7 Failures That Every Successful DJ Experiences

7 failures every successful dj experiences

I am a true believe that some lessons just have to be learned by making mistakes. In 2014 I wrote an article for Digital Dj Tips that talked about the 4 different types of djs and what set them apart. That game changing difference between the successful dj and the rest.  Plain and simple, it was mind-set. Why? Because that successful DJ saw failure as an opportunity to grow and do things differently moving forward. That producer refused to let him or herself get stuck. So with that in mind, I came up with the 7 defining moments or “failures” that every successful dj experiences when trying to accomplish their goals.

1. Not getting paid

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… I never learned the lesson the first time.
Assuming everyone is looking out for your best interest is a sure way to be taken advantage of. Successful djs have run into one or two promoters that tried to pull a fast one on them. This is always a great time to learn how not to get screwed by sketchy promoters so you know what questions to ask and what to watch out for.


The first time you experience a hater it can totally throw you off. For me, I was 13 and she was my friend. She got jealous that I was hanging out with someone other than her so made up some strange rumors to my friends. Sometimes we can forget that people are human and often project their own issues on others in the form of drama. But remember, professions don’t “hate” on others, they speak to them directly. Understanding that can really help YOU stay on your game and focus on the end goal.

3. You Throw caution to the wind

Hey, I’m not saying you should worry about everyone’s opinion but there comes a time and place for “giving a care…” and there are just some situations that need a more diplomatic approach. Sometimes that backlash can actually help us understand where we went wrong and give us an opportunity to make things right while creating stronger friends and followers.

4. Not getting the gig

There can be so very many deciding factors on why an artist was not considered for an event booking.  From the quality of their dj mix to the style of music they play. Sometimes politics are involved other times it’s more about approach. Being able to ask for feedback and take the constructive criticism  is a great way to show  a promoter just how serious you are about your craft. It can be really upsetting to put yourself out there and get rejected but those “rejections” are opportunities to grow and approach those situations in a new way.

5. Someone in YOUr crew (or whole crew) drags you down

This has got to be one of the most interesting issues that I wish was addressed more often because it has such a HUGE impact on a group of peers. Have you ever worked a job where one person repeatedly showed up late, calls in sick all the time and a total nightmare when at work but the boss never fire em’? How many unmotivated employees complain about how they shouldn’t have to work as hard if that person didn’t follow protocol?

When your team isn’t driven or share the same goals and ethics, we quickly see how that can effect our personal dreams. This is a good time to reevaluate what type of people you want in your life.

On that note: some choose to excess regardless of other members and those are the people to keep close.

6. You attract the wrong type of fans.

You had a bad day and it was out of character but you made a somewhat hateful post that grabbed positive attention from some fairly negative people. All while offending the ones you actually wanted following your brand. We must think before we speak or share, “how might this come across? Does it represent what my brand is about?”

7. You DJ for free!

If the quality of music being put out there is important to you I’ve got, 7 reasons why you should NEVER do a dj gig for free. Did you know Mark Ferrell is teaching workshops to wedding djs (that don’t mix or produce) that they should charge there worth and that their worth is no less than $1800 a gig. It’s funny how many EDM artists look at that industry like it’s a joke, yet they get it and other artist are still trying to understand WHY we should charge for something we love to do.

Making mistakes is a part of the process. If we are too scare to take risks, too scared to fail again, we stay stuck. So make some mistakes and don’t lose the lesson that those situations leave you with. Get in the mindset that these mishaps are shaping your career to something really great and often necessary towards your success.

Other helpful articles you might dig!

5 Reasons Djs Need Bigger Goals
Are You The Weakest Dj?
Djs Stuck and Going No Where Fast
The Difference Between a Good DJ and a Great DJ
Why You Should Never Do a DJ Gig For Free

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