This may come as a surprise to you.

You may want to sit down for this.

Contrary to what my wife’s grandmother believes, I’m not perfect.

Okay, now pick yourself up off the floor. That probably came as quite a shock. 🙂

Seriously, though.

I can be a first class moron sometimes, especially when it comes to working with clients. 

When I work on my own projects, I answer to no one but myself. That’s generally a good thing. If I don’t want to work on a song today, I won’t. If I want to postpone mixing that song to next week, I can. No big deal.

But working for clients is a different story. And I’ve dropped the ball a few times recently for clients. It mostly revolves around me double-booking sessions and mis-calculating how much work will be involved on a particular project. Some of it revolves around extra revisions the clients want on mixes/masters, etc. Or special favors they want me to do.

But if the ball gets dropped, it’s not their fault. It’s mine.

I’ve had to apologize for a few mishaps lately, and that’s never fun.

But my clients are awesome. They’re very understanding and gracious, and things are generally back on track.

So I have a couple of take-away points for you — things you can learn from my mistakes:

  1. You’re going to screw up. It’s human nature. But I think it’s better to take on a challenging project and fail (and course-correct) than to never take on the project at all.
  2. Admit when you’re wrong. There’s no use in coming up with elaborate excuses. “Hey, I dropped the ball on this, and I’m sorry…”
  3. Learn from the mistakes. If you discover a behavior or character trait that tends to lead to mistakes, make the necessary changes. (For me, I need to be able to say no to projects when I really don’t have the bandwidth for them, and to learn how to better manage/schedule my time.)

I’m sure if I showed this email to a business/marketing consultant, he would freak out and tell me not to send it. “You don’t want to show weakness and failure!!!” he would scream.

I disagree.

This is who I am.

I mess up…a lot. Might as well help you avoid making a few of the same mistakes, right?

Speaking of mistakes, today we wrapped up a little mini-series for VIP members dealing with the order of EQ and compression in the chain (when I use EQ first, when I use compression first). Today’s video takes a look at when I’ll use compression first. And a few of my examples don’t work out as well as I thought they would.

But I like to leave those mistakes in the videos. It helps show you that sometimes you can have an airtight plan for a mix, but when you get in the trenches of mixing that song, you have to let your ears guide you…and sometimes that means undoing some of the stuff you’ve done and trying something else.

To check out these videos and all the other ridiculously valuable stuff you get with your VIP membership, go here:

Joe Gilder
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