A few weeks ago I asked my friends to like a page titled “Ben Miller“. I said I needed 25 people to do it. I was touched that within an hour, more than 30 of my friends liked that page without any notion of what I was doing. I realize that it didn’t mean you had to spend money, or actually leave your couch, but it did mean something special to me. [The reason is that after 25 people, you can customize your URL]
Over the past couple of years, I have been a little jaded about DJ’ing. I thought that I didn’t enjoy it anymore. I was wrong. It took me almost two years to realize that I still love celebrating with families. In fact, just this year I’ve had a few weddings with some of my favorite families and it’s been so rewarding being a part of that. (I had a string of high maintenance brides/grooms a year or so ago and it was really draining on me). But working for some awesome people recently reminds me how much I truly love doing this….
It took me two years to realize what my actual issue was: As my kids are getting older, I’m growing less and less fond of late night meetings, putting my clients before my kids, and losing all of my Saturdays to strangers, rather than spending time at the pool with my family or better yet, building new relationships with friends. We go to church every Sunday on just a few hours of sleep and it feels like it takes us days to recoup.
I know many successful DJs. But I don’t know very many who aren’t divorced, or don’t see their kids (or don’t have kids), or their home lives stink, or they don’t go to church, etc. That’s not saying that I don’t know some DJs who are doing well and have great families, but they’re the exception to the rule. I don’t think that long term its tenable for me to be in an industry where the Family/Church/Social Life success rate is so low.
But, I still love it… I love the rush of rocking a party. I love it when families trust me with leading their reception. It’s awesome. I’m so proud of what I do. So, I’m going to continue doing it, but 2-3 years from now, I’m going to really hand select a handful of weddings per year that I do.
So, what am I going to do 2-3 years from now for an income? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Over the last few years, I’ve felt a calling to tell our story of debt and redemption. I’m a teacher at heart and I obviously love being in front of a crowd…. so I’m launching a speaking and coaching career. I will speak on two different subjects: 1) Getting out of Debt and living a life with purpose (following Dave Ramsey’s teachings) and 2) A variety of “business” topics, ranging from customer service, sales, hiring/firing employees, social media, etc. I love business and I want to help people who are trying to do what I have done. I have lots of experience (some of it is even good!) and I think I can help businesses build and grow their business.
I will also coach/consult. For families, I’ll sit down and help with budgets and devise a plan to get out of debt and win with money (saving for kids college, paying off the house, retirement, etc). For businesses we’ll offer a variety of options for consulting, including social media strategies, marketing, video production and even some basic web development. Lucinda already landed us our first account, which includes a complete relaunch of a company website, branding, SEO and social media rollout. I’m very thankful for her hard work.
From everything that I’ve read it takes around 3 years to become a professional speaker that can live off their speaking income. What that means to all of my friends in the wedding industry is that I still need your referrals! I’m not done yet! (and like I said before, I don’t think I’ll ever quit. DJ’ing is way too much fun when you’re working for awesome people).Friends: I’d like to ask you for help as we launch this. If you could use my services, or know someone who could, I would appreciate the referral more than you’ll ever know. I would like to speak to as many people as I can to get started. If you have 10 people who want to learn how to get out of debt, I’ll come speak to them. If you want to make a budget, I’ll sit down with you or do it by SKYPE or on the phone. If you’re part of an event or conference and need speakers, I’d love to be a part of it.
I’ve been working towards this goal for several years now, I just didn’t know what it was. I come alive when I’m serving people. It’s why I love DJ’ing so much. I love the feeling of helping people reach amazing goals.
Again, I’m not retired from DJ’ing. I need that business more than ever right now as it’s going to take YEARS to get this off the ground. I don’t think I could ever stop doing weddings… it’s too much fun. I just want to only do a handful of them a year for my favorite families and friends (after I’m a full time speaker).
If you read all of this, thanks! In a few weeks, Lucinda and I will be doing our first seminar. It’ll be a launch party for this new endeavor. Our seminar will be about marriage and finances, and telling our story. We’re going to ask all of our friends and family to come to it because we’ll be video taping it for our “Demo Reel”, and because we think the information could save your marriage. We’ll be in touch once we get our location/time secured, and we’d be honored to have you there.
Also, next week I’m trying (the stars really have to align, but I think I’m going to be able to make it work) to go down to Nashville to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Counselor training. Dave doesn’t have a certification for his counselors (mostly because it would be incredibly dangerous to have people going around saying that they’re “Dave Ramsey Certified Counselors” which would technically bind him, and some people are nuts…. lol. But what he does have is a 4-Day intensive class taught by Chris Hogan (those of you who have been through FPU will recognize him), which teaches attendees exactly what Dave’s in-house counselors do. So, hopefully by the end of next week I will have completed that course. If you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook, I’ll try to drip notes about what I’m learning.
That’s it! Only 1,300 words this time. Lucinda and I are VERY excited about this, but we’re also terrified. We ask that you pray for us and encourage us as we move along. I’m praying that our experiences can help people. I’m praying my experience as a business owner has value to other business owners. I’m praying that I’m the right amount of funny and serious. And I’m praying that this will give me more time with my family, a stronger marriage with my wife, and the opportunity to grow relationships with old and new friends.
Obviously, this is my new website. I hope you’ll poke around a bit and let me know what you think!
Onwards and upwards.