Superpower: The Host with the Most
Peter Merkle, is the Chief Energy Officer of ChicagoWeddingDJs.com, founding member of the Chicagoland Chapter of the American Disc Jockey Association, guest speaker and author of “How To Have A Dream Wedding (and Avoid the DJ Nightmare).”
When I asked Peter to share his “superpowers,” the skills and talents that come most naturally for him, he surveyed his closest connections. The feedback came rolling in: Peter is gifted with a warm, friendly personality, an ability to build relationships and connect with various types of personalities. He makes people feel comfortable.
Peter’s superpower is getting people together to create memories, especially when he takes the role of host.
Biggest Business Challenge: Filling the Calendar
Like most wedding pros, Peter’s biggest ongoing challenge has been filling his calendar with enough events to make a living. “It’s not easy!” he says. “It’s like spinning plates; you get four spinning, but you’ve always got to go back to the first one.”
Peter sure makes it look easy. His secret?
Be in the right place at the right time.
The key to Peter’s success has been continually taking action and following up with the opportunities that present themselves.
Peter has found such opportunities by volunteering to MC for events like the Chicago Style Wedding Magazine launch. As a result, he’s earned the role “for life” and a reputation as a polished speaker. This single example has led to booked weddings for the magazine’s publisher and his son’s friends.
Peter credits his career change from working behind the scenes in the special events industry to managing a DJ franchise to a random conversation with his best friend.
“Saying yes didn’t always lead to what I thought it would, but something else great happens,” Peter explains. You need to take the initial action in order to reap the benefits later on.
Photo credit: Peter Merkle
Biggest Mistake: Acting Like a Lone Wolf
Peter felt all alone managing the DJ franchise. He couldn’t call up the competition when he had a question, and the absentee owner offered little help.
“Step outside your circle of influence and your circle gets wider.”
Peter eventually learned that he had to get involved and make connections if he wanted to succeed. The internet offers an opportunity to connect with others in the wedding industry, and joining associations like the American Disc Jockey Association and Wish Upon a Wedding has been essential.
Now he encourages discussions at DJ meetings and reads industry magazines like Mobile Beat and uses that circle of influence to uncover resources and find solutions for his challenges.
Charity of Choice: Wish Upon a Wedding
Peter chose to give the $200 donation won from the Book More Brides Survey Sweepstakes to the Chicago Chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding.
Wish Upon a Wedding started in Peter’s home town of Chicago a few years ago. The organization provides terminally ill brides and grooms with a ceremony and gathering free of charge.
“It’s a great way to give back,” Peter says.
Words of Wisdom: Seize Every Opportunity
One day Peter was visiting his widowed father. On the counter was a box of microwavable carrot cake mix, measuring cups and a bowl. It had obviously been sitting there for weeks.
“Dad,” Peter said. “We’re going to make that cake.”
That weekend Peter gathered his brother and sister-in-law to “bake” that microwavable carrot cake. They ate it together and created a wonderful memory.
10 days later, Peter’s father passed away.
“We all have these opportunities to create memories,” he says. “In our business it’s awesome to get money in the bank, and you should have and enjoy money, but if you were to die tomorrow, what’s more important?
“The relationships and connections you make are the most important thing.”
Peter’s Success Tips:
1. Say YES and take action. “When something prompts you or you see something interesting, do it. You never know what will happen.”
2. Be open and positive. When you show up with enthusiasm, it makes things happen.
3. Stay healthy and fit. “A double shot of espresso doesn’t hurt, either.”
Peter Merkle is the Chief Energy Officer of ChicagoWeddingDJs.com, founding member of the Chicagoland Chapter of the American Disc Jockey Association, guest speaker and author “How To Have A Dream Wedding (and Avoid the DJ Nightmare).”
photo credit: hahatango via photopin cc