August 15th 2019, My first book The Perfection Detox was born, and to celebrate I had a book party. Toward the end of the evening I was asked, “What’s next?” and without really thinking about it too much I said, “I’d love to learn how to DJ.”
In that room that evening, were two important catalysts for this “casual idea” to become a reality. The first was a man called Mike Babbitt who is a dear friend of mine, and also happens to be of the best DJ’s I know, and the second was my peer and fellow fitness friend, Maureen Hagen, who oversees the largest fitness convention in Canada.
Within less than 30 minutes, I had my mentor signed up for the ride, and was booked to DJ a V.I.P party for 500 people at the next Canadians Fitness Professionals, Convention in 2020.
Fast forward a year. A year that included several trips to Washington DC to learn and practice. Many hours in my NY apartment rehearsing, a lot of tears, a lot of doubting and the week before the event quite possibly a melt down.
Then the evening arrived, 365 days later, that simple thought was about to become a reality. I was about to DJ my first ever live event for over 500 people. (This is the equivalent of making a TED Conference your first ever speaking gig.) Not recommended but nevertheless, too late to back out now.
What I knew for sure was that I had done the work and put in the hours to be as prepared as I could be. I also was taught by my mentor Mike Babbitt that preparation needed to leave room for creativity, to leave space to dance with your audience. This meant no “rehearsed” playlists, just ideas that I may or may not go with in the moment.
Here are a few life lessons that I learned through my DJ experience.
1. You need to have a promise declared to the world or you will give up on your dream long before it gives up on you. Maureen Hagan was my dream catcher for this one – who will be yours?
2. You need a mentor who will be kind, but not let you slide. Someone who will see your potential way before you do, someone who will look at you in the eyes, however teary they may be, and let you know they have your back even when you don’t have your own. Mike Babbitt was mine – who will be yours?
3. You will need back up boys or girls who will listen to your bad mixes or ideas for as long as they need to, as you get used to hearing your ideas come out from your head to your heart and out into the world. Ideas die in isolation and thrive in collaboration.Who will be your idea buddies?
4. You need a tour group of amazing friends – who support you, love you and are excited for you along with every note, song, and mix. Who is in your choir? Who will support you through the ups and downs of your dream?
5. You need a dance floor who will tell you their wants and desires – by hands in the air, smiles across their faces and love in their hearts. Life is a dialog not a monologue. Whose lives do you want to impact with your dream? What is the equivalent of your dance floor?
I loved every moment of this crazy night. The first two hours went to plan – sweet and elegant mixes and then the dancefloor took me on a journey. I couldn’t tell you what I played, but it was the playlist that was designed for that night, at that time and that moment.
This was one of the biggest challenges I had taken on in a long, long time. This was a journey has changed me – changed me for good. What journey do you need to start today? And who can help you take your first step, which may or may not be onto a dancefloor.