I’ve had this graphic on my computer for a while now, and today seems as good a day as any to share it.
I have spent a good chunk of the past 40 years working with and around musicians. Some of them have been very successful, selling millions of records and making piles of money. Others, who appear to me to be equally talented, have difficulty making ends meet. So much of “success” seems to be random.
Musicians aren’t the only ones who find that they are expected to donate their professional skills. Though perhaps it happens to them more often. As a writer I have found myself doing a lot of work for free that I probably should have been paid for. It’s not that I don’t know how to say no, it is that I am just too kind-hearted. Though I have gotten better at limiting the freebies. It could be worse though.
A few years back I was talking with a Canadian doctor who had been spending some professional development time in the United States and had discovered that at every social event there was at least one person, maybe more, looking for medical advice. This was a new experience – it just didn’t happen in Canada.
I surmised that was because of the difference between our two medical systems. Canadians don’t bother doctors for medical advice at social events because we can get it for free just by making an appointment. Americans then had to pay for such advice – so of course anyone cost conscious would try and get the information for free.
The public thinks a doctor’s information has value, and tries to get something for free rather than pay for it. I suspect that in the case of a musician, many people just don’t realize that it is not just a hobby, it is a job like any other. I present this therefore as a public service.