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Being a Musician is undeniably an amazing career to have. Dealing with the Music Industry is just about the exact opposite. But you already know this.

You have spent a lot of time perfecting your craft. You love it like it’s your very own child. And in fact, just like a child, your music won’t be all rainbows, care bears, and sunshine. Sometimes music can be a little shit. The creative struggles, collaboration issues, etc. – but in the end there is nothing that brings you more pride and joy.

Herein lies the problem. The people that run the Industry are aware of this deep connection you have to your music. As a matter of fact, they rely on that very same connection to screw you over. And it is typically the musician’s confusion on how to approach the business aspect of music that sets them up for failure.

Instead of listing the 9 million ways to catch it in the ass from this industry, though, I’d rather focus on a simple method to help you avoid the painful “bullet in the buttocks.”

Lesson for the day: Just like we learned in grade school, “Just Say NO!” Ok, maybe “No Thank you.” Kill your adversaries with kindness - but the key is to kill the deal when you’ve reached your walk away point. Know your market value and stop low-balling yourself out of fear of losing the gig. “No” is a powerful sentiment that lets the other person know you are aware of your own value.

REMEMBER THIS: This person wanted you for a reason. That is because you have something of value.

And something else to keep in mind - saying No is one of the most powerful ways to explore and test your true value in a given market. If you are always saying Yes to everything, then you’ll lose your pricing consistency. Losing that consistency will possibly jeopardize your ability to increase, or even sustain, prices in that market.

Saying NO doesn’t mean to ask for absurd things. Just as you should know when it's time to counter or walk away from a deal, the Industry almost always knows when to counter or kill the deal. In one of the next articles I’ll give tips and tricks to swing the negotiations in your favor.

So be prepared by knowing your market value, when to counter, and when to walk away. And always be polite, that way when you screw up negotiating the first few times, you’ll have unburnt bridges to cross the next go-round.

So remember: When you know your own value, your success in the music business becomes infinitely more obtainable.

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