If you've put me in the position to ask you to pay me money you already know you owe then clearly you've already mistaken my kindness for weakness. A considerate and noble client would never do that. I accept my payments for services upfront before I help you sing your first note. The reason for that is because I spent the first few years in business being cheated out of my money. A few people paid me with a rubber check. These days I don't accept checks but people will still find a way to get over when I extend what I call "earned trust".
That's when I've worked with you long enough to believe you'd never attempt to cheat me. Our friendly yet professional relationship in combination with my desire to go the extra mile to help my especially talented clients often leads me to offering them additional free session time. You gotta earn that level of trust from me. But so that there are never any blurred lines I'll always specify which services I'll hook them up with and which ones they gotta pay for upon completion. AWAYS. I put it in writing too and when they agree I have no reason to worry, right? Nope. I wish that were always true. There were times that I spent hours putting professional materials together for clients like photos, pageant music, artist resumes, etc. I've also had a few clients over the years that really needed a vocal session asap in preparation for an opportunity that snuck up on them. In that case they'd show up and receive their session promising to pay me on "pay day". When it came time for payment they'd say "next week". Then next week would come and they'd say "next week". Then next week would come and go again and they'd say "next week". Then suddenly SILENCE. I don't hear from them. They won't hear from me either after all those cat and mouse games. You know why they won't hear from me? Because they already know they owe. I'm not going to keep reminding grown ass adults to pay up. I cut my losses and move on. I've lost thousands over time. I've owed people money before but the last thing I'd ever want is a friend, family or even my coach to have to call me before I call them to discuss my plans to pay them back. That's too cringe worthy for me. But the way I see it now is that I'll never really lose for being kind as long as I learn not to be stupid. Yours in music! -sb
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