Should I Go Full Time? Pt. 2

April 5, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton

Welcome back “Should I Go Full Time?” The series. Last week we talked about the “feeling” you get when you start to desire going full time. In this post we’ll ask 5 questions that you will help you determine if it’s “time” to go full time DJ.

Obviously making the move from part time to full time DJ has a lot to do with your mindset, to begin. Are you mentally ready to take on full financial responsibility working for yourself? My basketball coach, John Masi at UC Riverside used to say, “you can’t be Mental Midgets”.  You have to be tough enough in your minds to overcome the obstacles in front of you.

If you already have doubts about yourself and your ability to support yourself from DJ’ing, or in any business, you are probably not ready. Yet!  You may just need some mind-preparedness.  Start by weighing the pros and cons, ask yourself the following questions.

Remember, everyone’s path is different. This isn’t a formula, you ultimately know what the best move for you is.

  1. What events are you DJ’ing? By this I mean, are you doing birthday parties, or are you doing corporate events and tradeshows? Or both? Having a variety of different types of clients will build your resume and not limit you to the “guy that JUST DJ’s birthday parties”. (By the way, there’s nothing wrong with that- as long as that’s your niche and solely your market)
  2. Do you have equipment that is “working for you”? Having the ability to rent out your photo booth while you DJ another event that doesn’t need one, is providing additional income with no extra labor from you.
  3. Are your gigs consistent, or flighty? Just because you have 4 events this week, doesn’t mean you’re working consistently. These events may be one time clients that gave you no referrals, and now it’s the next week and you have 0 events. The type of events you want to be working are the ones that lead to other events. Don’t get this confused with the idea that smaller events are not worth it- because they are! Every event is an opportunity to procure a future client and event.
  4. Are you collaborating? You should be collaborating with other DJ’s, to not only be doing DJ’ing with them, but production, equipment, or crew. Build meaningful, valuable relationships with your fellow DJ’s and you could end up working an event with them, or as their referral to clients when their schedule is too filled.
  5. Who are you networking with? You need to network with the right people. Talk to everyone. Build a connection with everyone who comes into contact with you. You never know whose friends-sisters-cousins-boyfriend really needs a DJ for their wedding!

Steve Clayton jumped from professional basketball player to school teacher because he had an “obligation” to feed his family.  His desire to be a full time entertainment professional lead him to DJing.  After 3 years teaching he left his job as a teacher, with his full time benefits, summers off, sick leave, and retirement to be a full time DJ.  The time was right when he knew he made more money on 1 weekend than he would bring home in 1 month of his 9-5.

Stephen J Clayton Stephen J Clayton (22 Posts)

Steve Clayton has been working with event professionals for over 16 years teaching, mentoring and consulting with them to help them get more out of their event business. Originally beginning his event career as a mobile entertainer, DJ, and manager, Steve has transformed his business into a full service event management and production company. His companies specialize in full service production, technology, consulting, and talent buying.

Over the past 13 years, Steve’s companies have worked with clients such as the Rose Bowl, USC Football, The Holiday Bowl, Time Warner Cable, Hyatt Hotels, Chalice Festival, High Times, and The Neighborhood Awards. Steve and his team have been blessed to work and handle major talent artists. Steve has worked or purchased talent from Lo Cash and Frakie Ballard to Comedians Steve Harvey, and Wayans Brothers. And rappers from Dougie Fresh, B.O.B and Robin Thicke to Lil Wayne, Wu Tang Clan and Machine Gun Kelly.

Steve has owned companies manufacturing and selling lighting products to companies to writing and teaching classes for University of San Diego.

Steve’s current companies include Soundskilz and The Event Inventor. Steve currently teaches event management, marketing and technology classes at UC Riverside.


Filed Under: Digital DJing, Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Misc, Mobile DJ Performance Tips, Mobile DJ Sales & Marketing