If you are reading this, you most definitely have a love for DJing and the culture. You probably own a controller, maybe turntables, and possibly have a mean vinyl collection. But besides all of that, you have goals – goals you want to achieve as a DJ.
For example, when I first started DJing, I planned to become a corporate gig DJ and get some high-end clients. I also wanted to get a radio mix show and compete in Red Bull 3Style. While some of those goals I have achieved, you quickly realize that over time, obstacles can get in the way of you working to achieve said goals. But we can’t let that stop us!
The Importance of DJ Goals
So why are goals as a DJ important to have? There are many answers to that question. One is that your goals give you a sense of accomplishment in your life, which is a wonderful feeling. Second, goals help you measure your growth in the field that you are in. Why do something and not look to grow in that field? When achieving your goals, it’s a milestone you have reached.
Once you’ve reached a goal, you can look at it in three ways: one, create a new goal, two, change the difficulty of that goal, or three, feel accomplished and choose to set no more goals.
Now when it comes to your personal DJ goals, you should set a time frame for when you want to complete them. Remember, no one else has the power to create deadlines for your goals but you!
But, keep in mind that we don’t control the world around us, and anything can happen when working on a goal. For example, there could be a club you want to DJ at and you give yourself six months to achieve that goal. Four months later, that club could close down or go out of business. Is that a failure for you? Absolutely NOT! It just means you need to adjust the goal, i.e., pick a similar club where you want to play.
Setting Your DJ Goals
As I mentioned earlier, one of my first DJ goals was to secure gigs as a corporate DJ. When you first sit down to set your DJ goals, you should create a clear picture of what these goals are. There are many different types of DJ career paths to follow, so figuring out which one suits you best is a great place to start.
When it comes to setting goals, keep these things in mind:
1. Stay Focused + Determined
It’s a ride and a process. Anything can happen. So, you must be focused and determined to achieve your goals.
2. Stay Flexible
Again, anything can happen! Be open to adjusting your goals due to whatever may transpire on your road to achieving that goal.
3. You Set The Bar
YOU are in charge of the difficulty level when it comes to your goals. You can start simple and work your way up when it comes to difficulty. This isn’t a one size fits all. There are different goals and different timetables to achieve them for everyone.
Something all DJs might face at one point in their careers is a struggle to stay motivated when chasing their goals. Sometimes you face disappointment and it sucks. Perfect example, I wanted to compete in RedBull 3Style and get a big room, nightclub residency by my 4th year as a DJ. Sadly, I didn’t get to achieve any of those. COVID happened and my goals really took a hit. But what did I do? I adjusted my deadline. I ended up getting that residency during my 5th year. It’s all about staying motivated!
1. Keep Working
Remember why you started. For me, I practice and study weekly knowing that doing these things will build me up as a skilled DJ and get me closer to achieving my goals.
2. Build a Strong Support System
My fellow DJs, a support system is a good thing to have! Lean on your DJ friends or family members – they are key. If there are people in your life who support you or offer sound advice, this will help you keep pushing.
Now meditation might not be for everyone. But personally, I know it helps me get centered and focus on what’s important. It helps recharge my mind and my batteries. If meditation isn’t your thing, try something similar like exercise, yoga, or just getting outside for a while.
4. Write It Down
Something I do once a year is to write down my DJ goals. I give myself a six-month goal and a one-year goal. That way, every six months and every year I can go back and see if I achieved any of those goals. If I haven’t achieved the set goals, I can then ask myself if I need to adjust my timeline or the goal.
Doing these things will put you on the road to achieving your DJ goals. I hope this is a good push for you to start creating your own personal list. Now get to it and let the journey begin!
About the Writer
Brooklyn native Cory Giles has a ten-year history in the music industry, working with companies such as Def Jam Recordings and Hot 97. A graduate of Jam Master Jay’s Scratch DJ Academy in NYC, Giles has worked with brands like Louis Vuitton, Mohegan Sun, The W, T-Mobile, and the WWE. In 2018, Giles joined Dash Radio’s Taste Radio Channel as a weekly host and DJ on “The Corner.” He is also the official DJ for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.