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The “Getting What You’re Worth” Story – Part Three

Veggie Platter

Continue from Part two

Peter was desperate and had been working for as little as $50 per event when working for multi-system companies. He was just a mess and wanted to be my apprentice. I really didn’t want an apprentice, so Rebecca spent about a year with him by phone before she and he convinced me to take him under my wing. He was quite convincing, saying that was passionate about ethics, and  told me that he had presented something in church on the subject, then pleaded with me to include him in my upcoming GWYW presentation. I conceded.

At the beginning of 1999, our base price was $1850, then $2250, and by 2000, we were at $2500. Michael Buonaccorso, the Mobile Beat Las Vegas producer, got in touch to ask me to speak at the 2000  Mobile Beat Las Vegas show. I agreed and proposed doing all three parts of GWYW, which had never been done at a DJ show before. Mike had never given the stage for three seminars to one person — it was unprecedented and I could tell that he was a bit nervous about it. It was a pretty big deal. I would be giving the opening seminar or the “keynote presentation,” which was a term that Mike was reluctant to use for a slot reserved for a “DJ.” He was afraid that mobile DJs would reject a keynote given by a DJ. Mike was right — a group of DJs believed and wrote that Mobile Beat had hired an actor to play the part of a mobile DJ!

A few weeks before  Mobile Beat Las Vegas 2000, my mother-in-law passed away from cancer. In my mental state, the last place I wanted to be was at a DJ convention. I had been predisposed and wasn’t prepared for the show – I very nearly canceled. By the time of the show, I was extremely nervous, scattered, and sick. I hadn’t slept in a couple of days and was constantly re-writing and editing the scripts… and I wasn’t done. In fact, part two was presented only using notes – strips of paper loosely organized.

It was a hit. I was flabbergasted at the response. Mr. Buonaccorso invited me to present the seminar in Cleveland that same year, as did the Complete Music Franchise owners, and the city of St. Louis, MO DJ group. From that, the Worth Tour was born and Rebecca and I traveled to 40 different cities in the U.S. and Canada over the next two years to spread the message of “worth” — that mobile DJs were worth more than they thought they were. Mike wrote his reaction to the presentation in his book, “A Different Spin”:

“I feel a greater accountability to produce quality shows.

I actually remember the watershed moment when I knew that. In 2000, at the very first seminar by Mark Ferrell, I was watching the reaction of the crowd before, during and after that presentation. I realized in that one brief session we had ‘graduated’ to the next level. And as show producer I knew it would now be my responsibility to maintain that higher level at our events.”

Each time I spoke, DJs would call and email me, asking me to speak to their DJ group or market. When I responded with the price of such an endeavor, the conversation usually ended. That is, until one day when I decided to recruit them for the DiscJockeyAmerica Leadership Alliance and the “Worth Movement” was born.

But that’s another story, which involves DiscJockeyAmerica (DJA), the DJA Leadership Alliance, DJA Radio, The Duckies, and the Annual DJA Cocktail Party and Roast.

It’s a good story.

I’ll have to write about that later.

Now, some 16+ years later, the “Getting What You’re Worth” message and seminar continues to change peoples’ lives in more than 7 countries worldwide, and has cultivated more “industry” leaders than any other message or seminar.

And… You can quote me on that.

©2014 Mark K. Ferrell

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