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Research credentials and question motives. By Editor In Chief of Guitar Thrills Magazine

Posted: November 3, 2023

I believe each one of us have enjoyed an experience with a businessman with unscrupulous behavior. In case you missed it, the word enjoyed doesn’t belong in that first sentence. In fact, there are many words used to describe the feelings of being duped into a bad contract or agreement. Joy is not one of them.

In the past, I have had to put legal pressure on individuals or companies that would not adhere to legal agreements. For some reason, civil suits and legal fee’s no longer keep individuals from attempting to rob you of your joy. Many of us just want to earn a clean and honest living. Unfortunately, not everyone want’s you too. Their brazen conduct prevents you from focusing on the rewards of your talent’s. Often, we spend too much time on research and signing legal agreements to protect what is lawfully ours. Legal agreements and contracts are not enough to dissuade someone from bad practices.

What do you do? How can you prevent someone or some agency from steeling what belongs to you? *(Example: money, time, emotions, reputation, health). Unfortunately, if someone has bad motives, or behavior, nothing is going to stop them from taking what is lawfully yours. We live in a time when a handshake is worthless. It may lead to a good story about how business used to be conducted decades ago. However, that is about it. An individual may have a good reputation amongst friends. But their business practices leave an empty pit in the stomach of others. I tread on this subject lightly. Only because some of our readers have been affected by someone with bad business practices. It all started with a “handshake” or generic proposal. You knew that something wasn’t right about the language in the document. However, you proceeded because of their reputation with others you may have trusted. The expectations of a business agreement may not have gone in your favor. *You may have lost essential items of value. If this applies to you, then you have our empathy. It has happened to me. However, all it cost me was time and frustration. The money invested, was recovered. The outcome for you most likely wasn’t in your favor. You may not have taken appropriate “legal” action. Thus, your loss was more substantial than mine.

**This article shouldn’t be used as legal advice. If you need assistance with legal matters, please consult an attorney. Do not Google, and do not discuss confidential matters with your friends. Hire an attorney. It will bold well in your favor.

Let’s continue. It is my opinion, that every business transaction should be made only after you have done your research. Review credentials. Demand examples of work, and references. Do not make a decision, due to time constraints. When you feel forced to decide, is often when it becomes a mistake. Be patient. Enjoy the process. Leave any transaction with confidence. Research and planning will help build confidence.

You may say, “well as long as I have a contract, there is nothing to worry about”. Big mistake! A legal agreement is only as good, as the person willing to adhere to it. If they don’t than you will spend more time, recovering your losses. ** The last thing that anyone of will want to do, is to spend our valuable time in a civil court room.

I could go on for hours talking about this subject and throwing shade. However, nothing will be accomplished. The main points of this article stand out clearly. Remember the following:

  1. Do not trust someone based on personal reputation. Let their business practices speak for them.
  2. Do your research. Ask for credentials, references, and examples of their work.
  3. Sign an agreement with your expectations. Get a signature from them, and several witness signatures.
  4. Do not hire someone because they are willing to accept work at a cheaper price.
  5. Hire an attorney.
  6. Hire an attorney.
  7. If you stand to lose a considerable amount of money, follow steps 5, and 6 first.
  8. Be patient. Confidence will come after you have done thorough investigative research.
  9. Approach all business transactions with a degree of skepticism.
  10. Tighten up your contractual agreements. Do not sign anything unless you completely understand the legal jargon used. Do not rely upon the other party to define what has been written. Feel free to counter agreements with amendments. Seek the advice of an attorney.

I hope this article from the Editor has helped you. This is not intended to provide you with legal advice. The article is intended to prepare yourself for all business transactions where another party will be hired to perform a service. Think and plan. If you do, it may save you from the bad actors. Poor behavior or actions from un-scrupulous individuals.

The article points to a very serious subject. When possible, we want to talk with those that agree, or have their own opinion about the subject contained in the Editors Column. Our guest today is Alana Alberg.

ABOUT ALANA ALBERG

Alana Alberg, born in Tietê, São Paulo, Brazil, is a professional bass player and teacher currently residing in Rio de Janeiro.

Having picked up the bass at the age of 13, Alana boasts a diverse range of professional experiences in various musical genres. She has lent her talents to musical theater, TV productions, studio recordings, and numerous live bands encompassing metal, rock, bossa nova, funk, soul, and more.

Presently, Alana is a member of the renowned and prolific Brazilian band, Blitz, touring extensively across the country with them. Additionally, she collaborates with notable artists such as Thiago Pantaleão, Jade Baraldo, Juliana Linhares, Jay Vaquer, among others.

Editor: Thank you for answering some questions for us today. Regarding the topic, how you ensure that you are not working with someone that is shady, or has a history of bad business practices?

Alana: Thank you for inviting me, it is a pleasure to contribute with Guitar Thrills Magazine.A good thing to do is check the person's name on Google, but just doing it doesn’t guarantee you are safe.

Editor: Have you ever had any bad experiences that you are willing to talk about? If so, what happened and how did you resolve it?

Alana: Yes, unfortunately I had. I was working in a big company, 5 months contract. Each month my payment was smaller and smaller. I called the finance department to understand what was going on and they told me it was because of the taxes. So, I checked the maximum possible percentage of discount due to taxes was 27,5% and I was receiving less than 50% of my payment.

I realized that someone from the finance department was stealing from me. Was a complicated and delicate situation, I talked with my bosses and then it was solved, I received the ''right payment’' and I hope those responsible have been fired.

Editor: What are your suggestions to anyone wanting to get into the music industry? How should they proceed with working with professional agencies, or organizations?

Alana: Be professional, work with passion, ethic, and responsibility. Also, always be very attentive with the details in the contract, never sign anything without reading it. It's sad to say but be suspicious and never feel bad to ask questions, it is your right.

Again, this article is not to be interpreted as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for matters related to best business practices. Especially as it applies to services you may be obtaining now or in the future. However, the importance of getting all conversations, objectives, services, etc in writing is paramount to your success in the music industry.

Alana's exceptional skills have earned her endorsements from esteemed brands including Markbass, Focusrite, EvoStraps, Bite Bass, Novation, and Origin Effects.

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