Stay away from publishers with only three letters in their name. (Just kidding, mostly...)
Separate your advisors. Your lawyer shouldn't be your manager and your manager shouldn't be your sister or handling your accounting.
Don't blindly abdicate power and responsibility for your career. Review your bills, and even if your business manager prepares the checks, sign them yourself.
The music industry is full of "commission junkies". Don't let someone get you into a $300,000 up front deal when you could have had $125,000 a year for three years.
Make deals which have finite termination dates. Having a mistake expire is a learning experience.
Go with your gut.
Your first hit record is always a law suit.
Don't burn bridges if you can avoid it. It's a "small" business, and today's irritant can be tomorrow's client.
Keep a copy of everything you ever sign and know where it is.
Many artists and songwriters are insecure and seek approval and reassurance. While we all like approval and reassurance, its usually better to work with people (managers, lawyers, administrators, accountants, etc.) who are good at doing what they were hired to do, and who are not just fawning "yes" men. Resist temptation to work with someone who just tells you how great you are. Find someone who knows what they're doing, even if they're not as "user friendly."
Buy Don Passman's book, All You Need To Know About the Music Business. Read it.
Here today, gone tomorrow. Do you know how many pathetic broke has-beens we know? Save some money for retirement. "Like A G6" won't be #1 forever.
Live within your means. Get help if you can't figure out just what this is.
In most cases, ASCAP.
Professional managers and song-pluggers are mostly company P/R people. Cuts and song placements are mostly user generated. A lawyer we know (Martin Cohen) once said "The best demo is the hit record on which it was originally released".