Disc jockey: 'Personal peace'
I'm a multiple company owner in the disc jockey business, in Williamstown, New Jersey. My companies are Party Time Entertainment and Under Pressure Productions. I act in an executive and performance capacity for both companies.
I enjoy the duality of serving in an executive/administrative capacity in the office and being an upbeat, outgoing and fun entertainer at events.
Years in position
I'm 29, and a Capricorn.
I'm a high school graduate with two years of college.
How did you get your current job?
I worked in the pharmaceutical industry and for another DJ company. Both experiences left me disillusioned with their management philosophies. I believed that common sense and dedication to quality could make a company successful and decided to start my own company. Party Time was first; Under Pressure was the product of opportunities later created through Party Time.
How many hours do you work per week?
I track the amount of time we spend on tasks, but stopped counting my weekly hours a long time ago. Guessing, it would easily top 65 hours per week. Since I am not a morning person, it's great that our office doesn't open until 11a.m. I stay sometimes as late as 1a.m., but generally leave between 8 and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Friday through Sunday are generally performance days and my schedule varies. An average weekend breaks down like this: Thursday night: nightclub performance 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday: office hours in the early afternoon and performance in the evening until 12-mid; Saturday: 12-hour performance day; Sundays vary, usually I'm working about 20 per year. (When I perform on Sunday I take at least a half-day off on Monday.)
What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?
Mentally I like to take a moment to ensure I'm in the proper frame of mind to be productive, professional and on top of my game. It sometimes is hard to set aside this time, but I make it a daily priority. As far as actions, the first thing I do is get plugged into the day by reviewing my daily schedule and to do lists in Outlook, reviewing my phone and e-mail messages and checking with my assistant for anything else that may have popped up.
What time do you have lunch? What do you usually eat?
Lunch? -- it's more like dinner between 3 and 5 p.m. As far as my palate, I'll put it this way: I do a lot to keep Wendy's and the local pizza shop in business; topping things off with several Dr. Peppers throughout the day.
What time do things get tense around the office? What makes it that way?
Six p.m. is when I start to get a real clear picture of our daily progress. It can be tense if we're behind schedule. Plus the phones get busier in the evening as our clients arrive home and use the post-dinner hour to contact us.
If you're having a good day at work, what is it that makes it good?
In the office, there are days when nothing seems to faze me, even the most difficult tasks are completed with seemingly no effort. This air of ease and the lack of stress on those days are beautiful. It creates a feeling of invincibility that invigorates me, making me want to tackle our most difficult tasks immediately.
Performances always go well. When I perform, my job is to create fun, so how can I have a bad day? Yes, the level of fun can vary, but only from good to great.
How much work, if any, do you take home?
I'm not married, live very close to my office and stay at work late on a regular basis. Beyond that, I bring a pretty healthy load home every day. Things like paperwork, periodical and Internet research, practicing and creating new performance techniques, hours of music review and normal parts of home life for me. (I get more new music sent to me monthly than most people buy annually -- and I review just about all of it.)
What does your work contribute to society?
People need a way to release and forget the stress of the world. They do this by celebrating unions, birthdays, etc. The more people work, the more important these celebrations become.
I help provide that release by ensuring a fun and festive atmosphere for these precious personal moments. When people look back at the highlights of their lives, I believe life celebrations are closest to their hearts. It's not world peace, but I'm helping people find a little personal peace; even if only for a few hours.
Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?
I'll always be involved in entertainment, but want to continue to evolve and grow. I have a plan, but will concentrate on preparation, working smart and letting time reveal the final the answer.
If you could have two more careers, what would they be?
Expanding on my performance background, I'd love to be involved in television as an actor, commentator or show host. If I had the talent and was taller, I'd revisit my childhood dream of playing pro basketball.
What's an unforgivable trait in a colleague?
Many people have forgotten what loyalty, dedication and pride in their workmanship are all about. Lack these and you won't work for my companies very long.
I list three things because they're all interrelated. In order to consistently deliver a quality product you have to be dedicated to doing so and take pride in your work. It takes loyalty to your clients, coworkers, product and your ideals to maintain that consistency.
What do you do to relieve stress?
I'm a huge Philadelphia 76ers fan and love to watch and play the game. I can be caught in a corporate league or pick-up game two to three times a week. Watching and playing b-ball are two things that can completely take work and stress off my mind, at least temporarily.
What have you been reading lately?
I'm always juggling books and periodicals and can't wait to get an E-book to lighten the load: "The Spirit of a Man" by Iyanla Vanzant (HarperCollins, 1997); the QuickBooks Pro 2001 user's guide; the Philadelphia 76ers box scores; "I Feel Great and You Will Too: An Inspiring Journey of Success With Practical Tips on How To Score Big in Life" by Pat Croce (Running Press, 2000); "Race Matters" by Cornel West (Vintage Books, 1994); several music magazines (DJ Times, Mixer, Electronic Musician) and the incorporation articles of the State of Delaware.
When you have one of those days on which you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door in the morning and off to work?
People trust and bring me into their lives for their most momentous occasions -- weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. They also look to me for fun and great memories. There's nothing more satisfying than making their dream of a perfect celebration come true and seeing their smiles that say more than any words ever could. So even on my most stressed days, I know that I'm helping those dreams come true.
I consider the opportunity to be a part of their lives an honor and think of their trust and faith in me as a great compliment. I also love the challenge of building a successful organization, continuing to grow it and helping the people that are part of it grow.
Lastly, just the opportunity to continue to grow and mature personally, as a businessman, boss, performer and person. I see dealing with difficult days in a positive manner as growth and as a stepping stone to achieving my goals.
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