10 Fool-proof life and career lessons from Beyoncé's publicist
July 09, 2015 at 6:00 am
In an exclusive interview on The Jake Sasseville Show, publicist extraordinaire Yvette Noel-Schure shared her story of what it meant to be an American immigrant child raised in Grenada, taking what some may consider to be an unconventional route and still managing to make it big.
With a ravishing passion for the entertainment industry, Noel-Schure got her start in the music industry writing for Black Beat Magazine, where she interviewed and built relationships with a number of legendary stars including Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, TLC and Bobby Brown. She later transitioned into the world of publicity and was thrown into her first gig representing Mariah Carey at the height of her musical career, then later Prince and Destiny’s Child.
Noel-Schure’s story is one of sheer endurance, strength, love and resilience. She went from leaving the beautiful island of Grenada at the tender age of 14 to going to a city college, then working with some of the biggest celebrities in the industry (including Queen Bey), Yvette Noel-Schure takes listeners on an inspirational journey during this interview while teaching a number of life lessons along the way. Check out some of the most impactful lessons below.
1. It’s not about where you come from, it’s about how hard you work and how determined you are.
“I grew up in the Caribbean, and as an immigrant child there’s nothing that’s taught more to you than the passion and hard work that comes with it. Don’t feel bad if you’re the last one there. Get it done, finish it, wake up with the sun. I grew up with my grandparents mostly, and the only music that was in the house was Catholic hymns. When I came to the United States, I had one career path in mind — I wanted to be a writer.”
2. Taking the first step won’t always be easy…
“The first year was difficult for me. I cried a lot, I missed my grandparents a lot, I would always ask to call them.”
3. But things will always get better.
“After about a year, I kind of settled in and decided that I was going to make America work for me.”
4. The college/university you attend doesn’t decide your path, you do.
“I applied to three colleges: NYU, UCLA and City College [of New York]. It’s some weirdness that happened to be honest with you. I knew that I wouldn’t be accepted to NYU because I completely worked below what I was capable of doing on my SATs. I knew that I was uncomfortable the day that I was taking the test and I did not do what I knew I could do. I was really, really smart — unusually smart. Because I wasn’t supposed to know half the things I knew because I was a nosey kid. Beyond book smarts, I knew things that I should not have known, but I didn’t understand the American way of testing yet. I didn’t get mastered, so I knew it was not a good thing. I applied to that [NYU], did not get accepted. Then I fell in love [with my] now husband of so many years and I kind of decided that I wanted to go to City College if I didn’t go to NYU, and the plan was to re-apply to NYU once I got all those straight A’s at City College. But I found myself at City College, I just didn’t want to leave City College. I became part of the community there. … For some reason I felt like I was getting the education I needed to get and I was meeting the people I needed to meet right there on that Harlem campus and I became a very, very big fish in a very, very small pond. And I actually felt more at home at City College, because there was a true Caribbean presence at the college. And I joined the Caribbean Students Association, I became the editor at The Campus, which was our newspaper. I felt like I was really alive there, and I didn’t want to leave. Truth be told that when I left City College, I cried like a baby.”
5. Love can conquer all, and it’s worth fighting for.
“We are an interracial couple and we — in ‘79 when we met, even— New York was not as accepting of difference as it is [now]. We knew that the rest of the country certainly was not, but New York had its problems too. We had people throw things at us and say ugly things to us. But we knew that our love could sustain all of that. And we wanted children. So we had to do it as a family unit, you know, even tighter than anything else because of everything else we thought would be thrown at us. And, you know, we didn’t have family support from his family in the beginning, so we knew that we had to stick together as a couple.”
6. You have to really believe in the work that you do and the people you work with.
“How I came about them [the artists] is I really believed in them and wrote these incredible pieces about them in Black Beat [Magazine] and would not stop writing about them. Like, I completely believed in Queen Latifah. I never represented her, but I completely believed in her. Every opportunity I got, I wrote about her, you know? I just thought she was so incredible. She was the ultimate feminist, she was such a strong, strong girl.”
7. You have to genuinely care about the well-being of those you work with.
On representing Destiny’s Child for the first time…
“I knew in that moment the responsibility I was given and I knew being a publicist was not what I needed to do. In that moment, I needed to be a teacher and I needed to be a guide and I needed to be a mentor.”
8. You won’t always be happy. You’re not supposed to be, and that’s okay. But in the end, you will be alright.
“We live in a world where everyone thinks that they have to be happy. Life is not always about being happy. You can cry all you want right now, and you can cry tomorrow if you want. But when you’re done crying and being sad about this, stand up, stand tall and walk forward. This does not define you, it shapes you.”
9. We have to learn to love others more and to show it. Because there’s no better feeling than knowing that someone has your back.
“Understanding that the essence of people is what we truly have to be a part of. We have to be about love and integrity and trust. And above all… love. Just to feel that somebody actually loves you. Sometimes in the middle of the day I will just text [my husband] David and just say, ‘You’re a good man, and I just want to tell you that.’ You know? Because he is.”
10. Always try to have enough patience to look for the good in “bad” people.
“We hear so much stuff about the bad side of people, but you know, we all are cut that way. I have an evil side… trust me I have an evil side. But to make the good part of you the most important part of you is what shapes me every day. Remembering to be good, remembering to be kind, remembering to live by the three words I have always lived by. And they are patience, passion and persistence.”
Check out her full interview with Jake Sasseville below, we promise you’ll love it:
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