DJ Promote: Turning Your Passion Into a Career

In this episode, Tom interviews DJ Promote. The pair discuss the sacrifices and calculated risks you have to take in order to turn your passion into a career.



3 Must-Hear Takeaways from this episode

Following your dream has to result in seeing your income provide enough for you to live on.
When chasing your passion, you have to figure out what is most important to you.
Instead of giving up hope, hold on to the idea that something better is ahead of you.


Show Notes:

Based in Los Angeles, DJ Promote thrives off exposure to the creative environment the city provides.


“I need to see things and I’m not good at doing that in my house. I need things to be random, so living in Los Angeles, I’m triggered creatively by random things you see just walking down the street,” he said.


Originally from a town in Texas, he was removed from culture except for what leaked through on the radio and television. Falling in love with hip hop culture after he was exposed to it in other cities, he took up DJing 20 years ago.


His hobby evolved into a passion, and he has taken the chance on making that his day job. That taught him that at some point, you have to take a risk that is a balance of when to make the switch from day job to hobby.


“People start offering you money for your hobby and it has to be able to provide for you like your real job. I wanted to do this all the time but couldn’t quit my job, so the money has to equal the amount you give up,” he said. “Sometimes you can wait too long, but eventually you decide the amount of hours you put in at a regular job don’t equal the amount of hours you put into what you want to do.”


DJ Promote says that when you take that leap depends on what is most important you. He said, “Stability is important – providing for your family outweighs doing whatever you want. There’s some grace to be able to stick through a job until you can do what you really want. Like, I have friends that make really good money coding but they want to DJ.”


In this episode, Tom talks about taking inventory of your spirit. And, how the sacrifice of the grit could be living in a one bedroom apartment until you establish yourself.


DJ Promote exemplifies that when he reveals, “I live in LA but we’re in a studio apartment. I’m still sacrificing to do the thing I want to do – live in a major city close to culture and be creative.”

The pair also talk about DJ Promote’s struggles with failure. He says he has normally been good at most things or picked them up quickly, so when he fails he feels it more than usual.

“When you’re younger and learning something, you don’t feel those are failures. As you get older, now you’re trying to move quicker and learn five years worth of things in one year. I don’t look at it as learning, I look at it as failure. That’s something we have to overcome,” he said.

He reveals to Tom how he keeps going in those moments. DJ Promote says he holds onto the idea of something better instead of giving up on what he’s got.


“When people go through major things – early pregnancy, loss in the family, getting locked up – it can make you lose hope. So, you’ll say you’re done and do whatever you want. As a kid, I was able to keep hope of being where I wanted to be one day. There was something I didn’t let go of.”


Favorite book:

This Is Not a T-Shirt by Bobby Hundreds