Be More Like Beyoncé……
Be More Like Beyoncé
“You can’t be too comfortable nor too confident.”
For a moment in time, the world seemed to stop. Sounds of snare drums echoed in tandem, horns blared, and a series of mesmerizing explosives illuminated the desert skies signaling the beginning of one of the most anticipated returns of 2018. Beyoncé and her militia of backup dancers stormed the stage accompanied by a marching band with so much soul you may have confused the 1+ hour performance the homecoming halftime show of your favorite HBCU.
With no warning at all, Beyoncé took the audience on a journey into the HBCU experience some of us have come to know and love, offering everything from a simulated Greek probate to the flawlessly executed Black National Anthem. And whether you were one of the lucky audience members to witness “Beychella” live and in living color, or you watched in awe via YouTube along with the 41 million other viewers who represented 242 countries, a number that broke the media sites record number of viewers, there is no denying the impact of the performance.
It has been more than a week since Beyoncé’s second Coachella performance and even longer since she initially graced the stage for weekend 1, and yet the 2-weekend appearance is still being hailed as one of the most talked about topics on the internet. For an artist to produce and star in a performance of Beychella’s magnitude, there are certain key traits that they must exhibit- three traits in particular. Possessing a relentless work ethic, understanding the value of a strong team, and remaining adamant about goals and expectations are all traits that Queen Bey has not only demonstrated, but continues to push through her music.“It’s not about who does what, it’s just about it being right. And I’m a person that’s willing to stay up 24 hours to make sure that it’s right” Click To Tweet
And while I don’t consider myself a member of the official Beyhive by any means, I am admittedly fascinated by Beyoncé’s ability to deliver quality work time and time again without fail. It’s easy to identify what traits are needed to garner success, but how does one person maintain the vigor necessary to do so and long-term.
Possess a relentless work ethic. I have at times found myself scouring YouTube for as much behind the scenes material on Beyoncé’s creative process as possible. I would do this not so much because I’m a diehard fan of her work, although I’ve enjoyed several of her projects, but because I found her work ethic contagious. In watching her work off stage, I discovered that the secret to her success was no secret at all. Beyoncé is who she is not by osmosis or pure luck, rather she has become of the world’s greatest performers because she possesses a ferocious work ethic. So much so that she’s developed a reputation for being a drill sergeant, albeit a benevolent one, during tour rehearsals.
“We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyoncé!” Maybe you’ve heard this quote before, and maybe you’ve even found yourself using it to get you through that all-nighter for a class assignment or that last hour of your 8-hour shift. The fact remains that Beyoncé continues to be a shining example of what hard work and a strong will yields. Some will always question how sustainable a work ethic as strong as Beyoncé’s is, however, I challenge that inquiry by asking how sustainable a lack of work ethic is.
Understand the value of a strong team. Regardless of how often I find myself using the 24-hour quote, I feel that it is important for us all to understand that Beyoncé has a strong team around her, and that enables her to achieve as much as she does. And while most of us do not have a management team, glam squad, and army of backup dancers who can help us take over the world, we can take a leaf out of Queen Bey’s book in the way that she chooses the members of her camp. “I think my team is just as crazy as I am because they are right there with me pushing it and pushing themselves”.
Remain adamant about goals and expectations. Like Beyoncé, know exactly what it is that you want and be clear with yourself, as well as with others, that you won’t be satisfied until you get it. Prior to taking the stage for her now historic Coachella performance, Beyoncé faced skepticism about how her performance would be perceived by white audience members who couldn’t immediately relate to the cultural experience she was highlighting. She even faced skepticism from her mother who openly admitted to having doubts about her daughters’ creative direction. “I told Beyoncé that I was afraid that the predominantly white audience at Coachella would be confused by all of the black culture and Black college culture because it was something that they might not get.”
Like a true boss, no matter who questions your decisions, if you’ve set a goal or made a decision that feels right for you in your gut, you have no other choice but to see it through with every fiber of your being. In the same moment that Beyoncé’s mother mentioned having doubts about Beychella, she quoted her daughter saying, “At this point in my life and my career I have a responsibility to do what’s best for the world and not what is most popular”. Allowing the doubts of others or fear of failure to control your chances of being great are not only a disservice to you, but there a disservice to those around you who may miss the opportunity to see you succeed and go after their own success.
Also, understand that there will always be someone in your family, in your circle of friends, or on your team at work that will attempt to make you second guess your goals. In those moments, that is when you channel your inner-boss, or your inner-Beyoncé if you will. Remember that to be great, you will have to become comfortable with rising above individuals who lack the capacity to match your flawlessness.“No one can tell me how I want my show. I know exactly how I want the show.” Click To Tweet
And sure, some won’t be able to handle it. They may call you every derogatory name in the book, all of which will allude to the fact that you’re bossy- but that’s when you hit them with a quote from Beyoncé herself. “I’m not bossy. I’m the boss!” Beyoncé has been filmed on several occasions standing up to choreographers, set designers, and musicians who attempt to reshape her vision or control her production. Some may find her coarse responses to their suggestions off-putting, but only Beyoncé would bear the brunt of a bad review if a show were to fall flat or lack the headliners personal touch. On the same note, no one should dictate your success or the quality of your work but you.
You must understand that nothing great comes from apathy, and if I’ve garnered anything from the many behind the scenes videos I’ve watched of Bey as she produces an album, develops concepts for a tour, or learns an 8-count of choreography, it is that excellence takes hours of resolute focus and consistency. For those of us who dream of living in big houses, jet setting from one beautiful country to another, and ultimately securing the bag, if we don’t put action behind those dreams, then dreams are all these thoughts will be.
So, the next time you find yourself seeking to embody Beyoncé, do it for more than the glamour. Do it for her unwavering work ethic. Do it for her flawless ability to maintain a team of fellow grinders. Do it because of the way she set goals and fulfills every one of them. Go be great! Go be more like Beyoncé!