Country Music Vibe asks: Do you enjoy being taken advantage of?
"Who in their right mind would volunteer to be a victim"?
The answer to that question should be, no. Who in their right mind would want that? There is an old mindless saying “There are no victims, just volunteers”. I say its mindless, because it came from a fraud. The individual had nothing more in mind than taking advantage of unsuspecting clients.
Who were the victims? They were people that just wanted to make their way through society, and accomplish their goals. Maybe they wanted to build relationships, that would be mutually beneficial. They had no idea, that someone that they trusted would take advantage of them. Whether it was the money they were charging, the promises that they couldn’t keep, or trying to abuse them in another way.
This individual that took on shady practices, justified themselves with that mindless statement. I tend to cringe, when saying it. “There are no victims, just volunteers”. Really? Do people just open themselves up to having their hearts, money, and life stolen from them? I don’t think so. Are some people gullible to a degree? Yes. However, it doesn’t mean that they are volunteering themselves to be a victim. Let me make this clear to you. When someone volunteers to participate, they do so with a feeling of accomplishment.
The statement “there are no victims, just volunteers” can be applied by shady people in any number of instances. It could include apply to personal or business relationships. In this article, we are going to refer to business relationships. No one ever expects that they will be a victim. So they let their guard down. Especially when the individual(s) they are dealing with seem legit. They look like they are honest, and everything they say would imply that they are. What often put them over the top is when they talk to you about the people they have worked with. Isn’t this the deciding factor for most of us? It is like, instant credibility.
That being the case, there is nothing more to be concerned about. Actually, name dropping is an “old school” trick that will have you signing your career away. Unless you equip yourself with the knowledge, wisdom and a lawyer. Everything that is discussed, should be in front of your lawyer. If not, you can succumb to bad business practices. Don’t become a victim before your career even has a chance to get off the ground.
Every conversation, that leads to an agreement, should always be backed by a legal contract. Never enter any business relationship without legal documentation. No matter how trusting the individual(s) may seem. Regardless of their credentials. It will save you a great deal of heartache and frustration.
All of the following titles represent people that know what they are doing ahead of time. Before they talk to you, they are well aware of what they are going to sell you on. They have been there, and done that. They see hundreds of individuals just like you. It is not their first bout with an NEW artist. Think of the following titles, as you would a car salesmen. I don’t believe there is an individual on the planet that hasn’t prepared themselves ahead of time, to speak with a car salesmen. Some of the most shadiest of people sell cars for a living.
There will be a list of services, and different levels in which their sales “pitch” will address.
· Music Manager
· Record Label
· Art Designer
· Radio DJ
· Session Musician
All of their stories of success (pitches) will sound appealing. They will even convince you of being something that you are not. If you believe in them, you truly are being defined by their “no victims, just volunteers” clause. After all, you know your value before you even talk to an agent or one of the above businessmen. You don’t need anyone to tell you how talented you are. If you don’t know your value as a singer, then you are in the wrong industry. Have a realistic view of yourself, and abilities. You don’t want to come across so cocky, that you get the door slammed in your face.
Learn not to volunteer to succumb to pressure or influence.
One entertainer and famous singer once said the following: “Fame and fortune, how empty they can be”. “Who cares for fame and fortune, they’re only passing things”. Those words may sound familiar to you. The person that echoed those words, knew what they meant. He lived a life around fame and fortune. In the end, it did nothing but ended his life too soon. There are countless other artists, that have fallen victim to fame and fortune. They didn’t take the proper steps to ensure the longevity of their emotions and health. In addition, they were too eager for record deals, that often paid off more to those that were “supposed” to be watching after their artist. Did they classify them as a “volunteer to be victimized”? Possibly. Only those involved know the true story.
The key thing to remember, is to always protect yourself by hiring an attorney that has your best interest at heart. Not someone that you just met off the street. Certainly, not someone that the record label or manager knows personally. My suggestion is to use someone that is totally independent from the situation, and has nothing to gain. Except for their lawyering fee’s. That too, would have to be agreed upon upfront.
You are reading this article and questioning the source. You only know me from Country Music Vibe, and are not sure if I ever sang a tune in my life. Well, that wouldn’t be true. I sing quite often. However, I do not sing professionally. Though I have spoken to people directly regarding their experiences. After hearing it one time, you say that it “takes two to tango”. Then you start to hear it happening more and more, and people start to distrust everyone that they come in contact with. Now, an individual with totally nothing to gain, can’t be trusted because he is asking for nothing in return. In a way, it’s like any relationship. There are good experiences, and there are bad ones. Most of the time, the bad experiences ruin it for the next professional.
The result now, is that those with shady business practices are making it difficult for those that are truly trying to make a honest career. I have been creating this brand Country Music Vibe for 8 months now. During this time, I had opportunities to engage in conversations of all types. I have had conversations, that would seem unimaginable. However, everyone at some point, seems to have been screwed over. I believe they go in with blinders on, and forget about the reality of becoming a victim of bad business practices.