The music and entertainment industries (or just about any industry), operate based on relationships; And EVERYONE KNOWS the biggest key to any successful relationship is TRUST... Right?
In business, it's almost the exact opposite.
The key to ANY successful relationship in business is only trust BEFORE there are any assets being involved. Once there is money at stake, that key for success then becomes SECURITY.
We've all heard the phrase SECURE THE BAG used throughout hip-hop & urban culture media since DJ Khaled coined it sometime around 2016 in his then popular social media videos... But what does it really mean? Like, how do I actually go about making the necessary steps to make sure MY bag is secure?
There are really only 3 steps to it:
The name of the game isn't trust. In the game of capitalism/business for profit it's every man/woman/other for themselves, and that means one thing...
DON'T TRUST ANYBODY!
It can be the nicest of familiar faces... your homies, your cousin Dae Dae, your auntie, your granddaughter; If it's business, it's BUSINESS, and for the security of your assets in business it's best to get EVERYTHING IN WRITING.
To some this may seem a bit harsh, especially if you're presenting the idea of a contract to someone with whom you have a close personal relationship, but ultimately a written agreement is for the benefit of all parties involved, and not just the one who writes/provides it (and that's exactly what I say to my clients before I send over my paper work). A thorough contract will generally contain the following:
At this point I know some of you must be thinking, "Ok, but I don't know shit about the legal system, or how to write a contract." Welp, 9 times out of 10 neither did your former boss. He/She had a degree in ass kissing. You don't have to be an expert at anything when you first start out, and best believe, you WILL make mistakes... But, you don't always need to be a legal expert or hire one in order to write a functional contract. With some basic English literacy, a little research, and a computer you should be well-equipped with just about everything you need to start writing functional contracts for your music business in little to no time at all! Not to mention, in this Golden Era of the Internet there are tons of online and physical resources with examples that you can use to make your contract look & function as efficiently as possible!
If we're being honest, we know the journey of a recording artist (or anyone in the music/entertainment industry) isn't ever a straight and narrow path... But is one with plenty potholes, twists/turns, speed traps, yield signs -you get the point... And ultimately we aren't always afforded the time we need to be selective about the scenarios we choose to do business in. Early on our paths to becoming the big Music Icons, CEOs, Mega Stars that we envision ourselves as, we may end up taking up clients and opportunities that aren't necessarily ideal, out of desperation. Whether you think you may be in a situation with a client, partner, or service provider who does bad business or not, be PROACTIVE about making sure none of your assets(money, time, property) go to waste...
START BUILDING YOUR CONTRACT LIBRARY TODAY!
Click here to download some of my favorite contract templates!