Thirty years ago John Lennon was shot. The singer-songwriter who led The Beatles revolutionized the popular music scene, and the group is synonymous with rock and roll. But the Beatles’ success didn’t just happen. It was planned and executed as any good business should be.
An upcoming book reviews their business acumen and how they became such icons. Their fame was no accident. They set out to become big–bigger than Elvis–and they succeeded. How did they do it?
One simple answer is that they learned to work hard. For two years from 1960-62 they beetled away in Hamburg living in squalid conditions and playing night after night in a tough town. Ordeals like this sharpen our skills, and the proving ground in Germany helped them hone their craft. In any venture, it’s good to work in a place that challenges you to raise your game.
But hard work can wear you down, both physically and mentally. It’s important to know your limits and pace yourself. Business isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Hard work is critical, but it’s equally important to work at a pace that allows you to sustain your effort.
Finally, there’s the issue of passion. No one can listen to the Fab Four and not be impressed by how dedicated they were to their music. If you love what you do the work isn’t really work. Another take, another blog, another presentation isn’t a burden, it’s another chance to do what you love.
The Beatles changed the world. Their passion, pace, and work ethic are three lessons that any business–or investor–can learn from.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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