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What J.D. Martinez Taught Me About Voice Over

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m a baseball fan. More specifically, a Red Sox fan. I’ve been to Fenway Park every year since 2013 and been a Sox fan much longer than that.

When they come to Detroit, I try to get there. When they come to Toronto, I try and get there. When the game is on, I try to watch or listen. I guess maybe that’s my hobby? Being a Red Sox fan, I mean.

In all the years I’ve watched Major League Baseball, all the way back to when Pat Borders posters decorated my walls as a kid, one thing I’ve never owned is a players jersey. Not once. T-shirts, yes. Hoodies, yes. Hats, of course. Even a few plain jerseys. Never a players jersey.

I’ve often said, and particularly in today’s age of baseball, why bother? Players are traded so frequently. Seldom will you see franchise players anymore. Say, like a Big Papi. About the time you drop the coin on that jersey, and baseball fans know they aren’t cheap, it becomes a relic of days gone by when your player signs with another team!

J.D. Martinez knocks a double off the Green Monster at Fenway – July 31, 2018

I’m a Martinez Fan; Not Specifically Because of Baseball

This week, while attending a game at Fenway, I broke my own rule.

I’m now the proud owner of a J.D. Martinez jersey. But perhaps not for the reasons you might think.

The numbers don’t like. He’s one of the top players in Major League Baseball this year. At the time of this writing, he leads the majors in home runs. He’s Top 5 or better in about half a dozen other batting categories. He was a 2018 All-Star.

None of that is why I picked up his jersey.

Back in June I heard a story about Martinez shared on a Red Sox broadcast. They talked about his work ethic when it comes to his hitting.

How To Succeed At Anything

When J.D. takes batting practice, there are three, yes, THREE iPads recording his swings. Every single one of his swings. After he’s done with B.P., he retreats to the clubhouse and reviews all the footage. He studies his swing, and makes adjustments necessary to be one of the premiere hitters in the league.

In his own words, “I always tell everybody that I’m not a natural hitter. I’m a trained hitter.” He continues, “I have to stay on top of it because my body will find a way to let 10 million swings I’ve taken when I was a kid slowly come back in. So, I have to grind away to get out of the bad habits.” *

That’s why I bought a J.D. Martinez jersey. That’s the kind of player, that’s the kind of person I want influencing me.

You aren’t going to become the best voice actor you can be by accident. #vopreneur
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Committed To Being The Best

I want to be so committed to my success that I do whatever it takes every single day, day in and day out, regardless of what level I reach in my career and business, to keep getting better. To keep developing new habits. Better habits. To keep old habits at bay.

I’m not a natural voice actor. I’m a trained voice actor.

I’m not a natural entrepreneur. I’m a trained entrepreneur.

Hearing that story, and watching J.D. Martinez with my own eyes both on television and in person, I knew if ever there was a players jersey I would proudly wear, it would be his.

When I was at Fenway Park on Tuesday, I bought one.

What Are You Going To Do About It

When did you last have a coach review some of your auditions?

When did you last review some of your auditions yourself?

When did you last have someone critique your website?

When did you last update your demos?

When did you last evaluate your marketing strategy?

When did you last measure progress on your goals?

J.D. Martinez isn’t one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball by accident. You won’t become the best voice actor your can be buy accident either,

Watch the tape. Check your habits. Stay accountable.

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5 Glorified Work Habits We Need to Break

I’m a recovering workaholic. Since a very young age, I’ve always held down at least two or three different jobs. Maybe I bore easily? Maybe I just need more friends? Or maybe I’m just so goal oriented that I’ll do whatever it takes to achieve those goals… including working too much!

Either way, now that I’m a bit older, I’ve definitely changed my perspective on certain practices that I used to think were essential to creating and growing a business.

Glorifying Overwork: Nobody ever shares a status update that they just had a glorious 12 hour sleep. But everybody shares a status update when they work at 12 hour day. Or a double shift. Or they’re working seven days straight. Or they started at 6am and are still plugging away at 3am. We want people to notice when we work hard so they can pat us on the bum and say, “good job!”

I totally get it. I’ve been that guy.

I’m not so much anymore. There’s really nothing cool about working like a slave. I’d also argue that there’s very little productive about it either.

Glorifying No Downtime: This ties into the first one. How many people do you know who can’t remember their last vacation? Their last weekend away? Their last day off without their phone or portable rig in tow? Are you one of those people? I certainly used to be one of those people. I was the guy who left his phone on all night and would wake up at 3:30a (if I had even gone to bed) to answer emails.

It’s ridiculous. And unsustainable. Take it from a guy who’s suffered burnout! More than once.

Instead of glorifying your commitment to 24 / 7 labour – which is likely less about your commitment and more about your craving for negative attention – go away for a weekend. A whole weekend. Don’t take your rig. Just go and relax and be present. Your long term business success will thank you!

We need to stop glorifying negative work habits and focus on creating positive ones!
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Glorifying Yes Men: Once upon a time, I tried to do absolutely everything all on my own. I said yes to every project. Yes to every request. Yes to every client. After all, saying no might mean I’d miss out on an opportunity, right? Oh, I missed out on opportunities, alright! Like opportunities to have fun. Opportunities to enjoy my business. Opportunities to love my work. Opportunities to get better.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in the last few years of full-time voice over is the importance of saying no. That in doing so, I’m actually do myself a favor in the long term. You can’t do everything. You shouldn’t do everything. That’s hard to accept when you’re self-employed and trying to get paid. But it’s true.

Know your strengths and your limitations and make good choices accordingly.

Glorifying Others: There are legends in the voice over business. Just like there are in any business. People who seems to shine just a little brighter. People who book the bigger projects. Land the bigger agents. Make the bigger dollars. It’s ok to respect these people. It’s also important not to put them on such a pedestal that you begin to doubt yourself and your own abilities.

“Oh, I’ll never be as good as [insert name here].”

We all have the same 24 hours each day. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. We all have the same opportunities to pursue and achieve success. Learn from the people who are further down the road than you, but don’t make them so big that you convince yourself what they’ve accomplished is unattainable.

Glorifying Busyness: “Just look at my task list. It’s got 273 items on it!” “Have you seen my schedule? It’s packed!” “I’ve got 14 browser windows open and I’m simultaneously using every last one of them… while I eat a sammich!”

Don’t confuse busyness with success. Don’t confuse multitasking with productivity. Just because you have a hundred things to do, or are currently doing one hundred things, doesn’t mean you’re being productive. In fact, more often than not, multitasking does nothing but diminish productivity. (This has been proven time and again through science and research).

If you accomplish one big goal each day, it’s entirely possible you’ll go ten times further than the person trying to accomplish 75!

Being intentional will serve you far more than being busy.

Maybe it all summarizes by simply reminding you to run your race? Or maybe it goes a little deeper.

Really, it’s about being strategic. Intentional. Making choices that have the most benefit to you and your business… long term! Sometimes that does involve a day off. Or saying no. Or reminding yourself you can do this!

It’s possible to be successful and sleep too!

I wish someone had told me that 20 years ago!

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5 Reasons You Need To Start Journaling

New Year’s Resolutions aren’t really my thing. I’m more of a goals guy. I suppose some might think the two are interchangeable. Perhaps, to a degree, that may be true. I guess I just see goals as being much more involved. More thought out. Better planned. Resolutions often seem too general. A happy thought, tossed into the ether on a whim.

If I’m going to accomplish anything, I need a plan. Hence, goals.

My New Years Resolution

journal-writingHowever, this year, for the fun of it, I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution. Something I wanted to pursue throughout the year that was good for me. Just not necessarily something involved enough to be a full-fledged goal.

For years I’ve read about the benefits of journaling. It’s a habit all the great entrepreneurs and most successful people practice daily. Being a great entrepreneur is a goal of mine. However, I’ve never been able to commit myself to journaling.

Until 2016.

That’s my resolution. To journal.

Here we are, two weeks into the new year. I’ve been journaling, (at the time of this blog) for exactly 14 days. I’m hooked. Entirely. In actuality, I’ve been questioning myself as to why I didn’t start doing this sooner! Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

Even in the short time since I began, I’ve already seen several incredible benefits which will now motivate me to keep this up throughout the year.

5 Reasons You Need To Start Journaling

1) Downloading My Thoughts: As someone who has insomniac tendencies, there’s nothing more frustrating than laying in bed at night, desperately wanting to be asleep, but instead, processing what seems to be an endless string of thoughts and ideas. Journaling seems to have solved this. Taking a few minutes to jot down what’s in my head before turning in for the night has resulted in some of the best sleep I’ve had in months!

2) Personal Accountability: One of the most vital pieces of the puzzle when it comes to accomplishing your goals is accountability. By writing down my daily activity, I’ve inadvertently created a new layer of accountability in my life. My journal tracks my progress.

3) Attitude Check: At the end of each day, one of the things I journal is my accomplishments. I document each blessing. Be it a booked voice over, a new client, a new opportunity or anything else worth celebrating. Ending my day this way, on a positive and reflective note, has also turned into a better start each morning. That was an unexpected side affect that’s kept me smiling for two weeks!

4) Creative Wellspring: Although the original intent of my journal was to simply document what I’ve been doing, it’s turned into something more. A launching pad for what’s to come! By reflecting on each days efforts and celebrating the successes, another surprise benefit has been how this act, has inspired me to new ideas. Writing down what’s working has sparked my mind to even more things to try.

5) Boosted Self Confidence: By the very practice of writing down what I’ve accomplished on a given day, I’m re-enforcing for myself my ability to do what I do for a living. Whether it’s a booked voice over, a successful coaching session or selling a course. My confidence is higher in the two weeks since I began journaling than it’s been in the two months prior to getting started.

January 1, I never would’ve guessed I’d see any of these benefits. Even if I had considered it as plausible, I certainly never would’ve believed it would happen so fast!

Now I understand why all the most successful people journal. If I’m enjoying these five unexpected benefits in just two weeks, I can’t wait to see how I feel after a couple months!

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.