You Need to Know This DJ Slash Entrepreneur Slash Angel Investor

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Lars Niki/Getty Images for Saks Fifth Avenue

You really need to know MICK. 

Mick Batyske is a DJ who moonlights as a startup investor, a father to the cutest kid you’ve ever seen and an entrepreneur with more gems of wisdom than a jeweler. He’s self-made and self-taught. You wouldn’t know it from his humble attitude, but he’s spun for Will Smith, LeBron James and in the White House for Michelle Obama, to name a few. “Batyske's relentless hustle, creative endeavors and sharp business sense make him a unique combination of Gary Vaynerchuk and Questlove,” said Inc.

We’re delighted to have him in the ONE37pm family, and we got a chance to ask him our most pressing entrepreneur questions. Take a look.

Describe your personal brand-building strategy in one sentence.

Mick Batyske: The MICK brand is authentic, multi-hyphenated, future-proof and diverse.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as someone who is self-employed?

Batyske: What you put into life is what you get out of it. My happiness, income and success have a direct correlation to my intent, my ability to work hard (and smart!) and the way I treat other people. If you’re waiting for someone to come save you, that’s not gonna happen. At all.

Tell us about the time in your career when you felt the most stuck.

Batyske: Five years ago, I was stuck in a personal brand that wasn’t truly representative of who I had professionally become. It also wasn’t future proof. The kid who had started DJing in a college dorm room playing Wu-Tang vinyl was not the man, father and entrepreneur that I had become. I had to refocus and aim my brand toward where I was going, instead of being stuck in an inauthentic space. Needless to say—and I’m lucky—it worked out.

What do you consider your greatest failure to date? What did it teach you?

Batyske: I don’t really believe in failure. I think we all fuck up. I understand people can hate on you and make your life difficult. I think things can, perhaps, not go our way all the time. But I’m a big believer in Stoic philosophy. The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday is my favorite book. It’s made me rethink how I see everything. People, missed flights, screaming toddlers, human relationships and opportunities...Everything is a lesson.

How do you take your coffee?

Batyske: I actually hate regular coffee. I usually get a double shot of espresso or maybe some iced coffee. Recently, I’ve been trying a CBD-infused cold brew by this new brand Good Day. It makes me focused yet chill at the same time.

Considering your son, Myles, how do you balance your career and your life as a father?

Batyske: I just make sure I put Myles first in all my thoughts, decisions and reactions. I only make decisions that would make him proud, and I consider it an honor to provide for him.

I have my son for half of the week, and I will move heaven and earth to make sure I am present on my days. My ability to go from a DJ booth in L.A. straight to a midnight red-eye flight to a Brooklyn breakfast with my kid is uncanny. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. 

Also, I have a fun life, so I try to involve him as much as possible. He asks all the time to come to work with me, and to know that he loves what I do is the best feeling ever. He helps me with music (although his tastes are a little rudimentary) and he comes with me to meetings (because that means he gets to try some new pizza). I’m even going to teach a DJ lesson at his preschool this fall.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to launch their own business?

Batyske: First off, do it. Don’t say you’re going to do it and never do it. Put down the Xbox. Give up the Netflix. Skip hanging with your friends. And just do it. And also educate yourself. It’s free and easy. Be smart as fuck at how you do it.

What’s your favorite part about what you do?

Batyske: Oh my God… so many. I know I’m following my passions and making a fun life out of it. I know my son has an amazing life because of my work. I’ve met my closest friends because of what I’m privileged to do. The travel can be exhausting, but getting paid to see the world is a real blessing. I feel like I haven’t had a real job since I worked for my grandfather in seventh grade. That’s a pretty cool feeling.

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