Megastar Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is, in every sense of the word, successful. But despite her many achievements and accolades, the entertainer — a Grammy-winner, an activist, a movie star, a producer, a designer, and the CEO of Parkwood Entertainment — says that her definition of "success looks different" today than it did when she started her career.
"Being No. 1 [is] no longer my priority. My true win is creating art and a legacy that will live far beyond me. That's fulfilling," she told Elle magazine.
Discussing the setbacks that helped her grow, Beyoncé says the "gift" of "pain and loss" helped her deepen her "quest for self." That, in turn, led her to find her "ultimate power" in creativity.
Here are four takeaways from Beyoncé that can help you realize your own goals as well.
Over the course of her career, Beyoncé learned to turn down opportunities and partnerships that didn't align with her creative vision.
"The more I mature, the more I understand my value," she told Elle.
Beyoncé says that as her career progressed, she knew she had to take control of her work and her legacy in order to speak to fans honestly: "I wanted my words and my art to come directly from me. There were things in my career that I did because I didn't understand that I could say no. We all have more power than we realize," she told Elle.
Other successful individuals have taken control of their careers by learning to say no. Food Network star Donatella Arpaia once asked fellow celebrity chef Bobby Flay for business advice about her next career move. "He said, 'It's more important what you say no to than what you say yes to,'" Arpaia told Grow earlier this year. The takeaway: If you stay true to yourself and make choices that align with your passions, it's okay to say 'no.'
Beyoncé introduced Ivy Park in 2016 as an activewear clothing line co-founded with fashion retailer Topshop. The artist now owns the brand in full, making her the only African-American woman to have 100% ownership of an athleisure brand.
Now, partnered with Adidas, the brand is gearing up for a relaunch in 2020. "This new line is fun and lends itself to creativity, the ultimate power," she told Elle.
Beyoncé gives credit for her innovative partnership with Adidas to her mother, who instilled in her the idea that "creativity starts with taking a leap of faith — telling your fears they are not allowed where you are headed," she says.
Self-reflection and a willingness to take risks in the face of obstacles are two traits that billionaire investor Ray Dalio also says can help you overcome challenges. In his book, "Principles for Success," he explains that "there are always wonderful paths for you, you just have to find them by reflecting well, learning through trial and error, and showing determination to push towards your goal."
Since beginning her professional singing career in 1997, Beyoncé has crossed over into fashion, acting, and producing. Directing, she says, is something she's been passionate about since her early days in the music industry, when she wrote video treatments for Destiny's Child.
The star continues to step outside her comfort zone to hone new skills and develop her expertise in different creative roles. In 2018, Beyoncé wrote, directed, and executive produced "Homecoming," the Netflix film about her history-making Coachella performance. The film received six Emmy nominations.
If you're interested in honing a new talent, consider taking on a side hustle. The experience you gain can help you get a raise, or even find a new career. "Not everything is quantifiable, but if you can bring those outside skills inside the office and demonstrate how you're adding value, you'd be a good candidate for a bonus, raise, or making a pivot within your company," Grant Sabatier, creator of Millennial Money, told Grow earlier this year.
After having a difficult pregnancy, Beyoncé says she took a year to "focus on [her] health." And just like a lot of working moms, she says the "most stressful thing" is balancing "work and life." Still, she finds ways to practice self-care, like meditation and acupuncture.
After all, part of being productive is knowing when to take a break. "Most women have been conditioned to ignore symptoms and just 'tough it out,' and focus on taking care of everyone else before themselves," Beyoncé told Elle. "I am no longer one of those people." Indeed, experts say, trying to tough it out can leave moms depleted and even ill, unable to take care of their families, themselves or their priorities.
In addition to exercising, meditating, and finding ways to unwind that won't break the bank, try managing your workflow so you're sprinkling in periods of productivity with periods of rest. Setting goals and writing lists to help you reach your goals while making time to relax can help you prioritize what's important, and make time for yourself.
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