Putting the “B” Back in Business

When you’re 31 years old, worth over $350 million and showing no signs of slowing down, you’re doing something right. I think we can all learn a thing or ten from Beyoncé that we can apply to our professional careers. (An abriged version of this post was feature on Stand Up Executive.com, so check it out.)

 

1.     Find a way to stand out from the crowd.

Beyoncé spent a large part of her career (16 years to be exact) in a group. In today’s workforce you’d be hard pressed to find a job where you aren’t working in a group/team setting on a least one project. But just because you’re in a group doesn’t mean you need to lose your individuality. Instead make sure to capitalize on the skills you know you can offer the group and always be a team player. So if your funny naturally don’t be afraid to be funny or corky. If you accomplish that successfully you’ll be the girl/guy everyone remembers from the group.

 

 

 

2.     You’re never too old to dance, or learn, or learn to dance.

Everyone loves that one cowker who is always dancing around the office. Queen Bey’s moves were not the greatest when she was a member of Destiny’s Child. In fact, her most memorable move from that era was her shaking her jelly in the Bootylicious video. But once Beyoncé embarked on her solo career she clearly took some dance lessons! Just because you didn’t do something well in your last job doesn’t mean you can’t improve on it now! Who knows maybe Buzzfeed will write an article complete with 47 amazing gifs about you too.

 

3.     Fight Temptation

This is self-explanatory. Temptation is always lurking. For example, the open bar at a company function (don’t be the office drunk), that Facebook bookmark that was “already there” from the employee before (don’t be stupid), or when a co-worker asks you how you really feel about a member of management and promises to keep it a secret (again, don’t be stupid). If you’re afraid you don’t have the willpower watch Beyoncé’s movie, Fighting Temptations.  

4.     Incorporate the old with the new

Beyoncé is a huge fan of putting a fresh new spin on some old moves (Single Ladies? à check out the original Bob Fosse choreography). We can do the same thing in the workplace. If you see something that is pretty dated that you think you can liven up and make relevant again, do it! And humor is never a bad route to take when living things up!  I doubt your superiors would reprimand you from bettering the company.

5.     Smile more

People like it when other people smile. It makes you seem nicer and approachable, two things that everyone wants to see in their coworkers and employees. So tell a joke or share a funny YouTube video or meme with a coworker. And remember a giggle never hurt anyone.

 

6.     Stop Networking and Start Connecting (Michelle,Barack,Oprah)

We throw around the word networking all the time, but what does it really mean? Going to a couple soirees and exchanging business cards? No thanks. Beyoncé has makes real connections like dinner with the Obamas, writing a genuine note to Serena Williams, or even making Oprah the godmother of her child! Verizon claims to have the number one network, but I beg to differ.

7.     Learn a new language

 Seriously. Beyoncé has done three songs entirely in Spanish since she launched her solo career. We live in a world where nearly every industry is going global, and being able to communicate with business people in their native tongue will not only make you competitive, but it’ll make you’ll look good doing it. 

8.     Come Back Strong

This one is simple. If you’re going to take a leave of absence (summer vacation, 5 “sick” days or I don’t know HAVE A BABY!) come back stronger than ever. Bring new ideas to the table, catch up on what happened while you were out and if that means staying late or coming in early, do it. It will let everyone know you always mean business. 

9.     Branch Out

So you were hired on as a Junior but you really love designing , what’s stopping you? You. Speak up and branch out, no one likes a one trick pony (unless it is wearing a sweater like this), and the more you learn and the more you can do (graphics, video, writing, editing etc.), the more valuable you are to your company and potential employers. Beyoncé is a singer, actress, writer, producer, mother and a diva. You could stand to become proficient in InDesign at least.

 

 10. Leave a Legacy

Perhaps one of the most important things we can do, wherever we go is to leave a legacy. Impact your company in some way whether it’s getting a major client, changing the corporate culture or even being the one who always brings treats to meetings. Beyoncé has a beautiful song “I was here” and in it she says “Everyone will know, I was here.” The same should be true for you in your professional and personal life.

 

  

 
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EXCEL-eration

Clearly I'm behind in posting and now you know why!

Pronuced ex-cell-a-ray-tion. Part of speech; verb. Definition: When things suddenly go from a nice “It’s a nice day outside I think I’ll take the scenic route today “ pace, to a “ oh my god we have three minutes left before happy over is over, and the drinks go back to $80, so you push pass the waitress and throw your card at the bartender like it’s a Chinese star” pace. Welcome to day 5 of my internship and day 11 in NY.

DISCLAIMER I am in now way complaining, I just want you all to know how different this all is for me and how much I L-O-V-E IT!

I have taken to having my photo's taken by rats. The work cheap.

I have taken to having my photo’s taken by rats. The work cheap.

SO my second day started pretty much like the first. There was a train I got on it, and got off it etcetera. But this day I arrived to my desk to an inbox already brimming with email. They included, but were not limited to, welcomes, introductions, meeting reminders, meeting invitations, workshops and account briefings or “downloads”. I felt like I was going to going to… well do nothing until it all went away ( which is what my boss/advisor/friend at school has diagnosed a the thought process of our generation).

But alas, I did not, do nothing that is. And before you know it I pretty much had the whole replying to emails and scheduling things down. I learned more than I ever thought there was to know about excel, poked around in Radian 6 and Vocus PR Software and also learned how to use the phone routing service Spherical. I have learned more in the past week than I ever thought possible. Things move a lot faster when you’re doing real work and not simulated work (that’s not a diss to the instructors I’ve had…much love to WKU SJ&B). By the end of the week I was exhausted.

Never leave home with out my red towel!

Never leave home with out my red towel!

But not to exhausted to hang out with the other interns! Yeah we’ve totally started bonding. Like we text each other mean girls quotes and take trips to Coney Island bonding. So there’s that. They are all awesome and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds for us. A few of our excursions include Coney Island, getten lost in Central Park, Happy Hour at TGIF in Time Square and all included many inappropriate jokes along the way. Needless to say, LIFETIME friendships are in the making people. (@TaylorHatch27 @_Mandylion @Cpiedmo follow them if you like cool people).

Well as if life hadn’t excel-erated fast enough. Tomorrow I am running 4 miles in the 5th Annual Peppercomm Uncorporate Challenge. So there’s that. Providing I survive I will make another post. Promise.

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The Day That Ended With Beyonce… & Jay-Z

If you want the story behind the title you have to read the entire post. (or just crush my feelings and skip to the end.) I’ll start at the beginning.

So there was a mommy and a daddy…just kidding.

Believe it or not it was sunny in the morning, even though it rained the entire afternoon.

Believe it or not it was sunny in the morning, even though it rained the entire afternoon.

Today I awoke promptly at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for my first day as a Peppercomm intern. Now I realized I haven’t posted much about what the internship actually is, until now. Peppercomm is a strategic communications and public relations firm that is headquartered here in NYC. The firm was named best place to work in NYC last year and has a truly unique approach to the industry. I arrived a little early and met a fellow intern for some pre-first day coffee. His name is Chris (@Cpiedmo on twitter) and he’s a fellow Scandal lover. So there’s that.

It's not the floor of the oval office, but it's still super cool.

It’s not the floor of the oval office, but it’s still super cool.

The building has doormen. Yes just like Sex and the City. A little background on my history with the doormen of the 470 building. I came to visit Peppercomm while I was in NYC for spring break and the extremely nice doormen would not let me up. Sad right? But at least they were nice about it. So I went next door. Sat in the coffee shop and redid my entire cover letter to reflect that experience. I thought it was clever and definitely something worth sharing. But back to today.

I have my very own cubicle. With two awesome white boards, also mine. A phone, with my name on it. A chair, for my gluteus maximus. An elevator key, that’s mine. A recycling container… get the picture?

After all the intern horror stories you read online, seeing a welcome sign is like having your one fiscally republican friend pick an expensive restaurant when it's their turn to pay. Shocking, but pleasant.

After all the intern horror stories you read online, seeing a welcome sign is like having your one fiscally republican friend spring for an expensive restaurant when it’s their turn to pay. Shocking, but pleasant.

After I got settled one of the senior members took me around and introduced me to everyone. (Fun Fact: The office already has one Nick.) Then we filled out some paper work and the intern committee took us to PS 450 for a fantastic lunch. At this lunch I learned that there is a company race next week… and I love to run. So there’s that.

After lunch all the interns met with Peppercomm president,Ted Birkhahn. He told funny stories and did an excellent job explaining to us something that I’ve been hoping all along.*drumroll* They value the interns! Ted assured us that the internship would be mutually beneficial and encouraged us to be proactive not only when dealing with our assigned accounts, but basically anywhere that we think we might be usefully or have a vested interest in.

The rest of the day was filled with lots of reading and familiarizing myself with the accounts that I was assigned to. We are each assigned to a buddy who is a full-time employee. My buddy was sick today, so hopefully I will get to interact with her tomorrow. Just one day’s worth of knowledge I received has already made me hungry for more. I can’t wait for tomorrow.
That’s all for now folks!

So the moment you’ve all been waiting for. So I leave the building and say goodbye to the nice doormen. I walk outside. It’s raining. I start of towards the green line but decide to walk towards Madison Square Park in the rain because I was that drunk off adrenaline. I get to the corner of 26 and 6th. Pull out my iPod. Put on my headphones. Press play…………… And “Crazy in love” came sailing through my earbuds as the rain pelted me gently on the head. I’ve never felt closer to euphoria. And that’s how my first day of work in NYC ended with Beyonce… & Jay-Z.

The best part is… I get to do it all again tomorrow.

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A Patch of Grass in the Concrete Jungle

Happy Memorial Day! Okay First did you know. . .

It has to be true if there is a stick for it, right? #Awareness

It has to be true if there is a stick for it, right? #Awareness

So the weather today was in the 70s and super sunny! (aka time to break out the 9in shorts) I went into the city to hang out in Madison Square Park with my friend Joele who is starting a new job in that area. The park was nice and you could see the empire state building from where we were sitting which was awesome. I read an 2 chapters of a novel and one of the chapters was all about getting your first tattoo (which might be an important detail to remember for later in the trip).

Selfie in the park.

Selfie in the park.

Now if you don’t know, I LOVE MAC & CHEESE! And for lunch we went to a place called Schnipper’s, which had Mac & Joe. Nope that was not the name of the owner or the creepy old guys sitting next to us. It was the name of a dish that was half mac and cheese and half sloppy joe. Genius right? Wash it down with $2 Brooklyn Summer Ale and I was in Madison Square heaven.

No filter. Just good food.

No filter. Just good food.

Well since my friend had to be at work at 5 we parted ways and I venture around the Flatiron District alone. I walked up to the empire state building then down to Madison square garden. (Which had no greenery despite the name.) Then I wandered aimlessly around Chelsea and saw some beautiful apartments and restaurants.

I laugh in the face of oncoming traffic.

I laugh in the face of oncoming traffic.

I almost forgot! I also went by the building that I will be working in starting tomorrow! *drum roll*

470 South Park Avenue (Like Monopoly but no one has to be the shoe).

470 South Park Avenue (Like Monopoly but no one has to be the shoe).


Ta –Da! Well it’ll be through those doors and up and elevator but you get the picture. I’m nervous, excited and anxious to see what the 470 building has in store for me. I will let you all know how the first day goes tomorrow. Wish me luck. But now I must figure out what to wear (and yes this will take forever).

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The First [48]

I have survived my first [48] hours in NYC! *Does the cabbage patch* Only 1826.21 more to go and I can say I survived an entire summer in the big apple.

I must admit the journey to my summer home was not the easiest. Public Transit +3 Huge Bags= Failure. I had dreaded packing since I found out that I would be coming to NYC. Two 50 lb. bags could not possibly be enough space for an entire summer wardrobe? After two weeks, some tears, a trip to Plato’s Closet and Goodwill I thought I had narrowed it down enough.I was able to fit almost everything into one carry-on and two checked bags.

Narrowed it down to 11 pairs of shoes 2 sling bags, 1 messenger bag, 15 button up shirts 13 pairs of pants (for work).

Narrowed it down to 11 pairs of shoes 2 sling bags, 1 messenger bag, 15 button up shirts 13 pairs of pants (for work).


But I arrived at the airport and to my surprise one of my bags (the one I had to sit on to zip) weighed 64.7 lbs. If the bottomless bag in Harry Potter was real I could have used it as my carry-on. To make matters worse, I waited in an extremely long security line at the Nashville airport (approx. 1.25 hours). Not to mention a baby cried behind me the entire time. But I made my flight and got an aisle seat #Winning.

I arrived in New York took a shuttle into Manhattan and then took the subway to Buschwick, Brooklyn where I will be staying for the next two and a half months. Then I started watching season one of House of Cards the Netflix original series. Which I have since finished. You should check it out. 13 episodes, whole lot of drama. On my second day I watched more House of Cards and spent most of the afternoon at the Artists and Fleas Market in Williamsburg with my friend Tyler. He sells awesome bowties there and also online so check him out at DapKitsch.com.

Then I visited my first NYC grocery store, had dinner at Café Ghia in Brooklyn. They have amazing mac and cheese and Original Sin in a bottle.

Original Sin Hard Cider

Original Sin Hard Cider

Yum.
The weather was cold and rainy. Not what a Florida boy is used to at the end of April but I’ll live.

Stay tuned for the next episode of my NYC adventure. Which will probably have something to do with Memorial Day in Manhattan.

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