Before I had turned 18, I had gone into a military recruiters office to talk about joining one of the military branches. When I had been through several recruiters and countless marketing pamphlets; I eventually got down to brass tacks. The recruiters and I finally hammered out the balance of what I wanted vs. what the service could offer. I had a rough idea of what I was getting into. Due to my being a minor, my parents “co-signed” with me. It was a vague agreement but I also knew an important part of any contract:
Know what you are signing. If you don’t; find someone to explain it to you.
Part of being an adult is self-accountability and self-awareness. You owed it to yourself to find out what you are getting into. You need to know what the ramifications of fulfilling the contractual obligation are and you should know the negative ramifications.
It is foolhardy to jump at something “shiny” and signing your name to something you don’t understand fully. Deliberative action and contemplation makes more sense. We have lawyers and parents (or mentors) for this. But plenty of people overlook things like this. There is no forward-looking vision and many of these people squall when they find out the truth.
Fast forward to modern day; I look back at my experience with my service colleagues fondly. I also use the experience to tell young men the reality of signing ambiguous contracts. Taylor Swift, a few years to my junior, hadn’t learned anything from her signing a contract with Big Machine Records. (or at least she didn’t read it).
The vast majority of what Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun did was legal and above board. I find issue with accusing someone of “bullying” and then accusing someone of illegally keeping her from performing her older songs in various outlets. If this was true, maybe she should have structured her contract better. (or not signed the contract to begin with?). The concept of “fair” doesn’t apply when you sign rights away like I did, (or give agreement to use someone else’s idea of a standard contract). I was a man of my word to the best of my ability. Within the boundaries of legal precedent and within an element of personal loss; I fulfilled the contract and was eventually freed from further obligations. I give the following advice to you:
Keep your word. Fulfill your obligations. Know what you are signing. Don’t malign the other party/parties for your lack of insight. Be an adult and don’t use emotional arguments to try to breach/amend a contract.
Learn something from Taylor Swift; read your contract, quit crying, and then move on. Chock up your losses to your errors. Exercise “extreme ownership” and carry on into a brighter future.
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