By Rob Johnson
YOU'VE HEARD IT BEFORE, BUT HAVE YOU REALLY APPLIED IT TO YOUR BUSINESS?
It often amazes me when I see people appear to work a lot harder than they need to. This article has nothing to do with what you charge. I truly don't care. What it does have to do with is working smarter and more efficient to obtain your goals.
I travel a lot promoting DigiGames. I see a lot of different things. As I write this article I am sitting in another airport coming home from Las Vegas where I attended a convention from January 6th through 9th. (No, it wasn't CES. It was the other one.) They brought me in to speak on "adult" trivia. Apparently it is a HUGE market. Who knew? I observed a lot while there. Most of it I couldn't begin to print in this fine, upstanding magazine. The relevant thing I can tell you is that we are not the only industry where people seem to work hard to race to ZERO.
The convention staff worked very hard to accomplish nothing. Same with the union workers who staffed the convention center. All the food service people I came across seemed to NOT work very hard, and they still managed to accomplish very little.
Somebody recently posed the question to me: "You must not be married, are you?" I can only assume it was either due to the amount I seem to travel, (or the fact that I was attending the Adult Entertainment Expo). Either way it struck me as odd. I have been happily married for 15 years and have three beautiful boys. What does that have to do with anything? Those of us that are self employed (again, I don't care if you're full-time or part-time) know that it is OUR responsibility to balance our time. Family comes first. That being said, isn't taking care of your business the same as taking care of your family? The income I receive from being self-employed allows me to take care of my family.
Most of my friends work a "real" job and think I have it made. I get to golf. I get to spend a LOT of time with my family. My wife probably thinks it is too much...but that might be another column. I get to sleep in. I get to do what I want. I get to not do anything if I want. (But that wouldn't pay the bills, would it). So what do I do? I CHOOSE to put my-self in the position to do something I love, entertaining people, while making as much money as I can in the shortest amount of time. I like to be efficient. If I have to travel for 5 days to make what some of my friends make in a month, I am fine with that. If I have to work some late nights so I can be home during the day with my wife and kids if I want, I am fine with that. I set my own goals.
What do I need to bring in for an income, to lead the lifestyle that I want for my family? Answer that and the rest is simple. Get out there and book enough events to make that happen. Simple math: If your goal is $100,000 per year and you charge $500 per event, you will have to do 200 events per year, or about 4 per week. You will also have to work harder DURING office hours to obtain all those bookings. If you charge $1000.00 per event you will only have to book 100 events to achieve the same goal. The question is, will you have to work harder or smarter to book those events? You will likely find that you have to work smarter to market yourself and find clients willing to pay your price. Booking the shows at a lower rate might be easier, but then you will have to work harder by performing more shows. It really just comes down to what you want. There are a ton of Midweek Money shows out there. You just have to find them.
Adding all the Midweek Money events has made a great difference to me. The Hypno Man shows I do increase the per show rate by a lot. The DigiGames Gameshow Ex-travaganza events also make a big difference. It is amazing what people will pay for "alternate" types of entertainment, rather than low-balling "just a DJ". Give them what they want. Offer more. Show the customer that you are worth more and they will pay it. I also fill in the gaps with shows during the day. My favorite was $450.00 for 30 minutes over a company's lunch hour. I know that $450 is not a lot of money, but I like to think of it as making $900 per hour. That doesn't seem too bad. Does it?