Let me tell you about the time I didn’t wear an under shirt to a wedding.
It was the summer of 2011. Newly broken up with my long-term girlfriend, I sought to find a second part-time job to fill up my now newly-acquired free time on the weekends. For some reason, I thought Wedding DJ was a healthy career choice for this moment in time.
I was running late to get to the wedding in which our story is set, so late in fact, I didn’t even have the time to change into my tuxedo until I was at the venue. When you’re that late people, the bathroom becomes your new dressing room. It was by the time that I had made myself at home in the handicapped stall of the Marriott’s lobby bathroom that I had realized I had forgot my white undershirt at home. I could run really really fast across the street to buy one from Walgreens, but nope. I decided the best thing for me to do at this point is to finish putting my tux on and continuing setting up my speakers. I was late running to the gig after all.
The night went off smoothly as most weddings do. The wedding party, friends, and family were all surfing on my selections of modern pop staples. I was seamlessly fading between Kenny Loggin’s Footloose into Abba’s Dancing Queen before all the aunts and grandmas start heading for the elevators. It was then I started to really sweat under my DJ booth lights. All the running around and talking on the mic had caught up with me, so I took off my tux coat, rolled up my sleeves and continued putting on great music we’ve all heard too many times at weddings. For two more hours I played.
It was only until the night was over and I was packing up my equipment that I caught my reflection in a mirror behind the bar. According to the information my reflection was giving me, I had sweated so much, you could see right through my white tux shirt. I might as well have been topless. “Oh my god! I can see my stomach!” I said out loud. The bartender caught my statement. “Whoa! Yeah, that’s not hiding anything!” He replied as if this add-on to the events was in some way wanted or useful. I covered up with my tux coat, grabbed my stuff and left, tipped for the night, but with tail between my legs.
When I take risks, and they fail, I need to accept the consequences. What happened has happened. I accept the fact that I essentially chose to stand under hot bright lights for 2 hours with my chest exposed to a hundred innocent bystanders. This story is about 9 years old, but I still retain the memory, because to me this is a very important moment in my life: it was when I started to care about professionalism. Now, I don’t just think about the undershirt when I’m getting ready for the day. I think about my socks, my shoes, my detailed to-do list, and that everything has a rhyme and a reason. When failure happens, I need to look at the positives of what came out it. I care about details a lot now, and a lot of it has to do with the decision I made that very warm July night in 2011.
How you make a sale shouldn’t be any different. Sometimes, you just got to take a chance and make a decision in the moment and your decision is sometimes going to be a lousy one. If it’s lousy, great! You’ve just given yourself a quality moment to evaluate the situation, build some character and alter your plan of action the next time you pick up the phone to talk to a customer. It’s important to see how you handle failure. How you react could change your life. Last time I counted I have about 5-7 white T’s in my closet. You should never skip on the small details.