Thursday, July 28, 2011
Respect, Honesty & Fairness
There are a lot of things about the music industry that are great but there is one thing that I just can't stand and that is the promotion of greed. The one thing you have to understand is that no one man/woman can make all of the money. There is truly enough to go around. It is important to maintain your levels of respect, honesty and fairness at all times, especially when doing business. One might think that this greed is only a problem at a certain level but it seems to be an issue at ALL levels. I work with a lot of people and for the most part I try to only work with people I think I can trust. People hire me based on my ability to get a particular job done. I am always thankful for the work but what becomes frustrating is these people want me and my ability but they have a problem paying me what I'm worth. I'm not one to over charge people or even have an ego about money. When someone asks me to do a job, I just expect them to be respectful, honest and fair with what they are paying me. For instance: I've been in situations with people that I have known for years and considered my "friends" and they have gotten gigs which paid ten to fifteen thousand dollars but they would call me and only offer to pay me a two or three hundred dollars. Now I know that you can never count another man's money and you get what you negotiate but some of these people seem to be OK with paying us three hundred dollars and after they pay expenses they take home five to seven thousand. Most people will say that's good business but I say that it is dishonest and unfair and it becomes ever more frustrating to have to haggle with your so called friends over fair payment. What you have to realize is that if you pay the right people the right way you will always see your business and your presentation improve. When you develop a reputation as someone who is fair, you will find that your career and financial bottom line will vastly improve but to the contrary, if you develop and reputation as an unfair dishonest person then this too will affect your outcome. Let's face it, there are no secrets in this business. When you mistreat one person they spread the word and you will never be able to truly hire the best of the best because they will feel like you are always out to beat them for a dollar. I also understand that every artist has overhead and expenses and as the the person that is creating and booking the gig they deserve more of the profit. I just think you should be fair. It is not really fair to have your sidemen working hard for you to deliver a great product and have them walk away having only made a pittance compared to what you make. Now I know that a lot of band leaders and promoters will read this and say that it's only business and two to three hundred dollars is a good wage for any musician and to those people I say remember that karma is a real. I've seen very talented musicians struggling to get to the next level in terms of quality and quantity of work but they just can't seem to break through. What they don't realize is that the universe only gives you back what you give out and if you live your life always trying to take or undercut people the universe only allows that to happen to you. The bottom line is when you treat people with respect, honesty and fairness it comes back to you one hundred fold. We have to draw a line in the sand and refuse to work for people that will not pay us fairly even . . . no, especially if these people are our friends. People say that business is not personal but I beg to differ. It is personal because I take my well being and financial status as serious as the next man and when you try to devalue or under pay me, you are taking money off of my table and yes that IS personal. It is also important to remember that money does not buy or erase respect. What I mean is that just because you choose to pay someone well doesn't give you a right to disrespect them or cross their boundaries. Man this greed thing is real! Let's stay focused and remember not too LOVE money but make it and use it to better our lives and those around us. Make that money, don't let it make (or destroy) you. It's always best to just show respect, be honest and treat people fair. Now go and enjoy this journey the RIGHT way.
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