Actually, it’s a game of DB’s in Voiceover, but the metaphor is the same.
I’ve been reminded recently of the importance of putting everything I have in every audition and every day of business. I’d like to thank my friend, and fellow VO, Chad Letts for the humbling conversation a few months ago when we were catching up and discussing our careers.
One thing I hadn’t taken ownership of at that time was having an “entrepreneur” mindset. I thought I had, but my mindset was clearly still in the “hobby” zone, and that flawed view of my business had a negative impact on my bottom line.
The fact of the matter is, even though I had been in voiceover a few years and had an LLC, I had never fully relied on the business. I never “had” to treat it like a business as I had another career. That’s not to say I didn’t think I had done enough, learned enough over the years or I wasn’t at a place to make the jump. However, once you’ve jumped, the reality of gravity hits rather quickly.
It was in that conversation with Chad and listening to his mentality on how he treats his Business, that I realized I had a lot of work to do. It was clear at that moment that I was still looking at my business as a voice talent first and a businessman second. As Josh Alexander puts it in his book “Voiceovers: A Super Business – A Super Life“
You can do voiceovers as a hobby, or you can do voiceovers as a business. The choice, and the subsequent income tier, is entirely yours.Voiceovers: A Super Business – A Super Life, Joshua Alexander
A quick note about Josh:
Josh writes in such a way that you can’t help but be challenged and motivated with every page. If you’re new to the voiceover industry, thinking about getting into it, or heck, been in it for decades, go check out Josh Alexander. He is a facilitator of people and has a unique gift of bringing the industry together and encouraging everyone to be their best.
Back to the story:
In the midst of changing my mindset, something really cool happened. It actually started to produce more results. Weird, right?
I started to incorporate a business-like mentality that had me sending emails to strangers and actually converting them to clients (inch). Next thing you know, I’m on the phone cold calling agencies and production houses (inch). Adding actual dollars to my bottom line (awesome inch).
When you hear the truth, accept the truth and grow from it.
My coach and agent, Lynda McCarrell, once told me, “Your auditions are always in the arena. I want you to be on the ballfield.” Now, some might say “Ouch,” but not me.
We send our auditions out and have no idea how they’re being received unless we get a callback or booked. Everyone goes through slumps and when you’re in one, it’s easy to start questioning if they are even good at all!
So, to me, she gave the best critique possible. Hence, why she’s an incredible coach and agent. She validated me in the sense that I wasn’t sending out garbage auditions but also, challenged me to leave it all on the field with every audition. Another… Inch.
Putting it all together
All of the coaching (inch), the conversations (inch), the books (inch), my former career (inch?). Everything I have experienced to this point is being lived out every day in my business. Those inches of knowledge and growth add up to where you currently are. What excites me most is knowing that this is only where I am, not where I’ll be. I get to keep adding to the “inches” that are continually “inching” me closer to my goal.
All this momentum did something else. It created more confidence in the booth. Now, my business began clicking on all cylinders.
Being in the arena is fun, but being on the field is more fun.
Put the inches together, leave it all on the field, and give them no other choice than to call you up next to bat.
You never know when that slight advantage will give you the edge over the rest of the competition. Chase the “inches” and you’ll win the game.
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