Don’t Do It!

January 20, 2008 by Tony Barthel

In last week’s Going Solo Mondays I talked about what our objectives with this column are, and promised a few weeks of admonition before the actual tips start flowing. I hate lessons, back stories or any of that. But being an old guy, I have to give you this stuff before I can actually give away the ideas.Somewhere there was a survey done that said that for every dollar someone makes in a traditional job they’re going to have to triple that if they choose to go into business for themselves. That means that if you’re making $45,000 per year painting ceilings in cathedrals, you’re now going to have to make $135,000 per year as a full-time DJ to have the same lifestyle.

As you plan your career and choose to go full-time you’re also going to find friends who work with you or family members who tell you that you’re nuts to even think about working for yourself. As you may remember, last week I pointed out that those people who are working full-time for someone else only have that one customer – their boss. If things change, they’re simply outta luck.

But most businesses fail within the first year and a big reason for that is that they’re undercapitalized. That means there’s not enough money in the bank to cover the expenses of being self-employed.

In next week’s Going Solo Mondays I talk a bit about how to plan for success and provide a great resource for that. This week, what I will suggest is putting all your resources together and reviewing them. You know what these are – all those books you purchased at the Mobile Beat book store during the Conference. All those great notes you took and never referred back to them.

Yes, I know I just busted you. Don’t think I’m much different, to be honest.

Compile any other resources you might have from within the DJ community. And then go out and find resources from similar businesses. Buy some friendly photographers lunch, or maybe visit with a videographer or two. Spend some time talking to others who work for themselves as solo ops, but I might not suggest talking to other DJs. Talk to the people who can refer you and who will give you honest information.

I’m not sure what the other DJs in your market are like, but if you take them to lunch and ask how the market is, their response might be affected by the knowledge that someone else is going to be working harder for the business in the area.

Tony Barthel Tony Barthel (67 Posts)

Anthony (Tony) Barthel has been a DJ since 1986 with a unique take on marketing that has resulted in over 1,000 events personally performed. In that time Tony’s weird sense of humor and unique perspective on the world got him started collecting these stories and sharing them with friends and other wedding professionals. Born in Baden, Switzerland Tony celebrates the unusual and outlandish as part of his lifestyle. He was married to Peggy Sue in 2005 in what his friends describe as the most unusual wedding ceremony and reception they’ve ever been to. The ceremony was in a 1928 movie theater complete with giant Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ and the reception lasted for two days including a gathering in an ocean side lagoon with 400 of their closest friends.

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