10 years ago today, I looked up at Dash Berlin at Freaknight 2013 and I thought to myself, that’s it. That’s what I am going to do with the rest of my life.
I had never seen anything like it. I had never experienced anything like it. But at that moment I had never been more sure of anything in my life. I had probably been in college for less than a month, I had just turned 19, and yesterday I turned 29.
So much has changed since then, we have achieved so much of what I set out to do, and as I look forward, my focus is to the future. It feels less about what I can create for myself, and more about how I can provide opportunities for others. I’m not saying I’m ready to kick my feet up and congratulate myself on a job well done or hang up my headphones. Not even close. My mission continues to be fostering the next generation of DJs who will take over the industry long after my prime is passed. I hope they do so with a love for the craft, and care for the community. Both the people who attend our events, and the people putting them on.
Looking back, I find it funny just how confident I was in that moment at Freaknight and in the weeks following. That I was going to make music my life’s mission. I remember telling my friends as if it was a forgone conclusion, an inevitability that would only be proven by time. To my credit, I got to work. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I knew it wouldn’t just happen overnight, I knew I would have to set my mind to it, but I was certain that it would become my reality.
People have asked me over the years what the hardest thing is about owning a business, but the answer is simple. Starting a business is pretty easy. Anyone can own a business, that is not difficult in itself. File some paperwork with the Secretary of State, pay $75 and boom you have a business license. The hard part is keeping it going. That is the challenge. 10 years later and I attribute the success of Orion to the people around us. Of course, our incredible team of talented DJs, and my fiancee turned business partner Austin. All of our fellow DJs, family, friends, photographers, planners, and event professionals that believed in us, see the difference we are trying to make in this industry and everyone who continues to refer us to their clients. Of course we would be nothing without our amazing clients who trust us with some of the most important celebrations of their lives.
It seems hard to believe but I can confidently say that some of the best nights of my life have been behind the booth, helping facilitate something that can only be described as magic. The collision of energy, an explosion of joy, freedom from life’s suffering in many ways. If only for a few hours. It is truly one of the greatest honors to be able to give that to others, and it is exactly why I wanted to become a DJ in the first place, I just remember thinking that I would be happy if I could bring others happiness.
I think what I never expected was how many ways my life would be enriched by this mission, the incredible people who have come into my life because of this journey, and certainly many lost a long the way. While the road hasn’t been easy, when I take stock of all that we have, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude, and a reassurance that I am where I am meant to be, with who I am supposed to be with, on the path I was destined for.
In honor of our 10 year anniversary, we have revamped the Orion Logo and it will be gold with a 10 inside for the entire year! Thank you to everyone who helped make this dream a reality. Here’s to the next 10.