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How I Made My Voice Over Dream A Reality

* This is a follow up to What’s REALLY Stopping You From Achieving Your Dreams? *

Since I was a kid there’s been an entrepreneur in me just waiting to get out. From childhood “businesses” selling baseball cards and fixing bicycles to starting a woodworking business when there wasn’t enough money coming in from radio. If there’s one thing I’ve always known about myself, it’s that I wanted to be my own boss.

But there were too many barriers in the way.

What if I don’t make enough money?

What if I can’t support myself?

There’s no way I can quit my radio job.

Barriers? Or fear?

Knocking Down A Wall

dreams-reality-d-citylifeI had done voice over on the side since 1995. I’d always dreamed of doing it full-time, but never actually believed I could. For the reasons listed above… among others.

For around 17 years I had come up with every reason imaginable why it couldn’t and wouldn’t work.

So I stayed with what I knew. Radio. It’s not that I didn’t like radio. I really did. It was a fun job. But deep down inside, there was still that entrepreneur that wanted to get out. And there was the dream. No matter how hard one tries, a legit dream can never be fully suppressed.

For me… it took getting downsized. When I couldn’t force myself to quit radio and pursue voice over full-time, God forced my hand.

Suddenly I found myself unemployed with no prospects and no desire to return to radio. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but looking back I can clearly see that it was God breaking down a barrier for me. My refusal to quit radio and even try for full-time VO.

Asking New Questions

When I did voice over on the side I didn’t worry about how much money I made. Radio paid the bills. Voice over was extra. I auditioned when I had the time. I didn’t really do any marketing at all. Just a few Pay 2 Play memberships. That was good enough.

But now I had no money. No income stream. No prospects.

All the questions I asked that kept me from doing voice over suddenly needed new answers. It was no longer 101 reasons why I can’t do this full-time. I needed 101 reasons why I could. And I needed those answers fast!

  • How can I create new demos?
  • How can I market myself?
  • How do I build a web presence?
  • How do I establish credibility?
  • How do I get noticed?
  • How much money do I actually need to earn to sustain myself?
  • How do I earn at least that much money?

Finding The Answers

ask new questionsHere’s the thing I learned by having my hand forced… all of my fears about doing voice over full-time were based on unfounded answers to questions that I never actually bothered taking the time to thoroughly research.

When I broke the big fears down to smaller problems, all of the sudden I discovered that every answer I needed was out there. And most of them were well within my grasp. Attainable with a little time, a little sweat, a little hard work, a little perseverance.

That’s the key. Don’t just say, “I can’t.” Break it down. Why can’t you? Or better yet, why do you think you can’t? What are the problems standing in your way.

Write those down.

Then, one by one, start finding solutions.

Living The Dream

I was downsized at the end of January in 2012. I spent a couple months in a daze, trying to figure out what happened. Why it happened. How it happened. What I was going to do next.

By the Spring, I was starting to find the answers to the questions that had been holding me back for years.

In 2012, I made roughly $13,000 doing voice over. I’d say I ate a lot of Kraft Dinner, but the truth is, I didn’t each much at all. I couldn’t afford it. 🙂

In 2013, I more than tripled my income. No longer was I referring to myself as unemployed and still trying to figure out my next move. Now, I was a full-time voice over talent.

In 2014, so far, I’ve almost quadrupled my 2012 income.

Now when people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m living my dream!