Book review: 'Running Your Multi-Op' by Michael Walter
Open any American history book and before you get to the chapter about the American Revolution, you'll be introduced to a pamphlet entitled 'Common Sense,' written by Thomas Paine.
Although Mike Walter of Elite Entertainment would blush at his book, 'Running Your Multi-Op,' being compared to a literary work that helped shape the core values leading up to the American Revolution, his book evokes the same type of education for the DJ industry through scenario-driven theories and value-based life lessons.
Now before the comparison gets too far out of hand (DJs, don't go to war over this book), as you read you'll find yourself creating a mental checklist of your own DJ experiences.
Also, if you're not a note-taker or highlighter, I suggest you change your ways for this book. Walter doesn't lose you with anecdotes, he teaches you with them. But you need to make sure you note those sections for future quick reference.
'Running Your Multi-Op,' isn't meant to to jog your imagination or paint creative scenes in your head. Walter makes you feel like he's having a conversation with you about your specific DJ company. It may initially seem designed to be a self-help book but it's not. And that's a good thing.
Walter writes like he speaks. He admits that he writes in a matter-of-fact style. You'll quickly catch on but don't expect his words to always be pleasant. There will be parts of the book that evoke those DJ memories that haunt you or he'll make you second-guess the way you've structured your company.
It's refreshing that he addresses his ego a number of times. Walter is a successful business owner and concedes that he enjoys the attention he gets from hearing his voice on a microphone in front of large groups of people. This isn't a turn-off. In fact, it helps the reader continue to turn the pages.
He is self-aware about the way the industry perceives him but also how his staff does/will perceive him. This separation of self creates a sense of authority in his words.
If you've had lunch with Walter or listened to him speak at previous DJ Expos around the country, you're already familiar with some of his stories. He visits his Music Mixer training philosophies, introduces you to Phil - a former groom turned Elite emcee, and also educates you about what he calls his atypical beginnings in the DJ industry via Star DJs and his partnership turned purchase of Elite Entertainment.
If you're a Millenial (read the book for his definition) you will have a constant tug-of-war with some of Walter's theories about your work ethic or how you tackle the 'real world' on a daily basis.
It stings at times but he offers advantages and disadvantages of the Millenial generation and even admits to some of the pitfalls of his own generation.
Before you jump to conclusions about another elder hating on the younger generation, Walter makes it clear that Millenials need him and he needs Millenials. Common sense, remember?
The book is broken up into three different sections - 'Finding Talent,' 'Cloning Yourself,' and 'Running Your Multi-Op."
I suggest you don't read this book is one seating. I tried it and failed.
At less than 150 pages I'd generally categorize it as a quick read, but it's not. You need to digest each section. Don't move on until you're ready because you can quickly become overwhelmed by your own ideas and miss out on Walter's points of emphasis.
The only knock on the book is that I couldn't read it on my iPad. But for those of you who prefer to listen to Walter than to read him, you can download his book on tape and listen to it in the car or on a morning run.
CLICK HERE FOR AN AUDIO SAMPLE
This is a must-read from a must-meet person in the DJ industry. If you haven't purchased the book already, it would benefit you to do so before you watch and listen to Walter deliver his 'Running Your Multi-Op' seminar at this year's DJ Times DJ Expo next month in Atlantic City, NJ.
After reading (or listening) to the book, whether you're a single-op, multi-op, or a DJ by trade, you'll be inspired to change your bad habits and maybe even start your own personal or professional DJ revolution.
About the book reviewer:
Vincent Anthony Velasquez is the co-owner of Hurricane Productions DJ Entertainment. He is also a reporter for the Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ. Velasquez covers sports with a focus in Rutgers football, high school sports and minor league baseball. He also shoots and edits video for the Ledger's NJ.com website.