It’s the first quarter and it’s crunch time (Editors note: This was originally written back in February). Now I know what you’re thinking. Is this going to be a brag about Aaron post? Kinda, but I think you’re going to like the premise behind it.
I just saw a post on social media where theknot had published the average wedding costs for the nation. And as expected, entertainment in terms of dollars spent was near dead last. Not hard to believe. I also saw a comment from another DJ… “Huh, no love or respect for the DJ. Shocker.” This sends a clear message.
I also hear more times than not folks who do what we do say, “it is impossible to go full time as a DJ” And here’s where the bragging comes in.
I am a high school graduate that was on the 5 year plan. Dropped out of college. And worked since the age of 14. I am not ivy league material. And I’m fine with that. I’m as blue collar as they come.
But even when society sees the beginnings of the “typical dj” in the works as a guy who will never make anything out of himself except for a worker in some menial job that he hates, things are looking up for this college dropout.
In 2016, Pryme Tyme Entertainment performed at 78 events. Weddings, corporate, schools, non-profit, etc. I as the owner was able to put a portion of the profits into a self-sustaining 401K plan. The company also sponsored 20 charitable organizations in the local community monetarily (not giving away a free dj for the day), made a profit, purchased a fair amount of inventory, paid taxes, and STILL had money left over. This is what I do for a living. And life is damn good right now.
It isn’t luck that got me here. It isn’t being the lowest priced DJ in my area. It isn’t poaching other DJs clients (although, some of my competitors do). What is the secret to getting here and beyond?
You’ve got to work as long and hard as you can until you think you’re ready to quit and then push even harder. You have to make personal sacrifices and compromises. You have to be self disciplined enough to wake up, put on your company coat of arms, and start your day as the chief executive officer, marketing strategist, DJ, shop monkey, and janitor for the company.
My father once said to me, “If you work for yourself, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Boy was HE wrong! His vision of a CEO is that of a seasoned golf pro that eats steak at every meal and wears a $2000 suit and only shows up to the office to check his messages. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that comes AFTER you put in the work. I GUARANTEE the Jason Janis, Mike Walters and more that we all know and love had a period in time where they had a choice to make. A lightbulb went on and they said, “this is it. There’s no turning back” and started their journey to independence and turning their passion into a career. And they STILL have that drive to this day. Because they know, if they are working as hard as they can, they KNOW, someone else is working twice as hard to surpass them.
The question is, how bad to you want it? Stop second guessing yourself. Take the plunge and do whatever it takes to break free of what is holding you back. Your fear. And always remember. YOU WILL FAIL! You will have days where you just want to be coddled in the comfort of the blanket that is corporate America. But get up, dust yourself off, and come back swinging. I promise you, when you nail it and you’re running on your own steam without someone else determining your worth for you, it’s the most liberating feeling in the world.
Sending love to my brothers and sisters in music. You’ve got this. Make 2017 your year.