They Say: “You’ll Never Make It in this Business”
They Say: “You Need to Go to This School and have That Degree”
They Say: “Only 2% Succeed in Your Industry, So Don’t Bother”
They Say: “You Need The Right Connections”
They Say: “You Have to Dress Like This and Play Your Trumpet Like That or Forget It!”
They Say: “No One Is Going to Appreciate Your Style of Music!”
They Say: “You Have No Right to Take That Position”
They Say: “You Don’t Deserve to Receive Those Accolades!”
They Say: “It Will Never Work!”
They Say: “Don’t Expect Much, So You Won’t Be Disappointed!”
Yes, They Say a lot of Discouraging, Mean & Nasty Things, often without trying to be Mean, Nasty or Discouraging.
Somehow They forget that the Celebrated Icons They Themselves Honor, Revere & Adore were Told the Very Same Things, Did Not Have the Right Connections, Money, Resources or Attend an Institution of Select Pedigree.
Icons are Pioneers whom Forge their Own Identities, Sounds, Art & Creativity onto the Global Landscape without Asking Permission or Seeking Solace in the Status Quo.
These Ambassadors of Innovation Shift the Platform of Public Paradigms into New Realities of Consciousness that Shape the Future and Transcend Life As We Currently Understand It.
With Constant Obstacle, Hurdles, Detours and Encumbrances at Every Level, Vanguards Chase Away the Proverbial They as These Climb Higher Toward Their Own Thrones, Created Just for Them.
Go and Do Likewise…
Before Diving into This Week’s Topic, I’d like to bestow honor to the legacy of Premiere Vocalist Al Jarreau, a True Original who Forged and eventually Owned a Style Unique to Him which can never be completely copied (though some have tried). Although he did not invent the art of “Scatting,” framed masterfully by the great Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Scatman Crothers and others from the 1940-50’s era, Jarreau’s multilayered contemporary approach expanded the technique beyond spectacle and made it simultaneously romantic, passionate, fun, serious, silly, thrilling and most of all, thoroughly engaging. I was 16 when I fell in love with the album “Breakin’ Away” and immediately had to go backward to find all I had missed. Going forward only increased my impenetrable appreciation for his incredible artistry. He Made Me Feel Like Family!
GET SOME AIR!!
Evaluation is the Kissing Cousin of Every Serious EntreMusician. The Tendency to “Go, Go, Go!” without creating scheduled moments to understand Where You’ve Been, How You Arrived There and Appraising Your Journey Before Planning Your Next Steps will Certainly Cripple Your Progress.
Unfortunately, I have Failed more in this area of my career than I care to count. Whenever I’d Abort the Importance of AIR (Always In Review!) I’ve Found Myself in Free Fall, Usually Having to Begin Again.
This Destructive Practice is Subtle & Quiet, because EM’s are generally programmed to Only Think Ahead and Develop a False Belief that hints toward the practices and habits which worked successfully for us in a particular season will continue to do so. We then default to a “Maintenance Mindset” rather than “Coordinated Calculation” which comprises both Assessment & Strategic Advancement.
Taking Into Account even the Tiny items like The Structure of Your Band, Your Present Personnel, Your Genre(s), The Venues You Always Play, Your Rehearsal Methods, to the larger Whys of How You Spend/Save/Invest Your Income, or When to Update Your Website, Change Your Merch Selection, or perhaps Your Growing Tendency to ‘Let Things Go’ that Should Be Addressed, or conversely Constantly Address Things that You Should Let Go without valuating Your Reasoning in each situation will leave festering teeth marks in an otherwise promising career.
The Solution to Terrible Tendency Rests in the Security of a Sound Team. Schedule Regular Spiritual/Philosophical/Theoretical Visits with Your Manager(s), Band Members, Attorney, Accountant, Advisers, Mentors and Other Trusted Family, Friends and Associates to Ask the Tough Questions, Review Your Successes & Failures and Discuss the BIG WHYs. You will find Essential Wisdom in Pausing to Learn from Your Past before Plowing Ahead. Only What Makes You YOU Need Remain. Destroy Everything Else!
Remember, Your Life & Career ALWAYS Comes Down To Your Core Purpose. Your Laser Like Focused Answer as to Exactly Why You Are an EntreMusician finds its Foundation in Continual Evaluation. Applying AIR Continually Keeps You Grounded & Flying concurrently!
Download My Free E-Book, “50 Engaging Ways to Transform Your Fans into Family” at TheEntreMusician.com and while there sign up for a More Great, Encouraging, Empowering & Engaging Experiences.
One of the Earliest and Most Critical Mistakes Any New EntreMusician tends to Make in this Business is Relying Upon Verbal Agreements.
It’s Easy to Do Because at This Stage You’re Extremely Excited that the Phone Even Rang!
And Before You Know It, Your Enthusiasm Gaining the Advantage, You’ve Locked in The Band, The Date and Invested Precious Time & Resources solely based upon what some Stranger (or Friend) Said she was going to pay you.
There’s already a degree of embarrassment because you nervously negotiated a price and most likely settled for less than Your Original Fee. So with the possibility of losing the entire gig dangling in your imagination, you choose to forego any further timidity and agree to most everything else.
You arrive on time, perform magnificently (of course), only to have the venue owner congratulate you on a wonderful show but with apologies that he didn’t sell enough tickets, drinks or secure the amount of sponsorship he was hoping to receive (which has absolutely nothing to do with you – unless you were not listening) so now he claims he can only pay you…
The very best way to avoid this type of robbery is to Always Place Your Agreement in Writing and Make Certain You place this important piece of conversation atop your discussion.
The All Important Question “And What is Your Budget for this Event?” will provide you all of the necessary information you’ll need before continuing “Please Email Your Agreement to…”
At this Point Either Two Significant Events Will Happen:
1. The Reputable Promoter will make sure they’ve spelled your email address properly and send you the requested document or perhaps ask you to send yours (more on that in a bit)
2. She will begin making several excuses about why she doesn’t use/have one or a Written Agreement, or begin to use those infamous words ‘trust me…’
It’s Vital that You begin to utilize a Written Agreement the moment you’ve formed your act. Even if only charge $50 for the night, get into the habit of using a contract!
If the club owner doesn’t have one, present one. If you don’t have one, create one or download one from http://www.theentremusician.com, and don’t forget the include asking for a 50% deposit!
Serious Venue Owners take you far more seriously when You Talk Terms of Agreement and are prepared to document them even if they are not prepared to present one. The offer itself adds major validation to your professionalism.
And Remember, That’s Exactly Who You Are!
Next Time, We Talk About Getting Paid BEFORE Your Performance!
Although I wasn’t listening to any music while composing this post, I going to be listening to Stevie All Month!
One of the Wisdom Proverbs says:
It’s An Incredible Statement for Every EntreMusician to Abide By as Most of Us Spend Many of Our Waking Moments Looking for Opportunities that Will Benefit US and Precious Few Searching Out Occasions to Benefit OTHERS.
If We Happen Upon the Good Fortune of a Great Promoter, Venue, Festival or Other Profitable Enterprises which Provide Advantage, Progress or Achievement in Our Own Careers, We Would Do Well in Seeking Such Favor on Artists, Musicians and Entertainers who would Never have the chance to Showcase Their Talents, Unless We Hold the Door Open for Them – Especially those Further Down the Totem Pole of Experience (Your Obviously Trusting that They Possess the Professionalism and Discipline to Handle the Gig!)
The Gift of What Comes To and Happens In You Is Immeasurable, the Wider You Open Your Heart. It Seems as If Platforms You Were Previously Denied Access To Suddenly Avail and Fees You’d Never Imagine Commanding Become Yours, with Less Effort on Your Part, Because You’ve Ignited the Miracle Circle of Blessings.
Of Course this Process Works Personally. I Must Confess that there was a Season in My Life Where I Held Tight to a Scarcity Mentality. When I Would Give, It Naturally Meant I Had LESS. So I Hoarded! When I Encountered a Disheveled Person at an Intersection, Holding Up a Cardboard Sign, I Rationalized 10 Million Hypotheticals as to How & Why They Ended Up in That Position OR That They Were Only Conning Me Out of My Few Wrinkled Dollars Tucked Away in My Ashtray. This Helped Me Justify Looking Away – and – Driving Away…
Thank God I Have Come to Learn an Abundance Mentality which Assures Me that Giving Really Means Planting! There’s Always ‘More‘ and at Some Point, in Some Scenario, My Seed Will Harvest and I Will Receive Exactly What I Need.
Open A Door. Create An Opportunity. Give and Notice All that Happens.
You Become the Beneficiary of Bountiful Blessings, the Recipient of Joyous Transformation You Would’ve Never Imagine or Appreciated if You’d Remained All To Yourself.
Interestingly, I Was Not Listening to Any Music as I Wrote This Post…
Time is our most important commodity. We can always make more money, more friends, buy new toys and although we can’t replace certain family members, we can always deepen our relationship with them. But, we can Never, Ever Replace Time. Another Second Just Ticked By…
One attribute that must remain top priority in the life of an EntreMusician is our indisputable ability to ALWAYS be prompt. Be it a Gig, Rehearsal, Meeting or even a recreational activity, our absolute commitment to being On Time will overshadow our musical prowess each and every time. The reputation we develop for lateness will erode any star power we may have accrued. Promoters, Venue Owners, Booking Agents and other Execs will soon write us off and immediately call someone else, even of lesser talent.
Nothing else screams UNPROFESSIONAL as loudly as lateness…consistent lateness has been a major factors in band breakups, deals going south and unproductive careers. EMs may need assistance in other aspects of our careers, but we are completely responsible for showing up on time. In today’s world, traffic, car breakdowns or even babysitting issues with our own children are extremely poor excuses for keeping appointments. Yes, there are times when the train completely derails, but if we’ve earned a high reputation for promptness, even those we are meeting with for the first time will know and understand that something went terribly wrong!
Being Prompt means and says:
I Care. I’m Vested. I Value Your Time. I’m the Right Person for this Project. I’m Dependable. I’m Accountable. I Honor You. You Matter to Me & My Company and so many other accolades. Fill Yours In Here ___________________.
No less than Ice Cube has been credited with the following quote, “If you can’t be On Time, Be Early!”
Being Early is the glistening cornerstone for the best EMs. We know that showing up even an hour or more earlier than scheduled can reap unforeseen benefits that were never factored into the initial equation.
For example, having an opportunity to have an in depth dialogue with the receptionist can work wonders as you wait. By the way, if you ever blow off or are rude to any receptionist, you are not a true EntreMusician and shouldn’t even be reading this blog. They are the true gatekeepers to your destiny!
Another example and one I have personally realized are the opportunities to speak with the person coming out of the exec’s office I am scheduled to meet with. On some occasions, I’ve had the ability to meet and collaborate with that person which bore more fruit than the meeting I showed up for. I was also able to get a feel for the exec’s mood, learn what the other guy said or did that I should or should not say or do – and being a person of faith, I have found far more spiritual advantages for Being Early than walking in five minutes before time.
I trust this piece of advice helps you to sharpen the biggest tool in your belt. If you master the Practical Power of Promptness and develop the potential to Be Early, you will be literally light years ahead of your contemporaries, leaving you more time to work on your artistry.
I am listening to “The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein” as I finish this, but Dave Holland’s Quintet just went off.
Oh and just a word of thanks to everyone who has downloaded and left wonderful comments about our new digital single, “Selah” featuring the wonderful talents of Sheldon Grayson and Jeremy De Jesus. Many thanks to all of the Online Stations airing the tune.