JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE WITH EYAL LEVI: THE TOP WAYS TO FAIL IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
One of the most ridiculous clichés I’ve ever heard is, “So and so will never work in this industry again.” It’s complete bullshit. NOBODY has the power to prevent you from advancing, and if they say they do, steer clear. Either they’re an idiot who doesn’t understand that its not the 80s anymore, or they think that you don’t understand it’s not the 80s anymore. This is an old-fashioned intimidation tactic designed to get you to submit.
Newsflash: There is no such thing as blacklisting.
Everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and even to rebuild. Nobody can stop you. The only thing that has the power to determine futures is money. If you make money for other people, you will always have other people to work with. If you don’t, you won’t. Think about it… people will even put up with someone they hate if there’s money involved. That said, there’s a few basic guidelines you can follow to make sure that people don’t decide you’re not worth the effort.
Don’t Lose Other People’s Money
The surefire #1 way to make certain nobody will work with you is to lose their money, or never make them any in the first place. Why do you think people decide to or not to work with you? Think it’s the goodness of their hearts or their love for your music?
People need to get paid. They have families to feed and bills to pay. In a perfect world, we would only work on things we enjoy, but personal taste is not going to keep the lights on.
So if you find that people just aren’t giving you chances, ask yourself, “How they would benefit from working with me?” If you can’t easily attach a monetary return to those benefits, then it’s highly likely that nobody else can, either.
It’s super important that you help people understand why their lives will improve because of you. But that being said…
Don’t Be Too Persistent!
There’s this one engineer I know. He’s pretty much a human mosquito. If he has your contact info, he will literally hit you up for work EVERY SINGLE DAY. At first I thought he was just being nice. Then I found out that he was hitting up every professional person I know EVERY SINGLE DAY, saying the exact same things. Yes, this person has some first-time clients who give into the constant badgering. But very few repeat clients.
Who here has heard that networking and consistent follow-up are absolutely key in achieving success? I grew up hearing those things, and then I tried them. I got nowhere fast because I was going about it all wrong.
People don’t want you to bother them.
You don’t want to end up in their spam filters or “do not answer” phone lists.
Don’t let the idea of ignoring you become too tempting a proposition.
However, if you have made it past the gatekeepers and people are giving you opportunities, then congratulations! You’ve now gone further than most ever will. But don’t take it too lightly because it could evaporate at any time. If you need to get out of something you agreed to do…
You Better Have A Great Reason To Cancel
Life happens. People die, people are born, dogs eat homework, and your van explodes. There are plenty of legitimate excuses for backing out on an engagement. And at first people will generally be understanding. But something happens when someone hears too many legitimate excuses back to back to back to back to back. They start to wonder if they’re being lied to. And if they decide that they are being lied to, they will get very angry and resentful.
Nobody likes being deceived, and scrambling to make alternate arrangements sucks! It’s a gigantic slap in the face to spend your time and money on something that isn’t real.
It’s A Small Small World
It’s lonely at the top. There are very few movers and shakers in the world of music anymore, and what movers and shakers there are all know each other. They hang out together, drink together, work together, gossip together. It’s a tight knit group of people and word travels super fast between them.
If you piss one of them off, don’t be surprised if they all hear about it.
If you make their lives difficult, they will start talking.
If people lose money on you, they will start talking.
If you annoy people to the point of forcing them to shut you out, they will start talking.
And if they start talking you will develop a reputation.
If you develop a reputation for any of these things, nobody who matters will take chances on you anymore. Don’t do it.