It’s often said that success, in the VO business, is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes hard work, perseverance, dedication, grit, hustle, sweat, long hours, late nights, a thick skin, and oh - did I mention hard work? :) On those days where stress is high and things seem overwhelming, it's always good to remember why you got into the biz in the first place - and hopefully, that is for the sheer JOY of the craft!
Turn the Corner
I’ve been in some form of education my whole life. It’s a bit of a calling. I love sharing my passion with others. Experiencing an A-HA moment and seeing a student's eyes light up with understanding and joy is one of the best gifts I could ever receive. That’s what has kept me tied to being an educator on a professional level for almost 31 years (!!) now. Since this was a vocation that provided me with much happiness, I brought it to my voiceover business as well when I transitioned to full-time. Voice over gave me an opportunity to share my passions and broaden my student audience, not only through my coaching but from behind the mic as well. The fact that I have a daily opportunity to affect, inspire, and motivate a listener with my voice is the challenge and the joy that keeps me in this industry year after year, no matter the script. What is your joy? Acknowledge it, write it down, and display it where you can always see it so you can be reminded when things get tough!
Choose your station
“Sure”, you say. “It’s easy to feel joy when you’re recording in the booth, but that’s not where I spend most of my time.” It’s true, a lot of voice actors tend to spend a majority of their time outside of the booth - working on things such as generating leads, cold calling, email marketing, content generation, SEO, etc… To some people, that time isn’t necessarily the most fun time spent as a voice actor. But could it be? For me, I find great joy in being able to rise to the challenge of creating and growing my own business. When you go on a long drive, and it’s not the most exciting drive ahead of you, what do you do? You find a good playlist or a great audiobook and have a good time. Why not have the same attitude when it comes to some of the work that might not be your favorite? There is always an opportunity to create joy, with whatever you’re doing. Find a way to make it fun, find a way to create joy. Or as I always say - If it really doesn't bring you joy, outsource it!
Ignore the GPS
As you’re building your voiceover business, you may find yourself looking for quicker and more efficient ways to get those more mundane tasks completed. You know those tasks you've been putting off for another day? Try and remember that a joyless mindset doesn't often lead us to our best work. But what if you could change your direction? Be creative and try to think outside of the box. If creating marketing emails doesn't thrill you, what can you do to add some joy to the task? Perhaps you can create fun content that your potential clients will find useful or even entertaining. Maybe it’s time to get a YouTube channel going. (I mean, I did!) How about sharing your passions in a podcast? Maybe you could network with some other voice talent and pool your marketing efforts. Or even invest a little - book a consult with a marketing expert to spark new ideas, or even let the BOSSES help you with your marketing! Take the time to dig a little. Figure out a new way, a different way that can help you accomplish those tasks while upping that joy factor.
Hit the brakes
Sometimes the best course of action when you feel deep in the mire, is to take a step back. Take a break. Breathe. Get some perspective. If what you’re doing every day feels like a grind, it’s going to eventually wear you down and wear you out. I’ve seen many new talent fall by the wayside because things just got too overwhelming, or they just got frustrated and quit. Don’t let that be you. If you are really feeling like you just can’t sit down and send one more email, then don’t. Do something that makes you happy, that brings you joy. Maybe it’s baking, or taking a hike, or playing with your studiocats. (I know that helps me). Maybe you need a longer break, that’s ok. The point here is to take some time so that you recharge that energy that got you started in this industry in the first place. Once you feel the shift, then get back to it.
It’s a choice
Joy is a choice. Through any task, joy is a choice. There’s a story of a monk and his student walking down a rainy muddy street through the village. They come across a woman dressed very nicely and struggling to find a way to cross the street without getting her clothes dirty and muddy. The Monk offers to carry her across the muddy street. The woman accepts, but berates the monk the entire time, warning him not to let her nice expensive gown touch the mud. When the monk puts her down on the other side of the street. The woman looks at her dress and see’s a small spot of mud near the hem. She then huffs off without a word. After the woman leaves the monk and student continue their journey to the next village. The student can’t believe how ungrateful the woman was. The student thinks, “What a horrible person, the monk went out of his way to help and she was so mean the entire time.” As they walk, the student mulls this over and over and starts to become angrier and angrier each passing hour at that woman. Finally, the student can’t hold his thoughts in anymore. He says to the Monk, “How could you let that woman yell at you like that?” “She was so ungrateful and mean, you just stood there and let her berate you.” The monk stops walking and turns around with a smile on his face. “Funny,” he says, “I put her down hours ago, and yet here you are still carrying her.”
Sometimes you just have to create joy, no matter the circumstances.
Make sure to check out the VO BOSS Modern Mindset series for more tips on how to create joy and mindfulness in your business!
Much love and Keep on rockin' your biz!
About the Author: Anne Ganguzza is a full-time voice talent and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voice over and business skills - including VO demo training and production. She specializes in Conversational Commercial and Narration styles, including Corporate, E-Learning, Technology, Healthcare - Medical, Telephony, and On-Hold. Located in Orange County, CA, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students in person and via Skype, ipDTL or Zoom.