On page 107, Michael Walter, the owner of Elite Entertainment, writes “My mom used to tell me, -Being smart doesn’t mean you have to know all the answers. It just means you have to know how to find them-.”
In his new book and proverbial treasure map, Running Your Muil-Op, Michael spoon-feeds 20 years of advice on how to recruit and develop talent, how to effectively manage and delegate day to day operations, and how to deal with the inevitable growing pains that come along with running a thriving small business. It’s like Vince Lombardi opening up his playbook and handing it off to Captain Jack Sparrow.
All of the nuggets are delivered with enough real world experience and wit to keep the reader engaged, even during the self-described “more boring legal stuff” section.
What I love about the book is that Michael’s information is universal; His tips about taking your employee’s spouses and significant others into consideration throughout the year is relevant to any CEO. The sections about embracing technology for organizational purposes and marketing will be helpful to any entrepreneur. And the parts about trust, resolve, humility, ego, reality and balance make the book a good read for anyone who likes to learn life lessons via entertaining anecdotes. (I love how he and his former business partner decided that it was time to move into an office.)
Walter is like a Gary Vee. He’s got a lot of energy to burn and plenty of useful information to share that will motivate others to take action. He also thrives on progress and readily admits that he likes the attention. Walter is the kind of guy that you ask to take out to lunch someday after you see him speak at a national conference or read one of his re-tweeted articles. That’s actually how I met Michael 10 years ago. He was asked to produce the DJ of the Year Competition by DJ Times Magazine back in 2001. I put my hat in the ring and and was fortunate to win. Not just because I won a couple of nice plaques and got some great press… but because I met someone who would become one of my best friends. (notice I didn’t say “lucky.” Michael and Branch Rickey don’t really believe in luck)
If you follow this blog, you know I keep things positive, but I also keep things real. So I was really happy that Mike’s book didn’t suck. That would have been awkward. To the contrary, I’m happy to report that all of the initial reviews, beyond our circle of friends since its debut last month- have been stellar.
“Mike has given away the keys to the candy store. Shared all the trade secrets. Divulged the secret recipe… is he crazy to do so? Maybe. Is he a genius? Definitely. And generous? OH YES.” – Scott Faver
My favorite part of the book was the Epilogue: Words to Live By. Mike shared several examples of what inspires his business philosophy and life principles. He quotes everybody from Sting to Aristotle and mentions everything from Fatal Attraction to The Serenity Prayer. (it keeps you on your toes- like when Tony Hsieh quoted Winnie the Pooh in his book, Delivering Happiness) This is a nice snapshot of what our entertainingly-eclectic conversations sound like when we are flying out to a speaking engagement together or while we are out for a training run.
Michael is a fellow “Life Is Good“ fan and he and the love of his life, Kelly, are big supporters of the Sunshine Club. I thought the excerpt below from the final chapter of the book really encapsulates the Celebrate Life vibe we promote here and just might inspire someone out there in the world today…. -mp
…” one of the more awesome things about DJing as long as I have, is bringing joy to so many people. When we do what we do well, that’s what we do. We get people to dance, laugh, sing, and celebrate. We get them to leave their routine lives for a few hours and to enter a world where their troubles and difficulties don’t exist. There is only the here and the now at a good party. Nothing else matters-”… ~Michael Walter
Click here to order your copy of Running Your Multi-Op.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @DjMikeWalter
Some of my “job” requirements as an entertainer and entrepreneur are to perform in places like Las Vegas, to eat in restaurants like Carnevino, to listen to guys like Don Piper and to attend shows like Cirque Du Soleli‘s, Love. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve got one of the best jobs in the world. Well, maybe it’s a tie with this guy.
Mike, Jason and I landed in Vegas on Superbowl Sunday. Normally, you wouldn’t find me watching football for three hours in a row; but when the underdog team actually has a chance to win and you find out how cool the quarterback is, count me in. Even though the game was awesome and the commercials were funny, my favorite part was when Drew Brees held his son up at the end. Unless you’ve gone to the dark side and become completely cynical and devoid of all human emotions, it was a goosebump-inducing Kodak moment.
Some of you may remember the hit show, Soul Train. “A groove that will make you move real smooth.” Don Cornelius and the Soul Train Gang used to bring “peace, love, soul” and some great music into America’s living rooms every week. John Rozz, from Sound Spectrum Entertainment, produced a Soul Train tribute event at the top of the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas to commemorate the show’s 40th anniversary. I was chosen to be one of the performance Emcees. The event featured classic videos, retro costumes, Text Live, and two of the biggest disco balls I’ve ever seen. Good times!
While in Vegas for the show, I attended several business and entertainment-related workshops to indulge MMP’s infinite commitment to continuing education. Topics included; decor lighting design, enhanced customer service techniques for brides and grooms, fresh ideas for Bar Mitzvah interactives, enhanced technology applications for improved social media relationships and advanced production concepts for the new decade. Culinary & hospitality highlights for some of these presentations took place at the Sterling Club, the Capital Grill and Carnevino.
**Editors Note: I didn’t realize that chef Mario Batali’s highly sought-after 7 course “meat tasting” menu at Carnevino was served a bit on the rare side (seared). The staff was very accommodating and offered those of us who are used to eating our steak at The Outback-…a NY strip that was out-of-this-world in exchange without laughing out loud. At least, not right in front of us.
p.s. The staff plugs Mario’s iPod directly into the restaurant’s sound system and just lets her rip at random- at a high volume. Luckily, my group and I were fans of the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.
The highlight of the week was the presentation given by Don Piper, the author of the best selling book, 90 Minutes in Heaven. Bonnie Traylor’s review of the his book on Amazon will bring you up to speed on the messenger and the message…
“Written in straight-forward, simple style without a lot of “religionese,” Don Piper has told the story of his devastating accident, his brief time in heaven and his return to a life full of pain and questions. I read it cover-to-cover in two hours and then loaned out my copy. I would recommend this book to just about anybody — to those with questions about faith, questions about prayer, questions about life and death and pain which we all face to some extent.
His descriptions of heaven are human ones – simple, not overly poetic or grandiose, just those of someone who experienced the indescribable and then tried to describe it. I loved the descriptions of the incredible heavenly music and I get the feeling that vast choirs and heightened senses await us there. And despite the incredible experience, Piper found it too personal, too private, and too intimate to share with anyone for over a year after his accident. I’m so glad he found the courage to do so.
I also love the honesty with which he describes his pain and depression and the inevitable questions that we must face when we have close encounters with the Almighty. The God we meet is often not the one we expected, and while we can’t understand why God does what he does, we can no longer deny this God we don’t understand. And while we hold these two things together, our lives are changed and grace is showered down amid the ruins of what we thought was important to us.”
I found Don’s speaking style to be very similar to his writing style. He masterfully connects with his audience and effortlessly delivers his messages. The one sentiment that has stuck with me since that day was, “find a new normal.” No matter what happens, regardless of the circumstances- find a new normal… embrace it, and move on. I know many of the readers of this blog can appreciate the change in dynamic that occurs within a lifetime. Not only am I finding a new normal, I’m learning that “normal” is an extremely subjective frame of mind.
I liked how Don never sugar-coated how difficult life can be and never pretended that life was always fair. Most of all, I loved how Don proved beyond a shadow of a doubt how important it is to have faith in someone and to have something to believe in.
Speaking of love, the icing on the cake of a great week in Vegas was seeing Cirque Du Soleli’s interpretation of the Beatle’s, Love show. Even if you’re not a big fan of the Beatles and only know their popular recordings like me, you’ll still be amazed, wow’d and blown away by the dancing, the acrobatics and the theatrical spectacle that Cirque shows are famously known for. From the opening number of Get Back to the grand finale mega-mix of Hey Jude, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonley Heart’s Club Band and of course, All You Need Is Love, you couldn’t help but to smile and say to yourself, “life is good.”
(Honorable mention for the icing on the cake award was sitting outside at the Paris casino’s cafe, Mon Ami Gabi, eating Bananas Foster while watching Bellagio’s Fountain Show across the street. I had the chance to catch up with my good friends, Scott Faver, from Arizona, and Chuck Lehnhard, from Hawaii.)
What a week!
On the flight home, the words of Steve Wynn came to mind… “Las Vegas is sort of like how God would do it if he had money.”