Dear reader, it’s time for another set of DJ lessons to mull over. I know this isn’t exactly a hot take, but imposter syndrome truly is the worst.
The voice inside your head quickly morphs from reasonable to cruel, whispering clammy nothings into your ear about your supposed lack of skill and talent – and for what?
This isn’t some overbearing boss or a sh!tty jealous friend you’re dealing with – it’s yourself. You have created this rude person in your head. The one that comes out when you’re tired, had a long week, or when you’ve made a small mistake. My rude person has a name, for better or worse. I’ve named her Regina. (No, not Phalange, although I do think Ross needed a real brain doctor.)
You’re the most important relationship you’ll have in this life, and while I can’t see this post being the cure-all, I want to share my thoughts on imposter syndrome – and share how I’ve helped slap Regina away when she gets a little too rude.
The key? Believing in yourself enough to invest in your future and signaling to your brain that you’re worth the effort. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Defining imposter syndrome
My dear friends at Merriam-Webster define imposter syndrome as the following: “A psychological condition that is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success.”
In essence, it’s you fighting yourself after you’ve spent all this time honing your craft, paying your dues, and coming into your own as not only a great DJ, but as an adult who has figured out what they want to do with their career. Let’s face it, DJing is a little more of an untraditional path – it’s usually by accident. Did you go to grad school at Banging Beats U? Me neither.
Sometimes, this accidental nature can almost make us feel like anyone can do it – that it was all a fluke – and that someone will find you out.
Gut check: This is wrong. No one is going to ‘find you out’ or ‘expose’ you. You owe it to yourself to honor how far you’ve come and remember that someone took a chance on you with your first few gigs, and you built your business from the ground up.
Remember: The DJ is one of the most important elements of the event. This means something, and not just anyone can pull off a badass dance party while being mindful of the needs and nuances of the event itself.
Understanding our inner Regina
Regina is there to keep you small.
You’re engineered to stay away from risk and danger. We’re wired to go toward safety. Staying small keeps you in the tribe.
Your brain is trying to prevent overconfidence to protect yourself from the danger of that darned pride coming before a fall. But in protecting yourself from any pride – you’re failing to believe any hype about yourself.
I know – it’s tough. If you believe the hype, you might fail. Maybe the work will dry up and won’t be there next year. Maybe you want to check yourself for fear that if you don’t, you’ll have taken it all for granted.
But, we can honor Regina’s motivations while also putting her back in her box. It’s okay to have confidence, it’s okay to put your faith in yourself and your abilities and trust that the leads very likely will not dry up, and you’ll probably be in an even better spot next year.
The importance of investing in yourself
One key way to get yourself to believe in your success and your hard work is by investing in your career and treating it like a real job. Let’s explore this:
First, charge what you’re worth
Investing in tools to make it better! This job is as real as any other job, and this job can be super lucrative if you do it right. Part of signaling to Regina that you are safe in your confidence is charging what you’re worth.
When I started in this industry, I charged way below what I do now. I realized that after my expenses (gear, music, MY TIME etc.) I was only making the bare minimum.
As I gained more experience and began adding real value to my gigs, like wedding coordination, connecting with clients to ensure we get the selection just right, and generally being very professional and responsive – I realized I could charge more. My clients were happy to pay my (still very fair) rates, and because I was adding so much value behind-the-scenes, weddings were going off without a hitch – and I was getting great reviews.
Invest in offloading
Once you start charging a little more and getting a good system down, you can invest in offloading some of the parts of the business that you either don’t have time for or don’t feel like doing.
The ore you invest financially and mentally, the more real and serious your job as a DJ will feel.
We’re artists at the core. Accounting, legal stuff, marketing, and HR doesn’t come naturally to us – but these business aspects are extremely important to have down pat to keep your business running fluidly – and profitably. When you invest in offloading some of these tasks, you’re signaling to Regina that your business is worth the effort – and just like any other business. What reputable businesses do you know of that don’t spend time investing in marketing or accounting? Exactly.
The crux of it all:
We’ve established that your inner Regina is trying to protect you by flaring up the imposter syndrome.
Sometimes Regina is right, she keeps you in line. She makes sure you wear a nice outfit to a business meeting and not sweats. She makes sure you set your alarm.
But if she gets too anxious and she starts saying that you don’t need to invest in your business because, well, why bother? Or that you don’t need a few extra DJ lessons, a business coach, or a course – why would you need any extra help? It’s all going to dry up anyway.
That’s when it’s time to tell her that you’re good, that you’ve got this. By investing in yourself, you’re showing her through your actions that it’s all going to be okay – and she’ll slowly back off with these scary feelings.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your business is real. It’s worth protecting. It’s worth investing in. If I may say – if you need a little guidance, I offer coaching sessions and a pretty awesome DJ course – The Lab.
The Lab’s training videos are hilarious, engaging, and super high quality. They’re also yours forever once you’ve purchased them. Bonus – our videos include a full transcript, so it’s easy to come back and quickly reference what you’ve learned.
Ready to build that DJ empire? Here’s our sign-up form here.
Not ready to take the plunge? That’s cool. I gotchu. Book your one-on-one coaching session with me here, and we’ll have a little chat over coffee about how I can help.