Daily Money Minute

Fotolia_54867638_XS_7“In Blondie we were very bad at the business side and we lost a lot of money. The reality is that most young musicians could do with a crash course in accounting.” ~Debbie Harry

Originally quoted in Britain’s Mail on Sunday Live Magazine, Debbie Harry offers some good advice to artists and performers with this comment. Creative people tend to focus on the creative or artistic side of their work to the exclusion of almost everything else. Presumably that’s what they enjoy most, so that is quite natural. However they can also be far too trusting of people on the business side of their work, people like managers, agents, publishers, et cetera. The underlying message here is simple; the only person who will truly look after your own interests is you. Everyone else is looking after their own interests. If you are a performing artist (or a writer or in any other self-employed, creative pursuit) then you are in business. So you must be very business-like in looking after your own interests and you must manage every aspect of your business. You must understand where every penny is coming from and where it is going to and why. Who is taking a slice of the money your creative output is generating and what are you getting in return? If you are paying commission to a manager or an agent are you getting fair value? If you are signing a contract, have you made sure that your own lawyer has reviewed it to ensure that it is in your own interests to sign it? Far too many young people are so keen to make it as performing artists that they allow themselves to be exploited by sharks and charlatans. Don’t be a mug; be a businessman or a businesswoman.

© Roy Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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