The Sheeran School of Business Success. Because talent is very rarely enough

It’s becoming increasingly obvious, even to those that have joined the party a little late, that Ed Sheeran is a very successful singer songwriter.  I heard somewhere that he paid his dues by never refusing an opportunity to play and actually played 300+ gigs one year while travelling throughout his corner of Europe.  BUT… that’s not necessarily why he is successful. Sure it accounted for notoriety, even fame and of course, talent had a lot to do with being heard but the secret may be the people he’s got around him.  I’m not even talking about the entourage like, say the guitar technician, promoters and roadies.  I speak of the numbers and money people.

It’s been proven again and again and again that you can teach yourself to sing beautifully, compose songs and play an instrument but doing all that and handling all your own financial affairs?  Well, it’s said that Ray Charles achieved that successfully but surely he was one of a few rare exceptions.

If Mr Sheeran ever opened a business school, I would think it’d be a mistake, but if he did, I’d like to think he’d look at his amazing career so far and inspire us with the following lessons:

  • Do what you love – obvious
  • Work at it tirelessly so you can get from good to great – harder to do but makes sense
  • Get some trusted experts in the necessary fields around you – roadies and stuff, yup
  • No, I meant CFO, Accountant, numbers people, advisors – right, of course… why?


Here’s where it all goes so horribly wrong!

There are countless, singers, sportspeople, actors, lottery winners that have made a lot of money and not too many years later, grace the (web)pages of TMZ with their finances in tatters.  Gone are the Lamborghinis, incredible homes and flashy clothes.  Right now, I’m actually thinking of a particular basketball player who earned more than $105m during his time as a pro and 5 years later filed for bankruptcy.  Wait, what?  Ok some of that would be due to corrupt practices and that is really, really unfortunate but even in those cases, having good people with even better advice around you proves invaluable.

We’d like to think that prolific and (we hope) enduring artists such as Ed Sheeran continue to understand the value of what they do and how it will shape the future of those they care most about.  If that’s the case, you could assume that a CFO type is weighing up risk versus reward on financial growth opportunities, accountants are ensuring that only the right amount of tax is being paid out and trusted advisors have told Ed not to branch out into hard core death metal music… or business school administration.

If you recognise that a trusted team of numbers people will keep your business on song, do contact us to chat or test drive an accountant  that can help you.

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