Come Together: The Business Wisdom of the Beatles, by Richard Courtney and George Cassidy
Richard Courtney discovered that to be successful in business it pays to listen to The Beatles. Ultimate Beatles tribute band are only too aware of this!
“You have to let your passion drive you,” says Courtney, who co-wrote “Come Together: The Business Wisdom of the Beatles.”
“The book is a guide for anyone and any business on how to succeed like The Beatles, to be successful in business starts with self evaluation: who the person is. Then we went with the lyrics from ‘Strawberry Fields,’ where the theme throughout is ‘No one I think is in my tree.’ You have to let your passion drive you to your tree and then climb your own branch and develop something that is unique.” Playing in a Beatles tribute band, we take limitless undying inspiration from The Beatles.
The how-to-guide looks at how four teenagers from Liverpool, turned into a multi-billion-dollar franchise with multigenerational appeal. Covering everything from group dynamic to taxes, revenue streams and beyond, each of the book’s 100 chapters takes inspiration from legendary Beatles lyrics to offer up useful business lessons in conjunction with the intriguing history of the Fab Four (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr).
In looking to The Beatles, the book reveals two of the main tips for business success are knowing when to bring on a new partner and knowing when to let somebody go.
“When John took Paul on, he knew that Paul was a better musician and singer, but for the good of the entity he knew Paul’s presence would make the company better,” Courtney said. “The other thing is the way they used to fire people. As a company grows, peoples’ weaknesses grow, and there comes a time when you have to shatter the weak link.”
Courtney, 56, grew up in Columbia, Tenn., and became a Beatles fan at age 8 when he first heard their hit “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”
“My wife, Beth, and I were riding around, and she told me about something going on in her office. I said, ’That reminds me of how Paul McCartney must have felt when John Lennon showed him the album cover of ‘Two Virgins’ (where Lennon and wife Yoko Ono were nude).’ Beth said to me, ‘Anytime I tell you something about anything, you tell me how it relates to The Beatles. You think everything in life relates to The Beatles.’”
The light bulb popped on in Courtney’s mind, and he began making a list of business matters and related Beatles’ songs.
“I already had the concept and 100 chapters. I would write a chapter and send it to him. Sometimes he would not touch it or just change a few things, and sometimes he rewrote the whole chapter,” Courtney said.
Their collaboration, plus gleaning insight from those who were close to or worked with the Beatles, propelled the book to national media attention this spring.
“Originally, each chapter had a Beatles song title with a few lines of lyrics, but getting those licensed was difficult, so we pulled the song titles and lyrics, which I thought would sink the book,” said the writer. “Then when they were removed, it gave each chapter a cryptic sense of a fantasy song title. That made it look more clever than it really is.”