by Stu Chisholm
When you add things like going to DJ trade group meetings, working your online social networks and meeting with clients, even what we think of as “free time” can become dominated by our business!
Few of us even question this since recent economic troubles demand that we work harder to maintain a healthy calendar of events.
One of the constant battles that radio DJs have is to remain interesting. They talk for a living, and therefore need something to say. And that “something” has to be fun, topical and able to hold the attention of listeners.
So they tend to be voracious readers, sometimes subscribing to several newspapers and magazines. They stay informed. Even more important, they stress two things to stay sane and, at the same time, make them better at their job: hobbies and vacations.
The best way to be great at your job is to leave it and then come back with fresh eyes. A hobby that has nothing to do with music, public speaking or business – something that pulls your head out of that world – can help.
What’s Your Hobby?
Some hobbies can augment your DJ experience, like my buddy who likes to build electronic projects in his basement who sometimes put his hobby skills to use if a piece of gear breaks down, but when he’s “off the clock,” the DJ world is shoved into the background.
My own hobby is firearms, which had a bit of genesis in my business, due to security issues. Yet aside from a need to maintain proficiency, I find the shooting sports both cathartic and energizing.
Nothing focuses your mind like a clay bird flying from an unexpected direction, or attempting to put together a group of hits in under four inches at ten yards with a pistol. Best of all, I can build in a session into each and every week. So a hobby need not take up inordinate amounts of time or other resources.
Novice radio DJs are often taken aback at the lavish vacation packages that stations often include in their contracts, even without being asked! It is such a well-established fact that DJs who take vacations are better DJs, radio management groups will insist upon them.
Be Happier and More Energetic!
Traveling, going to an exotic locale, unwinding with friends or family all add to the diversity of one’s experience whether they realize it or not. A refreshed, recharged air personality SOUNDS refreshed and recharged! They also sound happier, because their home lives are happier and they’ve taken time for the people that mean the most to them.
Wedding/mobile DJs are no exception. In fact, because we run the business from the ground up, we can spend far more time each day working and thinking about our job than the radio guys!
Sure, we might have our time-tested scripts for all occasions, but what about those awkward moments when something unexpected happens? Since you cannot predict a computer crash or a corrupted music file, you have to plan for them. There you are, with you mic. All eyes are on you. Are you ready?
Even if nasty surprises never come — and hopefully they won’t — you’re still going to sound (and BE) happier and more energetic if you’ve just come back from, or are looking forward to, that next big break. Your business, too, will run better because you’ve cleared your head, “recharged the batteries,” de-stressed and are more ready to be back in the breach.
Lastly, and certainly far from least, your home life will be better. If your spouse or kids often complain that they don’t see you enough, this is a good indicator that maybe you need to adjust priorities.
Stu Chisholm – The Complete Disc Jockey
Stu Chisholm of Stu & His Crew Professional Disc Jockey Service in Michigan, has has worked in several areas of the DJ Universe.
He’s been a radio, mobile, club and roller skating rink DJ in the Detroit area since 1979, and done commercial voice-over work, as well.
Stu has been a keynote and featured speaker at DJ trade shows in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. He is the author of the book, “The Complete Disc Jockey” and is a regular columnist with Mobile Beat Magazine.
To contact him, email DJStuCrew@gmail.com. You can grab Stu’s book at TheCompleteDiscJockey.com.