In case you took a social media break over the weekend and missed the explosion, Beyoncé released a new album when absolutely nobody was expecting it. 17 songs. 14 videos. And all she did was post a sneak preview video on Instagram and say “surprise!” She sold 450,000+ in the first day. Her latest release is officially now iTunes fastest selling album ever. Her new album will be number one on Billboard’s chart this week. Number one in 104 countries, in fact. Not a bad way to close out 2013, right? You can click here to buy Beyoncé’s latest.

Video screen capture via The Grio

Video screen capture via The Grio

Since Bey dropped the social media bomb, everyone has had something to say about her new content. Folks are up in arms about the explicit nature of her content (hey, she told us all she’s a Grown Woman. She can do whatever she wants). People are parsing the meaning of her lyrics, debating whether or not she’s a real feminist, and comparing her success to that of other artists – the stages of dealing with a Beyoncé event played out not just on Twitter, but everywhere.

I found myself very inspired by Beyoncé’s new album, in terms of the production and the release of it all. The secrecy required. The behind the scenes work that went into it. I wound up tweeting all about that, caught up in the frenzy like everybody else.



I’ve been marinating over the album release and the album itself all weekend long. Been watching my friends and peers in the blogosphere discuss and intensely debate Beyoncé’s lyrics and looks in the videos, trying to make sense of what she’s trying to say and what it all means. I’m not here for that today. What I am here for, are the lessons about work and passion and achievement that are undeniably there in Beyoncé’s successful social media experiment. Here’s what I learned about success and achieving goals, when Beyoncé released her album via Instagram with no prior warning.

7 Things Beyoncé’s New Album Release Taught Me

1 – Don’t talk about it. Just be about it. In fact, shut up about it until you’ve got something to actually talk about.

2 – Never be afraid to step your game up and take your craft to a higher level.

3 – Keep a close counsel and protect your vision.

4 – Leave procrastination in 2013.

5 – Switch things up and keep the people guessing.

6 – Be ambitious. You set trends that way.

7 – Let them talk. They’re gonna talk anyway. Your best response is in the work you produce.

Quite honestly, I’m inspired. Say what you will about Beyoncé in any other capacity, but you cannot deny her work ethic, her boldness of vision, and her incredible capability to inspire emotions. I just want to thank her for inspiring me to work harder and smarter.

Any questions?



There are MANY very interesting longform thinkpieces about Beyoncé’s latest album circulating online. Here are a few I thought worth reading and discussing:

Loving “Beyoncé ” as a Black Woman, via Salon

You Have To Listen to the Powerful Feminist Speech Beyoncé Samples On Her New Album, via Buzzfeed

5 Reasons I’m Here For Beyoncé , the Feminist, via Crunk Feminist Collective

Beyoncé’s New Album Should Silence Her Feminist Critics, via The Guardian

Why White Feminists are Mad at Beyoncé , via The Gloss

How Beyoncé is Re-Defining and Re-Branding Feminism, via Think Feminist.

What are your feelings, bellas?



mariedenee says:
December 16, 2013, 4:13 pm
YOU SAID EVERYTHING I was thinking! Thank you Love!
Michelle Jones says:
December 16, 2013, 4:21 pm
Awesomely said.
D says:
December 16, 2013, 4:21 pm
I was just telling my sister some of the same things you touched on. I was most impressed with the work ethic; the people working behind the scenes; the ability to be about it, rather than talk about it. Overall, this move inspired me to continue to conquer my goals.
Dana says:
December 16, 2013, 4:23 pm
I like that "shut up about it". So difficult to keep talking and start taking action and doing sometimes! Talk is cheap.
Alissa says:
December 16, 2013, 4:26 pm
You definitely took the words out of my mouth. I for one was completely inspired by her history making move. I do believe she was getting bored and tired of the music industry and decided to do something that felt real and authentic to her and to her fans. I believe not every artist can do what she did. Her fan base is crazy and her fans love her no matter what, that's why this move was successful. As far as the creativity, she definitely stepped her game up from anything she's done. I like seeing this bold, extra sexy, and sensual side of her. I am inspired to step my own game up in all that I do. I think its so easy to get comfortable and complacent and Beyonce just got me fired up to be a game changer and I am not even a Bey stan like that but, I can respect her hustle.
Rosetta Thurman says:
December 16, 2013, 4:26 pm
I caught just a little snippet of all the social media frenzy over the album release and haven't even had a chance to listen yet. But I LOVE your list of 7 lessons - especially #1. So many of us get caught up in the non-action-taking phase of talking about it and asking people for advice about it and thinking about it...but never actually get around to DOING the damn thing. Beyonce has been an inspiration for me in my business and this is just one more reason why. She doesn't get caught up in the drama of the industry and just keeps PRODUCING and putting out good music for her fans - the people who actually make purchases. My wish for all women in 2014 is that we stop worrying about what people will say and just do what we were put here on earth to do. Thank you Patrice for continually doing what YOU do and doing it so well. You're one of my inspirations, too :)
Ann Tillage says:
December 16, 2013, 4:39 pm
I have just finished a conversation with a friend on Queen Bey. On several levels, ANYONE can learn from her ground breaking move. This was ingenious!! Thank you for the post, Patrice!!
Erica says:
December 16, 2013, 5:39 pm
Excellent post Afrobella. You were in my head girl. I think Mrs. Carter has given us all food for thought and what a perfect time of year to follow the 7 lessons. Thank you so much for including the other posts - very insightful.
Lisa says:
December 16, 2013, 6:29 pm
I am all about leaving procrastination in 2013. Learned that the hard way today.
Antonio says:
December 17, 2013, 1:46 am
Inspired beyond belief. I agree 100%.
Dija says:
December 17, 2013, 2:05 am
Stop talking, start doing! Mrs. Carter's attitude is an inspiration. You're brilliant for putting it so succinctly!
BK says:
December 17, 2013, 10:22 am
Bravo!!!! #bowdown you said all that needs to be said.. your takeaways???? yes I will be linking to this post..
Dawn says:
December 17, 2013, 3:34 pm
Patrice ,You have given us something to really look at and celebrate . I had missed the Queen Bey social media storm but your post gave the best highlights. Bravo to her and to you for seeing a higher vision and sharing it. I like that we can be inspired, impressed and celebrate each other and in a positive way . I love that you continue to be a wise teacher and wonderful woman friend .I wish you and your family a joyous holiday .
monica says:
December 17, 2013, 4:47 pm
What a timely list. It is along the lines of Derek Sivers' TED talk from 2010. According to Sivers, research has shown that annoucing your goals makes them less likely to happen. Apparently sharing your plans and gaining that social acceptance tricks the mind into thinking that your goals have already been accomplished. Also, not sharing your goals can prevent negative feedback from people who mean well (and those who don't). Not to say that all feedback is negative, but seeds have to planted and nurtured to grow. Shielding your ideas and projects in the early stages from naysayers allows you to develop them fully or let them go without dealing the disappointment or the "I told you so" comments from others. Mrs. Carter has proven this.
Retrodiva says:
December 17, 2013, 4:55 pm
I think one of the most important things I took away from this amazing album is that 1) Mrs. Carter is defining feminism for herself and 2) bitches get shit done. Modern feminism includes everyone, and she is embracing it on her own terms. Yes, you can be married (with a rocking sex life, go on Bey), with a baby, and still be a feminist. Yes, you can be sexual, beautiful, and strong. You can show off your stuff and still be empowered. You get the feeling that she is ALLOWING you to objectify her, and yet she has control over it as well. Feminism shouldn't be defined so narrowly that all of us can't find a spot in it, and Queen Bey is just showing us how that's done.
pets says:
December 17, 2013, 5:44 pm
Patrice you continue to be at the eye of what is hip and new. I happen to know that you too have a similar work ethic to Beyonce, Great post!
Pamela says:
December 17, 2013, 6:52 pm
I've always like Beyonce! After her HBO special I became a fan.....after she dropped a BOMBSHELL.....I admire her soooo much! She did exactly what she wanted to and videos???? Who does that??? Beyonce Carter does! You've summed it all up....No Procrastination....Mildew or Barque!
T says:
December 18, 2013, 2:48 pm
I'm just in awe of you two ladies :)
T says:
December 18, 2013, 3:04 pm
T says:
December 18, 2013, 3:05 pm
I'm a huge fan of Beyoncé, borderline stan (don't judge me) lol! I have big business plans in the works the beginning of next year. Only 3 people know about them and they're my closest family/friends, of who's opinion I value and trust. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in getting approvals out of excitement from people who don't matter, that we don't actually focus on our goals. I was practicing the "Move-In-Silence" behavior for my upcoming plans, but it is especially heightened since the surprise album release. Bey just keeps on inspiring me, while I'm taking notes!
Wilma Jones says:
December 18, 2013, 3:41 pm
Nice perspective. I am not a big Bey fan, but no one can question her work ethic. You got that right. Love the "7 Things," - there is a lot to learn there for many of us! Thanks for the insight. Http://
Tamia says:
December 18, 2013, 5:49 pm
So funny, I wrote a VERY similar post on my site! Irrespective of what you think of her music, the work/creative vision/marketing acumen/cojones it took to produce THAT project and release it in THAT manner ("Oh yeah, here's my art" *drops mic, sashays away*) was a 100% baller move. Made me re-examine my game!
sandy says:
December 22, 2013, 6:28 pm
I like your lessons too. I discussed this with others and what I found is that many said they spent to much time trying to expand networks with folks who don't share the vision. Learn to value your 24 hours a day and make it pay for you. When you are productive, you then inspire others. It's not about the quantity of relationships but ultimately about quality. Thank you Bella for all that you are and do.
Melanese says:
December 23, 2013, 9:10 pm
I should be honest and say I didn't have any thoughts on the manner in which she chose to release HER album. Describing her as a feminist definitely never crossed my mind. Very glad to see the position you took regarding her album. Don't talk about it, be about it. I can relate to that as well as the other six points. Very positive. Headed to watch this TED talk now...thanks for posting. Happy Holidays MAP
Tyra says:
January 2, 2014, 9:26 am
Great article. Only comment I will say is that the challenger dl disaster sample did not feel appropriate. I am old enough to remember watching it in pass and remember how devastating it was. Too soon
Shannan says:
January 6, 2014, 6:36 pm
This list gave me LIFE!!!
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