Hustle Harder: Building & Maintaining Relationships

By Donny Goines  |  04/11/2008

Donny GoinesLast week I had a session with an up-and-coming rapper by the name of MigL. He was doing a couple of joints at my man Ariel's spot and asked me if I would a lay a verse down. This was my first time actually meeting him face to face and the session was cool. When he left, he told me that he would reach out from time to time just to pick my brain and keep up with me. You could learn a lot from this guy.

Many people think that getting a business card, phone number or email address from someone means that now you and that person have some sort of relationship, but majority of the times this is not the case. That's only the FIRST part of it. You see, getting the information is cool, but BUILDING and maintaining the relationship is what makes that information important. Do you know anybody that has a million numbers in their phone or a sh** load of email contacts? You know the type "Oh I have such and such info... blah, blah, blah," but what good is the contact information if you don't build up some sort of rapport? It's worthless. When you DO try to contact this person, they probably will have no idea who you are and even if they do, why would they be inclined to do anything for you? They don't know you from a hole in wall. Can you see how this can be a problem? I would rather have a 100 phone numbers or emails of people I have some sort of relationship with then 10,000 of them with people I don't.

Building and maintaining relationships is an important aspect of the hustle. Personally I don't go to dinner with everyone I speak to or call them everyday, etc. But I DO maintain some kind of contact with them, whether it be the occasional email, aim convo, phone call, etc. I try to stay on top of this because it is very important. Don't you hate it when somebody hits you up out of the blue and asks you for something? You know what I'm talking about. An email asking you to vote for some contest, a message asking to support a new song, etc. and people actually expect you to do it? Why? If you don't know the person and never speak to them, why would you even bother? Think about it. This is why this is very important. Going back to MigL for a second, before the session, he would occasionally send me a message on MySpace, or an email here and there and just stay in my head. So when it was time to go to his session, it didn't really feel like he was asking anything outrageous you understand? If you were to look at it from another aspect though, imagine this same artist never emailed me or sent me a message before and then asked me out the blue to come to his session. It would seem a like an odd request because A) I wouldn't know who he was and B) Why should I? Does this make any sense? In this business relationships are everything and if you don't learn how to build and maintain them you are in the wrong field.

Now getting back to MigL. I might not hear from him everyday or see him all the time, but because he made the effort to build with me when he does hit me up, it's all love. Think about this next time you send out an email or dial a number.

For more on me and my music visit my Myspace page at