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Thoughts

I think everyday I’m faced with the moment where I can either open my mouth and say how I feel, or just keep my mouth shut and try and find a better way to deal with the situation. And every day, I choose to keep my mouth shut. Although some days, it is way harder to do than others.

And this can be in a few different ways. Some days, it is because things are being done the way I want them to be. Other days it is because someone has said something about me, my company or the people that work for my company. And then there are days where you hear something, you don’t know all of the story, and yet you still want to partake in the gossip.

Look, we are all human and we are going to fall victim to one of these pitfalls from time to time, but I have to say, sometimes you just can’t hold it in. Sometimes, you just have to stand your ground and defend yourself. But I’d like to think that most of the time, it doesn’t deserve your attention. People can say what they want, do things a little differently than you and spread rumors, but you have to be focused on what matters, growing your company.

Defend when you must, but don’t worry about the silly stuff. Let it be. Be grateful that people are even talking about you. If rumors are being spread about you, if people are making you mad and if you have a chance to continue the spread of a rumor, you must be doing something right, or at least be knowing the right people.

Instead, let them talk about you, heck, indulge the rumors.

Instead, talk to them about why it gets you mad.

Instead, don’t spread the rumor and call to find out the truth.

I say it a lot in my head, “Jason, it is better to be thought a fool then to open your mouth and be proven one.”

 

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Say what?

I really am beginning to think that DJs just don’t get it. I mean, it seems as if DJs think the goal in life is to offer as much free crap, no matter what, just to get the gig.

I met with a venue today that said a local DJ has dropped off up lighting fixtures that they can keep at the venue for free and if a couple books this DJ company, the up lighting would be free for the couple to use. And if they book another DJ company, the venue could sell the up lighting for $212. Say what….

So basically, up lighting has now become a commodity. I wish I could say that I didn’t see this coming, but c’mon, we are DJs.

I really just want to ask why!?!? You go out and buy something that costs money and gives you an opportunity to have another revenue stream, but you decide to offer it for free because why? To get people to book you? I mean, I could see if the company wasn’t good. But they aren’t. They do a good job. They have talented people that work for them. It makes no sense. Now the rest of the market has to adjust and it affects all of us. Jesus.

I really think some of us just shoot ourselves in the foot.

I have a great game plan to compete against this, so it should be entertaining. Good thing DJs can’t do much more than up lighting.

 

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Patience

You are good at what you do. You have a great support staff around you. Your customers keep coming back. But…you just can’t seem to get over the hump or to the next level. The break that you are waiting for just isn’t on the horizon. And you don’t know what to do about it!

Sound like you?

After talking to many different companies, I have found one thing seems to be consistent with many of them. Patience.

In a world where most of us want everything now, or tomorrow, it seems as if patience is a lost art. Waiting for something isn’t an option. We want it now! But when talking to these successful business owners, they all seemed to claim just “sticking around” was their secret weapon. They didn’t try to grow too fast, and they made sure not fall stay down too long when times were tough. They were consistent. And over the years, that consistency paid off.

Each of our businesses are going to have its up and downs, its ebbs and flows. Which we all wish we could be in the up and flow, the reality is that we can’t. Instead of wishing for that, I like to think that staying in a straight line, with a upward movement (no matter how small, as long as it is up), is a very good thing.

You learn a lot about yourself and your company when you slow down and let patience take over. You  grow smarter. You grow soundly. And most of all, you appreciate where you came from.

Sometimes the industry you are in is flooded with competitors and it will take some time before people find you. But you have to be there. Day in and day out. Doing a good job, priced right and delivering what you say you will. If you do this consistently and have the patience to stick it out, people will start to notice. And you will start to grow.

 

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What makes them WANT you…

I was talking to a successful business owner the other day and we were questioning why people buy things. And he kept going back to the same concept that people want to buy something because it is different. People buy things because in their mind, it is the newest “thing to have”

My friend owns a local marketing company and he is booked solid all the time. Obviously the question came up on how he does it. On a side note, I always get a laugh that we both look at each other’s companies and analyze them as if what we are doing is horrible and there is a totally better way to be doing it! His concept of delivering something new to the market on a consistent basis has his current clients, as well as new, potential clients, calling him wanting to use his company.

I talk to a lot companies that are trying to figure out how they can win business, how can they get a share of the market. And the answer to this question is the same answer as my friend gave. Deliver something that not only makes your customer want to come back to you for, but they HAVE to come back to you for.

We are in the wedding business. So the barriers to entry for most of us are pretty small. For most of our professions, anybody can “say” they do what we do and have the basics of what they need to do it within a month or so. This makes trying to provide that “thing” you do very difficult, but you have to find out what it is. What is the one thing that is going to get your prospects, your current clients and the area professionals to always use you!

I don’t think it is going to be something that you can come up with in a few hours. This is going to take some time and some thought. It is going to be more of a culture, more of a way of doing business. For some of you, it may be always having the new technology and then making sure everyone knows that you have it. For others, it may be all about the creative side. You will be the most creative company that they can find, and it will show in every job that you do.

But what you can’t do, is what everybody else is doing. If you are doing that, then there is no reason to call you. You can’t expect the average person to want to use you, if it’s perceived that you do the same thing as the other company. If that is the case, you are going to continue to stay in the position that you are in. You will always be the other company.

So take some time and give yourself a little more of an identity on what would make them want to book. And please, make sure it isn’t what everybody else is saying, because when I ask this question, almost every person gives me something that 5 other people told me.

P.S. – Here is an example. I was talking to a video company and when I asked them what made them different and why they were so popular, they told me it is simple. Two reasons, number one, they use editors that eventually move onto Hollywood (this company is located in LA, so it is really easy for them to find great editors!). They typically only stay with the company for a few years, but they have built this into their system and found a way to make it work. And people want Hollywood editors working on their wedding film. The second thing…they use 8mm cameras. Go figure!

 

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Every inch counts

"I don't know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble. Inch by inch play by play till we're finished.

We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. One inch, at a time. Now I can't do it for you. I'm too old. I look around and I see these young faces and I think I mean I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make. I uh.... I pissed away all my money believe it or not. I chased off anyone who has ever loved me. And lately, I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror. You know when you get old in life things get taken from you. That's, that's part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or to early you don't quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second. On this team, we fight for that inch On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.
Cause we know when we add up all those inches that's going to make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING between LIVING and DYING.

I'll tell you this in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch.
And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is. The six inches in front of your face.

Now I can't make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.

That's a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That's football guys. That's all it is. Now, whatta ya gonna do?"

Al Pachino- Any Given Sunday

 

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