Monthly Archives: August 2014

How Hustling Like Beyoncé Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur

You may not immediately think of the queen “B” when you’re seeking a business role model, but maybe you should.

We’ve watched this global icon rise from a girl band to become her own established brand. Through relationship networking, co-sponsorships, powerful storytelling and audience reach, Bey has positioned herself to be an enterprise to follow.

Here are few things you could learn about entrepreneurship, straight from Beyoncé’s playbook. (Click here to tweet this list.)

1. She believes she will succeed

According to Entrepreneur, there are seven key traits to successful entrepreneurism. Tenacity tops the list.

Though she’s become an iconic part of the music industry, Beyoncé’s journey to the top was not without its demands on her or her family, who are famously involved in her career. In a 2011 interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, she shared how her upbringing has helped keep her eye on the proverbial prize: “I grew up with a family that was successful, but not born successful. I believe with hard work and with a goal and love and positivity, then eventually we’re going to be fine.”

2. She faked it until she made it

One study on personality profiles of entrepreneurs revealed the presence of extroversion is the true indicator of a business owner’s desire “to engage in a range of entrepreneurial activities.” Those entrepreneurial activities include starting a new businesses and being innovative about bringing new ways of doing things into the world.

Like Beyoncé, who has admitted to being introverted outside of the media spotlight, you can embrace the aspects of your personality that suit entrepreneurism – while faking the rest until you feel more comfortable in your entrepreneurial skin.

Knowing she had to continue to present the ladylike image that was a key aspect of her early marketability, according to the Washington Post, Beyoncé channeled her alter ego “Sasha Fierce” to experiment with the more sexually charged music and ideas fans did not yet know her for. Once she knew she no longer needed to play that role and could instead embrace both parts of her personality in front of fans, she reportedly put the alter ego to rest.

3. She has a brand vision

Whether you want to call it a mission statement or elevator pitch, every entrepreneur needs a guiding purpose behind his or her endeavor that is so clear, it can be summed up in just a few words.

Regardless of whether she’s Beyoncé the mom, Beyoncé the collaborator, Beyoncé the wife or Beyoncé the entertainer, she knows her message. “I definitely feel that it is my job to empower women,” Knowles told Morgan in the CNN interview.

4. She takes time to appreciate her success

Soon before she announced that she was pregnant, Knowles made a conscious decision to slow down for the basic pleasures of life, like picking her nephew up from school. “I learned the importance of taking time for myself; I was moving around so much that I had no idea that I really have 16 Grammys. I got up and accepted my awards, but I didn’t realize what an amazing accomplishment that was,” said Knowles in the Morgan interview.

5. She controls her public image

She may be married to hip hop mogul Jay-Z, but little is known about Beyoncé’s personal life beyond what the power pair chooses to divulge. Similarly, every interaction, decision and communication associated with your brand should positively reflect on who you are as a businessperson.

“Jay and I have kind of made a decision that we want to be known for our music and not our relationships or scandals,” Knowles told Morgan.

6. She takes risks

Beyoncé entered the spotlight as the lead singer of the pop group Destiny’s Child, but by taking risks like playing the role of the iconic songstress and heroin addict Etta James in the movie “Cadillac Records,” Knowles learned she had passions beyond music that were worth exploring.

“It made me a lot braver, and to have the freedom to kind of let go of all ego and not care about what I look like or fitting into a pop star box. It was really liberating to me,” said Knowles in the Morgan interview.

Though being an entrepreneur can feel like a solo endeavor, emulating the “best practices” of other like-minded business owners – even those in industries far removed from your own – can help you navigate the uncertainty with more confidence.

By taking a cue from Beyoncé, an entrepreneur who has become a household name despite being in the mainstream spotlight for less than two decades, you may learn some new ways to be a better business owner.

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a leading payment gateway provider for small businesses. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.

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Is Your Personality a Fit For Your Career?

By Ryan Mack

I remember my second year in college, and about my third intended major change, my dad asked me if any of my advisers had given me a copy of the book, What Color is Your Parachute (a.k.a…the job-hunter’s bible).

I remember thinking at the time how stupid that sounded. All I was interested in was finding a major that wasn’t too difficult, didn’t interrupt my “extracurricular” activities, and provided me with a good salary after graduation.

It wasn’t until many years later – in one of many unhappy jobs – that I realized the value of the book. Sure, employability and salary potential are important in your career search – but even more so is finding a position that is a true fit for your passions, interest, and personality.

Choosing a career that is not a fit for your personality is likely to leave you feeling unhappy and apathetic. If you don’t know yourself as well as you’d like to, there are a variety of personality assessment tests such as Myers-Briggs available to help you identify your personality type. Assessments like the Myers Briggs can help you to determine what careers are a good fit for your personality type. If you aren’t into assessments and feel you have a good understanding of yourself already, resources like the U.S. News Best Careers guide offers six general types of people and the types of jobs most likely to suit them.

If you are like most job seekers, chances are you have already completed as much education as you would like to for the foreseeable future – and have already started down what you may feel is a path of no return.

Rest assured, this is not the case. If you feel like I did, and have been in one unhappy job after another, chances are your personality is not best suited for your current line of work. Much like the trend of multiple marriages, these days people are finding themselves with multiple careers.

Perhaps your interests have changed or you have had a family or your lifestyle has changed. Maybe even your personality has changed. Whatever the case, the following three steps can help you make a career change before landing in another position that drains your spirit and your desire to succeed.

1. Know thyself. Socrates said it best. If you want to find a career that is motivating, inspiring, and moves you to succeed, you have to know what careers are best for your personality, personal life, and talents. Using resources such as What Color is Your Parachute or an online app can help you determine where to start your search.

2. Research, research, research. Once you have a better idea of your options, you can begin to research those that may actually be a fit. Chances are, greater than not, your career change will require additional education, experience, or training. Be sure you have a firm understanding of your potential profession and whether it is projected to grow. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook is a good tool for anticipated earnings, job details, and employment outlook.

3. Gradual or radical. Once you’ve determined what careers are a better fit for you, plan your approach. Because some careers may require additional education, training or certifications, you may need to make a more gradual approach finding a job where you can gain relevant experience while pursuing the required education. A more radical, but safe approach may be to find opportunities with your current employer to change your career trajectory. Either way, making a big career change for the betterment of yourself in the long run, is worth the time and effort.

What led you to realize your personality wasn’t a match for your career?

Ryan Mack is a partner at TruYuu, an online service that helps people present themselves as more than just a resume to employers. You can connect with Ryan and the TruYuu team on Facebook and Twitter.

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