By Lisa George
“Life should be about the business of enjoying it” my chiropractor says and he is right. Dictionary.com’s first definition of the word “business” is “an occupation, profession, or trade” and the seventh, “something with which a person is rightfully concerned.” So basically, each of us should make enjoying life our respective occupation… something that we are rightfully concerned about and enjoy it. I recently had the opportunity to interview the man famously known as Beyonce’s former manager and father – the man who personally supervised the unprecedented success of Destiny’s Child which earned accolades including the Best-Selling Girl Group of All Time, over 100 million in record sales, and nearly 200 major awards from organizations like the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMY® Awards), MTV, Billboard, BET, the NAACP, and more. When I first came across the announcement of Matthew Knowles’ The DNA of Achievers: 10 Traits of Highly Successful Professionals, I was intrigued. As a person who loves biology and the other sciences, I was quite curious about how he tied the title into a book seemingly meant to provide guidance to business owners, entrepreneurs, and other professionals. I quickly secured the interview, read the book, and diligently did my research. What I discovered from my preparation and conversation with Mr. Knowles was that everyone should read the book – not just those interested in achieving career success – but also those interested in achieving success in the enjoyment of life. After all, if one did some introspective thinking, the realization that life is a business will quickly come to light.
Already an Amazon #1 best-seller prior to its October 15th release, many readers have already started on their journey of introspection as they dove into the chapter on vision where Jon Platt says “A lot of the time the problem isn’t the lack of a vision. It goes back to the earlier point about the lack of a person’s trust in himself or herself.” And later in chapter three, the parallels between business and life are exemplified with Dev Vangel ow’s “How you do anything is how you do everything.” Knowles’ first book is clearly a product of his desire to educate – his passion for motivating others towards greatness. In the book, he seamlessly weaves the dropping of nuggets with quizzes and interviews of respected peers – guiding principles that masterfully serves as a blueprint. When asked for one word to describe how he felt the moment he saw the final product, Knowles responds with a simple yet heartfelt “The one word would be ‘proud’ ”. He expands with “Well, it’s my first book and I put a lot into it. I learned a lot (about) the creative process of writing your first book.” With thirty essays by luminaries in the book, there were a lot of moving parts, with the interviews, for him to deal with. “It’s kinda like making your first album. You go through the process and you make some mistakes. You do some things right and you learn from it. Then you see the final product and you say ‘Wow!’ ”
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): “an extremely long macromolecule that is the main component of chromosomes and is the
material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms…” (Dictionary.com)
“The beginning of this DNA, the root of being an achiever is based on passion.” Knowles asserts that the DNA of highly successful individuals is pretty much the same but also reminds us that it is something that can be obtained. When asked how he stays impassioned about his endeavors, he says “When you look at passion and work ethics, they’re connected because if you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t feel like work. If you live your passion, you never work a day in your life.” For emphasis, he repeats “If you live your passion, you never work a day in your life” and continues with “I used to literally go to bed and say ‘Wow, I’m excited about tomorrow’. Every day for me is doing what I love and I stay in that headset. Yeah, we have to deal with life but for the most part, I get to live my passion all day long.”
The seed for writing this book came from his ongoing interactions with other successful people during his worldwide travels. “In travels, you meet so many new people and especially on an airplane,… You’re there and your neighbor and you start talking. Consistently, I would meet successful people and consistently, they would say the same thing. One day I thought ‘this is interesting. Everyone that I talk to says the same thing. And then, I thought about my friends and how they fit in and I thought about myself. And, that’s when I said ‘this’ I want to be my first book.” He already knew that he was going to start writing books but tossed around the idea of what to write first. “Should the first be about myself… about the music industry.. or should my first book be a self-help motivational book?” He chose the latter with an intended broad audience. “I didn’t want it to be a music book. I didn’t want it to be just for a specific group of folks. I guess because of the ten years of being a college educator and professor, it changes how you think and how you present information. I wanted to present this information in an introspective approach so that people could dig deep into” how each chapter related to themselves “and learn and grow”. He wants readers to understand that each chapter is inter-related and in order to be a totally well-rounded person, in success, one has to have all of these traits and “you have to develop them and these traits can be developed.” The chapters in his book are Passion, Work Ethics, Vision, Risk-Takers, Team Building, Talk-To-Do Ratio, Planning, Learning from Failure, Giving Back, and Thinking Outside the Box. From the titles, one can see how they apply to professionals but also to the business of enjoying life as well.
Matthew Knowles is a Grammy Award-winning executive producer, former top sales Xerox executive worldwide, founder, president and CEO of Music World Entertainment, professor at Texas Southern University, popular keynote and guest speaker, philanthropist, husband, and proud father. Originally titled 10 traits of Highly Successful People, Knowles dedicated the book to his deceased parents, Helen and Matthew Knowles who he says instilled within him “a strong work ethic, an entrepreneurial spirit and the importance of giving back, not to mention a passion for life” as well as being a risk-taker. Those intent on enhancing their DNA can buy his book on Amazon or at www.dnaofachievers.com