One of the greatest rewards of growing older is being asked for advice from my peers, particularly those who are much younger or may be in the beginning stages of starting their businesses. It’s satisfying to help others succeed and watch them reach their full potential. After all, I didn’t get to where I am today without the friendly, helpful advice from a number of mentors; people who were there to keep me from doing something stupid.
I wish I could say they were 100% effective. I believe with age comes a responsibility to give back whenever possible and to prevent other DJs from making unnecessary mistakes. My presentation, “Hey, DJ! Get Off My Lawn: Unsolicited Words of Advice from A Seasoned DJ” at Mobile Beat XXII in February, 2013, is your chance to learn hard lessons the easy way.
At the Mobile Beat 2012 Conference, I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel with show producer, Mike Buonaccorso and Keith Alan of Keith Alan Productions in Connecticut. The title of the presentation was “DJing from 50 & Beyond.” As “seasoned” professionals we were asked to share tips and advice with a growing number of DJs who are approaching their 50’s on how to keep the momentum of their business going as they, themselves, grow older.
For me, the most surprising moment came while looking out from the stage to see that so many of those who came to that presentation were actually older than most of us on the panel. What didn’t come as any real shock was to hear the wisdom they contributed to the conversation. A great many of those individuals, some very well known and all successful in their own right, told incredible stories of the adjustments they made to overcome the stigma that age plays in influencing a far younger client’s decision to choose their services.
Besides a look forward, many of the “senior” DJs provided a 20/20 view of their past; a view with insights of the business decisions they made to become successful and remain in the industry for so many years. What everyone heard and shared in was a conversation that included a discussion of avoiding the mistakes we “older folk” had already made and how to grab on to and make the most of opportunities that a good number of newcomers and even veteran DJs tend to overlook.
It was extraordinary watching the faces of the more youthful DJs in the room. They quietly listened, taking in every word and respecting the wisdom of those who have already learned the life and business lessons that a younger generation of DJs will eventually face and how the choices they make today can influence their future success.
As I said earlier, those of us on the panel were not and still are not the oldest DJs still enjoying what we do in the industry.
I’m not even certain that I fall into the category of most experienced.
I didn’t come into the industry until 21 years ago. I will, however, be turning sixty this year and I’m not thinking about retirement any time soon. My DJ friends love giving me a hard time about my age. One DJ even asked me recently, “How much longer do you plan to be around?” Of course, after he realized how he mis-phrased his question, he quickly tried to reframe it to when I plan to retire. I knew what he was trying to ask in the first place, but it was still fun to watch him squirm, especially under the “get off my lawn” glare that can only come from an “old guy.”
During my presentation, “Hey, DJ! Get Off My Lawn!: Unsolicited Words Of Advice From A Seasoned DJ,” at MB XXII in February, 2013, I’ll share three, personal life and business lessons that most DJs tend to ignore but have the potential for providing long-term success and a greater level of respect from other wedding and event professionals in your market and increased referrals from the clients you serve.
Through stories, photos, video and a variety of DJ and other professional resources, we’ll explore the impact that passion, collaboration and exceeding expectations has on your attitude and on the success of your business and events. We’ll look closely at missed opportunities to excel, discuss overlooked occasions to lead when no else will and explore how to reconcile the difference between what is in the best interest of your business and that of your client.
“Hey, DJ! Get Off My Lawn!” is an honest and candid approach for helping DJs of every age from doing something stupid and making potentially devastating and career ending mistakes presented by an “old guy” who has already made more than just a few of them.
Filed Under: Business, Issue #146, Issues from 2012
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