The Beatle Who Became a Businessman: Lessons from A Hard Day’s Night

The Beatle Who Became a Businessman: Lessons from A Hard Day’s Night

A company named MPL Communications is one of the world’s largest music publishing businesses. It holds the rights to great standards such as “Autumn Leaves,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “The Christmas Song.” Yes, it is that Christmas song that goes “…chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose.” The company owns these songs and catalogs of some of the most popular songs and music scores used in television shows and movies. By the way, the “M” in MPL Communications stands for McCartney. And yes, it’s that McCartney.

From Beatle to Businessman

Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney is cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as “the most successful songwriter ever and most honored compose and performer in music”. He has over 25,000 copyrights to songs he had written, co-written, produced, or acquired in a music career that began way back in the 1960s. Over the years, at least 32 of his songs have hit No.1 in music charts including the sad love song “Yesterday” which has been covered by more than 25,000 artists from different countries around the world. Today, his net worth is $1.2 Billion. All this fame and fortune began when he took a few basic guitar lessons at home from his own father who was a semi-professional musician.

In 1964, the English rock band The Beatles starred in the movie “A Hard Day’s Night”, a musical comedy that portrayed the lives of “The Fab Four” which supposedly transpired over 36 hours full of misadventures and humor. The movie was a huge success and was recognized as the 88th most influential British film in the 20th century. Of course, the film featured McCartney’s songs and some of those composed by his fellow band members. By 1971, McCartney used his knowledge and experience of playing in a band and scoring for movies to enter the music licensing business.

Do What You Love, Success Will Follow

In 1970, the world was shocked when the Beatles announced their disbandment. McCartney could have just laid back, enjoyed his earnings from song royalities, concerts, film and t.v. appearances, merchandise, and other band-related income which were in the millions of pounds. He was set for life and did not need to work for a living at that point. Yet, ever so driven, Paul established MPL the following year and then proceeded to form another band, Paul McCartney and the Wings. This new band also made a number of hits and toured around the world. By 1982, he started a solo career and did historic musical collaborations with other superstars like Michael Jackson. Despite the break-up of his two bands, he kept going, and he kept making music. Success kept following him because he stuck to what he knew best: composing songs that resonated with people. Even late into his 70s, he is still youthful and stays in touch with the current music scene. At one time, he even worked on a project with rapper Kanye West.

woman working at home

Constant Improvement and Originality

When asked about the Beatles’ secret to success, he had this to say: “We were just trying to get better and develop. That was the force behind the Beatles. We’d do one song, and it’d be a hit, and instead of doing another with the same formula, we’d say, ‘OK, we’ve done that.’ You listen to the Beatles’ output and no two songs are alike.”

The Beatles were able to conquer the music scene because of their simple but memorable lyrics that were set to an upbeat tempo and enjoyable rhythm. Consciously, they composed songs that would stand out o their own as originals. McCartney could have just followed the Beatles’ formula and used that to charm crowds around the globe. Yet for him, he wanted his subsequent bands and his solo career to have a different sound and feel. For him, originality was everything. So from the 1960s when he had a hip mop top hairstyle to this day as a septuagenarian singer, he still works hard day and night like the musical genius and professional that he is.

Keep Looking for Opportunities and Take Risks

When McCartney started MPL Communications in 1971, he was quite unsure about his prospects as a musician now that the Beatles had gone separate ways. When the opportunity to enter the music publishing business was shared with him, he also had apprehensions but took the risk anyway. The risk paid off, and he is now one of the wealthiest men in music history.

After decades of churning out hit song after hit song, he still strums his guitar and taps on the piano to play music. His concerts and performances remain huge commercial successes but many of his sets on stage are now for charity. His philantrophic work has benefited many organizations involved in the fight against AIDS, cancer, leukemia, and other advocacies that need support.

Indeed, Paul McCartney has traveled that long and winding road as a musician and performer. He has overcome the challenges of business and reverted profits to people as a way of giving back for all the wealth and fame that fans have bestowed on him. He can look back on yesterday and smile for all that he has done well.

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