The Beatles as an example to Business Owners…

Planning, Productivity, Videos,

The Beatles famously worked ‘Eight Days a Week’ but that’s not where the similarities are! There are lessons around a range of subjects in the Fab Four’s example. Watch this to find out exactly what they are and how they could transform your business…


Hi and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax and to help your business grow.

Now, today’s episode was inspired by a documentary that I watched recently, that I actually recorded over Christmas, so we’d had it for quite a while. And it’s about The Beatles, entitled Eight Days a Week, which obviously, most business owners can empathize with as a sentiment, because we’re all pulled in lots of different directions all the time and just have a million and one demands on our time and things to do.

The Beatles were quite amazing though and I didn’t really realize because they’d already separated before I really took any notice. I hadn’t really appreciated just how much they achieved in the time that they were together: they were doing two or three concerts a night; they were traveling and doing lots and lots of media and photo shoots and all sorts of things.

And this is back in the days when the media coverage couldn’t be done and recorded; most of it had to be done live. Obviously, there was no internet back then either. The demands on their time were just amazing.

It also surprised me to find out that Paul and John, between them, during their careers, wrote over 300 songs. Now, we know, looking back, that an awful lot of those songs were amazing, in terms of the quality.

But I didn’t appreciate what the environment was in which most of those songs were written.

Paul was explaining that a lot of these songs were written while they were traveling, so they were written in hotel rooms. They would travel and they would stay in two twin rooms, so there’d be two in one room and two in another. John and Paul would share a room, and they would sit on the edges of the twin beds, facing each other because Paul was left-handed. They would be facing each other and actually just pulled a song out of the air.

The majority of their songs were written in that way.

They would then take that song to the studio the next day normally, because of the way their time was structured. They would arrive at the studio at 10 in the morning, (which Paul said gave them time to have a cup of tea and a cigarette) and then they would present that song to George and to Ringo.

By 12 midday, that song had been refined, they’d taught it to the other two, they’d refined it, they’d recorded it, and they were leaving.

So that was a very short window to record the songs that we know like the back of our hand. We know them all backwards, and we can all recite the lyrics, part or most of them.

So why is this relevant today? Why do I think it warrants an episode of BaranovTV?

Well, because there’s so many elements of that that apply to business owners.

  • Things like the time management. They knew exactly where they needed to be and they couldn’t let any of those deadlines drift. They knew that they had to move on to the next thing, the next appointment. And they knew they had to pull those songs out of the air in the evening, because they were taking them to the studio the next day to be recorded.
  • They couldn’t get hung up on the environment that they were writing in, because they just had to get them done.
  • They weren’t able to worry about the quality, necessarily, although, seemingly by luck, the quality was amazing. They couldn’t get hung up on the quality. They just had to get it done. Whereas we can spend a lot of time tweaking and wondering, and should we, shouldn’t we? And invariably, we should just go for it and just get something out there to our customers or to our clients.
  • The downside of it was that as Paul explained in the documentary, eventually they just burnt out; they couldn’t maintain that pace. And I think as business owners, there is a real risk that we just push and push and push. And I think Chris and I had an experience similar to this. I think we just got to the point where, with the previous business, where we just pushed ourselves too hard for too long and we were done. So there is a lot about making sure that you’ve got the time to actually have some down time and get some distance and some clarity about what you’re working for.
  • But the strength of the Beatles was that the four of them were an absolute team. They were constantly making decisions that only got carried if all four of them wanted to follow it through. They were an absolute unit. I think the other thing about business owners is that we can find the position of business owner and sole director in particular, very, very lonely. So if you are struggling with that or you know somebody who is, a business mentor can help. Our Outsourced FD service can help. There’s lots of different ways to actually break out of that loneliness that can affect so many people.

I found this documentary amazing, really, really interesting, but there were so many parallels.

I would imagine it might still be online somewhere. I can’t remember what channel it was on but I’m sure you’d be able to find it. It was called Eight Days a Week and as I said, it was all about the Beatles and really, really interesting.

So have a think about those pointers.

  • Try and make sure that you dial yourself down some time off.
  • Make sure that your time is really carefully managed.
  • Don’t get too hung up about the nitty gritty, just try and get some stuff out there.

I’ll leave you with that thought and I’ll see you very soon.

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