The Financial Stages Of Life For The Career DJ

March 31, 2017 by Robert Lindquist

A few weeks back, I posted a short interview with “Mad” Joe Martin of Wichita Falls, TX. Joe is one of those guys who seems to know just about everybody. He is a career DJ who still performs, but at 66 years old, he has scaled back to choosing the jobs he takes.

In the early days of the Mobile Beat Show (mid ’90s), Joe was a regular presenter, adding his thoughts to the numerous topics being discussed. Time passed, and as fewer first generation DJs attended the show, Joe also took a hiatus. At the recent Mobile Beat show in Las Vegas (3/13-16), Joe was back. This time, however, his presentation was not about karaoke, how to be a better DJ or how to build a a bigger business. This time, Joe’s talk focused on something that every career DJ needs to hear—How to plan for the future. Knowing that retirement, or even semi-retirement are topics far down the list of priorities for many DJs, Joe was a bit hesitant as to how his talk would be received by millennial DJs. After the show, Joe and I picked up the conversation…

Me: So, Joe, How did it feel to be one of the “elder statesman” back on stage at Mobile Beat?

Joe: Bob, I took the stage on day one (Monday 3/13) when nothing else convention related was going up against me. I would estimate attendance to be in the 800 range. This was the first time since about 2005 that I had spoken, and that was on karaoke in the small breakout room. It didn’t bother me to be one of the “older” presenters this year. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. I have embraced the fact that I have reached the end of a long career. For decades I have prepared to be where I am in life.  

Me: One of the things we talked about before you went out to Vegas was the idea of layering several T-shirts to help reinforce your message … How did the shirts fit into you talk…

Joe: Oh yes, I think the clothes changes kept the audience drawn in to the story. I had never seen a presenter do it before. I walk out on stage wearing a  “money” jacket. As the story of my career was told, the jacket came off to reveal the “Young DJ” shirt. As the story progressed, the “Thrifty DJ” and the “Secure DJ” shirts were revealed.

Me: Do you think the audience “got” the message you were trying to get across?

Joe: I do believe most did indeed get my message. It’s one thing to have a professional financial planner talk about saving/investing for retirement but a group of disc jockeys should be able to relate well with another DJ that has walked in their shoes present the message.

Me: What about after your talk… what kind of questions and feedback did you get?

Joe: Bob, this is where I was blown away. I could share several stories but space prohibits that. The two that were most memorable was the 30 year old gentleman that caught me in the hallway the next day. He wanted to show me that he had made a $425 transfer, the amount I had suggested in the presentation, to his savings account. The time stamp on the transfer was the moment I ended my speech. 

On Tuesday, I had a fellow approach me and asked if I would be interested in doing a video internet conference with his New Jersey association members. My quote was, “I would be honored—and I sell no products.” I sat in the hall visiting with several others and was more than happy to share what has worked for me.

Me: I know you are an old pro at this, but there’s always something that every presenter wishes they had said but didn’t… is there anything you left out that you think may have been important to include?

Joe: Indeed, I did leave out a couple of “cherries” by mistake. As many know, I am not a technology guy. I know my subject but still live in the ‘60s when it comes to the latest technology. The notes on my floor video monitor were not large enough for me to see and I left this out. “By now you probably think ol’ Joe is a Dave Ramsey “wannabe”. My second goal in life  was to have a modest paid for house by age 40. I accomplished my goal by age 38 and was living 100% debt free. The year was 1989, three years before Dave wrote his first book or went on the radio. I have been living Dave Ramsey my entire life!”

Me: I think that’ll do it — how’d it go at the Craps table?

Joe: This may be the biggest surprise of all. I only stood at the table 5 hours for the entire week. Last year, I was there 5 hours per day. My loss at the table was very minor. Didn’t give it a second thought. (lol)

Joe can be contacted through his website at

If you are 55+ and still “DJ-ing” join Joe Martin and over 200 other “Senior DJS” at –

Robert Lindquist Robert Lindquist (39 Posts)

Robert Lindquist has been involved in the DJ profession since 1967, when he built a make-shift sound system from spare parts in order to provide music for a birthday party. From that point on, he supplemented his day-jobs in radio, TV and advertising by DJ’ing in clubs and for weddings and corporate events. In 1987, he was encouraged to share his DJ experience in writing, which led to the release of “Spinnin’” at the initial DJ Times Expo in Atlantic City.Recognizing the need for a publication dedicated to Mobile DJs, he created Mobile Beat “The DJ magazine” in 1990. In addition to still being a sound tech and DJ/MC for weddings, he is a producer of video content writes for several audio publications and blogs. He is also a partner in Las Vegas based Level 11 Media, which maintains several Web sites and digital publications for musicians and touring sound engineers and is an IMDb listed actor and voice talent.

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