DJ Stories: Quitting A Day Job To DJ Full Time

Almost every DJ who has had a taste of success has considered it – the idea of dropping everything and trying to make a full-time go of it. Today we’ve got a great story by one of our contributing writers on how he made the decision to quit his job to DJ more. Learn some of the biggest obstacles involved in such a decision and how modeling a DJ career like a company helped him achieve success in today’s article.


It all began with a simple question that no one could answer.

“DJing?” my then-girlfriend exclaimed, “Is that all you want to do?” I surprised her with a statement that any ambitious DJ might say: “I’ve decided to take this thing full time.” (This conversation came after gigging 4 times a week for a full year straight!)

Three years later I was dealing with a tech startup, pilates instructors, and a recovering cocaine addict with a severe anxiety attack. I met the woman of my dreams who thought I was a crazy Afro-Arab lost in the world of DC misfits, and a Goldman Sachs executive who I mentored, only later to know I was his mentee. In the end, I got my answer, but only after I found myself hesitating in front of a send button of an resignation email that took three hours to write.

And all because in October 2007 I asked myself this:

“How can I earn a living full time doing what I love? Can I really sustain a living by just DJing and producing records?”

Clearly I was love-drunk with music and the industry. Quite honestly, I didn’t want to sober up.

Here’s the cold truth: deciding you want to quit is usually just the first move in a long and cerebral chess match you’ll play with yourself. I’ve found that people’s inability to quit their current day jobs had little to do with the perceived riskiness of their new professions, their financial situation, or general economic conditions. The real barrier for most of us is not external. It’s our own psychology – we:

So how are the brave, smart, and savvy DJs able to break free? How those individuals were able to overcome the psychological barriers and finally quit with conviction? It’s all in the preparations and it starts with your psychology.


The first step in making the leap is to recount your career goals and visualize a life-changing leap forward, not an incremental hop. Stop being a serial quitter, become focused on the long-term goodness of fit.

Why the emphasis on a long arc? If you’re looking to quit your job just so you can avoid that micromanaging boss or break free of a tedious daily task, you may be shooting too low. Quitting your job for the life of the party and for minor improvements could leave you equally dissatisfied a year in. To avoid this potential cognitive dissonance, take a longer term (5 years+) view of the mountain you actually want to climb. Map out what the journey might look like, and make sure you’ll value its rewards. You get an average of 10 chances to quit in your lifetime, and each career step should bring you significantly closer to your true passions.

For me, a producer at SiriusXM Radio working with music technology and plenty of DJs coming in and out of the building, I was miserable. I had a sexy, ego-stroking career that made for great bragging material. But I was being eaten alive by all the work, and drained by the politics of working in a large company.

I had an insight at the launch of a huge project that our team successfully completed despite impossible expectations and long hours. Everyone was gathered together and the division President said ‘Thanks to the team, we made this happen!’ All I could think was, ‘Here’s an empty recognition for a product I didn’t care about.

At the time I was gigging three times a week, producing 4 tracks/remixes per month and building a music production school in Washington DC. I had a challenging schedule.


I had an “a-ha!” moment after reading the quote: “Life is too short to be in a boring company”. I started researching local DJs and entrepreneurs who took a leap of faith towards their dreams. I thought, ‘These people are really enjoying themselves!’ In my job, I was having fun, but not experiencing real meaning. The people I researched had great fulfillment and continuously hungry to move forward in their lives, the opposite of what I saw in the stagnant corporate environment. I thought ‘If they can do it, maybe I can too!’.

I consumed hundreds of articles a week on entrepreneurship, financial planning and marketing. At home, I was building a project studio with high-end analog gear and producing like an automated assembly line. I found myriad resources on the science of innovation, success and business. I think I earned an MBA in two months by just reading. My mind was finally in the right place.


“Good luck is a residue of preparation” – Jack Youngblood

I made a firm commitment to quit my day job in four years. Anxiety about losing a steady paycheck was horrifying and gigging three times a week wasn’t enough to pay the rent and bills; I needed to find another income stream.  I needed to land more local gigs, remix projects, improve my production skills and grow my fan base.

The easiest way to organize all of these activities was to visualize myself as a mini-startup. After reading so much about entrepreneurship and startups; operating like a company made sense. Here’s how I organized my activities:

  • Business Development: Getting Gigs + Remix Work: I dedicated two days out of the week (if I’m not gigging) on just networking, contacting labels and helping other DJs with their gigs. I constantly emailed indie House music labels. Didn’t get any response 8/10 times. Early on I knew everything was a sale and email wasn’t a good medium to build relationships. So I started traveling to NY and Miami to meet label execs face to face until I landed a remix project. The rest was history.
  • Product Development: Improving My Production Skills: I spent over 20 hours a week producing music. It’s the best way to get better.
  • Marketing + Promotion: Growing A Fan Base: I learned the art of inbound marketing (Blogging, SEO, website optimization, social media, building back links, lead nurturing, email campaigns and analytics). Tuesdays and Wednesdays were my dedicated days for any marketing activity. I compiled an email list of over 2500 people in three months and continuously engaged my list with funny and informative emails. Building genuine relationships with my fans was a rewarding experience and still is.
  • Financials: Paying Off Debt/Saving: Crunching numbers, making projections and understanding my spending habits was an amusing ordeal. Using, I analyzed my spending for the past twelve months and I knew what I needed to eliminate. You’d be surprised how much stuff we don’t need in our life. I had to pay off my car, credit cards and other loose ends in two years. I then saved 50% of my income for another two years. My goal was to have 18 months of cash (rent, bills, food and party monies) until I generated more income.
  • Revenue + Income: The idea of getting a part time job to generate another source of income was ludicrous. One of my many passions is mentoring, so I started teaching music production in one of DC’s popular clubs. The owner was generous enough to have me use his dancefloor as a classroom on Sundays from 4pm to 7pm. I rented a projector & screen and plugged to the club’s sound system. The class was a success! I moved out of the club and started hosting workshops around the city until I created DC’s first music production school.


Four years later, I had 16 months of cash in the bank, paid off my debt, grew my fanbase, acquired more students and was releasing three tracks per month on reputable labels. I just needed the right moment to draft a resignation letter. I was afraid for a long time to pull the plug. Finally I did and it was the most liberating feeling.

It hasn’t always been easy. I definitely made mistakes, especially around some financial decisions for myself. But I practice being gentle with myself when I make blunders. It’s a natural part of the learning curve. Success can bring challenges as well. I found out that 60% of my students wanted to learn music production just to get more DJ gigs, and not for the love of music. I had to re-align my strategy and founded Gigturn.

No two DJ stories of making the transition are the same, which is what makes entrepreneurship so interesting! But my story certainly illustrates a couple of important points about deciding when to quit workin’ for the “man”. My initial goal was to DJ and produce full time, but now I found a bigger and more meaningful goal. I’ve learned flexibility and adaptability are important to keep the passion alive.

Making sure that there truly is interest in the market for your skills as a DJ and producer before you cut the strings is vital. But perhaps even more importantly, listen to that little voice in your head and make a choice that’s in line with your long-term health and well-being. Starting a full time DJ career that you’re passionate about can only do great things for your mental and physical health. Maybe you’ll be able to take a leave from your job to have some time to plan your DJ career, or maybe you’ll need to start your transition part-time while still working your job full-time. No matter which path you take, there’s no better time than now to start your dream career!

Editor’s Note: Mohamed Kamal is an ex SiriusXM DJ/Producer turned entrepreneur from Washington DC. He is the Founder and CEO of Gigturn, a platform that connects DJs with fans and gigs.

Header photo credit: Marina Gondra and a bit of Photoshop.

dj careerdj jobsfull-time djgetting more gigsquitting a job to dj
Comments (68)
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  • Lily Hagy

    Wow this is very interest article. Leaving the job for dj may not be much of an option, but when you’ve loved the hobby and have been able to generate from that job I think there is no harm, thanks for guidance about dj world here, anyway I have information about rental dj, dj for weddings or parties Can use service with different sets of dj and light show, i’m sure your party be festive with dj, more info please visit

  • Syed Farhan Ghazi

    I realize that this comment is extremely long, but I hope it creates for some interesting thoughts and discussion.

    To me, this is one of the best articles ever put out by DJTT. I can find tutorials on setting up my Midi controllers pretty much anywhere, but these types of life stories are truly what inspire me to work and strive for my dreams and give me a clearer roadmap of how to achieve my goals.

    Congrats to Mr. Kamal on your success and your continuing ambitions to keep raising your own bar!

    After reading many stories of artists finding success in competitive fields (mainly just cause I think people are interesting), I think it bears mentioning some levels of risk one takes when attempting to make music their career:

    #1 Least Risky: Prodigy (also one of the hardest situations to encounter): there is little risk because there are fewer responsibilities at this age:
    – Hugo Leclercq: Started music at a young age, found Internet fame making remixes for Fruity Loops competitions as Madeon.


  • So you want to DJ full time? | MMMMAVEN

    […] a DJ is learning how! Our courses will teach you what you need to know to get started. Source: Quitting A Day Job To DJ Full Time by Mohamed Kamal – DJ Tech […]

  • Matheus Comelli

    Hi, my name is Matheus, i’m from Brazil, and at this moment i’m having the same thoughts about my life. Now, reading this post, I can say with all certainty, that is that what i want to do with my life. Great post, keep the good work.

  • Andrew Maxwell

    The truth of the matter is, you have to follow your heart in life, and not so much your ego or logic.We are artists, and in order to be successful and happy, you have to SHARE, what you love, in order to generate the income you want, and i read that in a book called The Davinci Method. I suggest this book for everyone. Figure out right now if you are neurotic, normal, or an Artist. The neurotic and the Artist are the same person, with simular potentials. The neurotic doesn’t give output (play out, promote , so on and so on) the artist does, and grows from it. So guys, follow your hearts, share what you love, becuase that is how you change the world, and your heart. (thethetaproject, look me up, facebook, soundcloud, i live in berkeley, and have a collective called panic r00m ,it’s a startup, with simular ideas, ok later)

  • Marcopoulos

    Very nice story but where was your risks?????? I quited my amazing job in Geneva for nothing!!!!! No gigs, no productions, NOTHING!!!!!! Peace great article anyway, really well written and full of interesting links.

  • Nawaz Roodi

    Being a part of a leading Wedding DJs Michigan group, I have found that the trend of calling DJs goes upward when economy is good, and declines during tough economic situations. You decided to become a DJ at a very wrong time, but in the end hard work paid its price as always it does.

    • Anthony Thomas

      Wrong time? It depends, sounds like your half empty guy. There are plenty of high dollar weddings but they might not be looking in the yellow pages where company is likely listed.

      Frankly you can have them. Bride Entitlement is one of my biggest problems and why I’m very selective about the wedding gigs I take. I also don’t get any enjoyment out of playing some stuff that makes it’s rounds in the self-help circles.

      My friend does at least one wedding a month for between $1200-$2000 in a saturated Los Angeles market.

  • Nawaz Roodi

    Tools that you are used are really superb but there may not be many people as talented as you. Actually, the DJ market has been flooded by the low quality disc jockeys that are not very careful about standards of DJing. They download music from the Internet libraries and illegally use them. The result is that most of them charge much little than competitors due to which market is becoming more saturated. Being the part of a leading Michigan Wedding DJ I have felt a great opposition from such DJs. Most of the times, the customers leave their points on knowing the difference of quality.

    • Anthony Thomas

      What does illegal downloading have to do with the lack of quality DJ’s? In hard economic times people in the middle and slightly above that are pinching pennies and sometimes go with the low cost option.

      Downloading music and DJ quality are not connected. Sorry but back when you had to have 1200’s and vinyl, bad DJ’s still existed even with the best equipment available.

      I don’t understand how wedding DJ’s primary constantly try to connect these two different issues. If you’re complaining about DJ’s downloading low quality MP3 files and then using them at events with bad sound quality as the result, that’s understandable. They are just making do with what they have which is limited resources.

      Stop being a hater, most Wedding DJ’s suck at being DJ’s, they are good at catering to crowds and playing some of the worse stuff ever.

  • Deejay Tim on [fb]

    i enjoyed reading your article bro! I am in the process of doing the same. I love music/playing for crowds and I want to expand my goals. Your points of being flexible and adaptable are very true! Cool article! keep up the sucess for us to follow

  • Carl Wolfgang Schultz

    thank you so much for the inspiration. it feels good to know that i am not alone .

  • Andrew Cauthen

    nothing is worth it anymore. lets just have be nice to each other and have fun on this beautiful planet together. and not pay to live on it or charge anyone. bully culture is all just a trap, everything. nobody is happy. they can’t be, living off the suffering of others. we’ve grown up and out of hero worship / so called “experts”.

  • Tom Hammer

    I have been a follower of DJTT for well over 6 years. I thoroughly enjoy reading the articles and find them to be increasingly empowering for my inspiration and motivation. This was, by far, one of the best articles written on DJTT. Bravo Mohamed Kamal. Truly exceptionally written article. Pulled on the heart strings and distant dreams of myself and I’m sure many an aspiring DJ.

  • Agam


  • Chris

    I admire your full time dedication to DJing but I take this article with a grain of salt. A quick Google search on does not show any of your remixes or mentions in other DJ or party blogs/sites. Your facebook only has 143 likes and only 400 followers on twitter. Your startup site looks fairly new as most of your blog posts don’t have any comments. Your inbound marketing efforts don’t really show in Google search results.

    • Luis Hernández

      Well, he did something. Other guys are just criticizing around.

    • Max Martinez

      Did you look up Kimozaki ? That is the artist name.

  • Robert Wulfman

    I’ve never had a job in the first place

    • Luis Hernández

      Then skip that step and take over full time DJ career 🙂

  • Darien Dave

    As a sirius worker, you must have a pretty decent network already! so yeah.. everything is easier.

    and what kind of music do you play? same pop edm as in electric area?

    you’re looking too much on the business side of the things.

  • Anthony Woodruffe

    I really adored this article and it reminds me of the roller-coaster ride you take when deciding to take this job on full-time. I’d love to tell my story too but I just can’t seem to find an email address for DJTT to contact you’s guys about it.

  • Darryle

    You get paid to create remixes?

      • Max Martinez

        Very true. We had some remixes on the same label and for the early ones we were not paid. They were more of a promotional tool to get our names out there. Now at this stage of the game getting paid for remixes or bartering for services is the way that it is being done.

  • Ted

    I was literally having this thought today when I left work unannounced to go for a walk. A lady in the park had 2 tall djembes and I sat down with her, and we played side by side. It wasn’t for more than 2 minutes.. but therapeutic none the less.

  • Robert

    I realize that this comment is extremely long, but I hope it creates for some interesting thoughts and discussion.

    To me, this is one of the best articles ever put out by DJTT. I can find tutorials on setting up my Midi controllers pretty much anywhere, but these types of life stories are truly what inspire me to work and strive for my dreams and give me a clearer roadmap of how to achieve my goals.

    Congrats to Mr. Kamal on your success and your continuing ambitions to keep raising your own bar!

    After reading many stories of artists finding success in competitive fields (mainly just cause I think people are interesting), I think it bears mentioning some levels of risk one takes when attempting to make music their career:

    #1 Least Risky: Prodigy (also one of the hardest situations to encounter): there is little risk because there are fewer responsibilities at this age:
    – Hugo Leclercq: Started music at a young age, found Internet fame making remixes for Fruity Loops competitions as Madeon.
    – Alain Macklovitch: bought turntables with his bar mitzvah money, stayed in his room for a year to practice, and won the DMC championships at 15 years old as A-Trak and continued his career with music ever since.

    #2: The Double Life:
    – Steven Markowitz (not a DJ, but a good example) – Found internet fame as Hoodie Allen, while attending UPenn and was working for Google when he finally decided to make rap his full-time job. During his time at Google, he said that he was essentially working two jobs and sleeping very little.
    – Gregg Gillis (also technically not a DJ but a perfect example) – Began the art project Girl Talk in 2000 while attending Case Western, he worked as a Biomedical engineer after college and would play weekend gigs, which grew in frequency and size over time. Only when he noticed in 2007 that he was making as much from the gigs as he was from his day job, did he decide to become a full time musician.
    – Sam Zornow (could be categorized between a few categories): Also began on turntables with money from his bar mitzvah and won a number of competitive titles titles and was runner up at 2004 DMC NYC as DJ Shiftee before attending Harvard. Accredits energy drinks in allowing him to complete a degree in Math while practicing his turntablism for the DMC USA and World championships which he would win following his graduation. He was not able to compete during most of his time at Harvard but practiced frequently.

    #3 Parental Support:
    – Dillon Francis: After high school, asked his parents (very successful people, father is a doctor) to give him a year to work on becoming a producer in lieu of going to college. Used $500 to intern temporarily for Cory Enemy and learn from him (also held an internship with The Hundreds), and bought Ableton Live on credit. Told his parents if he didn’t make it he would go to community and transfer into UCLA. After a year, he found some success so started to pay his family rent, but also needed about 2-3 years before he found the high level of publicity and success he had under Stretch Armstrong and Mad Decent.
    – Steve Aoki – “When you’re young you don’t have a lot of money, but you have time which is needed when creating hype for a label.” Started Punk Rock Label and collective Dim Mak while in high school, running the operations himself with friends, grew through various bands coming and performing and eventually signing the band Bloc Party. Although he worked relentlessly on his project, Aoki also had a bit of flexibility in taking risk as his father is a very successful restaurant owner and former professional athlete.

    #4 Grinding: Probably the most difficult and risk-heavy approach to take. Also often accept that a poor man’s lifestyle may be in the cards.
    – Sonny Moore: Found success early on as singer for FFTL, which found him his manager and a following early on (which was helpful in his later initial stages). Left the band and worked as solo artist, but had initial difficulties, eventually being close to forgotten for his solo work by his label. Vocal chord surgery put him into debt, and he lived in an abandoned warehouse while also sleeping on his friend and mentor 12th Planet’s couch in LA. “I was just making electronic music for fun after that. I hit a point in my life where I was cool with being broke and having a real cheap apartment.” During this time he also built his chops as a DJ at local warehouses and eventually Dim Mak Tuesdays, creating his project called Skrillex.
    – Ramble John Krohn: at a lecture at my school: “If I could live on a ramen noodle budget and be content, then I could continue working as RJD2 with little income.” Also promotes the concept of the 10,000 hour rule.
    – Wesley Pentz: Held a variety of jobs, worked as an after-school teacher, worked at Subway sandwiches, and lived in Philadelphia after studying at Temple U. for affordability, as other more attractive art cities cost more in rent. Stole his first sampler in Florida and his turntables were in and out of layaway constantly. Looked for collaborators in his ambitious art projects as Diplo but found few who held the same level of ambition, so he started his own DJ night called Hollertronix with DJ Low Budget, which started out in basements, but built its own following and hype, eventually reaching the airwaves of blogs and magazines, and networking him with important collaborators such as photographer Shane McCauley.

    This is not to discourage anyone from following their dreams, but rather understanding that to achieve SUSTAINABLE success you must take RISKS over time, and in your initial stages, those risks should be very CALCULATED and you should be willing to learn from them.

    When college athletes decide to forego the completion of their degrees for careers in the NBA or NFL, they usually have a pretty good sense if they will be invited to a training camp somewhere, allowing them a better sense of the risk involved in the competitive world of professional sports. Additionally, many of the ones who are not so sure they will make it as pros may stay in school but they are still busting their butts so that they can give it their all to their school and get the degree as backup (some eventually have falling outs with the sport altogether and focus on other things instead). Thus, this example highlights that even if you don’t think you are ready to make the leap of quitting your day job, if you TRULY want to pursue a goal in a competitive business, that goal needs to become your 2ND or 3RD JOB essentially if you want it to eventually be your main job.

    The two qualities I really see from Mr. Kamal in this article are:
    1. He was well educated, that is something that helps a lot in business decisions when you are doing it yourself in this entrepreneurial fashion.
    2. He worked really really really hard. You can’t replace hard work (unless you’re a really attractive model I guess haha, but even then sustainability requires work).

    As a recent college grad, HUNGRY for success (and hungry in general), I’d love to discuss this topic further with anyone. Cheers!
    (Also, I highly recommend the book: “Talent is overrated” for anyone looking for insight into success in a highly competitive field.)

    • franl

      Wow, this could be a post all on its own! Great stuff!

      • Robert

        thanks. This stuff is so interesting to me for some reason. haha, I don’t know why.

    • Not a pro

      I could not disagree more. Do you see the meta description of djtt? Says learn how to dj on digital. This is quite possibly the most pointless article on djtt ever. Sure, good for this guy that he made it, but lets be honest, most of us are just hobbyists, just because you think/ dream about being pro does not mean you should or that it is responsible. Idk what happened to vids and tutorials.

      • Robert

        Hey, I totally agree with you that this type of article should not be the focus of DJTT, I mean “tech tools” is in the name, especially given how many different ways there are to approach “DJing” nowadays, there is a plethora of more tutorials to be made. So, I do agree that there should be a lot more focus on Tutorials overall.
        However, the information I shared and in the article makes me think that that this is still super valuable, especially for someone who is trying very hard to go “pro” (also a loose term) and in fact isn’t necessarily an inspiring article but rather informing one, because it’s showing the ups and downs and heavy risks involved in the process, even when those are calculated. In fact, I would say this is showing how to do it in a MORE responsible manner. The guy had already had some type of experience as a mentee at Goldman Sachs, so he clearly had some options going for him even if he never touched a turntable again, a cushion that very few people have, DJs or let alone anyone in the entire earth.
        I agree, most of us will always be hobbyists, but this article was great in showing what goes on in that process of reaching that so-called “success” or “10,000” hours to mastery. Should this be the focus of DJTT generally? No. But, overall, I think this article does add a ton to the catalog of the blog.

      • MixManMike

        You are stupid. Take the advice and go with it.

      • Bis

        There is a reason you aren’t a pro. Hard to believe there are negative Nancies out there trashing quality like this.
        An article like this is welcomed, no matter what the source.
        The readership here is wide, not just noobs looking for gadgets.

      • Charlie Grier

        ridiculous statement.

    • Crazyfeel

      What a great essay. Your comment should be an article on its own. I learned a lot of new things I didn’t know before. Thanks!

      • Robert

        Hey Thanks. This is the second person who told me this, so maybe I will post it somewhere and broaden it out to more than just DJs, maybe Djs and solo musicians

    • Bis

      Shit man. That was an amazing follow up to an amazing article. How inspiring!!!
      Thank you!!!

      • Robert

        thanks for reading

    • Charlie Grier

      Fantastic article and brilliant and helpful comments. cheers guys. more like this please 🙂

      • Robert

        hey, thanks for reading

    • Simon

      I just had a moment last week where all of the sudden I wanted to make edm. It sort of just called to me I guess. As I have just ordered a midi controller as well, I can totally agree that tutorial videos are great, but this stuff is the gold. A lot of inspiration is all I want to surround myself with and your comment was just that! Im hooked

  • Angel B

    Awesome article and story Mohammed! Thanks for your tips and inspiration!

  • JoBushwick

    Just make sure you think about the long term folks. Invest your money into your future. Too many artists (whether it’s music, photography, etc) are not thinking about our later years in life. When we are 65 we want a nest egg so – plan, plan, plan.

  • Jonathan

    This November will mark one year of being a straight-up DJ. I quit my day job as a full-time dance instructor and it was an EXCELLENT decision! After 5 years of waltzing ladies across a dance floor all day (a passion for some), I am now constantly closing deals, prepping music for the next gig and researching new technologies… and so much closer to my long-lost dream of producing my own original music.

  • Mike Graham

    For me DJ’ing and producing full time and making a sustainable living doing it has been a dream of mine for many years. Like the article I had dedicated myself to getting to that stage where I could cut ties with my employer and dive in. I spent countless years in my spare time learning to DJ & Produce music & countless time and money building a studio full of equipment. I hoarded money away to live off for awhile too. I did end up ending my employment 2 years ago but it was premature. I had to stop working because of health issues. The good thing that has came from this situation is I have been able to focus on my goal full time now. I have spent the last 2 years networking & building contacts, learning & trying to improve my skills and workflow. It has been a long slow process and frustrating at times. So frustrating at times I questioned the whole idea and almost gave up countless times. I have stuck with it and finally this past year I finally made some progress. I had my 1st remix label signed earlier this year and had my 1st EP label released a few weeks ago. I now have more opportunities coming from a few labels now after my EP dropped. Things are looking up now. The only the that might not be attainable is DJ’ing and touring for a living due to my health woes. Last time I traveled to gig I had a bad health scare. I know that’s out of the picture. I am doing weekly web radio weekly voluntarily and am content with it. It actually is a good tool for promoting my productions as well as other artists. Promoting other artists makes for good contacts and possible opportunities to do remixes. I actually got a remix opportunity from an artist I promoted on my show. I haven’t hit the point of sustainable income just yet but I believe I am potentially on the right path now. Besides money I love doing this no matter what. If I never make a dollar so what I just love doing this stuff for my own sake. It keeps my sanity I will continue until I die

  • Anonymous

    Can you explain more about Gigturn?

    • Mohamed Kamal

      A social media platform designed by algorithm, to help DJs get more exposure and gigs worldwide while having direct interaction w/ their fans, promoters and venues. In the US only for now. More info

      • Ken

        I’m still confused about what does. How exactly does the
        site “help DJs get more exposure and gigs…” and “interact with fans,
        promoters, venues…”? I couldn’t find more info. on the website. Just
        one blog post about music selection and a help wanted ad.

        • Mohamed Kamal

          If you msg me privately, i’d be happy to share how it works.

          • Crazyfeel

            When will the invitations be sent? I just signed up and I’m looking forward to it!

          • DJ SOUL

            hey bro..just sent an email to the site..not sure if you will get it directly but I didn’t have any other contact info. My email is I would love to sign up to be on the site

  • Anonymous

    i have never had a real job in my life, i always got by either performing or teaching music, granted there was a time when i did some freelance design work.

    the pay may suck, but i enjoy my life.

  • AJ

    First of all i would like to thank the writer and DJ Tech Tools for this article. Very insightful and inspiring for me as a DJ. For years being a DJ, i have been struggling with the thought of quitting my day job to DJ full time. But as mentioned i am afraid to as i have bills among bills to pay (car payments, student loans, mortgage and credit cards, etc) and right now my DJ gigs aren’t able to pay it all. On top all of that i’m married and may soon have kids soon, so i cant afford to not have a steady income coming in. However i am miserable at my job now and hate it with a passion. But it pays and pays greatly (with benefits). However i am still tackling the idea to quit soon and just DJ full time as thats what i want to do. And i know it can be done as i have friends who are DJs who do it for a living and make a good living doing it. The only goal i have set so far is if i can DJ or get gigs that pay more of equal to the amount i get paid at my day job every 2 weeks, i would quit instantly. But just like the economy DJ gigs aren’t paying as much now as everyone is a DJ and charging either low rates to nothing. However i have read a couple things that i need to work on based on this article. In conclusion, it all takes time, careful planning and a lot of patience.

    Theres 3 quotes i am trying to live by

    “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”

    “Its not what you know, its who you know”

    “You want to be happy in life, find something you love to do so much, you’d do it for free, then find somebody to pay you for it.”

    • Anthony Thomas

      Wrong, I know several people making a living off just DJ even in this economy.

      That said they are mobiles and the high paid gigs are typically Weddings.

      A friend of mine did 51 gigs in 2013 and made $31K. He would like to cut back however so can spend more time with his GF in Dominican Republic, so he’s faced with a dilemma.

      The simple answer is to charge more, the challenge is finding those people willing to pay more; he’s working on that.

      He recently lost his day job, so he’s looking to expand his DJ business into things like promotion, music production, etc.

      The other high paid gigs are corporate who as a collective are sitting on tens of millions of dollars, not wanting to invest it, but rather spend it on themselves; so they are back to partying like its 2099 and paying accordingly.

      If you can get in to that segment then you don’t need a regular job, just two/three gigs a month and plenty of free time to do production remixing and even throw in a club residency or two.

      I don’t like doing weddings but at the moment they are a necessary evil, it’s much harder to get into the corporate world and a be a trusted person. That is what I am going to spend the next year doing is getting on the very short list of DJ’s that get to do exclusive parties not open to the general public but to employees of companies and industries.

      When not doing those, I want to be touring the country and eventually the world, I have no choice, I don’t have a job and don’t plan on having one any time soon so I have no choice but to make this work.

  • David De Garie-Lamanque

    thanks for this inspiring article! I’ve been struggling with the idea myself for a few years now….afraid of losing fixed income and of failure has destroyed any notion that i could succeed….but hell….i just gotta go for it! 🙂

  • dude

    You are fortunate to have had the start at sirius though. I don’t want disregard what you have built its very impressive and speaks volumes to your success. Many others are not so lucky to have a start at sirius with a ton of avenues to gain connections and build a true network that you did. Although I’d like to tell people to really follow their passions like you, it is even harder without something you had at your doorstep. I think many who go down the avenue you have as fast as you have won’t find nearly the same success without the connections you gained from a player like sirius. Basically it was like moonlighting, or collecting contacts and making a name for yourself with a company that really allowed for that to happen. You are 100% right that doing djing/producing full time isn’t for everyone, and they need to carefully craft their choices, but you had a particularly unique instance to gain a following, contacts, and industry knowledge that many others have to learn and gain for years upon years.

      • aaron

        Wow, IT consulting job was boring for u. That job seems interesting to me & I think it pays good money…

        • Anthony Thomas

          I think your more interested in the potential pay being a consultant generates. You can make just as much money DJ’ing but you’ll have to work at it.

  • Jay Dizzle

    Great article !! I can relay so much to this story. I used to live in Spain and make a living djing in several turist resorts 6-7 night a week for 11 years. It was to much! Now I have a stable job, happily married and DJ about 1-2 times a month. And I love it now. Though I guess that everybody dreams of making a career of DJing. But I agree whith the writer that its important not to overplay or burnout to keep the passion alive.

  • Tomash Ghz

    you have my respect sir! I’ve been thinking of quitting my day job and changing the field of my work, maybe not towards full time DJing, but still this is very motivating.
    If you have a clear goal, passion and commitment, anything is possible.