We Might Be Breaking Up

As you may have heard (insert sarcastic eye roll here), Apple made some news last week.

Apple held its annual September product launch event, complete with the media news crush that has become customary for these events. These live events (pioneered by Apple co-founder, the late Steve Jobs) are brilliantly orchestrated marketing launches for new Apple products that few other companies in the world can compete with. Along with this event, also comes the customary laughter and mockery of Apple, its fans and its products.

It is that gap in understanding — the gap between fans of Apple and those who are not fans — that I’d like to address. That same gap might be what is holding you back from getting what you want out of this blog for your mobile DJ career.

I am not interested in helping you become average. If you are content with staying comfortable and in the middle of the pack for what is considered a “normal” DJ in your region, I am not the voice you want to pay attention to.

I want you to become the “Apple” of your region. I want you to become that thing that people value so highly, they don’t care what it will cost…they simply have to have you. (Don’t worry, you can still own an Android phone. This isn’t about that.)

Apple makes computers…so do many other companies.

Apple makes tablets…so do many other companies.

Apples makes smartphones…and so do many other companies.

But it is how Apple makes those devices work…and how they service those devices…and how they tie all of those devices together…and the experience they create within the software on those devices…that truly sets them a part.

You’re a DJ and I’m a DJ. Right?

We both have speakers, lights, music, etc. However, we both create different outcomes.

We use the same “whats” (speakers, lights, etc.) in our businesses. But it is our “hows” that turn our parties into our own unique outcomes.

It is not what you or I do, it is how we do things that sets us apart from one another.

You might love Apple, you might hate Apple…but here is the important part.

You can either…

…stand there, in disbelief that so many people buy Apple products and refuse to acknowledge that how Apple does things is the key differentiator to their success.

…or, you can acknowledge that how Apple does things is remarkable and internalize the lessons that come with that and use them to create your own success, leaving “average” behind for everyone else.

This does not mean you should run out and buy an iPhone, but if you are one of those on the outside, wondering why some people get so excited about Apple, this is what today’s post is about:

If you truly believe the statement “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it” then try to understand Apple. This might be the largest stumbling block between your current position and the position of the $4000 or $5000 DJ you wish to become.

If you continue to chalk up Apple’s success to nothing but slick marketing, reading anything I share will, for the most part, be a waste of your time.

I don’t want that. You don’t want that.

So, are we breaking up? Or will we continue seeing each other?

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8 thoughts on “We Might Be Breaking Up”

  1. Fear and Time

    I love your column. I want to be a premier DJ in my market. Yet fear and time hold me back from achieving this goal.

    I love Djing. I have always been an audio gear junky. I played in garage bands for years. I was always doing double duty by playing the keyboard and running the sound system. I love meeting people. I am emotionally moved at every wedding ceremony. I love making my client’s weddings magical. I feel privileged to be part of their wedding day.

    I started DJing 2 years ago, at the midpoint of my working career. During the day, I work 40 hours or more a week organizing staff in the computer industry. I own a home. I am a single Dad with a family. I have my children 50% of the time. I am with my children more often than many Dad’s who are married. I often work myself to tears. I frequently don’t know how I will finish all my commitments. I just ignore the big picture, focus on my highest priority tasks one at a time. I work until I crash.

    You, Bill Hermann and Mark Ferrell have wonderful advice. I really enjoyed Bill workshop, “The Entertainment Experience”. One question I formed during Bill’s course is: “How can I find time to be a premier DJ?” All the things Bill does to make his presentations magical, take a lot of time. Starting with the sales process, to capturing video from loved ones who can’t attend the wedding and finally to being a master performer at the reception, it all takes a significant time. I don’t know how to fit it all in.

    I don’t have enough confidence to jump in full time. I want to leap, I just can’t see from where I am how it would be possible. So I work for multi-ops in my market to gain experience. I am not parting ways with your column. I just want to know what inspired you to make the leap to be a full time performer?

    1. Hey Dennis. Great comments, many questions. Not all of them are easy questions. I think us talking about this might be best. But, before we get to that…

      Work/life balance is a great, great challenge and you’ve highlighted this with remarkable magnification as it applies to you. It is an even bigger challenge when, as you’ve detailed, you are working a regular 40-hour-a-week job in once place, operating as a dad at home, and after all of that…using your “leftover” time to operate a DJ business. Here is the best solution I can provide you with — When you are working on your business events, ensure you are being paid at a rate that is reflective of what your 40-hour-per-week OVERTIME rate would be. You are, in essence putting forth all of your “overtime” hours into this business. Not everyone will want to pay those dollars, which is the point. This will ensure that you aren’t working too much — until you crash — which doesn’t do you or your family any good. When you do work though, you will be getting compensated something that you feel ok working on. This isn’t about being greedy, this is about fair compensation for your time and talents. This is about respect for your time and talents.

      Next, WHAT do you need to leap into this full time? What income will you need, benefits, time, equipment, education, etc. What will DJing have to produce in order to replace what your current 40-hour-a-week job?

      Here are some important things that allowed me to make the leap from PT to FT: http://adjthought.com/2017/01/stepping-stones-pt-to-ft/

      The inspiration for this came from surrounding myself with people telling me and demonstrating to me that it was possible. I made a conscious effort to put myself where inspiring people would be too (conferences, workshops, mentors, etc.). This is what inspired me to go full time.

  2. This is exactly why I follow you Dave! Because you give advice on how to be above average and provide value to our clients. I appreciate all your guidance and blogs. I have recently increased my pricing and guess what? They are paying it! Because they saw me perform at a previous event and want the same thing, if not more. The difference? Value and paying close attention to detail. They are looking for an experience and not someone to just play some tunes. Just like Apple and their echo system, which I use. Yes, I get beef from PC guys but it works well for me. Specifically programming music and playlists syncing to all my devices. Great backup without lifting a finger with Cloud Music and iTunes Match. No need to add drivers to a controller on a Mac. It just works. The more value we provide the more value we receive in return.

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