Music Tutorials

Do It Your Fucking Self – how not to establish a successful business relationship – and some “how to” as well.

Here’s a message that just appeared this morning in a group of freelance Mix Engineers:

What’s the best way for virtual networking with the musical community? I am looking for mixing and mastering engineers to weigh out my options in order to find a dedicated, fair priced, passionate engineer to help me finalize a list a songs for Summer 2019.

On the surface seems ok I guess. Just about every engineer in that group rushed to send him their website in hope he picked them.

I didn’t. Here’s why: He was asking us to do his job for him.

If I am looking to buy a car I absolutely don’t call every car salesman in a 50km radius demanding that they bring me all their models in every color and prove to me why I should consider their car “the best”.

I know that is a popular method. I see adverts on TV every day for some app that decides for you in almost every facet of your life. Need a new girlfriend, there’s an app that will do it for me. Need funeral insurance, there’s an app that will decide the best solution for me.

Insane In The Membrane

We have collectively turned ourselves into a posse of insane clowns. And we are straight out too dumb to see it.

An app will make a good decision for me? The Google driving app, Android Auto can’t even take dictation properly. How can it make complex decisions?

It absolutely cannot and will not. The app is a front for someone with an agenda to tell you what to do. Read the fine print next time you see one of those Insurance commercials for the app that claims to make the right choices for you. You’ll see that there are kickbacks to the insurers. Obviously, the best kickback assures that business as the right choice for you. Hmmm.

Back to my buddy with his hat on backwards. He has given no direct information on what he wants or needs. He kinda thinks he has but where is the actionable information to let me help him?

The Platinum Collection

Here’s why. People have come up with another way to play the game of life. It is one that puts them in complete loss of control whilst pretending that they are running their show.

When I was a kid it was The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Now it is The Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they want to have done.

On the surface it sounds like a great plan. Work out how a lady wants to be treated, treat her that way, and you are a happily married man.

How’s that working out for everyone. Statistics say not well. This is a lawyer so I bet we can trust his divorce numbers. Not a very positive thing.

What I take from this is that if you don’t start with the right mindset then you increase your chance of failure every time you try it the wrong way.

My platform is about success as a Musician but the parallel is the same. Marriages and Rock & Roll require a delicate combination of other people and decisions to succeed.

If you start by not making your position & needs clear, how can anyone really help you?

If you then expect from your obscure overture that any intended business partner will magically take exactly the right path for you, you are in crazy town.

Break It To Me Gently

Here’s what Capt. Good Day has said to me:

“What’s the best way for virtual networking with the musical community?” : I am clueless and proudly going to be unprofessional as you losers fall all over yourselves for me, trying to outcompete each other to debase yourselves to me.

My Answer: You don’t talk to people “virtually”. You do it or you don’t. The method like Messenger is irrelevant. You showed yourself up by saying that you intend to do this at arm’s length. I don’t need virtual clients who pay me virtual money. I need real ones who engage directly and happily pay real value in return. Those types research possible providers and then strike up a real conversation.

“I am looking for mixing and mastering engineers to weigh out my options in order to find a dedicated, fair priced, passionate engineer to help me finalize a list a songs for Summer 2019.” : I am looking for you all to fight over me because I am important because I am. I don’t intend to learn anything because that might make me responsible. I expect you all to do what is right for me. If not I will pop a cap in your Google Feedback. “Dedicated” to working out whatever I demand. “Fair Priced” is $5 so I can keep pushing until you break. “Passionate” so you don’t break too soon before I get what I deserve. The last bit is merely to prove to us what a happening chap he is so we want to hop on his coattails.

My answer: If you can’t do any of the work yourself, why would I ever consider working for or with you? You haven’t told me a single useful thing about yourself (well nothing that is useful to your case anyway) but expect me to jump. What is in it for me? Oh that you are a happening sort of groover. I see nothing. Not on your Facebook. No sign that you have ever done anything. Living in Florida doesn’t make you Flo Rida. If you show nothing then I can only treat you like nothing.

Autosuggestion

Now I know you didn’t want to hear from me anyway as my style isn’t yours. I don’t have lists of Rappers I have worked with – or whatever it is that you do whilst your hat is on backwards. But I do have a suggestion for you.

Really this is aimed at those who may be on the fence about this style of communication and those who I want to show that I am absolutely not this kind of person.

Most will hate me for not being what they want (Platinum Rule) but a few will realize that this means that I can and will respect them and what they are trying to achieve (Golden Rule). I see wins all round there.

If you want a thing, do your research yourself. Find who the providers are and talk to them. If you don’t know what to ask then say so. Let yourself be guided. But only once you are sure to have a clear sense of who you really are and what you really have on the table. Any true Pro will give you at least one piece of help – even if it is growling, “Come back when you can sing”.

You want to start at the top. I get that. Alan Parsons is still my #1 choice for a Producer for my records. But I am practical, unless he phones me I have no play there. I can try a polite email in the hope he is super impressed but he still has all the play. And you know what, that is probably alright if he is the true Pro I think/hope he is.

If you want the play in your hands, and you should, then take it. Do your own research and then make clear and fair offers to those you can see are good prospects – common ground. If someone approaches me with a great proposal – great material, great attitude, fair budget – they are more likely to be paying less than someone who didn’t engage me. That person is in control. Even as they are doing what I tell them to do. We are all winning.

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