We have all been guilty of doing it, putting our DJ idols on a pedestal. It might not even be a DJ; it could be anyone, like an actor, model or a sportsman you have seen on T.V or Social Media. The fact is we all have people who we want to be like, people we admire and want to learn from. We want to know how they got to where they are. We think that they are somewhat superhuman or perhaps just gifted where we can sometimes think we are not, and we are just the unlucky ones. I am going to talk about a few things here first, such as why you should not put a DJ on a pedestal. The second thing the mindset of a successful DJ and how we can adopt something that is called the Growth Mindset.
Is your DJ idol really a superhuman?
You know what, I used to think of DJs like this for many years. I used to think that they had sort of special gifts that I didn’t. I wanted to share the same stages as these DJs for many years; it was dream of mine I thought was impossible at the time, considering where I was in life. I was an ordinary Melbourne DJ with a big dream. I didn't know how to DJ well at all, I knew no one in the music industry, I was not into music production yet and above all, I was not the most sociable person in Melbourne’s music industry. I thought I had no chance. “Thought” being the magic word here, which can either make you or break you.
Somehow, we all have this fixed idea in our head whenever we start or are midway through a passionate endeavour in our lives. It’s that little voice inside our heads that says, you are not good enough, or you catch yourself thinking or even saying to yourself will I ever be good enough, to get to where I want to go, to be like him or to be like her. I know this happened to me. What makes the ordinary become extraordinary, and how can we step into the shoes of the people we aspire to be like? One word: Mindset.
The only difference between you and the DJ superstars you and I aspire to be like is Mindset. When you really look at it, there is nothing superhuman about them. They have a passion for what they are doing like you and I, all they want to do is music production and DJ, like you and I, and above all they want to perform in front of a live audience like you and I. There is one thing I have just come to terms with being a DJ in Melbourne for the past 9 years. And that is, you cannot fail if you don’t give up on your goal or dream, you really can’t.
Now, I am not by any means going to put myself in the same category as Paul Van Dyke, Markus Schultz, Gareth Emery or Marlo, but I have been very fortunate and have earned my way to warm up and share the same stage as these DJs, because I eventually developed the right mindset, “The Growth Mindset”, and never gave up. Some people can call you lucky; I say it is hard work, patience, persistence, being in the right place at the right time and being good at what you do, which will equal opportunity.
Is that luck?
So, your idols or “DJ superstars” are ordinary people turned extraordinary, with what I like to call a Growth Mindset. To become a master or successful in any area of your life, you have to develop a Growth Mindset. Whereas the other Mindset, called a Fixed Mindset, is the one that stops most people achieving what they set out to accomplish. People with a Fixed Mindset stay stuck and have a hard time achieving any goal and dream.
"No matter what your ability is, effort is what unites that ability and turns it into accomplishment"
A DJ with a Growth Mindset
Let me quickly talk about what the word Mindset really means to us. A Mindset is rather a perception a story we keep telling ourselves, whether it is consciously or unconsciously. That story could be I am not a good music producer, my music is crap it is not good enough, and I will never be good enough “The Fixed Mindset”.
The other story or perception you could be telling yourself from time to time is, my music is good enough, I am getting better each day, I am growing and getting closer to my goals each day, and I am a great DJ.
“The Growth Mindset”
Anyone with the Growth Mindset knows there is a starting point in their career which is point A to where they want to go to point Z. Any DJ, music producer or any individual with this Mindset knows that they can develop the skills to get to where they want to go in life and know that the current traits and skills they have can be developed over time through dedication, hard work, education, understanding, application, “Failing” which is learning, and trying new things. They know that talent is developed through these traits, and that talent is not just something you are born with or lucky to have.
People with a Growth Mindset invest in education, they have mentors, they push themselves, they listen to others, they read books they attend seminars, they know they have much to learn, but more importantly, they invest time into their careers. They are willing to have an open mind, try new things, challenge themselves and not be afraid to make a mistake here and there along the way.
A DJ with a Fixed Mindset
They are the people that think talent alone gets you success, they think you are born with it, they talk and rationalize about whether they are talented enough, instead of developing their talents.
People with a Fixed Mindset can tend to be the know it alls of this world.
It may seem a little contradictory seeing they need to learn and do as much as possible. They don’t like to be told or taught; they think they know the answer to everything, they can be reluctant and scared to spend money on education, attend seminars, read books or invest in mentors and any form of online training. They have a scarcity mindset and can be afraid of trying new things because they think they will fail and embarrass themselves.
They do what is comfortable and familiar in their lives without ever challenging themselves and taking risks. So, you will never grow and develop your skills and talents in any area of life whether it’s being a DJ or not. And this is the reason people do not achieve a goal or a dream because they have a Fixed Mindset. This is why they do not become like their DJ superheroes.
No DJ is a superhuman, no one is a superhuman
I think you see now that I have dissected what separates you from your DJ idols.
A Growth Mindset… That's it!
A Growth Mindset over an extended period of time and not giving up on your dream. Your DJs are where they are because of this, and if you can learn to adopt this principle, you will get there too. Just like you, I am still continually learning day in day out more about music production, marketing, business and putting more time into my education until I achieve my next goals. And even when I have spoken to DJs like Marlo, they continue to do the same thing, and are genuinely down to earth, normal people. We all should never stop learning and growing in the music industry. So, I think it’s about time we believe in ourselves, learn more and work harder to be confident that we can accomplish whatever it is we set our minds to.