What it takes to be a successful DJ

I am sure if you are reading this you already have a goal or a vision by now as a DJ. No matter what type of success you are striving for, whether it is your first DJ gig or you are striving to support an international DJ or become a big-name DJ yourself, what does it take to be successful at it? Here are just some of the key points I will mention.

Armin Van Buuren

Armin Van Buuren

Passion and inspiration

Nothing great was ever accomplished without it. Whatever it is in life you want to set out and achieve, you need to be passionate about it to be able to get where you want to go with it. Inspiration is another, and being inspired can motivate us when we get flat from time to time. Always find ways to be re-inspired. This is the fuel that drives you forward.


Those who have it the most, win. You can never fail if you don't give up. It takes years of gruelling hard work to be a successful DJ playing on the main stage. I use the harsh word gruelling because there will be plenty of temporary disappointments, setbacks, and failures in the music industry. I remember when I started almost nine years ago as a bedroom DJ. I was the shy, introverted type of person, fearful of success, always worried and wondered if I would ever be good enough to achieve my dream of playing on the main stage to support my favourite DJs.

Seven years later I achieved it, but it came with persistence and never quitting, despite the many disappointments I had along the way. Expect disappointments, but persist no matter what.

“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” - Napoleon Hill


It takes a lot of time and effort to be a great professional DJ, if that is the goal. If you want to be an expert, get more DJ gigs success and exposure, you must be more disciplined than the average person to be an expert at it. You must sacrifice a lot of your time and money, and cut back on partying, spend less time with friends and family, and be dedicated to your craft in order to be great at it. Remember, it’s not only about how hard you work at it, it is about the type of sacrifices it takes for you to reach your goal and vision.


We always hear you have to work hard to get where you want to go. That is not always the right statement, it is true, but you have to work hard and be smart at the same time to achieve any given DJ goal. The combination of hard and smart work I believe is productivity, making progress each day. One step at a time is what everybody needs to aim for, not false overnight success.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” - Tim Ferris

A Strategy

A lot of people don't really have or think of the word strategy when it comes to DJ success. Proper goal planning on paper needs to be done, along with executing on ideas, thinking, and acting on different ways to go after success and get all your goals -- thinking outside of the box, trying new things that other DJs and producers don't do.


It takes courage to act on our vision for the future. We have to overcome any fear, doubt, and worry to go all in with no regret. It can be daunting setting out a big goal and vision for the future. But we will always be fearful of the unknown, going places where we have never been before. But once we experience a small taste of success, we can build on it and set out bigger and better goals to achieve.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” - Joseph Campbell

Like this blog?

Feel free to share it

Posted on February 25, 2016 and filed under Success.