Hi Lee, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
This is a very timely question with everything that has happened in 2020. I work in the special events industry, which has been decimated by the pandemic. As a creative/solopreneur/business owner, I’ve always struggled with balance and overworking until I reach critical burnout. From 2018 until now, I’ve had several events that created a forced break (Motorcycle accident, Kidney stone etc., and Covid) that created time & space I would have never allowed myself previously. Self-care is so important but, I think we often get so enmeshed in our business that it becomes our whole identity, and it’s easy to lose yourself. Hiring a business coach and working with a therapist helped significantly shift my perspective and change the lens through which I view my life. After over 15+ years of a successful business, I realized that I still operate subconsciously from a scarcity mindset (fear-based), which influences all my decisions and drives me to work non-stop. Shifting to an abundance mindset has helped me feel confident in setting aside time for myself and not doing things just because I think I should or because my competitors are doing them. I stop using words like should, need, have, and try to replace them with want, desire & like which made a significant impact. Personal growth takes time, and I worry once the pandemic is over, I might slide back into old habits of the grind and overworking to the point of overwhelm but right now, I’m practicing staying in a conscious state of mind, which allows me to make mindful decisions. So ironically, in the middle of a pandemic where my industry is at it’s lowest point, I’m the most relaxed and happy that I’ve been in years! Rediscovered hobbies I love like photography, biking, golf, volleyball, and I hope to keep these integrated when we all get back to work in 2021.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been DJing my whole life but made it official when I started my company: www.heymisterdj.com back in 2007. Starting right in the middle of an economy collapse wasn’t the best timing but I was fired up and confident I had enough connections and networks to make it happen. I think business strategy should be similar to life philosophy: Have a goal, set your intentions, put them into the universe, but be ready to detach from the outcome and be flexible in the results. It’s the journey, not the destination. I truly believe if you are a good person, conduct yourself ethically and have passion for what you do, then work will always come. Don’t get me wrong, you need to invest plenty of time and hours building your network of relationships, referrals etc., as it won’t all just land in your lap magically. Hey Mister DJ now provides full production (Sound, lighting, virtual events) but when we started my philosophy was do 1 thing exceptionally well, don’t try to do 10 things out of greed in a mediocre fashion. Every service we’ve added (Photobooth, lighting etc.) was done progressively when we felt confident we could offer clients another feature without it compromising the quality of our main service. Currently, I’m most excited about technology and how virtual events are changing our industry landscape. It’s a lot of fun and even when the pandemic ends and we get back to “normal” I think we’ll continue to see virtual play a big role in the event world. P.S. My other biggest creative passion is photography. Which I use to escape into another form of creative expression when I’m burned out on music. You can see some of my work here: www.leedysonphotography.com,
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d have to start with the beach, then head to Joshua Tree, move up to Big Bear and then come back to the city. The fact that you can experience the ocean/beach, desert and snow all in one day is amazing! Destinations: Disco Dining Club, The arts district just because it has a energy you don’t quite get anyplace else in the city. The Viaduct pop-up, The Last Bookstore, Griffith Observatory, Descanso Gardens, Integratron, Peteresen Automotive Museum, People watching at Union Station, The Magic Castle, Dodger Game, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles Johnnie’s Pastrami.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely a shoutout to my business coach Marla Diann and my therapist Jill Donnerstag. Both have helped me make non-bias observations about my life and business decisions. Having good friends that you can bounce things off of helps also, so thanks to John, Veronica, Jed & Kengi. A few books that really help shift my perspective: The Big Leap The Power of Now, The 4 hour Workweek, The Four Agreements, The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a HUGE shoutout to my pup Misty. An endless supply of unconditional love never hurts : )