EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS REQUIRES A SHARPER FOCUS
By Rob Johnson
Mobile Beat has been around for 20 years. What a milestone! In this industry where it is common for people to get in and out of the business at a rapid pace, it is awesome to see some longevity.
I know many DJs who have been doing what they love for well over 20 years. I also know MANY "DJs" who just decided to get into the business not too long ago. They may have thought, "What an easy and fun way to make some extra money."
A WIDE ANGLE VIEW OF ENTERTAINMENT
In my column I regularly discuss how to diversify and increase your MIDWEEK MONEY options. In speaking with various people who call to ask me questions about this topic, I have come to realize that TIME MANAGEMENT is a key component for longevity. If you are not able to prioritize, you will likely run into all kinds of issues.
I am involved with a lot of different things as a result of expanding my DJ business: game shows, karaoke, photo booths, bubble parties, comedy hypnotist shows, a limousine service, team building, and I am currently in the process of opening a bar/club that holds 500 people in the town I live in.
I have been traveling a lot this year and the question "What do you do?" comes up a lot. I usually answer that I am in the "entertainment business." That always leads to more questions. If I am in the mood to chat, I will generally list the various things I am involved in. A recent response was, "Wow! What do you focus on"? The answer was easy. None of the above.
ZOOMING IN ON WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT
I focus on FAMILY. I am fortunate to have a beautiful wife and three wonderful boys ages 14, 12 and 10. They are all very busy and involved in activities every day. One of the perks of being self-employed is that I have the flexibility to set my own schedule. I rarely miss one of my sons' events. When I do, they understand that even though I am not there, I am still focusing on my family! I am increasing my bottom line to provide for them.
My business and all of the things I do are designed with one question in mind: "How can I best provide for my family?" It is easy to let the details get away from you. It is easy to get lazy and complacent. I know. I have been there. The older and more experienced I get, the better I am at time management. I am a list guy. I am a daily planner guy. My Droid smartphone has changed my life. I put things in order of importance and then concentrate on finishing one before starting the next. It doesn't always work, but I have found that it focuses me on my priorities.
I have clearly stated a theme in all of my articles and speaking engagements. My goal is to increase my bottom line as much as possible. There are only 52 weekends every year, so if you limit yourself to weekend work, you are limiting yourself to weekend pay. You might make a great living at it, but if you do, you are in the minority. MOST people will have a tough time supporting their family if their entire income is earned a couple of days a week. I know it takes a lot of time to prepare for weekend work during the week but I'm talking about bringing in additional midweek money.
In my business, I focus on what is going to bring me the most money for the least amount of time commitment. If I do that, I am better able to provide my family with the best lifestyle I can and I will have more time to spend with them.
WORKING ALL THE ANGLES
I stopped focusing on negative things a long time ago and now I only worry about the things I can control. I truly don't worry about my competition. I don't think I have any competition. I don't mean this in a negative way. There are lots of people that I compete with for business, but I try to network with them rather than fight against them.
My one simple goal is to answer the question "How can I do a better job for my customers?"
It is my belief that if I do the best job I can and continue to improve, my business will grow. It works. I attend trainings and conventions to improve. I hear "DJs" say they don't have time for that. I think it is the opposite. I hear "DJs" say they can't afford to attend conventions and trainings. Maybe the truth is that you can't afford NOT to attend. One nugget of knowledge or inspiration could generate huge rewards down the road. (See the sidebar for a new learning opportunity that I'm really excited about!)
No matter what you are involved in, you will be more successful if you focus on the things you can control. Focus on the things that make your business better. Focus on what is the most important to you. If you focus on positive things and on your family, you will be successful.