Tag Archives: Consultants

The Triangle: Conferences, Workshops, & Coaching/Mentoring

By Brian Buonassisi:

As we embark on a new year, I think it’s important to assess where you are at and where you want to go in 2018. I’m not talking about fickle New Year’s Resolutions but more to steering your business in the right direction. For some, no major course correction is needed. For others, you many need to completely change directions due to where the wind in your market is taking you. Over the years, I’ve found that there’s a pattern to growth and it’s not a linear thing. It’s like a triangle – you keep going through it. You’re either in need of conferences, workshops or coaching/mentoring. All of them have their place but I thought as you start thinking through your 2018 budget, this is a perfectly timed topic to talk through each one.

Conferences
There’s really 3 “national” DJ conferences out there: Mobile Beat, Marquee, and the DJ Expo. While you can definitely pick up some things to help your business at any of them, these conferences are mainly inspiration and network heavy. To encourage attendance, the show producers have to cast a wide net and cover as broad material as possible. You have the beginners all the way through to the industry veterans. It’s a great way to re-charge with your DJ brothers and sisters as well as take in a ton of information over a couple days. However, the reality is that it could take weeks if not months to go through all your notes and implement a strategy to employ some of it.

Workshops
Typically, workshops are more narrowed in scope. You are drilling down on a specific subject matter (or two) rather than a large range of categories. For example, you may want to improve with mic etiquette or scratching or sales, etc. If there’s an area that you feel you could use some development in, finding a workshop to address that area could be the solution. The other advantage to workshops is that you interact with those who are looking to learn the same type of subject matter. That can bond you together with a person you may never have had a chance to meet otherwise.

Coaching/Mentoring
So far it may appear like each one of these options is a step up from the other. While coaching/mentoring could feel that way, I honestly think it could be a great first step. Rather than undoing bad habits or mistakes, you are able to deal with issues in real time. Finding a coach or a mentor isn’t cheap (not for the good ones at least) but it saves you a lot of money in in the long run. These sessions are either in one on one settings or in a small group (10-20 people) whereas a conference may have thousands and a workshop could have up to a hundred or so. The constant touches (at minimum you’re meeting a few times a year but most meet weekly or monthly) and accountability with coaching/mentoring makes a ton of difference in not only getting started with a plan but staying the course.

For myself, I’m in the coaching/mentoring category this year. Not only am I being coached in 2018 but I’m also coaching others. I’m only a few days in and it’s already been rewarding. What are your needs? What category do you fall in? It could be you need a little of all three. The reality is that doing any of these three things is going to put you ahead of 90% of your competition and give you a leg up. I hope to see you in one of these settings in 2018 and if I can help you at all, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brian@djbrianbofficial.com.

The Ins & Outs of Eating for Success

By Mike Walter:

Almost every nutritionist and dietician will tell you that counting calories is not the smartest way to go about losing weight or trying to stay in shape. So why would I recommend it? Read on.

So much of our weight is determined by two simple factors: how much we take in and how much we burn. I often compare it to the definition of wealth (wealth isn’t what you earn, it’s what you keep). As an extreme example, a number of years ago there were reports that Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was eating 12,000 calories a day. He was scarfing down fried egg sandwiches with cheese, pizzas, and two pounds of pasta. Every day! He was consuming close to six times his recommended number of calories yet he was not only not fat and out of shape, he was an insanely successful athlete. Why? Because he was swimming for hours and hours a day, thus burning ten times the number of calories as most people. Not only was his diet not holding him back, it was essential to his success. Without that many calories, he wouldn’t have had the energy to train and compete.

Like I said, Phelps’ diet while he was training is an extreme example. But it points out the math involved in weight loss or gain.

Do you know how many calories you burn every day? Do you know how many calories you take in? Do you know how many calories it takes to gain or lose a pound?

I think these numbers are important. And while I don’t count every single calorie, I do have a general sense of when I’ve taken in more than I’ve burned (not good) and when I’ve burned more than I’ve taken in (good). And it’s those general numbers that help me maintain my weight.

First, let’s start with a quick calculation. If you want to know approximately how many calories you burn per day multiply your weight by 14. So I’m currently at 190 pounds which means with normal daily activity I’m burning about 2,600 calories per day. Now, if I go for a four mile run that day I’ll burn about four to five hundred extra calories. Same goes if I spend an hour on my stationary bike (pedaling of course, I can’t just sit there). So that would put me about 3,100 calories burned for the day.

That’s why it’s important for me to know the approximate calorie count in the foods I eat. My typical breakfast of cereal and a banana is about 250 calories.   If I want two slices of pizza for lunch, that’s about 500 calories. If I have an eight ounce steak for dinner, that’ll be about 600 calories. The two beers I have to wash it down with are about 300 calories. As all this food and drink adds up I try to keep it below my daily burn. I’m successful more days than not which is why I pretty much maintain my weight.

And that’s where the other important number comes in: 3,500. It takes approximately 3,500 calories to gain or lose a pound of weight. So if I consume 3,500 more calories than I burn, I’m going to gain a pound. Conversely if I burn 3,500 more calories than I consume, I’ll lose a pound. There are other factors involved, for sure, but the basic math sends us a clear message: burn more than you eat.

Finally, one of the calculations I like to do is to figure out how much activity food costs. I’m not a fast food guy but I’ll use the generic Big Mac, fries and a coke as an example. That’s about 1,100 calories, which may or may not sound like a lot. But I tell myself something different: that meal will cost me 10 miles of running. Or 11 hours biking. Which is maybe why I’m not a fast food guy!

Please notice how many times I’ve used the words “generally” or “about” or “approximately” in this blog. I don’t obsess over calories and I don’t think you should either. But having a general sense of how much you’re consuming versus how much you are burning is extremely important in my opinion. If you don’t, I think you should give it a try. Google can be your friend (simply type “calories in ____” and you’ll get your answer) as can a Fit Bit or Apple watch that can measure your daily activity. Armed with this knowledge, you may begin to start seeing why your weight is what it is, and more importantly, what you can do about it.

Mike Walter is the proud owner of Elite Entertainment, a Multi-System DJ Company in New Jersey that was recently selected by TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com as a top Entertainment company in the country.

Social, Mobile and You (Second in a Series)

By Mitch Taylor:

Last month we talked about how the vast majority of people have their smartphone within three feet of them at all times and the three important items you need to be sure you have on your mobile website to capture their attention.
This month, we’ll be highlighting the social side of social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.). For this article’s purposes, we’ll be focusing on the biggest of the social media platforms, Facebook.

The best way to navigate Facebook is to hire a professional to handle your contests or at minimum consult with one to find the best contest app for your desired outcome. Why? You must be careful with the methods you use to generate “likes.” Facebook has rules, especially regarding contents, and failure to adhere to those rules can get your page taken down, requiring you to build your entire Facebook presence again.

Taylored Weddings has recently consulted with Caryn Terradas of SpeakEasy and has had great success with her abilities to increase our exposure and outreach on our Facebook page. That said, do your due diligence in consulting an expert; there are many fly by night companies trying to get into the game of social media management.

Okay. You’ve consulted with an expert and determined what you want to achieve with your page. Now what do you say? My good friend Brian Kelm, Master of I Do, has a great approach and one that I have adapted to my business with great success.

1) Be sure to friend your clients on Facebook. This will allow their friends to see your postings when you tag them in one.

2) Every 30 days leading up to your client’s event date, go to their profile and find a picture that best represents them, then click “share, along with a comment about couple and their upcoming event; i.e. “@YourCompanyName is looking forward to celebrating with @Heather Smith and @John Johnson in just four weeks from today. Surprises galore in store with fun and smiles all day! So glad they chose @YourFavoritePhotographer to capture their moments!”

By including the venue and other vendors you actively promote them as well. It’s a win-win for everyone! You may also want to try a Vendor Of The Week Bridal Tip Tuesday, Wedding Wish Wednesday, Tradition Thursday, or Friday Fun Facts. I know one company that does well having a trivia contest and others who put up YouTube videos on their wall and have their fans post their favorite clips as well.

The bottom line with any social media is that you must be GENUINE and interactive. Today’s clientele can spot a phony and a sales pitch from a mile away. Provide value first, cultivate the relationship and the referrals will come!

About: Mitch Taylor owns and operates Taylored Weddings and can be reached via email at mitch@mitchtaylor.net. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz

The Pros and Cons of Pre-Made Sets

By Tony Fernandez:

So let’s talk about music. I know we’ve discussed different things and different aspects of music, but this time around, I’d like to bring attention to a particular aspect of our DJ music world — the sets or blocks of music that DJs seem to be constantly looking for, specifically, pre-made sets.

Allow me to put a finer point on it: I don’t mean sets, in the sense of theme. We ALL do that. We can be at any number of events and we can rifle through a set of 70’s, 80’s. 90’s, 00’s, classic rock, country, Top 40, Rap, etc. That’s part of our job. What I do mean is when you’re in your flow, you ALWAYS play Song A, Song B, Song C, and Song D, in THAT order, EVERY time.

I’ll admit right up front, I don’t get it. I don’t see the necessity or advantage of discovering, creating, and then utilizing pre-made sets for the next dozen gigs, or years, it seems.

On one hand, I do get that we are creatures of habit. We discover a chain of songs that when linked together create a great response from our floors. Then we may recycle that same “set” again if we get into a pinch. “It worked last week, so let’s give it another run…”   I even get that (usually) there are a new group of people, so the same set you ran last week, is new to the current group of people.

On the other hand, what I don’t get is why are DJs asking other DJs for their pre-made sets? Aren’t you supposed to be figuring out the music for EACH of your events/crowds? If we treat each event we do as a unique and singular event, then having pre-made sets kind of defeats the purpose of being a DJ.

While all of these other DJs are sharing their sets, why would anyone think someone else’s set would work for your crowd?

I have to concede to the fact: I realize and recognize that DJs are individuals. As such, their experience, knowledge, and skill level is going to be vast and wide. I’m sure not trying to filter these thoughts and questions through my personal filter. I don’t expect others to be as big of a music nerd as I am. I sure don’t expect people to mix and program the way I do. Nor do I expect others to just do it THIS way because that is the ONLY way.

On a slight tangent…that is one of the beautiful things about being a DJ. There is no ONE WAY to spin. I love reading DJ’s play logs and listening to other DJs spin a set to get ideas and inspiration. Not to mention maybe picking up a dope track or three that I may have slept on.

My point is this: Don’t be complacent. Be proactive in your music knowledge and your programming. Practice. Listen. Put yourself into scenarios where instead of doing homework, (no one likes doing homework) you’re opening your artistic side of your brain to new musical possibilities. The more you do this, the easier the ideas will come.

I have seen DJ friends and colleagues that became apathetic and unindustrious. They suffered over time because they became stale and predictable. They aren’t working. Don’t become the complacent DJ. Don’t be lethargic in your approach to discovering music. You may just elicit a creative side in your repertoire, and that would be a beautiful thing.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

The True Cost of Music Piracy

By Glen Ervin:

As convenient as the interwebz has made getting the music you need, the low-cost and invisibility of the ‘net has led to an explosion of too good to be true offers from websites masquerading as legitimate record pools. Think of them as the modern day version of that guy in the alley selling “real” Rolexes out of the trunk of his El Dorado… with access to your hard drive.

Fortunately there are a few of ways to tell which sites are operating in the shadows; the easiest is to keep an eye out for those selling legacy releases. The labels don’t allow it (why give away your best sellers?). Hence, any site offering unlimited access to a legacy catalog is not partnered with the labels or paying the artists or labels who provide their music.

Why should you care? 

The Institute of Policy Innovation estimates that global music piracy causes $12.5 billion of economic losses every year. That breaks down domestically to 71,060 music industry jobs lost since the days of Napster — a loss of $2.7 billion in workers’ earnings that accounts for $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes.

That’s $422 million dollars that could be going towards schools, roads, libraries and more – gone.

Let’s put that in terms every mobile operator can understand…

Economic losses on a scale that’s followed by nine zeros impacts everything from how much you charge for a wedding to how much time you get to spend with your family (instead of wearing all the hats required to run your business) to the car you drive — not a problem, by the way, for the $19.99 all you can download guys who keep all your money and drive Range Rovers.

Which brings us back to our friend in the alley and his deals on wheels…

If it seems to good to be true… it is.

Give your money to some hustler looking to turn downloads into dollars at the artist’s expense and you’ll just be feeding the dog-eat-dog world that keeps us all working for less than we deserve.

It’s up to you to decide what’s need and what’s greed.

After being turned out to pasture following a 16-year club residency, Glen Ervin finds himself gainfully employed as Promo Only sales manager, media consultant and staff writer.

Book More Events By Spreading Out Your Reviews

By Brian Buonassissi:

A wise businessman once told me, “To book more business, be everywhere.” These days it’s never been easier or more affordable to be everywhere — that’s why reviews are so great! They don’t cost you anything and with a ton of third-party review sites out there, your chances of clients finding you go way up the more places those reviews can be seen.

Just like social media, some will gravitate to certain platform over others. Very few (that I’ve seen anyway) use multiple review sites. I also think asking clients to leave reviews on multiple review sites comes across as a chore (even if it is just a copy and paste) and does nothing to motivate them to jump on a computer and start cranking out a review.

One of the biggest changes we’ve made in our business to increase the number of places where we can be found is to ask clients what reviews sites they use on our client intake form. We’ve struck the verb “review” from our company vernacular (it’s such an ugly word) so the way we phrase these questions (we feel) helps us get those answers.

Here’s the verbiage we use…
*Have you set up a Knot Profile?
*Have you set up a WeddingWire Profile?
*Are you a frequent Yelper?
*Do you use Google Reviews?
*Do you use Facebook Reviews?

If there are other sites you use which have an option for reviews (i.e. GigMasters, Thumbtack, etc.), you might want to add those to the list above. By asking these questions on a client intake form, it is much more disarming. That said, if they don’t fill this out before our “creative planning meeting”, we’ll do it in person when we meet. It gives us a good idea of not only the effectiveness of this strategy but also gives us direction on where to send them when it’s time to send them a request to “share their experience”.

This is important for Yelp especially. With that particular site, if they aren’t a frequent Yelper, it doesn’t do any good to send them there because their review will be posted under the “unverified” category and those reviews are not easy to find. Yelp (as do all these sites) want it to feel organic and not as if the company asked for it. If they are a frequent Yelper, send them there. Those reviews won’t get flagged and you should be fine.

Now, going this route may cut down how many reviews you get on a specific site and could put your “best of” awards from those sites in jeopardy by not meeting a certain threshold. If they utilize more than two of these sites mentioned above, we’ll rotate out our review requests every three or so months with which one we push clients to use, assuming they are using multiple platforms.

By doing it this way, it still allows us to hit that magical number to qualify for the awards.

If you have never tried this approach, I encourage you to give it a test run. See if your inquiry sources start to multiply. If your sales pitch is solid, this should hopefully lead to more bookings.

Let me know how it works for you.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brianbuonassissi@discjockeynews.com.

Trust

By Mitch Taylor:

I recently wrapped up an event and found myself again amazed by the power of one word.  My clients were Dick and Elga, a couple who had tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony fifty years ago to the day.  Their golden anniversary celebration was well attended, filled with laughter, dancing, a few tears. As the night ended, the one word Dick boiled it down to when thanking me was simply this: trust.  Dick looked me in the eyes and said, “I trusted you to deliver tonight and you came through. You kept your promise to make tonight unforgettable.”

Isn’t it amazing how one word can have such a profound effect on how we do business, what we achieve in life and where we go?  Trust is also the ultimate reason a client hires you…or not.

How do you build trust?  

Trust begins with word of mouth about your company. Trust continues when a potential client visits your website and sees the reputation you’ve built reinforced by the online testimonials that appear on your site.  You must then back up the initial trust placed in you by updating your clients throughout every step of planning, by following through on every promise made, and by maintaining your brand’s integrity from beginning to end.

You also need to trust in yourself and in your advisors or coaches.  

What, you don’t have a coach?  Get one.  Someone you trust who is where you want to be, who can help you through the rough patches. Sometimes it’s not enough to trust in yourself, your talent and abilities to deliver; too often we all hear that little voice inside our head that says “no you can’t”. Find someone who believes in you, even when you might not.

For me that person was Kyle Cease, a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, whose Evolving Out Loud events and unique blend of comedy and personal evolution encouraged me to take full responsibility for the success of my client’s events. The minute I committed to this my clients were happier, referred my services more often, and even paid more for my services.

All because of one word.

Trust can be the catalyst to providing a better life for you and your family.

Do you trust me enough to take action on the words you have just read?

Because I trust that if you do, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

Mitch Taylor has worked in the Mobile Disc Jockey industry for over two decades, first cutting his teeth as an on-board club DJ for Carnival Cruise Lines. In addition to owning and operating Taylored Weddings in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he is a sought-after speaker and Gitomer Certified Advisor whose sales training, books, coaching and workshops are in high demand all over the country. 

DJs and Streaming

By Tony Fernandez:

Alright kids, it seems to me that it’s been a little while since I’ve been on my soap box or have had a rant, so strap in, we’re all due. Let me begin with a small disclaimer… I’m not looking to kick a hornet’s nest or start a moral, much less a legal tirade. I’m coming from an angle of trying to understand the rational of streaming… and hopefully illicit some chuckles in the process.

Let’s begin….

The Internet is a splendid thing. There is no doubt about that. Wi-Fi and being untethered has opened up countless possibilities and opportunities. Advancements are made monthly at such a pace that what was just simply amazing last month, heck, last week is commonplace today.
Maybe I am a bit too old school. I came from a place where DJs actually have their music. I mean that quite literally. You physically have the music you’re going to play. In the current state we are in, I do understand “having” music means that you have music on a hard drive. But the point still remains: you have access to that file on demand. Because it lives on your hard drive.

So why is streaming a “thing”? I don’t get it. Like most people on the planet, a good chunk of my life is wrapped up in my cell phone. Having said that, I find myself not having the best signal everywhere I go. And I still experience the randomness of dropped calls. I get that cell phones signals are different than Wi-Fi signals, but I still surmise that if I can’t get a SOLID cell phone connection, why should I assume that my Wi-Fi signal is stable? And don’t tell me about hot spots. Again, no cell signal and your hot spot is a paperweight.

I also get that a good number of venues do offer Wi-Fi connection to vendors. Are you really ready to rely on a network that you’re not 100% certain is robust enough to handle the load? Is the network also open to the public? If that is the case, how does it work when you have 15, 25, 45 people on public Wi-Fi and you’re trying to download, much less, stream content and use said content in real time? I would assume not too well.

And this is where I begin to scratch my head….

With as much technology, CPU processor horsepower, RAM, etc., that hardware can harness, you’re placing your success on an unknown variable that offers you ZERO control. Think about it: You are trying to download, stream and play a decent size music file in REAL TIME.

We ask a lot of our computers and software. Granted, they are marketed as being able to handle pretty much anything thrown at it. But we know that’s just not true. When you turn on your computer and it’s just sitting there, it’s really running 20, 30, maybe even 40 other programs in the background. Some you can’t turn off. Then you launch your DJ software. So now you want the computer to run the OS and the DJ software, plus you want the system to manipulate chunks of data and convert those chunks of data from 1’s & 0’s to analog audio. All the while providing you a GUI and audio feed to monitor all of the manipulation in REAL TIME.

Now you want to open up a network connection, get on the internet, log into a service, search a data base, download/stream the content you found and integrate that content seamlessly in real time to the gig you’re DJaying.

Right…

I know I’m not going to stop progress and I’m not trying to. Nor am I trying to be a harbinger of technology potentially gone awry. Each DJ will find their own level of technological prowess and embrace it. Speaking for myself, I know I’m NOT going to tax my computer any more than I have to. Nor am I going to set myself up for relying on a cell/ Wi-Fi signal that may not be there when I REALLY need it.

Till next time DJs. I’m still waiting for the Wi-Fi here to come back on line so I can pay for my pizza and go home. Gotta love technology.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

Communication is Key: Creating Connections w/ Mitch TayloR

By Mitch Taylor:

I don’t know about you but at the age of 42 I find it increasingly difficult to communicate with today’s millennial brides, the majority of who tend to prefer to communicate via email. My assistant (a 24-year-old millennial herself) and I had occasion to discuss this the other day after a bridal show and were amazed that some businesses still use very formal language to communicate with young brides — only to be left wondering why they get no response.

Speak to a prospective bride just as she is speaking to you.  If she’s using short sentences with basic language, do the same. If she mentions descriptive words about her event use those same words in your reply.

Here’s an example of an email recently received and how we handled it to get the appointment:

Hello I am just getting ideas and prices at the moment and I was wondering around what your average pricing would be I would also like the uplighting also an email would prob be the best way to respond thanks for your time.

Amber

My response:

Hi!  How’s your wedding planning going?  I got your email regarding entertainment and uplighting for your wedding.  I attached a photo above to show you examples of our work and how we can transform your venue too.  Feel free to call me anytime and let’s talk about your day.  906.786.6967.  Thanks for contacting me and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 Mitch

Bride’s Reply:

I am sorry I have gotten your calls but been busy working.  At this time we are going to go with a live band from 8-12.  I am looking to rent uplighting (for the whole night of the reception) and also entertainment from 4:00pm-8pm.  Not many have been willing to do that time slot since it is Labor Day weekend.  Please let me know

My response:

Hi Amber,

Sure…we can do that.  When’s a good time for us to get together to chat about your wedding?

Bride’s Reply:

I work in Marquette at Lowe’s.  My next days off are Monday and Tuesday.  I have a cake appointment in Marquette on Monday at 12pm.  Where are you located and what is a good time for you?

My reply:

Hi Amber,

What about Monday at 1:30pm?  Would that work?

Bride’s Reply:

Yes I think that would work.  What is the best phone number to get a hold of you in case I need too?  I have a cake appointment a 12:00 so I will be in town.

 My next response was to send her an email confirming that date and time with an appointment reminder from DJ Event Planner.

Bottom line: Brides want to do business with someone who understands what they want, gives them the information they need in a timely fashion connects with them.

Be real. Be honest. But most importantly be relatable. Speak to them the same way through email as you would over the phone.

About: Mitch Taylor owns and operates Taylored Weddings and can be reached via email at mitch@mitchtaylor.net. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz

 

I Like To Move It Move It!

By Mike Walter:

My wife Kelly and I were in Seattle a few years ago and we decided to hike Mt Rainier. On the bus ride out we started chatting with a woman named Hannah who was traveling by herself. She told us she was an epidemiologist (which I found out means she’s a doctor who studies diseases).   Half-jokingly, I asked her what disease was going to kill all of mankind and without missing a beat she said, “Inactivity.”

I have to say I was relieved to hear that because I consider myself a pretty active person but I also have to admit that there have been times since then where I wanted to skip a run or workout or even a walk with my dogs but Hannah’s succinct, one word, spontaneous answer has echoed in my head and got me moving.

When you think about it, almost every major invention of mankind’s has made us more sedentary. We invented the wheel and we domesticated wild animals to help us move things. We created engines to move us even faster. We’ve made everything from Egg Beaters to escalators all in an effort to make our lives easier. But in doing so we’ve triggered a gene inside most of us that loves to relax. And, believe me, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing, but only after you’ve earned it through some hard work and motion.

We as a society, and definitely we as an industry, need to move more. We need to do more. We need to avoid the disease of “Inactivity” and all myriad health issues that come along with it.

Many people know I like to run. It’s my favorite healthy activity. I’ve done sixteen marathons in my life and while I’m not quite in marathon condition anymore, I still love to lace up my sneakers and head out, whether it’s for a short, fast run or a leisurely long jog. Knowing this, many people have asked me how they should get started if they too want to run. Here’s my simple advice: get off the couch. Don’t set too lofty of a goal early on because it’s impossible (and dangerous) to go from couch potato to marathon runner in a few weeks. If you’re currently overweight and inactive my advice would be to seek your doctor’s approval first and foremost and assuming you’re given the green light, go for a walk. Day one, make it a ten minute stroll. Day two, add a minute or two. If you have a track near your home, it’s an ideal place to head. Tracks are softer on your joints and if you get too tired, you’re never too far from your car.

And when you’re ready to speed it up a bit, fear not! Because, here’s the thing about running: you already know how to do it. It’s in your DNA. Remember, before mankind invented all those things to make us sedentary, we moved. We hunted and chased our food down, often after miles and miles on our feet. Or we were the hunted, and those who survived were fast enough to avoid the mountain lion or mastodon that wanted to make us dinner. So once you go from walking to jogging, don’t over think it. Just go a little faster and a little longer each and every day and soon you’ll be logging miles, shedding pounds and most importantly, avoiding all the detrimental side effects of inactivity.

Here’s one of the misperceptions of our industry: events don’t burn that many calories. Sure it’s better to be up and moving on a weekend night than sitting around in a the Lazy Boy flipping channels, but I think too many DJs do an event and think they’ve burned so many calories they are entitled to eat all night and then hit the drive-through on the way home. You’re wrong. Even if you’re a dancer, even if you move around a lot at your events, it’s very doubtful that you’re getting your heart rate up to an aerobic state and burning some real calories. So be careful equating one of your gigs to an increased amount of food and thinking you’ll be even.

My wife and I do a lot of little things to keep ourselves active. Kelly wears a Fitbit and she always strives to hit her 10,000 daily steps. When we go shopping, we usually park as far from the store as possible. We walk our dogs a lot. When we go to the beach, we often take a stroll along the shoreline. These are just a few of the many things you too can probably do just to be a little more active. The pay off in the end is well worth it and when the “sacrifice” is stepping away from the boob tube for a little while and getting some fresh air, it’s even better.
Mike Walter is the proud owner of Elite Entertainment, a Multi-System DJ Company in New Jersey that was recently selected by TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com as a top Entertainment company in the country.