I have a music colleague that I have a lot of respect for.  He and I have known each other for several years and it's fair to say we didn't start off on the right foot.  But I saw we were both alike in some things and that judgement was sound.  It's been fun to watch him develop over the years and I hope he feels the same.  I also think of him when I run into situations where ya just wanna go "huh?"

I've always, and still am, a firm believer in partnerships.  I truly believe it's the only way forward.  The problem with this, is your partners.   How do you really pick them?  How do rely on them?  How do you believe them?  How much are you willing to risk with them?

In regards to my respected colleague above, he and I are in firm agreement on this, "life in the middle."   When you get to certain point in your life/career, it's time to make changes for your future.  This doesn't mean your great ideas won't success, it just means maybe you lack something to make it happen; and that could be a wide range of things.  And I'm not saying pack it in and give up, but for me... I've got a wife to think of and what am I going to do when I can't lug PA systems and can't hustle gigs anymore?  

As I grow my label and production company I've found that life in the middle is essentially where I need to be.  I'm not trying to corner the market on anything, I'm not trying to "break," my ambition for all of that has passed.  What I want now is honest work and a paycheck.  I can pay my bills and squirrel away something for the future.   This is where partners matter most.  

The challenge here is that different people have different skills sets, different ambitions, different motivations, different interests, different amounts of available time, and different amounts of willingness to do things.  Your job is to make the most out of what you got and figure out that puzzle.  

The trick is in figuring out if your partners are any good.   Mostly that's an easy figure as it all comes down to money in the bank.  But for some of this stuff it's also evaluating effectiveness.  These days some of those assessments are easier than ever.  In other cases, it's the same old thing it's ever been.

You can't ever drink the kool-aid.  I was having a conversation with another respected colleague about an event.  And what I loved most was how he didn't say anything cliche like "there's two sides to every story."  What he said was, here's my perspective.   Some of what he said was spot on in my observations, some of what was outside my expertise, some of minor points were in contradiction with what I knew to be true, and some of it seemed like a sell.  But what he hammered home his point with made my opinion and knowledge irrelevant.  

It's good to choose sides, it's good have allies and loyalty.  It's good have perspective.  It's good to have your own view so you can filter what people are telling you.  There are not two sides to every story.  There are many sides.  One should always be willing to listen and evaluate what you're being told.  

Living in the middle means being a good service provider, it means always delivering, it means long-term thinking.   Cuz the problem with choosing sides in a fight that ain't yours, are the repercussions you don't see coming.  Don't drink the kool-aid.  Especially if you're only hired to serve it.