DJ Event Planner
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Do you know the difference between a tux or a suit? I do. It's the lapels and buttons. The lapels on a tux will have some added feature like satin or ‘piping' as it is known in the business. The buttons on a tux will be cloth-covered as opposed to the traditional plastic-type on a suit. I now know this because I'm currently working at a tux shop – at least for a while. Add me to the many in the event and hospitality professions that have had to look for another source of income – or pivot (the word of the year) – after seeing my business dramatically affected by this thing we all have come too familiar with – the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's been a year that has seen the unemployment rate climb to heights not seen since the eighties. Over 100,000 bars and restaurants permanently close, 8000 plus retail stores shuttered for the final time, and, of course, an events industry that has nearly been rendered obsolete.
I've personally known those in our profession who have closed their offices and moved their business to the lower level of their home, and others who found employment elsewhere at places like a pizza joint, ride-sharing or delivery services.
Is this then the time to consider giving up the dream of relying on your Mobile DJ career as your sole source of income and look for more secure employment?
Maybe not, says Dan Nichols, a former staff member of the now-defunct Detroit Entrepreneurship Institute and a self-described lifelong entrepreneur himself. “I think that it is absolutely gut-wrenching awful that so many dreams have been stepped on.” says Dan, but then is quick to add, as someone that has always been self-employed, “[but] I don't know another way to be, I don't want another way to be. This is what fills me – and what fills me and makes me feel great is to be able to go create something.”
As a man who has dabbled in many things, including a long career as a wedding DJ, Dan finds true happiness in being his own boss. “I've never built anything bigger than me. I've never hired employees. As an entrepreneur, I've created a job for myself but never truly built a business. I made a decision when this whole thing [the pandemic] went down that it is not even in the realm of possibility for me to go work for someone. I said to myself, ‘okay, what are you going to do next?'”
Beyond being a mobile DJ and professional game show host, Dan's most recent venture included being a corporate interpersonal dynamics coach. As a corporate trainer and someone in the entertainment industry, Dan has seen both of those careers come to a screeching halt. “We both know that the first thing to get cut in a budget crisis is training and entertainment, right?”
Christina Rader is also a long time, self-employed entrepreneur, owning her single op marketing company, Re:Think Marketing. Fortunately, she has not seen many of her clients close business or cut back on marketing during these economic tough times. “Those that have done so have done it because they cannot have large crowds in their stores.” she said, then adds, “Some have pivoted {there's that word again) to offer more on-line options or other amenities such as curbside pick-up or delivery.”
Christina herself has taken on a side hustle as a part-time realtor. It's more so for the networking aspect than financial needs though. “I just needed to get away from the desk,” she says.
And Dan has started yet another endeavor. In the midst of all this madness he has founded Grow Studios, a video marketing and podcast recording space just north of Detroit, which enables him to continue to encourage and help those that wish to chase their passion.
“I don't think anyone should give up their dreams.” he says. “They say there is faith, hope and love and the greatest of these they say is love but I have to tell you I wrestle with that one because to me the greatest of these is hope. And why do I say that? Because if you don't have hope you have nothing. Giving up your dream is like saying I'm giving up on this possibility.
“I think you need to rethink and rewire.' says Dan. “I think it's okay to go work for somebody and kind of refigure your life and go okay, I'm gonna figure this stuff out, I'm gonna get back on my feet.and then I'm going to do my thing again.
“I got an email one day that said sometimes the start ups just have to keep starting up.”
The way I see it, it's just about time to start up again.
Until next time
You can check out Dan's latest project at
Christina can be found at

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