Hi! Im Bob.
It’s kind of strange writing a biography about yourself, but I guess nobody is more qualified to do that than me ha.
I had over 52 jobs before I started my DJ business, Airwaves Music almost 10 years ago. I started the business with only $100 and grew it into the mid 6 figures, with 60 DJs working for me across 7 cities. People told me it couldn’t be done. They said a DJ company where I booked out other DJs was just too risky.
Trying to spread it into multiple cities was just crazy. Well, 10 years later, here I am! And it might have been crazy, but it worked. I wish I could take all the credit but I had a ton of help along the way. I started with a great DJ partner, Les who was my first DJ from day 1 and has never left. As time went on, I was lucky enough to have some world class mentors through the Entrepreneur’s Organization and that also helped me grow my business. Having the right people in my corner really got me a long way, fast.
I wish I could tell you it’s been easy. It hasn’t.
Here are just a few roadblocks I’ve had to overcome and survive:
Only had $100 to start the business. Grew from 0 gigs to 13 in our first year, then to 100 by year 2 by word of mouth and throwing one giant, awesome wedding industry party.
Balanced the business and working full-time, for 16 hour days 6 days a week for 3 years or so. I wouldn’t recommend that.
Nearly died in a car accident on Nov 2012, when I hit black ice. Torn spleen, collapsed lung and broke nearly every bone in my chest.
Pulled myself out of the car and a shallow pool of freezing cold water with 1 arm somehow to survive, then spent months recovering. Then, sued in Nov, 2013 for $50,000 by a DJ I let go. I felt 3 complaints was 3 too many. He felt it was wrongful dismissal.
Had testicular cancer in Nov, 2013 (what’s up with Novembers?).
1 body part down, but still alive. I guess I’m hard to kill.
Spent 2 months being scared I would die, 2 wondering if I’d be able to sing as high as Freddy Mercury and 12 months going to check ups once or twice a month. Mis-balanced the budget in Jan 2013. By Sept 2013 I was deep in the red and worried about paying rent.
But by Jan 2014, something magical had happened.
Things clicked for me. I began to understand a business is a machine. I used to tell myself that some businesses were machines and others weren’t, but I was wrong. I spent the next 12 months figuring out how to systemize my business and it worked. I learned how to build a great team and have a great culture. I was creating jobs and helping others and nothing ever felt so good. My people were happy and I was playing a role in that. I even started giving money to charity. From poor to giving. Can you believe it? It was a pretty cool feeling.
I spent the year not doing anything but going on vacations, sleeping in, having coffees and getting massages. Here are some photos from the good times!
Hanging with Les (far right), the first DJ I worked with who is still a key member of the team today, and one of my best friends, DJ John Bird.
The team and I share common values, so it doesn’t feel like a boss and employees. I feel like a coach, and these two are my star players, believe me!
On a trip to Bali, Indonesia with my girlfriend.
I’ve learned more from visiting other cultures than I ever could have by staying at home. I never thought of myself as a traveller, but when I was able to systemize my business, it became possible, so I took the opportunity.
Airwaves was featured in a book, called the Wind In Your Sails as a case study. It was a really cool experience and one of the first times I was able to share some of the things I learned founding Airwaves.
Hanging out in Japan.
Having a business that CAN operate without me means I’ve been able to go on trips I never dreamed of.
I still love my business and my team more than ever, but the freedom has allowed me to live many of my dreams.
In Cappadocia, Turkey with my girlfriend.
The air balloon companies were closed down due to wind so we hired a horse and carriage to take us around the countryside.
Proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Thank god I was able to get out of the car or I think I’d probably be dead.
A second emergency ambulance met us halfway to the hospital because the regular ambulance didn’t have the equipment needed to take care of me. When I asked him how bad it was, he told me it was a 10/10 serious.
Telling my story for ILEA to the Event Management and Business class at Capilano College in Vancouver.
A photo sent to me by the 2nd DJ ever hired at Airwaves, DJ Scott Macrae. He was hired on the west coast, then moved home to Australia, where he took this photo. He since has been re-hired on the East coast of Canada, nearly 2000 miles away because the company expanded.
Me with my first love, guitar.
Business doesn’t come naturally to me at all, so these lessons have been hard won. But the reward has been better than anything I can imagine and it has nothing to do with money.
Want to hear me play? Click here.
My Life Now:
I’ve learned through running Airwaves that a small business can be a beautiful thing. It creates freedom for you and your family, jobs for those around you and wisdom you can share with others so that they can do the same. I’ve learned that with the right formula and a systems in place you really can win.
Airwaves is so efficient now that there isn’t enough for me to do everyday to justify working at it 9 to 5. I meet my team members on Friday afternoons for a few hours where we go over the important things. Everyone has a job to do and we mostly just enjoy each other’s company, get a few things done and head home. It’s one of the days I look forward to, but if I really wanted to, Im sure I could make it so I didn’t even have to go to that.
Since I had so much spare time, I needed a new project. I decided to do the hardest thing I could think of, which was teach myself to code computers. It was so foreign to me. I started getting help from the smartest guy I know and eventually we decided to start a company together called Event Temple. One of my mentors from the Entrepreneur’s Organization came in with some funding and our company was born. The goal since the beginning has been to help entrepreneur’s win. Not just build more tools, but really have an impact on your business. We don’t even care about making money at first, as long as we are helping you win. In the end, that’s more exciting anyways.
So here’s to you. I hope I can share my experience, connections and resources to help you win however I can. Our dream at Event Temple is to help 1,000,000 businesses succeed and I really believe we can do that.
If you want to get in touch, you can email me at bob(at)eventtemple(dot)com.