Do You Kick by Paul Kida

January 26, 2008 by Paul Kida

In other words, does any aspect of your business life need shining up?KICK stands for “Keep it Clean, Kiddo!” It might seem like just another cute acronym, but let’s consider the power behind “keeping it clean.” Keep what clean? Why? Does it really matter?

When you think of clean, what comes to your mind? What comes to my mind is sparkling, like a brilliant diamond, or fresh smells, and an overall feeling of just feeling good. Imagine starting every day with that kind of feeling. Your mind is functioning clearly, openly accepting a new day’s work and ideas. You have a vibrant attitude as you speak to, meet and persuade new clients. You have an uncluttered, open mindset that allows you to focus on providing exceptional service, while personalizing your clients’ events with new and exciting ideas.

Let’s Get Physical
Let’s start at the beginning (a good place to start!) and that is simply…yourself! What exactly do you want to keep clean? The answer is you, which means your body, dress and grooming, your mind and, just as importantly, your working environment.
First, it means your basic hygiene and clothing. It might sound ridiculous, but the basis of most of your success (and ability to book gigs) comes down to how other people, or clients, perceive you. Close your eyes for a moment and envision what you would consider a successful person would look like. No doubt most of us would be thinking of someone well-dressed, perhaps in a clean business suit, and most likely he/she would be clean shaven (if a guy!) and well-groomed.

Isn’t that the perception that you want clients to have of you? Then you must make sure that you do all of the necessary things to present that image. Start with the small and most obvious things, such as bathing, shaving, combing your hair and brushing your teeth. You should also dress in a presentable manner. This has a positive effect on your entire outlook. You want to look good and feel good about yourself. It will reflect in your attitude, confidence and demeanor. This is especially true if you are working from home, as many of us do. Don’t fall into the trap of not shaving or working in your PJs. That doesn’t mean you have to pull out the tuxedo and work in that, but just a nice casual dress shirt and clean, pressed pants should do. When you look good, you will feel good and it will show in your voice when you are making phone calls. You will work much more efficiently.

Cultivating Positive Consciousness
Let’s move on to keeping a clean mental state and outlook. Since you are already feeling good because of your physical state, you are already on the right path. Keep that positive physical outlook growing and adjusting your mental outlook.

Make a daily mental checklist for yourself. How is your thinking today? Look for any possible negativity or complacency. These are things that are causing mental clutter, so get rid of them! Negativity can only do one thing if left unchecked, and that is to bring you down and hold you back. Again, it will show in your voice on the telephone and, if that is what you give out, that is also what will return to you.

The same is true of complacency, or being satisfied with the status quo. You must clean out your mind by replacing negativity with good, positive thoughts. Adjust your thinking so it is constantly in line with your personal business vision. Don’t let the dust settle, but strive to keep your thoughts bright, focused and moving forward.

Have you ever had a friend or family member that was constantly negative about everything, every day, no matter what the subject was? How long did you want to stay around that kind of person? I don’t know about you, but my feeling is not very long! In fact, I would go out of my way to avoid them! If that is the impression that you give off to clients, how many jobs do you think you will book?

Instead, try a little positive affirmation each morning as a good way to get into a great mindset. After getting yourself ready in the morning, take a good look at yourself in the mirror and talk to yourself. Yes, I said talk to yourself! Tell yourself aloud that you will have a beautiful day, that you will be productive, and that you will treat other people even better than you wish to be treated yourself. Think of some specific positive things that you want to see accomplished during this day, and then repeat them to yourself, again out loud as if they had already been done successfully. It may seem very strange at first, but such positive vocal and visual affirmations will help keep your mind clean and focused. It will form the beginning of your day and help remove any negativity that might hinder your 100% success. Just try it. You’ll like it!

Environmental Protection
Let’s touch briefly on your working environment. One definition of clean is “uncluttered.” Is your office space neat and uncluttered? Do you have papers, business cards and sticky notes scattered throughout? Do you have a daily schedule to make calls, follow up on arrangements, and keep appointments, or do you just jump into work and hope things work out?

Once again, get rid of the clutter! Keep it clean. This doesn’t mean to throw everything out, but to have a place for it. Keeping a good filing system is an essential start. Write a list the day before of all the things that need to be done the next day, in order of importance, then cross them off the list as you complete them. Any papers that you work with, such as lead sheets, phone call records, vendor references, etc. can be separated and filed in any system that works well for you. Personally, I keep a three-ring binder along with a yearly calendar. I divide my lead sheets into those I need to call (or new leads), those I have spoken to and will follow up on, and those to whom I have sent my marketing package. The calendar allows me to note any special calls I need to make on any specific day. By having everything in one book, it eliminates the pile of loose papers that used to drive my wife crazy. It also keeps things from getting lost, so that if someone calls you back, you know exactly where to find their information. It makes you look (and feel) much more professional and on top of things. Others may be more comfortable with a computer/electronic organizer-based system. Whatever you decide, just find a system that works well for you and that you personally feel comfortable with.

As far as your on-site work environment, ask yourself: “Do I have cords, wires, CDs, etc. hanging out all over the place?” “Is my attire appropriate for this event, and is it clean, neat and clean?” “Is my shirt clean, pressed and my tuxedo in good repair?” After you set up for an event, stand back and try to take an unbiased view your area. If you were not the DJ today and just walked in for this event, what would you think of the setup and system? As mentioned earlier in this article, you want others to perceive you as the consummate professional. Remember, perception IS reality.

Clearing the Air
I will end with a quick note about keeping performances clean. Without preaching morality, I simply suggest you keep in mind that even though your client may give you great leeway in kinds of music you can play, you’ll still want to check out the lyrics to see if they are appropriate for your audience and the kind of event you are playing. Only each individual or company can set their own boundaries as to the content of the songs they play. I have found that by keeping this part of my performance clean and in good taste, I have gained respect and return business from my clients and their guests, and, just as importantly, I can respect myself for having clear standards.

So, do you KICK? When you Keep It Clean Kiddo you will do nothing but benefit in your personal life, your business, and your performance. You will look, feel and act like the excellent professional that you know you are. You will stand out as a brilliant, shiny diamond, heads above your competition. You will have clients that are saying, “Wow, I am so glad that I hired you. You are awesome! By the way, do you have any business cards?”

Please send any comments on this article, suggestions for future articles or questions to djcoach@mobilebeat.com.

Paul Kida, The DJ Coach, is a founding member and the current president of the Colorado Disc Jockey Association. He owns JAMMCATTS DJ Entertainment (www.jammcattsdj.com), and is a regular speaker at the Mobile Beat DJ Show.

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