What Do You Do When the Music Stops? By: Andy Ebon

December 5, 2012 by Andy Ebon

This is not an article about a power outage. It is about thoughts you may have that are difficult to share. Very private thoughts.

The big questions: How much longer do I want to be a mobile DJ? What do I do, next? When your mind begins to consider such deep questions, it’s hard for insecurity not to creep in. Sometimes it’s all in your head. Other times, you perceive true awareness of nearing the end of the road.

One morning, listening to KSFO radio in San Francisco, I heard Coach John Madden talking about the football lifespan of running backs. His theory was this: “A running back only has a certain number of games in his body.” Through Junior High, High School, College, and the NFL, a running back takes a pounding.

And one day, seemingly overnight, their production falls off… and before you know it, they are done…. Career over!

In sports, it is difficult for an athlete to settle into a post-sports world, easily. In football, the team just cuts you. Often without warning or ceremony.

I began to wonder if DJs only have a similar, limited lifespan of work. Some of it is physical. As you age, stamina begins to wane. Aches and pains start to creep in.

Some of it is mental. Does the bride who seems more her big brother’s age, than her father’s age? As a female DJ, it’s not uncommon to feel that pressure, even more so.

Am I hip enough to emcee a Bar Mitzvah? Do I like keeping up on current music? Do I even enjoy today’s music?

These are all legitimate questions? They are also symptoms; not just of insecurity, but perhaps of approaching the final horizon of your DJ life. Regardless of how you answer these self-directed inquiries, it’s important to understand whether such thoughts are a phase, a problem that can be solved, or the beginning of the end.

In my mobile DJ life, I built two successful companies and sold them both. At Mobile Beat 2013, we’ll address many of these questions, and more. Please understand that there are various good answers. Even you can misread the situation, and make a definitive wrong move.

I can tell you, in advance, that my first decision to sell my company was a mistake. And, it was avoidable. I was so certain I was ready to sell I signed a 5-year non-competition agreement. In just a few months, the mistake was obvious to me, but it was too late. And yes, I had to wait out the full five years before starting again.

And what if you decide it’s time to sell? What’s your business worth? How do you estimate that? What is the profile of a logical buyer? How do you make potential buyers aware that you are interested in selling your enterprise? Should you list the sale with a business broker? How do you prevent leaking of a possible sale to your business contacts and employees?

Self-reflection is a tool for being forward-thinking. It’s also reasonable to waver and change your mind when considering the possible outcomes and paths.

By sharing a little perspective and taking questions from DJ’s, brave enough to speak about this, in a public forum, perhaps I can help you recognize the correct timing and the possible exit strategies and transitions to other career endeavors.

It’s likely that you will retire or depart the mobile DJ industry, at some point. It would be nice to do it on your terms, with your own timing.

What do you do when the music stops? That’s an even tougher question. This session will challenge you to look in the mirror and help you look forward. It’s a scary, and important, confrontation. Together we’ll look into the Magic 8-Ball ® and shape your path.

Print
Andy Ebon Andy Ebon (78 Posts)

Keith Alan has been in the DJ biz since 1975, started hosting weddings in 1982 and went full-time in 1993. While personally hosting over 60 weddings a year on the weekends, his mid-week programs generate income through out the year. Young children and seniors are the strong points of the business. Outside of the weddings division of Keith Alan Productions, Keith’s summer program, Campardy™ has grown from 1 event in 2000, to 75 events within a 6 week window! Keith is busy with game shows, trivia, photo booths and extreme bingo the other 46 weeks of the year.


Filed Under: Exclusive Online News and Content, Issue #146, Issues from 2012