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Q. When are disc jockeys really being technicians?

A. Too many deejays are masquerading as business owners. They think they are entrepreneurs, and their actions say otherwise. As a busy deejay, they have a hard time letting go of expertise and familiarity of being behind the “reels of steel,” and remain trapped in their technical comfort zone, mindset and work habits. They may be wicked with the cross fader and able to get into all of the hottest clubs, however, technical expertise alone is not enough to manage a successful DJ business.

When instead of working on their businesses (i.e., its purpose, direction, strategy, structure, systems, people, goals, and accountability processes), most deejays are trapped working in their businesses, slaving away and grinding it out. Instead of working on tomorrow, they are preoccupied with working in today. They end up majoring in minor things. They go about reacting to daily intrusions instead of proactively developing long-term strategies for rebuilding a thriving deejay business. They are usually the busiest person in the club instead of being the owner/manager who also happens to deejay. They do the wrong type of work really well. They are chasing their tails!

Are you trapped in the mindset of a doer instead of a leader, doing the technical things instead of developing a strategic plan? Face reality and ask yourself, “Do I fall into the routine of doing the work of an employee or technician instead of the work of a business owner or leader?” Do you neglect creating the big picture with a clear strong vision? Are you actively engaged in strategic planning, establishing priorities and goals, profit improvement, team development, building relationships, etc.?

According to Homeboyz Radio Mix, the DJ lifespan is 5 to 6 years, “unless you have another side hustle.” At some point, you probably caught the entrepreneurial bug several years ago and bought, inherited or borrowed some stereo equipment. You may have thought, “I can start a DJ business on my own”. From the very beginning, you probably functioned primarily only as a deejay and never developed the leadership capacity needed for long term development of your business. So many of us get comfortable with and become very good at being a “professional” that we never become a strategic business owner.

For you, the technical day-to-day demands of being a deejay were addictive and tough to escape. You worry about getting the equipment set up in time with the proper sound, and filling in for other DJs when one of then isn’t available. You probably didn’t worry, however, about how to design and build a DJ business with you as CEO. Rather, you dove in, got busy being busy, and started functioning in the technical role of being a disk jockey.

The end result is that you wind up being a busy disk jockey who also happens to own some deejay equipment. You probably never replaced yourself on the deejay lineup and you spend more time “rockin-the-house” than you do building a sustainable business. Instead of focusing on the business of deejaying, you focus on the technical work of being a deejay.

Running a successful company is centered about being a strategic leader. Owners often mistake busy-being-busy activity for accomplishment. They work hard with tunnel vision. They confuse heavy schedules and long hours with productive work. They fail to grasp the idea that running a successful business requires a strategic, entrepreneurial, visionary, and disciplined approach.


What is the difference between Business and Busy-ness?

Business = commerce, the activity of buying and/or selling something to make a profit
Busy-ness = the state of being busy with many things (tasks) to do

Most small business owners confuse activity with accomplishment. They confuse “busyness” with results, hard work with smart work and perspiration with purpose. Rather than working smarter, many small business owners hold tight to the delusion that working harder is the solution. The more the business grows, the harder they work, and the more imprisoned they become. Rather than building a business that can virtually run on its own, they build a prison. They caged themselves in a job that they call a business!

To move from DJ business to a thriving DJ company, you need to adopt a more opportunistic mindset. In order to leave the status quo behind, continually ask yourself the following types of questions about your business:

  • What is the best and highest use of my Time, Money, and Ability?
  • What resources am I underutilizing?
  • How can I maximize my output and minimize my input?
  • What are some ways in which I can work smarter rather than harder?
  • Which strategies will give me exponential results?
  • What areas of my business are under-performing?
  • What past or current relationships could I more fully leverage (i.e. schools, club owners, event planners, advisers, etc.)?
  • What other business types can provide me with some innovative best practices?


It’s time to begin building a better business, a better you, and a better life. It’s time for you to re-direct the fire, the passion, the excitement, and the joy of being a deejay and use it to develop a thriving deejay company. This all begins with you shifting mindsets, not merely shifting gears, but mentally adopting the right strategies and attitudes needed to become a successful business owner.

The following process will help you start to work less and make more while working smarter, rather than harder.

•     Step One: Start with yourself by adopting a new way of thinking and reprogramming your habits. Stop acting like an employee and start thinking like a CEO. This way, you will start to work on your business, not in it. Be more strategic and less technical.

•     Step Two: Systematize your company by creating, documenting and continually improving all your key processes, procedures and policies. Build a business system and learn to remove yourself from the company’s daily details. This operating system will serve as the foundation for your freedom.

•     Step Three: Increase your leadership capabilities. Your business needs a clear vision and strong leader to hold others accountable, not another employee doing technical work.

•     Step Four: Develop clarity of direction for your business and employees by creating a simple business plan and an effective implementation process.

•     Step Five: Learn to let go, delegate, and truly enjoy business ownership and your life.

Growing pains are unavoidable. By failing to plan for growth, you are by default planning to fail. Busy-ness, technical bias, and inadequate business systems can lead to a life sentence of working on the chain gang – your business.   Don’t let this become your story! Make the decision to develop a strategic owner mindset today.

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James Rounds is an expert business advisor who helps early stage entrepreneurs and solo professionals gain more clarity and confidence to experience even-greater impact, influence and income. To find out how he can help you to develop your new or existing venture and take your business to the next level, visit his site at http://www.mycorporatesolutions.net.