Bret Michaels says Poison stumbled into their best-ever business decision when they chose to retain their publishing rights at an early stage.

The moment came during work on their 1986 debut album Look What the Cat Dragged In when Poison had to decide if they should accept a low offer.

“One of the biggest blessings that came from that is we held all of our publishing. I didn’t know that was the gem,” Michaels told SiriusXM’s Hair Nation. “We had been offered these really small offers and we’re like, ‘We’re already poor. Let’s just stay here and just hold on to controlling our career.’

“I go back to this now and that ended up being the biggest gem for Poison,” Michaels added. “We kept all the publishing and just did an administration deal.”

Describing the band’s early era as a “hustle,” he said: “You know what stops a lot of people? I call it the wall. You hit that wall or that door and every time we hit a door or wall, we either climbed over it, punched our way through it, kicked a door open – and we found a way. It was never exactly like you wanted it to be, but you found a way to get it done,” and that included “convincing people we were gonna have a hit record.”

Poison “had to believe it before they were gonna believe it,” Michaels concluded, “and I always told people, ‘No matter what it is you want to do in life, bet on yourself.’ You gotta. I have to bet on me before anyone else is gonna bet.”

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