similarly, with her latest album ‘ Lemonade’, Beyoncé has gone even further to revive the album format, making the record a fully immersive experience with an hour-long video version to accompany the music.

Her willingness to dare to do things differently has resulted in opportunities in fashion, cosmetics, and big business. Fears are not an obstacle for Beyoncé. Don’t let fear stop you from taking risks. Be fearless, do things differently and create your own path.

7) DEFINE YOURSELF, LIVE LOUD AND DESTROY YOUR COMFORT ZONE

One of the biggest lessons I have taken in studying Beyoncé for this episode is her ability to define who she shows up as in the world and to constantly grow and evolve. She takes great care in her brand image and how she projects herself in life.

I believe that Beyoncé’s ability to show up fully authentically has played a significant part in attracting attention, fans, money and ultimately enabled her to make the impact that she has. She is not afraid to go within to connect with her thoughts – she regularly shoots a video diary to herself which she uses to figure herself out. Journaling is a common practice amongst many successful entrepreneurs – this is another great example of self-reflection.

BEY says “It’s really about who you are, it is the human being that makes you beautiful, beauty fades but who you are from within is forever”

To Beyoncé LIFE IS ABOUT Growth, love, happiness, fun.

Her authenticity shows up in her music – when interviewed about her self-titled album she said “I really set out to make the most personal, honest, and best album I could make. I needed to free myself from the pressures and expectations of what I thought I should say or be, and just speak from the heart. I want to Bring new music, new vibes and emotions, and sing about different things. Forget being cool, I’m going to be honest.”

Not only is Beyoncé willing to push the boundaries musically, she is always looking for growth as a person.

Beyoncé has broken out of her comfort zones to be able to pursue her dream of being a musician, she says “I always try to be myself. Ever since I was an introverted kid, I’d get on stage to be able to break out of my shell.”

To help her to get over her shyness and develop into the confident stage performer that she is today, Beyoncé created the alter ego Sasha Fierce. This character enabled Beyoncé to express herself in different ways that would eventually form part of her character when she later dropped the alter ego.

I have interviewed many successful entrepreneurs who have taken a similar approach – the most memorable of which is John Holowaty in episode 15 who talked about his concept of ‘SuperJohn’ who represented the character that’s that he wanted to embody in business and life.

Who Beyoncé has become has shaped her latest music – tracks on “Lemonade” show that she is a force to be reckoned with and she does not make decisions based on what she believes others will think, she makes artistic decisions based on who she is. She is not afraid to stand fully in her power and speak with her true voice.

When it comes to business, never be afraid to have a strong voice. Be willing to polarise. Not everyone is going to like your message, but that’s not the point. The point is to attract those who are a match for you and what you have to offer, and then serve them your goods.

Never tone yourself down. Always turn yourself up.

8) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH TALENTED PEOPLE

Beyoncé takes inspiration from all kinds of sources, not just music. From from the age of five all the way up to today, Beyoncé modelled the people she looked up to and used their strategies and inspiration to become a better artist, entrepreneur, and person. She makes it her business to surround herself with other successful people and seek opportunities to collaborate – a common success trait amongst the elite.

Collaboration and partnerships with others have been critical to her success. Beyoncé’s first big success came by partnering up with other girls to form Destiny’s Child. She partnered with Columbia Records to promote her music. When she went into her solo career she partnered with Jay Z, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Lady Gaga, and others to create new music and reach new audiences.

As an artist and a businesswoman, she has partnered with American express and Pepsi to increase her exposure. She partnered with Tommy Hilfiger to create fragrance lines. She partnered with Topshop to create a street wear clothing line. She partnered with her mum to create House of Deréon, a contemporary women’s fashion line. She partnered with her husband, Jay Z, to launch Tidal, a music streaming service.

Beyoncé surrounds herself with talented people. From granting Oprah an exclusive OWN interview to supporting President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, Beyoncé’s proven her influence extends well beyond her music by making friends in high places.

However, this collaborative spirit extends to the create side of Beyoncé as well — she’s known for working with a list of the top creative minds in the music business, including her husband Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Sia and more recently Jack White, James Blake and Kendrick Lamar. When she created her self-titled epic in 2013 Beyoncé hired a house in the Hamptons for a whole month and brought her creative team together to work on music, setting up 5 or 6 rooms as studios and Beyoncé focused on working closely with her core team over that time to create something special.

Whether she is partnering with friends, family, companies, or investors, Beyoncé realized that if she wanted to achieve her vision she couldn’t do everything herself.

The biggest lesson I have learned is to stop trying to do everything yourself and partner up. Collaboration is more than just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have when it comes to unleashing your greatness. You must be free to focus on your own gifts.

Bringing others in isn’t just about aligning with them; it’s about bringing out the best in you.

9) KEEP CONTROL OF WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO FIND FREEDOM

In 2013 Bey told Vogue magazine “Power’s not given to you. You have to take it.”

Beyoncé has been fortunate to have always had creative control – her label didn’t believe in her which enabled her to be the artist and take full creative control over her music. She says “Nobody thinks for me; nobody makes decisions for me.”

In 2013 Beyoncé started her own company, Parkwood Entertainment, to give her complete control over her brand. Her goal has always been independence. Her motto is, “I don’t feel like I have to please anyone. I feel free. I feel like I’m an adult. I’m grown. I can do what I want. I can say what I want. I can retire if I want. That’s why I’ve worked hard.” –

When she is working with promotional partners she stays involved at every stage of her campaigns, giving her control over her own brand, for example when she signed a deal with Pepsi in 2012 she insisted that the company agreed to promote her up-and-coming 2013 Super Bowl halftime performance. This shows how close Beyoncé is to the detail. She’s in it for the long game.

This was a difficult podcast to put together because Beyoncé has kept full control of her profile, there are very few sources to draw from. She has total control over her brand.

If you want to have total creative freedom over your business and your brand you need to be in full control of the important, hold high standards with everything you are involved with and let go of the rest.

10) GIVE ‘TIL IT HURTS TO MAKE A LASTING DIFFERENCE

Beyoncé’s upbringing instilled a true desire to contribute. She speaks of how she watched her parents get involved in community charities, and how that taught her how important it is to ‘give ’til it hurts.’ She said “I saw how happy you could make people, whether just giving someone a hug, having a conversation or spending some time, and it became a part of me.”

Beyoncé has a net worth of over $500 million but she knows the importance of giving back. Beyoncé is truly making a difference in this world.  She has supported over 30 different charities and multiple causes. One of her biggest accomplishments was co-founding CHIME FOR CHANGE, a foundation designed to empower women and girls through education, health and justice.

In her song “I Was Here” she sings, “The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave, that I made a difference.”

Beyoncé’s mission is to empower women, what is yours? Bey’s advice is to:

“Think about what truly touches you and motivates you to help, then start locally. Once it’s in your heart to give, you’ll have to follow through. I am a happy woman—very happy—because I know that I’ve worked hard, and I love being able to give back.”

When you truly give in life, you will experience a greater reward than ever imagined possible. For those of you in business, many successful businesses now begin by giving first. How can you add value to your customers and how can you contribute to the world to make a lasting difference through your work?

The secret to living is giving.

 

NEWS:

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Until next time – remember you are unstoppable – go out there, unleash your greatness, build your empire and live your ultimate life!

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