If you want to be great at a “thing”, one of the easiest ways to help you get there is to study those that have come before you. Those that are already great at whatever that “thing” may be.
That’s why, last week, I dove deep into a book on Elon Musk. If you want to be a great entrepreneur, you study people like Steve Jobs, Jim Henson and Elon Musk. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our generation.
After reading the book in three days, I’ve got a few takeaways I wanted to share. All of these are relevant to growing your voice over business.
Five Voice Over Lessons Learned From Elon Musk
1) Know Your Why: Elon Musk wants to save the human race. He feels we’re in danger from a number of different factors, not the least of which is sustainability. This passion to see the human race survive and thrive is what drives him. His electric cars (Telsa) will help massively reduce the carbon footprint, and his rockets (SpaceX) will one day help us colonize Mars when we run out of room and resources on earth. Whether you agree with his thinking or not is irrelevant. What matters is Elon found his why and it drives him to greatness every day.
VO Application: What’s your why? Mine is freedom and flexibility. That’s why I wanted to go into business for myself. Creating that lifestyle is the Why that drives me daily.
2) Fail Fast: Musk may be worth billions now, but that wasn’t always the case. The Telsa Model S may be one of the most desired cars on earth, but that wasn’t always the case. SpaceX rockets may be successfully launching into space now, but that wasn’t always the case. Musk has had his share of failures. One thing I noticed, though, was when he failed, he recovered quickly. He didn’t linger on it. He picked up, fixed what needed to fixed, and kept pushing forward.
VO Application: Have you wasted a session with a bad coach? Lost money on a bad demo? Messed up on an important audition? Find the lessons, learn them and then keep moving forward. Don’t get stuck in a failure.
3) Passion: Musk is a rockstar in so many spaces because he’s passionate about each of his endeavours. This guy eats, sleeps and breathes electric cars and rockets and solar. He doesn’t care about anything else. His attention isn’t split in a dozen different directions. He knows what he’s passionate about and he throws his passion full-bore into each space.
VO Application: Success in this business comes to those who are passionate. Not to those who are looking for easy, fast money. If you don’t love voice over, don’t do it. Find what you are passionate about and pursue it with all you’ve got.
4) Persistence: In 2008, Musk nearly lost everything. Both Telsa and SpaceX were literally days away from going under. He had hundreds of millions of his own dollars invested in both companies, but neither had struck yet. Many others would’ve given up. Cut their losses. Walked away. Not Musk. He dug in, got incredibly resourceful, kept working, kept believing, kept pushing and now, today, he’s worth 10 billion dollars. Yes, that’s with a B.
VO Application: So often, when things are the hardest, and look the darkest, that’s when we’re closest to a breakthrough. So many people miss that breakthrough because they give up too soon. Persistence pays off.
5) Hustle: True, “hustle” is Gary Vanynerchuk’s word, but if ever there was another person that embodied it, it’s Musk. As I read the book, I repeatedly found myself asking, “does this guy ever sleep?” Person after person interviewed for the book, from family to friends to current and former employees all echoed a similar sentiment that, nobody works harder than Elon Musk. Success doesn’t come easy!
VO Application: When you think you’ve sent enough marketing emails for the day, send five more. When you think you’ve submitted enough auditions, send five more. When you think you’ve attended enough training classes or seminars, sign up for one more. When you’ve read five books on sales and marketing, read five more. The bigger your hustle, the greater your success!
If you haven’t read the book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Advance, I highly recommend it.