James Altucher, editor at The Altucher Report, had an eye-opening experience recently. He decided to sign up for DJ classes. According to his own description of himself, he’s a bit of a loner … and a recluse … and a social misfit.

So, why would he want to learn to be a DJ? Not that introverts of any kind can’t be DJs. Everyone just brings his own flair to it, right? There’s no real right or wrong way to do it. In Altucher’s case, he thought, “By learning new ways to ‘express myself’, I want to learn to write better.”

Fair enough. Becoming adept at one thing usually does help you to also become better at something else. No doubt, this challenge was going to be tough for someone like him. The DJ leads the party. It’s the DJ who, in expressing himself in relation to the crowd sets the tone for the whole experience. How will Altucher, who doesn’t even like going outside, manage to master the craft. Learning the techniques is one thing. Learning how to read and respond to the crowd is something totally other. That presents a learning curve for most people. I imagine it would be particularly difficult for a person who is so uncomfortable in all social settings.

In the end, Altucher does end up DJing some gigs. He even ends up clearing the dance floor sometimes. That, his instructor tells him, is what separates a real DJ from a wannabe. In other words, someone who clears the dance floor is interested in taking risks, even if that risk results in the opposite of what he wants. So, I guess despite the social difficulties Altucher experiences, he can now call himself a real DJ.

I understand that sometimes a transition, a mix … something you try is going to go very wrong. The very thing that you thought will be the coolest thing ever turns out to clear the dance floor. It happens, sure. But, maybe the key to being a great DJ isn’t to just take any risk. It’s to take calculated risks. It’s to purposely change things up just enough to show your creativity, but not go down in flames.

How willing are you to take risks while DJing a gig?

Read the article here.