November 29, 2018 02:34 PM

Jennifer Lopez has been a powerhouse in entertainment for nearly three decades, crossing into film and TV along with the success of her music career.

But it wasn’t until her close relationship with Alex Rodriguez that she realized her business acumen could be sharpened for even more success. During the latest “Conversations with…” series on LinkedIn, Lopez, 49, revealed her boyfriend of nearly two years helped identify her bad business practices.

“You’re the product,” the Second Act star recalled Rodriguez’s advice. “It wasn’t until really Alex came into my life and had such a nice grasp of the business world and so much experience in his own life in real estate and in business and dealing with private equity firms and things like that. Deep down I knew that when I made a company almost two billion dollars, and I only came home with literally… it had to be like 5 percent of that, maybe less. Much less. Yeah, much less than that. That there was something wrong.”

Since retiring from the MLB after 22 seasons, Rodriguez, who guest stars on Shark Tank, has made a lucrative transition into the business world as chief executive of A-Rod Corporation, a holding company for various investments, which include real estate, property construction, and fitness.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Caesars Entertainment)

Lopez had always known her own self-worth in her career, especially being a woman in Hollywood, but has longed for others to recognize they deserve better.

“There’s this thing with artists where we feel so much gratitude to be able to do what we love to do that we don’t give ourselves the value and worth that we deserve. I think women have this problem as well,” the mother of two said. “And I think now and in this moment in time and this day in age, it’s shifting for women.”

Also during the conversation, Lopez shared some of the greatest life lessons she has mastered. “What I think I’ve learned and what I’m trying to do now at this point in my life is to say ‘no’ a little bit more and hone it down to like working smarter instead of working all the time,” she said, adding, “It gets tiring.”

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)

Another takeaway from their many decades in entertainment was the ongoing fight for artist recognition.

“I’ve been of the mind a long long time that the way it’s done in Hollywood and the way artists are, you know, kind of handled and taken care of that there was something wrong with the fact that we are the scarce asset and we bring so much to the table and we usually get the smallest piece of the pie,” she said. “Without us, nothing can really happen.”

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