The Fixed DJ Mindset That Is Holding You Back And How To Break Free

This year I become infatuate with Impact Theory and co-founder Tom Bilyeu. With what I would say is an exponential rise in entrepreneurship, Tom’s ideas of the the relationship with one’s mindset and it’s impact in business is totally on point. It was actually something his wife Lisa said during one of their relationship theory episodes that really hit home for me. “You get what you focus on.” I wanted to translate how I view that in the DJ world today starting with something I think we can all relate to. Drama.

1. If you focus on the drama, you’ll get more of it

Why djs always get what they focus on
“It’s a trap!” Don’t get sucked in. It’s not to say that all people that experience drama are going out there and looking for it, but that when you experience it, if you put all your energy into it… you’ll get MORE. I should know, I’ve been there.  Say for example you’re in an argument, the moment is heated, maybe unresolved but you decide to walk away and cool off. If you allow it to fester and continue to fume about it, you may find yourself stuck. So what can you do?

2. Refocus your energy.

refocus yourself in your passion
If we want a mindset that allows for growth, sometimes you need to break the pattern. Refocus that energy into your work, your art, maybe even yoga or exercising. This is where I might go listen to knew music, prep for an upcoming show, focus on design or editing a new video. Just throw yourself into your passion.

3. Come back and Resolve the issue. (If you can…)

you get what you focus onThe
I don’t want to say go record a 4 hours dj mix and never return to the problem at hand. But if you can focus on something that makes you happy or that gets you out of the fixed mindset, you’ll be better able to view the problem with a clear head and come up with possible solutions. You’ll thank yourself later for not trying to solve the issue when your mind just wasn’t in the right head space. And makes sure the person you’re coming to a resolution with has had time to chill, too.

4. Let go of the outcome.

let go of the outcome
We can’t control the people we work with, or the events that may follow but we can control how we responce to those events. We can plan for the worst, so that we can deal with the rest with ease. You’ve mentally prepared for all possible outcomes and let go of what you can’t control.

This might not seem business related but it 100% is. Think about if you had to make a huge business decision and it will have impact on your finical stability. You want to ensure you’re making a decision based on what’s best for you and your business partners, not simply on the emotion in that moment or pressure you may be feeling by others around you. This is also important in professional relationships with clients or other co-founders. This is especially important when you’ve invested in business with others.

Notes: Refocus your energy, resolve as best you can and move on.

Highly recommend checking out their channel.

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

There I was doing my research on successful entrepreneurs when I noticed a pattern. Interestingly enough these people  had these 4 things in common over and over again. Funny enough it often had nothing to do with their business directly but had a surprising impact.

1. They didn’t allow failure to hold them back.

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

Whether it was the simple fear of failing or admitting defeat, it never stopped them from trying again. And for good reason. Could you imagine if while trying to learn to read or write you made a couple spelling mistakes or read a word wrong and decide, “Well, I guess this just isn’t for me.” Life doesn’t exactly get easier just because you avoid doing something you’re scared of failing at. With persistent and practice you can over come most obstacle, or worst case LEARN from it.

2. They Take Care of Their Mental Health First

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

Oh how I wish this was taught in school. Your mindset has such a huge impact on not  only your physical health but in how you run your business. It’s a lot easier to make healthy business decisions when you’re mental health is on point. And don’t think for a moment taking care of that health ever means a person is, “broken.” It’s not healthy to deplete your life savings simply because you’re making a business decision on emotion rather than looking at the numbers. Nor is becoming to scared to ever make a move in your career for fear of failure (as stated above) a head space you want to be stuck in. You want to both leave the emotion out while having the ability to trust your gut when things don’t feel quite right.

3. They Take Care of Their Body

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

It’s easy to get caught up in your work, forget a meal here and there and call off the workout because after all, you dance all night at the bar with your rye and coke. We’ve seen how this can negative effect one’s life style when they let it get out of hand. DJs in the night life especially. Some business people start the health kick from the get go while others hit this later in their careers when they realize how not taking care of their body has a huge effect on their workflow. Eating the right food can give us clarity, energy and even affect our mental health. intrigued yet? Add in a bit of exercise and watch the difference in your work ethic. This sort of discipline can also have a positive effect on one’s confidence. Bonus!

4. They Take Time For Themselves and Their Family / Friends

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

Quality time is a big one for us over here. I can hang out and socialize with my friends at a gig or go out for coffee here and there to catch up with a friend. But when it comes to family this is how I recharge my batteries. That vulnerable, loving time with the people I trust and can always count on. Also, who doesn’t like baby cuddles? Or fur babies. Whatever you prefer!

But I want to hear from YOU. What things to do you for yourself that indirectly help your career? Get in the conversation on facebook. Or Twitter me!

7 Ways To Deal With Haters

Over the course of their career, every performer will have naysayers and harassers. Social media has made it easy for anyone to keep track of and trash their chosen target, and DJ’s are no exception. Whether it be simple shit-talking, defamation, impersonation, stalking or worse, artists must be mindful in how they respond to every situation. In one extreme case, I received an email from someone who felt the need to share what negative influence he could have on ending all future bookings for me. Seeing that the email failed to have the desired effect, the man came out to one of my events to tell me what he thought of me. He actually took it upon himself to show up to get under my skin, or scare me. This is not a typical example, but I use it to show that taking the high road and ignoring the situation does not always work when someone is being relentless. This guy was not the first, nor would he be the last, and that is the reality for anyone in this business, and it only increases as you gain momentum in your career. So here are 7 ways to deal with these kinds of people

1. Always Be Professional

How to deal with haters

Whether at a public event, or responding to messages online, your brand persona should be professional. This means being mindful of the way you conduct yourself while drinking or hanging out with friends, how you interact with promoters and fans at events, and maintaining consistency in your online communications. Remember, that first impressions can be a lasting ones.


2. RespHow to deal with hatersonding Instead of Reacting


Maybe a business partnership has gone awry, or someone is being agitated or hostile towards you. While it may be easy to react in the moment of a temporary feeling, it’s better to cool your jets and respond when you have some time to clear your head. You might even find no response is needed at all, which is often the case. Anyone can take a screenshot of a private message written in the heat of the moment and share it with the world. Don’t soil your professionalism…think before you respond.

3. Create a Strong Brand

How to deal with haters

Is someone impersonating you or your brand? Are they stealing your ideas, your style, your Je Ne Sais Quoi? Ensure your online presence paints a unique picture. Be consistent in what you put out there and how you put it out, and do not deviate. It’s difficult for someone to “troll” your brand online if the content they share differs from what they post while pretending to be you. Any of you DJ’s who are grammar-conscious, this is your time to shine.


How to deal with haters

Try to remember that the “hater” is projecting a personal issue while trying to distract you; if you allow yourself to get worked up, then they get what they wanted. Instead, refocus that energy into a project that brings you joy. Write an article that brings in new views, or record a super rad DJ mix that gets you a new residency or bookings. It’s amazing what great content you can create out of a “bad” situation when you properly channel your energies.


How to deal with haters

If someone crosses lines in publicly trashing you on Twitter or Facebook, and you fear for your safety or the safety of others, responding in an equally public way is a very tricky choice. Sometimes, acknowledging the issues out loud allows others to step forward. It is incredibly powerful when people come together in support, but it must be done with tact. Take your time to weigh the pros and cons of sharing a vulnerable situation. If you have *any* suspicion that this person is likely to commit an illegal act against you, notifying law enforcement and an attorney would be a wise decision. This brings us to #6…


How to deal with haters

If someone threatens you, even if it’s an implied threat, take it seriously by notifying the authorities.  Document any and all situations that concern you, whether it be text messages, emails, facebook messages, voice mails…ANYTHING. Screen shot everything. Make backup copies of all of it. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, engage with these people in any way. And if you have communicated with them previously, it is time to stop immediately. Remove them from your fan pages, delete them from your contact list, and block their number and profiles.


How to deal with haters

If you fear for your safety, immediately notify promoters and event security in advance of all shows. Do this in advance, but make sure to remind the promoters in the days leading up to the show, and definitely on the day of the show. Be sure to provide copies of any restraining orders pending or issued to security personnel, and any law enforcement that may be working the event. Secondly always protect yourself by securing your online accounts! Have multiple, challenging passwords including attaching accounts to your personal mobile deceives for secondary security. These are measures you should take for your online security anyway, regardless of who you are, and you’ll find these somewhat extreme measures could save you hassle in the future.  If someone does takes control of your accounts, they can easily send unprofessional messages as you, or even access your financial records and personal information, so take the steps to protect yourself and your brand!


As you’ll note, “dealing with haters” is less about dealing directly with them and more about how you respond to various situations. It’s VERY important to take the proper steps, so that you can continuing doing YOU! In the heat of the moment, try to calm yourself by saying, “This is not actually about me.” Because really, it’s not. You career has no weight on whether they get up in the morning and live a happy life. Refocus on your goals and keep moving forward. If they cross the line and become scary or a threat to your well-being, do not hesitate to enlist help. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Let us know what your experiences have been, or if any part of this list has worked for you.

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Too Busy or Just Distracting Yourself?

It’s incredible to hear the stories people make up as to why they have “no time” for their passion. When often the reality is, they are scared. Scared of failure, feel a lack of knowledge and so they fill their time with mindless projects that aren’t actually “adding” to their life, so much as distracting them. An excuse not to push through their fears. If you are doing the following things, chances are YOU are the one holding yourself BACK from your potential.

Too busy or distracting yourself?

You Work On Things That Can Wait

You need to finish a mix for next Friday, but instead you are writing an article that isn’t due for 5 weeks. If the most important thing for you to make your career move forward is submitting that mix, then the article can wait until that task is complete. In your mind you might think, “Well this is a taste I need to get done.” But we often work on the tasks that can wait when we’ve got a deadline out of sub-conscious fear. Before you know it, the deadline is here and this happens…


Imagine the amount of times an internet radio show or the owner of a regular podcasts hears from a dj the day a set is due, ” Holy crap! My entire dj program has crapped the bed and I unfortunately lost the mix I’ve been working on for the last 3 weeks.”

.0007 % of the time this is true… most of the time it just is NOT! If you know you are not going to do something, own it. If you know you will put it off, don’t commit. Intention mean NOTHING. Action is everything.  If you have to actually recorded something first, then do that.

You Work On Things That You Hate

I dislike doing laundry. So much so, I used to clean the entire house before touching it. Cleaning isn’t fun for me either but the idea of having to fold laundry, organize everything and put it away seemed like more of a task then just cleaning the house. Learned to “eat your frog!” If the worse thing you have to do in your day is eat a frog, the rest of the day is easy. JUST DO IT FIRST!

The Solution – Ask yourself the hard questions

Working with artists and business owners one on one, I have to ask a lot of questions when issues arise. You can’t figure out a solution if you don’t understand what the REAL problem is. Almost always, the issue is fear. Fear of rejection, fear something wont work or wont be good enough. Then we get to play the “what if” game. A game where we don’t just say, “what if this thing happens…” but play it out to the end.

Q: What if I share this piece of music and people hate it?
A: Then I will ask for feedback.
Q: What if the feedback isn’t helpful.
A: Then I will ask for help.
Q: What if no one will help me?
A: Then I will read up online and watch tutorials.
Q: What if I am still awful even after all of that?
A: Then I will go to school for production and ask for help from the professionals.

The idea is to prepare yourself for the worst, accept it and then take the risk anyways. Often we find our fear is far worse then the reality but this way instead of fear of possibilities, we take risks for the opportunities.

On that note: here is a sneak peak of something I’ve been working on and news of our move of The Basement Sessions to MixLive.TV and you can watch it on your mobile anytime. Share your stories and music in the comments. When were you scared to share something but did it anyways? Maybe today will be that day.

DJS: Are You Actually Wasting Your Time?

Have you ever heard someone say, “You can work hard or you can work smart,” and wonder, what that really meant? Did they mean for you to cut corners and not really try all that hard? Or were they on to something? Did they notice something you were doing right but in the wrong ways? My guess, is yes. Today is all about helping you find your groove and STOP WASTING YOUR TIME on the things that just don’t work.

djs that waste their time

Start Spending your time wisely.

You can spend 5 hours practicing your craft every night, or you can spend half your time doing that and the other half working on a marketing plan. Think about it, if you’re a photographer that spends more time taking photos than actually editing photos, one day you realize you are waaaaaay behind and can’t catch up quick enough for your paying clients.

Calculated Risk in Decision Making

Make carefully calculated choices.

You can play 1-2 hours of dj gigs a week for $50-$100 or you can take 1 or 2 gigs a month that pay $600 for 4-5 hours.

djs need to invest in yourself

Invest in yourself.

Whether it’s investing in a nice website, logo, business cards and or promotional photo shoot understand that the businesses you want investing in YOU, want to see a brand that invests in itself. It’s like being a hair dresser that doesn’t bother to brush his/her hair but wants to give you advice on how to maintain your desired look “easily.”

quality djs gig over quantity

Ask questions first, worry about the gig later.

Ask yourself how does this job add to my life and put me towards my goals and my purpose?

Do you want to make a decent amount of money for a quality job that offers legitimate promotional and networking opportunities or do you want to play 6 dive bars through out the month and stress yourself out whether each promoter will supply the equipment and sound?

Don’t get me wrong. There is a time and a place to do the quirky one off gigs. And when you’re starting out it’s real fun to be landing loads of dj gigs. But eventually you must show your value and you can do that by working with brands you believe in, that share your ethics and goals.


djs you are worth it

Think about it for a minute.

If you had schooling and experience in engineering you wouldn’t apply at fast food chains. If you were building you own marketing firm you wouldn’t go for clients that refuse to let you advertise their business online because they don’t believe in social media.  You aim higher, you set up your resume as so and you continue to work with like minded individuals and  industries. It also helps you clear your mind about the people that WONT work with you.  Sometimes businesses just aren’t the right fit for you and having a vision of who you are and what you represent help you pick and choose the right people to work with.

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

The Difference Between a Good DJ and a Great DJ

It might not be what you think. It might even sound unorthodox, but he main difference between a good dj and a great dj is their mindset. How you ask and why? Imagine that you in fact deal with all the same things as every other dj, but your mindset is in a place that allows you to take action, make the hard decisions and turn situations out of your control into learning experiences. What if suddenly, every bad thing that happened to you created a new opportunity, an eye opening experience? Maybe even new content? Suddenly that average dj, turns into someone with conviction and drive.

Monday of last week David Micheal founder of the put together a panel of DJs Caise Lane, Joe Pardo and myself. DJs I feel are a consistent example of people being the change they want to see within the industry. They’ve all help create opportunities for other artists to grow, learn and excel in their feild.  David’s podcast on  “I’ve Got Passion… What About Purpose?” is a fantastic example of what GREAT djs live by. Someone whom is always learning and trying out new techniques, keeping the mindset and turns any situation into an opportunity to learn.

A bad situation gone good

A few years back I played a huge music festival. The stage I was originally  to play was a 200 people space. It shut down an hour early and I had the last set. Right away my new friends came together to find and get a hold of the people in charge to figure out what was going on and how we could fix it. Promoter turned around, chatted with one of the djs and managed to get me a 30 minute slot on the 5000 people stage.

Talk about panic and over drive, but when you’ve got the right mindset and team of people around you amazing things can happen. Don’t lose hope but be prepared for the worst to you can excel when things go haywire.

New Content

When I think of albums that went to #1 on the pop charts, they were often about “break ups.” People took these awful situations and turn them into moody, deep and soulful tunes. For me, the content on my website, videos and even motivation talks come from situations that were not always “fun “to deal with. Instead of those 4 hour facebook rants, turn a crappy situation into a new tune, funny video or drive to record a mix or meaning song lyrics for your next tune.

Learning experience

The moment we feel we have nothing more to learn, is the moment we get stuck. There is no such thing as over preparing and that’s what you learn each time you run into situations you thought you planned for. Earlier this year I went to an event where one of the CDJs were not reading my cds. Thankfully my new friend and dj, Milo of The Red Line stepped in and was able to do a tag set so that I could still play.

The Red Line with Kilma, Milo and Dj cheapseats interview and mix

New friendships / Business Relationships

Milo’s kindness and quick  act saving my dj gig created interest in what he was about and doing. Within a month we’d collaborated  on one another’s projects and have a future project in cross promotion of our radio shows: The Red Line vs. The Basement Sessions May.23, 2015. It just goes to show that getting involved and helping someone in need when the stress is high can make a huge impact.

But how about you, what’s your story? How do you keep the mindset that works for you and create opportunities for yourself?

Other helpful articles you might dig!

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