Who Are You Competing Against?

by Mike Walter

I came home from a recent 5K race and my girlfriend Kelly could tell right away that I was a little dejected. “What happened?” she asked and I told her flat out: “I missed my PR by a coupla seconds.” That made Kelly wonder, “Who are you competing against?” and I simply said “myself.”

That’s the beauty of a PR. It’s a “Personal Record.” Every runner has one in every distance they’ve run. You ask any runner what their PR in any distance is and they’ll know it.

It’s What It Means To You That Matters

I know my PR in the 5K, 5 Mile, 10K, 15K, Half Marathon and Marathon distances. But those numbers only mean something to me. My PR in the marathon, for example, is 3 hours, 49 minutes and 40 seconds. That number is envious for some runners; they’d kill for a sub-four hour marathon. Others consider it comical; they could do a 3:49 hopping on one leg.

But it doesn’t matter about anyone else’s opinion or view of that number. To me it’s magical. I’ve toed the line at seven marathons since setting that mark and have been unable to top it. And as I get older it gets harder and harder. But it’s my “PR” and for that reason, it’ll always be my ultimate goal anytime I run 26.2 miles. Until, of course, one day, when I top it. And then that new number will become just as magical.

Where In Your Life Can You Apply This Concept?

I love the concept of PRs so much I’ve begun to think of them in terms of the rest of my life as well. I love the concept so much because when I compare my accomplishments to someone else’s they can be so far removed sometimes they are comical.

For example, I sold my 100th book recently, about a month after I started selling them. I was proud of that fact. Yet if Stephen King sold a hundred books in a month there’d be articles about how he’s lost his clout as an author (but I bet I can run a 5K faster than him.) Same goes with Elite Entertainment. I get excited sometimes when we have a record breaking month, yet if I compared my numbers to my good friend Jeffrey Craig’s company, Total Entertainment, I’d be depressed about how little we’ve accomplished.

Start Competing With Yourself

The point is, and the point I’d encourage you, dear reader to adopt is, stop comparing yourself to anyone else but yourself. But instead of comparing yourself to yourself, start competing with yourself. What’s the highest number of referrals you’ve ever generated in a month?

Go calculate that figure and then post it somewhere and make it your “Referral PR.” It doesn’t matter if Marcello has generated four times that number or if one of your local competitors has only generated a quarter of that number. It’s YOUR personal best and now it’s your PR to break.

Do the same thing with “Number of DJs” (if you’re a Multi-Op) or “Number of House Accounts” or “Annual Income” or whatever. Any of the categories in your business that would benefit from you attacking them with some vigor and motivation.

Calculate the numbers and then like every runner does, strive to beat those numbers. Like I said, if you ask any runner what their PR in any distance is, they’ll know it. You should be the same in business.

Know your “Referral PR” or “Income PR” and then, as I pointed out to Kelly, compete against it. Look at those numbers as huge mountains in front of you that you must climb. Work and prepare to get in the condition to climb them. And then once you do (and this is the unending and maddening magic of PRs) you can celebrate for a little bit. But then, you have to get back to work. Because you now have a new PR to compete against.

Mike Walter – Multi-Op Corner

Mike Walter is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of DJ staff training and multi-system business development.

He is also a writer for Disc Jockey News and Producer of the International DJ Expo’s “DJ of the Year” competition.

Mike is the owner of NJ’s Elite Entertainment, selected by The Knot and Modern Bride magazine as one of the country’s top entertainment companies.

To contact him about his on-site training services or for general inquiries, email mike@eliteentertainment.com.

Mike’s new book, Running Your Multi-Op, and his highly praised DVD set, Training Your Next Great DJ, are available at DJMikeWalter.com.



  • Mike Walter is the proud owner of Elite Entertainment, a Multi-System DJ Company in New Jersey that has been selected by TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com as a top Entertainment company in the country. For over 30 years, he has MCed events from weddings to fashion shows and beauty pageants and his public speaking experience and acumen have served him well as a presenter.

    He began to offer seminars in 1998, at first specifically to the DJ Industry, then he expanded to speaking to event groups and finally to any and all audiences. His seminars are known for their fast pace, mix of information and entertainment and deft use of Keynote. Having sat through enough tedious seminars in his life, Mike vows to never bore an audience. Whether he is offering life changing advice, motivational challenges or hard-core information on how to grow and expand your business, Mike promises he will deliver a quick, concise, and nugget-filled presentation every time he speaks.

    Mike has published three books, Running Your Multi-Op which is widely consider the most comprehensive book for anyone interested in expanding their DJ business, the self-help primer, Ten Things You Can Do to Have a Better Day and the music history compendium: On This Date in Music. He’s also released a number of education videos to help his fellow DJs and business owners. In 2014 he partnered with Joe Bunn to start the PhDJ Workshop and in 2017 the two began a weekly podcast called the PhDJ Podcast.

    For more information head to DJMikeWalter.com and OnThisDateInMusic.com

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