EntreMusicians are typically Men & Women with an Extraordinary Amount of “StickToITiveNess” & Follow Through, not wishing any Projects we begin fall short of our anticipated goals.
I, for one, highly regard my Integrity as the cornerstone of all I am. My Word is Sacred, so when I put it out there, I never want it to return void (Just like My Lord’s).
Yet within the past couple of months, I’ve learned a Few Lessons I felt I should pass along. Lessons, which have allowed me to re-examine my Commitment to Projects in light of the Actions of Others and how to navigate true “win-wins” and ultimately Walk Away when the situation warrants it, Integrity Intact.
The first instance involves a Weekly Radio Show I became a part of prior to Thanksgiving. Initiated by a friend with the Station’s Owner, I was to be One of Three Co-Hosts. Not wanting to be bogged down with the logistics, I agreed to let My Friend Negotiate All Specifics with the Owner, even when I felt early on that things did not ‘feel‘ right.
Two Weeks moved into Two & Three Months, with my involvement increasing from Co-Host to Editing the Show, an involved process. Obviously wishing it to be the best, I advanced to Co-Producing what eventually became a very successful program which rank #2 in our market after just five months. Unfortunately, there had been Zero Compensation during that time and Conversations between My Friend and the Station’s Owner revealed a rapidly moving goal post with Zero Stability in sight.
The Ultimate Issue became whether My Friend had negotiated properly or if the Station Owner and/or the Station’s Management were either inept or malicious. I did not have another five months to invest in how this all would affect My Time, My Purpose and My Pockets! So after a final ultimatum which proved no real advantages, I Walked Away. Eventually My Friend and the Other Co-Host Walked As Well.
The Lesson I Learned was Threefold:
a) If Any Project is Worth My Involvement in the Least, It’s Worth My Attention in Every Detail.
b) I Am to Blame for Allowing My Friend to Negotiate Anything on My Behalf, No Matter How Well Meaning He Was.
c) I Should have asked for a Written Agreement with a Specified Compensation Package. And I Knew Better…
If You Should Find Yourself in Similar Territory, Consider Walking Away.
I’ll Reveal the Second Instance Next Week.
Interestingly Enough, I’m Still Listening to Andreas Vollenweider as I write this, But I was listening to Bob James’ “Hands Down” earlier….yes, each on vinyl.