Value trumps everything
I make my car into a mobile library on my way to and from work. This morning the selection was titled “The everything store” by Brad Stone which is an audio book about Jeff Bezos and his conquest in building Amazon. A portion stood out to me in where he is having coffee at a Starbucks with James Senegal the co-founder and former CEO of Costco. The biggest takeaway was James telling Jeff “Value trumps everything.” I hadn’t quite understood it in the past but at that moment a fury of thoughts came galloping through the gates of Miguel’s mental ranch.
In my profession as a DJ, most of the time a person thinks they should hire someone to just play music (which if done right is an art form on its own) and for backyard boogies that's definitely okay. The majority of my events now are Weddings and Quinceañeras. If you have ever planned any one of those you know first-hand that it’s no easy task and I commend you on your bravery.
I have learned that true value doesn’t come from just the equipment and skill one provides but how you truly help the customer that you make them feel and say “Wow, I didn’t even think of that.” In my rookie DJ years and by no means am I a seasoned veteran now but back to being a rook. I was fierce! I would take all and any events and would wing it, sometimes just knowing the name of the first dance and not even the names of the couple. I was not asking too many questions but I also wasn’t asking for decent pay. On a scale of 1 to 10 and 10 being the utmost highest regard, I would probably provide about a 3 in the form of value and therefor the pay would also be a 3 or a 2 in most cases. Later down the road, I realized that I could actually make the event a lot more memorable and less stressful by using what years of DJing, club promotions, and event planning had already ingrained into my being.
I started taking control of the reception event coordinating because when I offered my insight into placing certain parts of the agenda at a certain time they were also able to get the most out of other vendors. I started creating value by decreasing their stress. Couples and parents of the Quinceañera started to enjoy their event more because they didn’t have to worry about queuing the DJ for the toast or the next part of the timeline. As a group we had invested ample amount of time into the back stage planning that they felt comfortable in allowing me to lead the act.
In all that you do remember that “your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” Couples are doing a lot more research and adequately doing their homework in whom they hire for their special day. I am definitely not a pushy salesman, I strongly believe in letting the skills do the talking and I highly encourage them to meet with a few entertainers/DJs before they make their final decision because in the end I may not be the right fit for them or them for me.