Clayton Makepeace on Paul McCartney and Success

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney

I got this today from Clayton Makepeace, a phenomenally successful entrepreneur, and it was too wonderful not to share.  After attending a concert by Beatle Paul McCartney, he mused on Paul’s success. Apparently Paul was told as a child he didn’t have enough talent to become a choirboy! Now the Guinness Book Of World Records lists him as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history. So much for letting someone else say who we are and what we can do!

An excerpt of Clayton Makepeace’s thoughts on Paul McCartney’s philosophies of success –

So, if we asked him for his thoughts on success, I can guess at some of what he might say:

1. Be a fan first: If there’s something you love and that you want to learn to do, immerse yourself in the work of those who are already doing it best.

2. Never be ashamed to have heroes. Learn all you can from them … allow their work to influence yours and to spark new ideas for you. And always bring something new to the table – your take on a role model’s successful technique.

3.   But be careful: Emulation without inspiration just makes you a second-rate cover band. Get the balance right and you’ll earn a reputation for being an innovator – a creative genius.

4. Have a vision for your life and be determined to make it happen.

5. Work, work, work: For their first few years building a following and even after they conquered America, being a Beatle was brutal, back-breaking work.  By some accounts, they got only five or six days off a year for nearly seven years.  So you have to ask yourself; if talents of this magnitude had to work that hard to get what they wanted from life, what excuse do any of us have to do less?

6. Embrace difficulties: Once, while driving through a nighttime blizzard to get to their next show, their driver shattered the van’s windshield. To avoid freezing to death, the future “Fab Four” had no choice but to stack themselves like cordwood on the back seat.

Good story to remember the next time the going gets tough for you. The breakthrough you dream about could be only one more trial away!

7.  Do the right thing even when it hurts: Paul’s whole life is a testament to doing what he sincerely believes is the right thing, even – and sometimes especially – when there’s a personal cost attached.

His tireless work on behalf of children, students, domestic animals, wildlife, the poor, disaster relief, the physically and mentally challenged – and of course, his well-known campaign against the use of land mines – is all legendary.

It takes courage to be a winner. It’ll pay to remember that next time you’re faced with tough choices.

8.  Never let the bastards grind you down: It’s no secret that Paul went through a slump after leaving The Beatles. Critics panned many of his first solo recordings. Sales cratered. It wasn’t the first time that persistence had paid off for Paul. The first song he ever wrote, “I Lost My Little Girl,” wasn’t much to listen to. Lots of guys would have just figured, “Well, I’m certainly no song writer!”

The second song he wrote was “When I’m Sixty-Four” – and of course, it turned out to be a classic.

Moral: As Churchill said, “Never give up. Never, never, never, never give up.”

9. Cherish your sense of wonder, humility and gratitude: Sometimes; it seems as though nobody is more amazed at his success than Paul himself is.  As success comes to you, it is so easy to be seduced by the voices – both external and internal – that tell you that you somehow deserve it. That you’re somehow special. Trust me. You don’t. You aren’t….be childlike. Be amazed. And thankful. And eager to help others find their success as well.

10. Over-deliver: Paul’s career has spanned more than a half-century. He turned 68…on June 18. – and yet,  this amazing man will sing his arse off for us for up to three hours straight.

Now think: What do you suppose the net effect of a life lived in over-deliver mode might be?

11. Be a lover: If Paul is known for anything personally, it’s for being, as one journalist put it, “obscenely nice.” Unlike many celebrities who espouse lofty humanitarian ideals but treat the people around them like lesser beings, Paul seems to genuinely respect, care about and even love the folks who work with him.

12. Look for opportunities to fall in love with people – to experience everyone you meet on the deepest level possible. The relationships you have are the only kind of wealth that matters.

And besides: It’s just good Karma. After all – in the end, the love you take really is equal to the love you make.

11 thoughts on “Clayton Makepeace on Paul McCartney and Success

  1. That certainly is an exceptional excerpt to share Carolyn, thanks so much.

    I particularly think that immersing yourself in the subject, embracing the difficulties, and never listening to anyone's opinion who and lifestyle isn't congruent with your desires are the most important areas to focus attention on when you are pursuing you goals.

    Awesome stuff! Thanks again.

    Have a spectacular day!


  2. Carolyn,

    You've really put some time into coming up with some great points. With your positive attitude the sky's the limit.

    I really like the point about over-deliver. It's amazing how many people expect to just be handed things, instead of stepping up and working for them. People need to set the expectation then deliver beyond that to stand out from the crowd.

  3. Wow Carolyn, I agree with you when you this posting was too wonderful not to share. Bottom line it goes to show that no matter what someone else say, if you believe in yourself you can achieve. It points out some standards my wife and I have set and apply daily in our business. This could be a blueprint for anyone who has the drive and determination to be a successful entrepreneur.
    My wife and I especially like the following points: Have a vision for & Work, work, work…
    This was an awesome posting! Thanks Carolyn

  4. Hi Carolyn,

    Wow! What an inspiring day I'm having already cruising around reading blogs. There's definitely a positive theme in the air that a lot of people are picking up on and writing about.

    Loved the take on what Paul McCartney might say when asked for his thoughts on success. I didn't know about Paul being told he didn't have enough talent to be in the choir… sheesh! It seems things like that happen a lot, though. Good thing most of us overcome those negative things!

    Very cool blog post. Enjoyed reading it very much.

  5. This is hands down the most inspiring and motivating post I've read in ages. Thank you for sharing Clayton Makepeace's beautiful words and insights!! This is a post that we can all learn from and use in inspiring us to give our greatest efforts!!


  6. Hi Carolyn,
    12 great points. One that stands out to me – Love -'all we need is love', for what we do, for others and first of all for ourselves. I also like the gratitude.

    I very much appreciate your article.

    Love and Joy

  7. Awesome post Carolyn! Is some comfort to know that even guys as talented as Paul Mcartney and the Beatles, were once up and coming artistes who had to slog their butts out before they got the fame and the recognition that eventually was theirs. Those are all phenomenal lessons to learn..getting the balance right between emulation and inspiration is not often talked about and is incredibly valuable advice..
    Thank you for sharing,

  8. Hi Carol, Nice to be here. I think this is my fist visit! I was just listening to someone say today that most famous people, and those who have succeeded really had humble beginnings, dropped out of high school, and /or had people really negate their talents.. it’s a relief to know that’s not true anymore, we don’t have to believe it – we are all worth something wonderful and have great talents to explore…

Leave a Reply