The Price of Good Management

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At the R&B Management Group we stress the importance of having a great management team around to support talented individuals. When personalities reach a position of prominence there are a multitude of negligent opportunities and missteps that can cost this person much of what they have worked to obtain. The sports world has seen a recent example of how valuable it is to have an effective agent or manager on staff.

In professional sports, contract clauses are very important. Missing the small print can cost players millions of dollars and even more down the line due to teams never forgetting the mistake. Tarell Brown of the San Francisco 49ers recently fired his agent, Brian Overstreet of E. Overstreet Sports Management due to a situation in which the player missed out on a $2 million dollar bonus because he skipped a voluntary workout.

For those that may not understand, Brown was supposed to be paid the bonus if he showed up to a workout that was scheduled during the off-season. This was documented in his contract, but Brown did not show up to the event and was not paid the $2 million dollars. According to Brown his agent told him that he would be “OK” for not showing up, but the player would find out through Twitter that he would not receive the bonus and the snowball was sent downhill.

The financial hit could cost Brown much more than $2 million dollars. Since this bonus was a type of base salary escalator, the player could be out of additional payment increases down the line – costing him more millions. All of this is due to a misunderstanding of a valuable contract. What is even more tragic is that Overstreet’s other clients may have lost faith in him and the firm can lose more valuable players in the coming months. Not only was this mistake valuable to the player, but the agency itself is going to suffer.

The partnership between the talent and agent/manager is something that has an undeniable amount of worth. While mistakes in the professional world due happen; that does not mean they are inexcusable. Players must have the trust of the team around them both on and off the field. The same goes for every other personality within the entertainment world.

For more information about how the R&B Management Group can meet your talent management needs, visit our official website here.

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Been There, Done That: The Mentor Effect

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As an individual develops a career there will be times when that person has questions about what to do next or how to reach some form of success. Often times, those questions go unanswered not because people are afraid to ask, but simply they do not have someone that has the abilities to answer those questions. This is where having a mentor comes into play within the career development of professionals within any industry. Instead of blazing a completely new trail, there’s success in following in someone’s footsteps.

When its broken down, having a mentor is akin to having a big brother or big sister in the industry. These individuals are someone that has already gone through the trails and tribulations that you are currently facing. They’ve been able to overcome them and moved onto a level of success that you want to reach at some point in life. So it’s only natural that they should be able to answer your questions to make the right decisions while avoiding the mistakes that they made at the same point.

Obtaining a mentor is fairly easy. The best place to begin is with personal connections that can help you link with someone that has specific experience within your field. Most employers also have a form of mentoring program that is run through the human resources department or specific teams to teach new staff members the successful ways of the tenured. If neither one of those options exist, professional networking outlets such as LinkedIn or professional societies can place you in touch with someone that is willing to dedicate the time needed to be a career mentor. Whichever route you choose, there are many different ways to link up with experienced minds in your industry.

Another benefit of having a mentor is the opportunity to find interesting jobs or gigs very quickly. There may be moments when you mentor is approached about a job that they may not have time to complete. Instead of passing it off he or she will provide you with the chance to use the knowledge they’ve given you and move onto the next steps.

In the end, obtaining a mentor is all about networking. This person not only becomes a resource for your career growth, but they also become a cheerleader for your career; excited to see you surpass even your highest aspirations. While you make think you’re only learning from them, you will in fact learn from each other.

Client Management 201

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In the entertainment industry managers and clients have a very close relationship. The manager is in place to direct the individual’s career while pushing them away from those that aren’t the best to work with. Still, there are those who would wish to circumvent this partnership for their own gain.

As a management firm it is our duty, along with the others in this industry, to protect our clients from individuals or groups who are looking to take advantage of the client’s looks or talents.

At the highest level of the entertainment world many of the top business firms make formal requests for client services by reaching out to the managers of those who have their interest. From there the conversation begins around the details of the booking and specifics that are expected on both ends of the deal. This is the proper way that business is completed to ensure that all parties have their needs met in the end.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the way that all individuals will try to do business. Some groups will work hard to circumvent the partnership that managers and clients have in place in hopes to get over on the talent. This means taking such steps as refusing to talk to managers or hiring personalities only if they are not signed to a firm that provides managerial services. This practice is very common at the lower levels of the entertainment industry by groups that are looking to get the most while giving the least, if anything at all.

When approached by these “opportunities” the talent should immediately turn away from the problems that will come down the line.

First, taking such a deal will harm the relationship between the manager and the client. If the client is ready to cut the manager out of the deal, especially if it stems from their hard work, that shows that the longevity of their partnership is at risk.

Second, if a group is willing to try to get you to work without the proper representation, it is clear they are under valuing your talents and trying to cheat you out of your overall worth. Often times they would like for you to agree to an excessive amount of work in exchange for “exposure” when in fact they should be willing to pay for your services. If they are willing to go to such lengths to keep the discussion away from your legally bound manager, what other lows would they be willing to stoop to while working with you?

Having a manager is an important relationship that is meant to further your career and keep the leeches away. Those that wish to conduct business in a fashion that is not forthcoming and direct should be avoided. Jumping at every opportunity isn’t the best practice and in the end will do more harm than long term good.

For more information about the management services available with the R&B Management Group check out our services page.

Career Planning Leads To Career Success

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“A goal without a plan is just a wish,” as said by Antonie de Saint-Exupery is a great intro into the practice of developing a career plan. Many people wish to have a certain place in their dream career, but few are willing to put in the work to get there while even fewer will actually develop a plan at the same time. In reality, this should be the first step that is taken to reach the pinnacle of whatever career you choose.

Developing a career plan is a process that takes some time but has a massive amount of pay off. In one sitting you can take the time to review your current placement while taking the steps to advance yourself in the future. Following these steps will help you create the plan that will help you get to the next level.

Take an inventory of where you are. Review your educational and experience based qualifications by reviewing your resume to start. Look at your current career track within your employer, or use research if you work within the entertainment industry which plays by different rules. Include your interests, hobbies and anything else that you enjoy doing and could potentially earn income while doing.

CareerPlanningVisualize the final goal by pointing out the finish line. Think about your “dream” job; the position you would have if all the stars were aligned. List the responsibilities, salary, benefits and anything else that would be associated with the position. Include relocation to a better city and other aesthetic factors that could be enticing.

Learn what it will take to get there. This is the point where having a mentor or contact in the field is vital. Pick their brain on a number of important topics: how did they get where they are, what do they do daily, what do they like or dislike, what mistakes they made; any questions you can think of at this point. The more you know about what to expect, the better opportunity you have for success.

Write it down. Its been proven that a higher percentage of goals are met when they are in writing as opposed to spoken. Write out your career plan and post it somewhere you can see it daily. You cubicle, refrigerator, above your bed and anywhere else it will catch you eye. Don’t brag about it to friends or coworkers – instead keep your nose to the ground and eyes on the prize in front of you.

Just do it. Nike may have trademarked the phrase but its applicable in more ways than sports. Get to work because the is the only way your career plan will be of value. Make it a point to complete one step towards your goal per day and the next thing you know the little daily wins will lead to large, long term success.

Everyone wants to have career success, but few really know how to get there. Reach out to the R&B Management Group for more in-depth training on developing your career plan and reach the heights that only your mind can conceive.

Are You Willing To Work For Free?

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It’s well known that the entertainment industry is a fickle beast. Personalities are pushed out of the industry on a daily basis while others, who have the talent, fall by the wayside due to a lack of opportunities. To combat that problem many find themselves taking bookings at rates that are lower than expectations and some even take bookings without being paid. In the development of one’s career, we at the R&B Management Group are firmly against this practice.

Now you may ask, “Who would actually work for free?” Unfortunately, that idea comes up a lot within various aspects of the entertainment industry. For example, models are frequently asked to appear in music videos for exposure instead of payment for their time. Sometimes the lead model is provided with a stipend, but that isn’t always the case. Now these individuals can be on set for 6 to 12 hours a day – and not see a dime from their hard invested time. However, they have been convinced that the opportunity gives them exposure to grow their career while helping further others at the time. This could all be solved by asking one question:

“If there are individuals here whose talents are worth payment, why aren’t mine?”

Break it down. Majority of the time the project has multiple individuals that are being paid for their services. Yet, it is “OK” to ask for your services for free? That should show you what value those individuals are placing on your talent and make you reconsider working with them in on said project.
Yes, some opportunities do present themselves that are hard to turn down, but in the long run talented professionals have to be weary of lowering the bar when it comes to their work. Taking a project for free once may have a snowball effect that results in other opportunities expecting the same type of deal. This is where having a strong management team around you can help. Their services should help filter out these type of “opportunities” that are not worth your time in the big picture.

The Joker said it best in the Dark Knight: “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

This statement applies to your developing career in the entertainment industry.