“You have to trust your gut.” – Unknown.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your business and, more importantly, your peace of mind is to pass on an opportunity.
I was looking back on my earlier years in this fun and exciting DJ life. There was a common trend: I took any gig I could get. I was still building our reputation and was learning the ins and outs. Okay, great, Mike, but where on earth is this going? Glad you asked.
Another common trend was events that I took that I just didn’t have a great feeling about had a few things in common:
- Underpaid Too time-consuming (very needy clients)
- Client nickel and dime me on every little thing (discount or wanting a price reduction because now they didn’t need X they asked for)
- The client did not respect my time or what I had to offer.
- They kept expecting more, “well you have it so just bring it”
Listen to your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, then don’t take the gig.
Recently I had a potential client who I passed on entirely.
Some important details about this client:
- Venue/lodging with food and beverage provided by the establishment is around 38-40K
- They would email at 11 pm at night, and by 5:30 am, less than 24 hrs, they would want to know why I haven’t gotten back to them yet. Maybe they worked 3rd shift (who knows, never got that far)
- The client wanted to video conference at strange times, and never with their full attention. “I hope it’s okay that we will be exercising on our new stationary bikes during this meeting.” “We will be planting our garden during this meeting. Hopefully that won’t be too distracting for you.”
First and foremost, if they can’t respect YOU with their full attention: WHAT YOU DO IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT TO THEM. Or YOU SPECIFICALLY, the potential client does not RESPECT.
Think about this. Their exercise routine was more important to them than YOU, the DJ is to their event. Or your value was equal to some fresh tomatoes that may or may not come to fruition.
My gut told me to pass. I can’t tell you how many times deep down inside my gut has told me to pass on an event it was correct.
Just a few things that I have seen from other Djs on events I have passed on include:
- The DJ received bad reviews
- DJ complaining how much of a PITA the client was
- The event ended up being a complete train wreck
- The DJ was threatened to be sued
- The client canceled late, and the DJ held a new open date they could no longer fill.
Some may say I am not flexible enough. The truth is I am ultra-flexible and attentive to my clients’ needs. However, one thing is very different. Those clients respect and value what I am providing for them.
Ultimately I can’t tell you what events are right for you, but if your gut tells you something is wrong or not right with the scenario. RUN!
I want to point out that sometimes your gut is wrong. It isn’t worth my sanity or reputation for the needle in the haystack that it turns out your gut feeling was wrong.