Now, you know you’re the baddest woman on the planet when you can release a “surprise” album and the whole world not only takes notice but buys buys buys. (According to reports, in just three hours 80,000 copies have been sold.)
Beyonce is the queen of go-getters and trendsetters and has now added yet another boss move to her career portfolio, the Dec. 13 release of her fifth studio album (at the strike of midnight), which features 14 new songs, including one with daughter Blue Ivy, and 17 new videos. Fans, critics, and who’s who of Hollywood and music are all abuzz about the move, one that had consumers rushing to their phones and computers to order exclusively from iTunes.
Billboard anticipates the album being a hit, even without previews or pre-marketing. “Our early numbers are showing that this is likely heading toward a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart with only three days of the tracking week,” Bill Werde, the editor of Billboard, told NPR.
Now, y’all know I like to glean career lessons from major boss moves such as these, especially from one of my all-time favorite superstars, so here goes:
1. Don’t talk about it. Bey about it: There are sooooo many people who love to chat about what they’re planning to/going to/looking to/fixing to. Well, Bey just shut that down. Why not just do it and leave the chatter to those you’re trying to reach/serve/cater to?
2. Set a solid foundation of excellence so that no matter what you do, you have support. Beyonce has the type of fan base that she could literally sneeze on 5 out of 10 songs on an album and still garner sales. (I’m being facetious here, but you get my drift). This hardest-working-woman-in-showbiz has built such a brand of stellar sales and performance that she can basically write her own destiny. It’s a good idea to build up your brand to a height of receipts that will garner widespread support and more yes’s than no’s.
3. Keep it fresh, keep it moving and keep it innovative: Beyonce has called this a “visual album,” incorporating film from videos in major cities including Paris, New York, and Rio de Janeiro, as well as her hometown of Houston. With artists, constant growth is key, but the same is true for young professionals who are led in their purpose. Always strive to push yourself to do things that are innovative and that will expand your horizons and your ability to do the work you’re passionate about.
4. When you hold the reins, you cut out the nonsense: The more you can control your brand and how you’re perceived (as well as how you get your checks), the better. This is both freeing and empowering. Find ways to really take the lead when it comes to what you offer the world and the manner in which you offer it. Step up those negotiation skills, and again, gather solid receipts in your industry via top-notch work and a great reputation that can’t be denied.
Take it from Bey herself: “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she said in a statement. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”
5. Want to do something profound? Be quiet and unwind. According to reports, Beyonce’s album was created over a year and a half and began at a Hamptons retreat Summer 2012. She spent this retreat with hubby, Jay Z, and daughter, Blue Ivy. Kicking back and just being in your own zone has many benefits, with experts touting the perks of silence in helping you become more thoughtful and a better listener. (I’m sure these two qualities help in creating a hit album). So, get to the zen, step away from stress, and get to planning those next career boss moves.
Have you purchased or heard Beyonce’s new album? #Soundoff and follow me on Twitter @JPHazelwood.