Pardon me for getting back on topic.
willyk wrote:It's a long story, so here it goes...
Young kid 18 years old. Hip Hop artist. Had been brushed off by many studios and I really did want to give him a good experience.
We have had a good run. 16 songs, $50/hr cash paid in full after each session. His mom (single mom with 5 kids) drives him 90 minutes each way for every studio date.
Before our last day of recording, I told him to bring a hard drive so he could keep all his own music. He has rough mixes of each song, which he decides are good enough for all his final mixes.
He asks us to master. I tell him our price, $50 per track, and he agrees, verbally. Then he proceeds to hassle me, which I don't mind at all, "when can you master?" he's persistent. I admire that in anyone.
Once the tracks were mastered, I sent him an email that we were done. Then he asks me to "work a deal" on the price. I told him if we were going to do mixing for all the songs, we could certainly work something out, but for mastering, it's $50 per track. Period.
Next he wants me to send him a "sample" over the net. I responded that he needs to come up one last time, and listen to all the transitions, etc, and pay for the project. But he insists he wants a sample first. I tell him to "remind me Tuesday".
He sends me an email tuesday, which I don't answer. Wednesday, another email. I still don't answer. Then he writes me on friday and starts getting rude. "Not a good way to do business". (I do agree that it isn't good to not answer emails for a few days, but coming from an 18 year old rubs me the wrong way!)
So I write to him, apologize, and tell him that I have been incredibly busy and to please be patient. This is where he says "we should go our separate ways". I tell him that he already asked us to do the work and I am actually waiting for him to come and pay me and listen to the master here. No he refuses to talk to me on the phone, and is telling me that he doesn't have time to wait for me to get it together.
I did get him a sample a few days later, and he says "thanks but no thanks, it's too quiet and not as loud as Tupac on my iTunes. We should go our separate ways"
Anyone have some wise words for me here????
What I have is a bunch of thoughts that are based on assumptions. Those assumptions may be incorrect, and if so I apologize in advance.
What was the point of having him "remind [you] Tuesday?" That sounds like you were blowing him off, or delaying to make some kind of power play. Possibly a douche move, IMHO.
He's already paid you $50/hr for 16 songs worth of recording, his mom - who has 4 other kids, as well as maybe having a job or two - drives him 90 minutes each way, and you can't make some samples to send over email?! I'd already have told you to take a hike. That struck me as a total power move, so you can get him on your turf to make the sale. Not cool.
Your post make it sound like you consciously didn't answer his emails for 4 days. This happened immediately after he said he was happy with the rough mixes and didn't see a reason to pay you $50/hr to remix. That's fucked. This guy just paid you a lot of money - in cash and at the end of each session! - and at the first sign that the gravy train might not roll on as long as you'd like you leave him hanging. Keep in mind that the time following recording is probably the most excited most people are about their project. Compound that with the fact that he's 18, and this was the time to disappear?!
More power play douchebaggery. Or, to give you the benefit of some tiny doubt, you're pouting because you mentally banked that mixing money before it happened. Either way, not something I'd want to be known for.
The first time he was impatient, (before he decided not to remix), you found his persistence admirable. Once you realized there was only another $800 in this project for you, you had a problem with the temerity of an 18 year old to (correctly) question your professionalism in this instance. And the reason it "[rubbed] you the wrong way" is because you knew he was right. Funny, you didn't seem too turned off by the prospect of that 18 year old having high standards when it meant he was paying you promptly.
Unless there's some other story about how he's been badmouthing you around the internet, or leaving flaming bags of poo at your front door, it sounds to me like he's been the one who's taken the high road at every step of this process. Mind you, this is only based on what you've written here, so I might not have the whole story.
Wise words? Sure, I have some wise words. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Think about what your clients' situations are before you ask them to conform to every one of your conditions, or if that doesn't work, don't take them on as clients. Be nice. Try to see things through other people's eyes.
And, as much as it pains me to say so...
READ THAT POST THAT JEFF PUT UP ABOUT HOW TO RUN A SMALL BUSINESS.
There's some good stuff in it.