Excerpt #10 from “Winning The Music Game”
by Brian Allen
Whenever we watch an award show, the winners always have a thank-you list. Sometimes the list is so long that we hear the first few bits of cue music building while they ramble. It DOES take a village!
Although many independent artists have to play multiple roles without the benefit of assistance, if they are successful at juggling all the tasking, their momentum will eventually attract some interested parties. How will you know which ones are right for you? None of us make perfect decisions, but here are a few things to think about while you’re deciding:
Build diversity: Pick people who are good at the things you are not, and don’t try to do each other’s jobs. Make sure everyone understands each other’s role, and the goals – both individual and collective. Communicate freely and regularly. Very often, it is our unspoken expectations that get us in the most trouble in relationships.
Trust is the essential ingredient in successful relationships. Trust and loyalty do not truly exist if they are delivered one way and not reciprocated. You can say the same for respect and love – one way is no way. Prolonged eye contact will reveal much about the other person, and so will the absence of it. Do not be shy about asking “what if” questions to determine how they see their role in your relationship under various hypothetical scenarios. How much are they prepared to give of themselves to contribute to your mutual success? What do they expect of you? Another of the litmus tests of trust is to assess how revealing the other person is to you. Be wary of people who are difficult to figure out due to protective or minimal communication. If they are a challenge to get to know, how can you predict or count on their behaviour in a testing situation? Trust is often first extended on speculation as a spiritual loan of sorts, but the most stable form of trust is earned by the exhibition of “trustworthy” behaviours. When the going gets rough (and at some point it surely will) trust will be an absolutely essential component for successfully weathering storms together. There will be many tests of relationship integrity in this business, so be certain that two-way trust is established firmly early in the relationship.
Learn how to turn creative debate into a constructive exercise. Any time creators and their teams work together, there will be debate over methodology and outcome. We should just stop being in denial over this and accept that it will happen! However, the constructive result of debate is often undermined by personal attachment to the issues or personal feelings toward the other, which results in a debate becoming a fight. Although the emotional turmoil of a debate might prevent one from remembering this one thought, here is a little observation that often allows the heat of the moment to cool enough to avoid damage: Say it out loud…”people only argue when they both care”. Imagine an argument where one cares and the other does not… wouldn’t it be more of a monologue? If you both accept that the argument is fuelled by your mutual care for the outcome, you can recognize that it is an element you both agree on. If you can both stop for a second to consider this point, that simple recognition often turns a debate away from potential destruction and toward a constructive result.