Many musicians love using the word “collaboration,” a scenario that so often results in one party becoming an unpaid subcontractor experiencing minuscule gains for their sole-proprietorship for the sake of another party’s scalability and benefit.

Musicians: Be wary of the words, “Let’s collaborate!” 

Musicians-to-musician interactions: Take time to understand that while there is the POSSIBILITY and PROSPECTIVE of two entities teaming on a project, do not mistake it for a guaranteed PROMISE every time a POTENTIAL opportunity arises, especially if the PAY is inadequate or not respectable to the value the other party brings to project.

Instead, try to learn about the PERSONAL aspirations of those individuals you would love to partner with and respect/honor their PERSPECTIVE on business goals. Also, try to understand how the individual perceives and approaches their financial value and compensation principles, for it may or may not align with yours.

To musicians who aspire to reach more sustainability and growth goals: Aim to find and accept opportunities that are approached not as a “collaboration” but rather as a “Joint Venture” partnership.

A joint venture (JV) is a business entity created by two or more parties, generally characterized by shared ownership, shared returns and risks, and shared governance. Companies typically pursue joint ventures for one of four reasons: to access a new market, particularly emerging markets; to gain scale efficiencies by combining assets and operations; to share risk for significant investments or projects; or access skills and capabilities.

Remember, business is NOT personal. Business IS all about convenience for both parties.

Personally, I have well-established relationships with many of my musical heroes (of which some have/will go down in music history books) who, though we are aware of the fact that we would create outstanding performances, albums, educational tools, etc. through a collaboration, those heroes of mine choose to PRIORITIZE projects that will bring growth to their company as opposed to working on a project to create something that [yes] will be an amazing but [will not] have mutual value for both parties in the long run. As a result, I, too, have postponed dream projects until I gather the appropriate financial resources to compensate those individuals whom I want to invite to help make the dream a reality. 

You see, PEOPLE change. PRIORITIES evolve. There is POWER in respecting and honoring the business PHILOSOPHIES of the people who wish to PARTNER.

So, continue to press on your dreams but do so with a conscience that seeks to PROTECT the time and energy of those PEOPLE you love and aspire to work with.

Treat (Music Business) as a real business.