How and when to argue about the money?

I have worked on many jobs, not all as a DJ, some with and some without a contract.

When I'm doing work it is often for small companies or individuals whereby you are working closely with the person who is also dealing with "accounts".

It seems to me that such people regard your service to them as a personal thing (especially if you have known them for some time) and if you perform in any way that they don't like then any agreement (written or verbal) is suddenly void (without discussion).

Some people recommend that to be successful in the music industry you should just do as many gigs as possible and just be busy. To me this means that whenever people are not offering to pay after a job, then you should not chase it and just soak it up as experience.

Others say that you should be careful and play it like a businessman. In which case you should chase every last penny that you're owed. To me it seems like I am already wasting too much time on paperwork and causing stress on both sides. For sums which in reality are only good for a month or so and in the grand scheme of things won't affect my life really.

What is the best approach? I don't know. I would love to know.

But I have the feeling that when it gets to the stage where contracts/riders are appropriate or necessary then it will be clear what to do/write/agree and really you are probably working with someone else anyway, not on your own. In which case taking advice off teh internetz is not appropriate.

I think any any other case where the DJ is pushing the paperwork themselves then I think it is not appropriate, and in general detrimental to the whole experience.