Ok, sitting here at Starbucks, I just got off a Mastermind Call with fellow musicians and singer/songwriters.

It is good to connect and be held accountable.  I shared a little bit of good news.  I have a couple meetings with a band and a comedian near the end of the week to talk about marketing.

I’m really excited at the possibility of helping more artists and bands with my marketing skills.  Not that working with businesses isn’t fun, but there are plenty of marketing companies out there that specialize in working with businesses.

I want to specialize in helping artists.  BUT…

Not just any artists.  Conscious artists.  AND, artists who value my time and skills and are willing to pay for them.

What?!  Get artists to pay me?  Aren’t all artists broke?  Aren’t they selling out if they get paid or make any money with their art?

Well, there are certainly a lot of artists who buy into that BS.

And for me, I can honestly say that’s great, I respect their decision, I don’t believe in that myself, and I don’t want to work with artists that have that mindset.

In fact, I believe that artists should be fairly compensated for their work.  Financially.  With MONEY.

Yeah, because its real hard to walk into Guitar Center and get new equipment with Facebook ‘likes’ and Soundcloud downloads.

Its hard to buy food with a goodwill.

Last time I checked, the power and electric companies don’t accept goodwill either.

And believe it or not, I invested a sh!t ton of money into learning how to do this stuff and how to help make money for my clients with this knowledge.

So yeah, I got a call recently from a friend who’s band is killing it and they want to take things to the next level.

He mentioned that he feels strongly about fairly compensating me for my time and energy and skills if we decide to work together.

I really appreciate that.  It means that he is professional.  It means he understands business which is hugely important in the “Music Business.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with music for hobby, or passion, or expression.  Its just that it takes something else to get from there to here.

On a related note, a little rant…

On many occasions I have had people request my help in their projects.  They know a rapper, or they themselves are a rapper, and they will undoubtedly be the next big thing.

That’s awesome.

Many times they know that I produce music and that I have certain resources.

What they often don’t know, or seem to care about is how I got them.

I didn’t get them for free.

I didn’t get them overnight.

Its always surprising to me that they seem surprised when I don’t jump at the chance to record them.  Like, hey, they are a famous rapper in the making, I should be so excited to open up my studio and get to use my production skills to get to work with them.

I did have a good friend over not too long ago and I did help him record because I wanted to help him out and give him something to start working with.  So, yes, occasionally, I do it.  BUT, I gotta believe. AND, I gotta respect the person and BE respected.

Not to say that these other folks are being disrespectful intentionally, but they haven’t done their homework.  They usually haven’t paid their dues.  They usually think they will cut a demo and then start collecting checks and mugging on MTV.

I have no desire to fuel these delusions.

“But wait, Winston, aren’t you all positive and stuff and try to help people?”  Yeah, so here I am trying to be positive and help people…

Sometimes I gotta say ‘No.’

Sometimes, YOU gotta say, ‘No.’  Ya dig?

So what’s the point Winston? Why the rant?

I guess what I’m saying is the difference between my friend (who I will tell you more about next week perhaps) and the difference between all the wannabe’s out there is a certain level of understanding.  A level of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

If you don’t see the 20+ years of hustle and blood, sweat and tears I’ve put into the industry as a professional musician, DJ, promoter, producer, then that’s because you haven’t done it yet yourself.

And if you haven’t done it yet for yourself, then you are trying to maybe put the cart before the horse or something.

Not saying don’t dream big. Not saying don’t ask for help.

Just saying, do your homework.  Reciprocate.  Better yet, lead with value.  The band I’m meeting with reached out to their favorite bands and offered to help promote them.

They didn’t ask for pay.

They didn’t ask for a favor.  Or for free tickets to the show.  Or for whatever.  They provided value and support FIRST.

Now they play all over the country to huge crowds.

Want to get help from people at the next level from where you are?  How can YOU help or support THEM?

That is a MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION.  You’re welcome.

Oh, and learn to recognize where the money comes from.  There I go again, talking about money. “But I’m an ARTIST Winston, I don’t care about money.”  Great! Give it to me!  I’ll take that problem off your shoulders.

“But I have so much talent, I’m going to be HUGE!”  Yeah, I know.  And that’s great.  So then you should have no trouble investing money with me to help take you to the next level, right?

“Huh?  No, I’m the star!  I’m going to be huge and you are lucky to get to record me for free.  We could just lay down some tracks, jam, you know?”  Well, that’s really fantastic of you to make me that offer.

Here’s the thing, there are lots of really talented people out there.  I happen to know a lot of talented people myself.  But, a lot of them have no idea how to make money with their skills, or they don’t want to for whatever reason.

Again, that’s fine, but I’m into getting paid for my professional skills and services.  Go out and hustle a bit. #hustlestronglifestyle #riseandgrind

Then come talk to me.

Okay, end rant.