The people you surround yourself with can keep you from reaching greatness or they can be the one thing that keeps you grounded. Here’s what happens if you don’t know
Duffy went from a film deal with Harvey Weinstein and gracing magazine covers to has-been in record time.
His downfall? 1. Smelling his own piss. (Believing his own press) 2. Mixing friends and family with business.
The problem with hiring family or friends in the entertainment business is two-fold:
Emotional attachment: It is impossible to make smart creative and business decisions when emotion is involved. You need to be able to step back. Separate yourself from the situation and look at things objectively and make the call without flinching. If your mom is managing your career and is obviously in over her head how do you tell her to buzz off? Answer is don’t hire her in the first place. I’m a parent. If my kid is kicking butt at something I’d want him to have the best person possible to make sure he’s on the right track. Doesn’t mean I can’t check in on them here and there. There’s a fine line between concern and interference.
Family and friends want to protect you. I get it. But the ‘you’ they have known all these years will have to evolve significantly in order to face the temptations and challenges of succeeding in this business. Learn to separate the ‘old home you’ from the ‘work you’. They need to let go of the old you and give you room to grow. Your past can either propel you to success or hold you back. My past is nothing to brag about (it’s actually pretty horrible) but it is also my biggest advantage because to hide it is fake and won’t hold up in the long term. Keep your eyes on the prize.
NOTE: If you happen to hate your family’s guts then consider yourself at an advantage. Chances are they won’t be working for you anyway so skip this bit.
Maybe your family gives you useful input. Great. But you need to know where to draw the line. If you are among the lucky few who have a competent team of professionals with your best interest at heart working their butts off for you there is no need to jeopardize that relationship by second-guessing their guidance. The very nature of growing your brand and an intricate part of any major career evolution is that it has to be broken down in order to be built back up.
Expectations: I am closer to my friends than I am with most of my family. My buddy from Tops In Blue was the best man at my wedding. Would I hire him to manage my career or affairs? Nope. And he doesn’t expect me to. A lot of the business decisions you’ll have to make may be what’s best for your career but not in the best interest of your friendship. The phrase ‘we started this together’ is a slippery slope so beware of people who are hanging on to your coat tails with this sly form of guilt. You don’t owe anybody a damn thing. And the world doesn’t owe you anything either. When you hire an industry professional who may not know you but is passionate about your work everybody starts on even ground. Someone who doesn’t know you takes you at face value and all their decisions are clear and transparent. They’re not afraid to piss you off, and you’re not afraid to give them a piece of your mind. This is how business relationships work, as long as you don’t start talking about each other’s mamas you’ll make lots of money together and enjoy a successful career.
With success comes a lot of guilt which we’ll cover in another post. Remember that the sacrifices your family and friends have made to support you on your journey don’t come with strings attached. Thank them by being successful and never forgetting where you came from. And mention GigSmacked.com in your awards acceptance speech. (kidding)
It’s Showbusiness. Not ShowFriends.
-Kahlil Ashanti, GigSmacked.com
I know there are some successful family/friends situations out there but it’s very rare. Agree or Disagree? Is it working for you? Share your secrets! We’re here to shed as much light on this subject as possible. ReTweet, Facebook, and share this post. Let’s keep the dialogue going!