6 Mistakes To Avoid As A Professional DJ

Keep your DJ career on track by avoiding these BIG mistakes!

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You’ve been working for months or even years to make it as a professional DJ, doing free gigs and spending endless hours in your home studio practicing and mixing until your back hurts. Now that you’re among the pros you realize that your dream is…harder than you thought it would be.

This is what other professional DJs don’t tell you about life as a new DJ. The money is tight and you might still be supplementing your income with a day job or some other hustle. Let’s just say it ain’t a pretty picture. But there is some good news among all this doom & gloom: it won’t last forever.

Like those high paid Wall Streeters you need to find a way to create a work-life balance to make sure your life as a professional DJ is all you’ve made it out to be.

Burn Out

Burn out is the enemy of all DJs, professional or amateur, because it will have a negative impact on your work. You will be tempted to take advantage of a night off by going out with your friends and tying one on. But if you do that, consider how late you will sleep the next day and how little you’ll be able to focus with a hangover and just a few hours of sleep.

Of course you have to have a life, but you need think about how your recreational activities will impact your job…you know, as a DJ. Avoid spreading yourself too thin or your gigs will suffer for it.

Poor Health

As a professional DJ it is more important than ever for you to stay healthy and free of injuries. Unlike a simple office job where you can suffer through the day if you’re sick, being a DJ requires a high level of energy, which is really hard to fake when you’re in a high octane party atmosphere.

So if you’re not taking care of your body—eating right, working out and sleeping—you won’t be up to accepting all the gigs you will be offered as a professional DJ. Of course there are times when a gig will be too awesome to pass up, in which case you’ll need some wicked strong painkillers and the drive to see it through.

The point here is to take care of yourself as best as you can because your job means you sleep irregular hours, probably eat crap and hardly ever workout other than a little confined dancing inside the DJ booth.

One Bad Gig

One of the worst things you can do as a professional DJ is let one bad gig get you down. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes you’ll forget an important piece of equipment, you got into a fight with your friend, lover, mom etc… or a lucrative deal fell through: it happens. What separates the good DJs from the great DJs is how you respond to a bad gig.

As trite as it sounds, you will just have to pick yourself up and wipe off the proverbial dust. Bad gigs happen, but how you recover is what matters.


This is one I totally get, but I also know how much it can screw you over in your quest to be a very successful professional DJ. Over scheduling yourself is a surefire way to piss off promoters and club owners and burn yourself out. Even if you’re lucky enough to have someone—an assistant or your girlfriend—keeping your schedule, keep one handy for yourself…that’s what smartphones are for!

You don’t want to give yourself 10 minutes to go from a personal appearance or a day job across town to a gig. Showing up late to a gig isn’t something you want to do because promoters and owners talk to one another and the last thing you need is to burn a few bridges due to over scheduling.

Organize your life so you can do gigs and appearances without missing important things like mom’s birthday or other important personal obligations.

professional dj alone time

Too Much Solitude

This goes hand in hand with over-scheduling. As a professional DJ you will spend a lot of time alone. Even if you are surrounded by hundreds or thousands of partygoers, you are alone inside the DJ booth. You will be alone as you practice and prepare for gigs and travel to and from gigs.

If you’re not lucky enough to have an entourage or even a few friends to be with you as you travel and play, then you will spend a great deal of time alone. So much that you will find yourself alone during your free time as well. Avoid this inclination because you will start to feel lonely, restless, bored and isolated.

Spend time with your friends, family and lovers when you can. Trust me, you will find your life so much more fulfilling if you do.

Bad Attitude

As a professional DJ you rely on your relationships to help you further your career, so you’re kind, polite, funny and charming…hopefully. If you have a bad attitude you will miss out on tons of gigs, which means missing out on money and opportunities to become a bigger name in the music industry.

No one owes you a chance or a gig and you should never act as though they do. If you’re wondering why you aren’t getting gigs, take a step back and look at your attitude to see if it is in need of an adjustment.

Being a professional DJ is a treat and an honor, but it is also a long road to travel. Avoid these mistakes and your life as a DJ will be a dream come true.

I hope I helped you avoid these mistakes to keep your professional DJ career on the right track. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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