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!

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free Year

Setting goals is easy, creating your plan of action takes a bit of work and research. Then there is actually executing that plan and suddenly you may find yourself putting that off too. It’s the follow through that shows just how serious you are about what you are aiming for. Unfortunately like many it’s something thing that can take a bit of practice before it becomes habit. So we came up with 4 ways to have an excuse free 2016 that sets you on the road towards your dreams.

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

1. Be Honest

Take responsibility for your actions. If you are cancelling plans with a friend, late on an assignment or simply didn’t finish what you set out to do, don’t put it on others. Being honest is the first part in not making excuses. It also allows you to take a look at what you are doing and how you can become more efficient. If time is the issue, you need to make adjustments in your schedule. Maybe you don’t have a schedule, and should start!

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

2. Gradually Adjust Your Habits

If you were to decide tomorrow, “I’m going to start at the gym, eat healthy and work harder,” when you typically watch hours of Netflix after work and your “work-out” is  dialing for take out… You may have trouble making such a HUGE change, so quickly. If you make and plan for more gradual changes, you’ll have a better chance at developing those good habits. If putting out one new track a month is a bit much, aim for every 3 months. If you typically work on your online presences once a month and feel it’s lacking, try once a week.

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

3. Break It Down

Need to design a plan of action on what you’d like to accomplish?  If you haven’t already grabbed the free copy of the 2016 planner you can read and grabbed it here. (Of course once you’re done reading this article.) Break down those big goals into small tasks you can accomplish each day. We go into more detail in our article here. Suddenly those excuses about not being able to get “noticed” by that huge label, becomes a question of “What is my plan to get noticed?”

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

4. Follow Through

The best predictor of future behaviour is present behaviour. First off, don’t cancel plans and secondly, don’t make plans with people that cancel or reschedule more then twice. If YOU typically cancel plans, it could mean you are:

1. Not truly interested in the plans you are making.
2. Committing to too many things OR…
3. You are lazy.

Assuming it’s the first two, like in #2 – Gradually Adjust Your Habits, only making plans with or committing to things that are most important to you including reasonable time lines will help you to follow through 99% of the time.

5 Ways DJs Can Have An Excuse Free 2016

5. Surrounding Yourself With DOERS

If the people around you don’t have a strong work ethic it’s real easy to think you’re doing enough, when you could be doing more. When you have ambitious people around you, it does wonderful things to us. Motivates us to do more, be more and have more.

Exception vs. the rule:
Life happens. We get sick, life events out of our control happen and people unfortunately die. We can’t predict these things and in some cases, we must get those parts of our life in order before we are able to fully follow our passion. Understanding the different between things out of our control vs. excuses is important. But it also means taking responsibility for what we can control. Like taking care of our bodies, our mental health and our responsibilities.

Other articles you might dig:

How Much to Charge For a DJ Gig – Your Fee Calculator

Charging your worth, how much djs should charge

Have you ever wondered what exactly a fair fee might look like? Many artists make the mistake of agreeing to a gig before knowing exactly what is involved. From knowing the venue capacity and ticket price to HOW the event coordinator is marketing the event, other artists involved, and even the format. Asking questions and knowing this will help give you a good idea about their experience and what sort of budget they might be dealing with. Once gathering that information you can create a fair price on what it will cost for your services. These are the things things to considering before  calculating your final fee.

Your Personal Costs

If you must rent any equipment or purchase additional music by request of the party planner you can add this number into your overall fee. Asking questions will help you figure an estimate.

Your Hourly Worth

Maybe you feel you’re worth $40 an hour for your experience and expertise. You’ll need this number in order to calculate your fee. If you have been djing for a longer period of time, it’s fair to raise this number. It’s also fair if you have a larger following that will support the events you play.

Hours Spent

This is NOT just the 4 hours you are performing but the additional hours spent preparing your music, whether that is into folder or searching for specific music the event coordinator would like. Don’t forget to  add hours spent practicing.

NOTE: If the event coordination is incredibly specific about WHAT they are looking for and even take a more controlling approach to your dj set, you may want to tag on an additional fee as this can increase stress and it is always better taken with a price worth your time.

Add up your hours spent and times it by your hourly fee. Now add your additional fees for rental equipment and / or estimated music purchases  and you get = your fee.


Preparing 3hr
Practicing 2hr
Performance 5hr
= 10 hr

Additional fees
Sound Rental $60
Beatport + iTunes  $80

10 hours x $40 hourly fee = $400 + additional fees $140 = $540.00

Why it Is important to charge your worth?

If a promoter offers you $150 to do a 5 hour dj set and you spend an additional 5 hours preparing, then supply your own gear and spend $50 on new music, suddenly you’re worth a whole $10.00 an hour. Less than minimal wage.

I am a true believer that in order to have the scene we’d like to see thrive we must act the part. Collectively that means we as djs need to RAISE our standards and ask for a fair wage. Knowing your worth is crucial to the growth of your personal business. In addition, the overall quality of our scene is at risk when quality artists undercut one another and even play for free; desperate to showcase their talent. Raising our fees as a collective would also mean the quality, experience and professionalism would too have to be on point for those getting booked. This would put low quality events to a minimal.


Setting the industry standard

Right now, with the popularity of EDM  we are dealing with a lot of thrown together parties. They include mix-matched line ups and a lack of experience because it’s very affordable for people to throw together parties. This means quality events are sometimes missing out on clientele because there are far too many events to pick from creating sparse attendants across the board.

When you charge a fair fee, the risk may increase for the promoter, but so does the gain. It puts the promoter in a position where they must work harder create a budget for flyers, sound and promotion. Instead of depending on the artists to bring in their crowd, promote and sell tickets, they are left responsible for their own party planning. This way the artist is responsible for putting together a great dj set instead of stressing about ticket sales. Which is ultimately the djs job.

Related articles:

7 Reasons You Should NEVER DJ for Free
How NOT to Get Screwed By Sketchy Promoters
The Most Common Mistake DJs Make
How to Stand Out Among Other DJs

Grab your FREE DOWNLOAD of the Ultimate 2016 DJ Planner

Blog - The Ultimate 2016 DJ Planner

5 Reasons DJs Need BIGGER Goals

Imagine you love swimming and you’re pretty good at what you do so people ask you, “Are you thinking about going pro?” And you tell them, “Well I’ll see where this takes me. I’d love to, just need the right scout to see me.” Yet you never take a class, or talk to a pro and continue  swimming occasionally in waiting and public pools… Sound familiar?

These are ideas many djs all over the world have. No plan, no real BIG goal, simply expecting their amazing talents to be “good enough.” While we’d love to tell you, “That’s the case… ” it’s just not. So we are here to help you get a better idea about why YOU should set bigger goals for yourself.

Why djs need bigger goals

1. You Hold Yourself Accountable

It is truly a powerful thing when you are able to take full responsibly for your actions, because it also shows you just how much power you have in accomplishing your dreams. Choosing to spend your money and time according to your goals takes self-control. This is often a reason people don’t want to set goals, because they know they must really buckle up. But we know you’re up for the challenge.

“Be More, Do More, Have More!”

2. Bigger Goals Make The Medium Sized Goals Easier

It’s intimidating to set out a big plan for your future, but if you break it down into smaller tasks you start to realize just how manageable your dreams are. When you aim too low, those tasks become just as daunting, but create a bigger goal and suddenly those smaller goals are easy as pie.

Grab the FREE 2016 planner here!

3. It Builds Self-Esteem

One of the most amazing feelings a person can get, is being proud of themselves and their accomplishments. Being able to check things off of a list remind us of our own inner strength and ability to rise to the occasion.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle

4. Failure Won’t Scare You as Much

On your road to success you will hit bumps. There will be people trying to drive you off the road, highway closures and a few re-routes along the way. But when you have your final destination in mind, you adjust your GPS, gas up and get back on the road. You start to look at the failures like new opportunities to visit different cities on your route, or learn about a town you never heard of before. Failure can become a lesson learned and a change in the right direction.

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

5. The Quality of People in Your Life Grow

It’s amazing to see the talent pool of people that start to come into your life in all sorts of industries. Not just “people you know of” but people you get to know. Like-minded individuals driven and even motivating us to continue on our path. If the people you surround yourself with now, have no or even smaller goals, it’s not as motivating to really “put yourself out there.” But when you have the support of strong people taking risks it creates a whole new dynamic.

Why djs need bigger goals

Not having a goal in mind is like running up and down a soccer field kicking a ball with no where to score. You’re just “wasting time” waiting for something to happen and in no way preparing yourself for the busy schedule and life style of a person with big goals. We must create opportunities to “get that big break” and that happens with drive, persistence, your ability to adapt and grow as things happen, not by “waiting.” DJs like Hannah Wants and B.traits are often spoken of as these “break through artists” or seemingly over night success, but in these interviews you see mentioned years of work before that. Everyone starts somewhere and success often isn’t an overnight thing. Nor does it mean avoiding all scene drama. But you have less time for it, while you follow your dreams, bouncing back more quickly.

So set your goals, create a plan, execute and go rock your passions!

Don’t believe me? Let Marie Forleo explain MORE.

Other helpful articles you might dig!

7 Tips for Great Promotional DJ Photos (Press-Kits)

Kilma DJ, Radio Host, Female artist, winnipeg dj house techno and edm

Photo by Aaron Kostiuk

Many of us have seen those awful headphone shots, those cheesy glamour photos, turntables unplugged and the awkwardly posed dj tangled up in cords. These high quality press-photos are often used for a multitude of promotional material from websites and flyers to swag and magazine interviews. But what if your don’t properly showcase your brand? You’ve seen those perfectly place shots with the headphone and think, “I could do that.” But when it comes to promotional pictures it’s easy to make the common mistakes other hopefuls  have made.  To organically incorporate your personality in your shots, let alone find the right photographer can prove to be a challenge. So I’ve set up some key tips on getting those pictures that leave a lasting impression, both of your brand and your personality. So let’s begin.

1. Know what you want (or at least have a good idea.)

Chances are when you walk into a tattoo shop, you’re going to want some examples of artwork to place on your body. You’re not going to expect the tattoo artist to KNOW what you want. Your promo shot ideas need just as much direction. You can bring clippings, show online photos and let them know what you’d like to incorporate from those photos in yours. (Ahead of the shoot date.)

“It is not simply enough to rely on the photographer for the ideas because in most cases the photographer does not know you. Once you build the rapport and work together a few times, then it is different, the photographer will have a better idea of your personality and style and can collaborate with you easier on your project.” – Aaron Kostiuk


Cam Nikkel Photography

Photo by – Cam Nikkel of P&S Zine

2. Location, location, location.

“Often some of the best photos are the result of the photographer meeting up with the subject in a location that they’re familiar with such as an artist’s studio, a DJ’s practice space, a musician with their favourite instrument in their own jam space. No props supplied by the photographer, no locations that aren’t relevant to the subject. Simply discuss the desired end result, hang out, get comfortable, find the right lighting, point and shoot!” – Cam Nikkel from P&S Zine

Like Cam pointed out, don’t use locations or props that aren’t relevant to the subject (YOU!) Let the photo speak of your interests, which could be your favourite local shop or a park you often visit.

3. Sometimes Less is more.

Unless you typically show up at the club wearing a gold grill, banana hammock, loads of bling, while holding a blow up doll… you may want to ease up on the props. Think about what this photo says about YOU. “S/he is goofy, fun, seriously, polished or maybe a bit quirky.” These shots are used for a multitude of promo. Having at least a couple options for a graphic design to crop or edit at their desire make an easy choice for website artwork and flyers.

This also includes how many photos you put out. You don’t need to or even should share 15 photos of you in the same outfit, in the same area with a few different poses. Often photographers are taking 400-500 in a couple hour shoot. Many will only show you 4-5 really amazing shots in different outfits. Trust them to pick out the most flattering but don’t be afraid to work with them to find something you like. Numerous edits of the same looking photo is redundant. Again sometimes less is more!

Charmaine Mallari Photography

Photo by – Charmaine Mallari

4. Practice Your Poses.

“Come prepared and practice your angles and poses beforehand. I had one DJ say at the end of our shoot ‘I have more respect for models now.'” – Charmaine Mallari

The way you think your face looks when you make a pose, vs how it looks in the mirror is very different. Know your angle, but also trust the direction of your photographer as you go. And if the photographer finds a shot that work perfect, KEEP THE POSE until they tell you to move.

Given Ideas Photography

Photo by – Given Ideas Photography

5. Communication with your photographer

It’s important both you and your photographer are on the same page about your ideas, while understanding your brand and what you’d like to portray.

“Your photographer’s goal should be to portray your personality and style to develop unique and dynamic photos. Communicating details about yourself along with your vision for the photos will go a long way in preparing the photos that tell your story.” – Given Ideas Photography

Photo by - Whiting Photography

Photo by – Whiting Photography

6. Know your photographer.

Like genres, there are numerous types of photographers. If your photographer specializes in glamour or fashion shots, it does not mean they are experienced in motion and underwater photography. Find someone that it the right fit for your ideal photos. Do your research.

“Don’t hire some just because they are your friend, hire someone that you know can deliver your vision.” – Charmaine Mallari

“Asking someone that does profile shots, to do live actions shots is like night and day. Make sure you’ve seen examples of someone’s work before you hire them. Are they a night club photography or fashion? Can they do both or specialize in one?” – Whiting Photography

7. Choose your outfits, hair style and makeup artist in advance.

Lastly, but just as important as the rest. Yes, I’m talking about you too guys. It’s totally normal for men to wear makeup and often do when it comes to t.v. and promotional photos. Think of hair, makeup and your outfits like “mastering your track.” You’ve got a great product, you just need to polish it off so you can let that track really stand out for what it is.

Bring a couple options for shirts, pants, shoes and even accessories. Depending on the setting one colour or pattern might work better in one background than the other.

Quick Hint: On a budget? Don’t your know foundation colour and aren’t ready to commit to a bottle of foundation girls/guys? Swing by a Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart and ask one of the lovely attendants if they can help you find your colour and “test it out for the day,” as you are undecided. You might even find something you like. Many makeup stores will give you a full on makeover if you spend more than $40, or you can hire an artist.

(Check out The team to find my personal favourites to work with in hair and make up. )

Was this article helpful? Do you have any great tips? Maybe a funny story of how your shoot didn’t go as planned but ended up perfect! Let us know in the comments below.

Tips on how to have the BEST DJ SET live… EVER!

(Warning: Taking this advice in no way makes me responsible for your actions. Use them at your own risk.)

If you have a sense of humor, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this. If you don’t, it’s best you back away slowly.

1. Play bangers all night.
Did the guy before you play that Lady Gaga song? Play it again, you can never play a popular tune too many times. That’s why they play it on the radio every 20 minutes, right? Playing banging tracks all night will keep the energy high. No time for breathing room.


From FierceGifs on Tumblr.com

2.Dance around lots.
I’m not just talking those Jesus rockstar poses, get right in there with your arms waving around, clapping. Hell, jump on the table and show em’ how serious you are about getting the party started! If you’re going to werk it, you might as well twerk it.

By: Vera-Trace on Tumblr

3. Use every effect on that mixer.
Really throw your elbows into it, so everyone knows how hard you are working. Don’t be a boring DJ that only uses that cross fader with long progressive mixes, EQing each track. Flanger, Robot, Echo, Filter… don’t know what it does? Learn on the fly. What better place to try something new, then with the whole crew!

By: TrippyLightsAndRaveMusic on Tumblr

4. Throw your levels into the Red.
The Redder, the better! That’s what I always say. If it’s not lighting up like a Christmas Tree, you’re not doing it right.

By: AngelOVast on Tumblr

5. Throw some cake!
The plastic cup of beer will do if you don’t have cake handy. People won’t think you are a Rock Star unless they get some food or a drink thrown in their face. We don’t want them to miss out on a good time, right?


By: Fnk-Rage on Tumblr


6. Get Krunk and Stir Shit Up
You’re the best thing since sliced bread. I mean, you’re a DJ for fuck sake. You might as well be on the cover of Rolling Stones. You got this. So who cares if you fall off the stage and chip off your front tooth? You are Mother fucking DJ Swanky-As-Fuck.

They got nothing on YOU!

Let’s be serious for a moment: I was doing some late night, online research to check out the tips being given to some of the newer djs. Some of the articles were on point, while others were just ridiculous. I had to write my own “Tips” that clearly should not be taken seriously. However it is clear to me that someone, somewhere thought they were in the KNOW when giving tips like this in a very “serious” manner. I just couldn’t help myself.

Here is the even funnier part, I had so many choices of Aoki throwing cake and the only thing I search was, “Aoki.”

There is literally people that look so excited about getting cake in the face their is a group for it.

As far “DJ Mixer” most Gif files that popped up were all completely Red-Lined too! Go figure.


Steve Aoki throwing Cakes – Tumblr

May God have mercy on our soul.

Like it? Share it. Have a funny story, reply in the comments.