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What’s Your One Thing?

Everything isn’t a priority.

Repeat that phrase. Out loud.

“Everything isn’t a priority.”

When you allow your task list to continue to grow, eventually you begin to feel overwhelmed. Once you feel overwhelmed, you end up getting stuck.

“Where do I start?”

When you don’t have an answer to that question, you end up not starting at all. You get paralyzed. Stuck.

Are you nodding your head in frustrated agreement right now because I just summarized your current state?

The best way to overcome it, is to figure out The One Thing.

What’s the MOST important thing you need to be doing right now? No… for the record… they aren’t ALL important!

Pick the one thing.

Take the first step.

Task lists can be great tools when they’re used properly. That includes prioritizing them.

Everything isn’t a priority.#vopreneur
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What’s Your One Thing?

What NEEDS to be done and what you’d like to do aren’t always the same thing.

Do what NEEDS to be done.

What is it?

  • Finding some new leads?
  • Sending some follow up emails?
  • Making a few marketing touches on social media?
  • Chasing down a couple of invoices?
  • Finally booking a session with that performance coach?
  • Reaching out to those past clients?
  • Writing and mailing a couple postcards?
  • Posting that new demo on your website?
  • Getting that website built?

One of the reasons I’m able to stay so productive is because I know what’s important and what isn’t. I plan out my week for success by choosing just a few goals that will get accomplished and not worrying about the rest.

Prioritize and take action.

Even small action.

Any action is better than no action.

Yes… you’ve got a million things that need to get done. They don’t all need to get done today.

Figure out your one thing and get started. Deal with the rest tomorrow.

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Man Cannot Live On Voice Over Alone

When you’re self employed, as those of us doing voice over for a living are, there’s a pressure that doesn’t exist when you work for someone else.

When you’re working for someone else there will always be a pay cheque coming. When you work for yourself, there isn’t necessarily the same kind of guarantee. For example, when I worked in radio, I got paid sick days and paid vacation. In voice over, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Period.

Open 24/7

Voice Over 24/7It’s really easy to let voice over consume you. If you’re on the Pay 2 Play sites, this is particularly true. You feel like you have to be in the studio all day everyday otherwise you’re missing the auditions.

Heck, on some of the sites, if you don’t audition within the first 10 minutes, you’re basically screwed. With that kind of pressure it’s no wonder it’s easy for us to let voice over consume us.

International clients add a whole other dynamic into the mix. Now you’re dealing with different timezones. The middle of the night for you might be the middle of the night for them.

Have you ever recorded a voice over a 3am? I have!

Burning Both Ends

I understand the pressure to audition for every opportunity, to talk to every client, to meet every last request and need.

Rent is still due. Hydro has to be paid. There’s cable bills, gas bills, water bills, insurance bills and on and on and on and on.

Taking time out of the studio means missing out on potential jobs. Missing out on potential jobs means less money in your pocket. Less money in your pocket means picking which bills don’t get paid.

So instead, we work. All the time.

Man Cannot Live On Voice Over Alone

day-offWhen you read that title you were expecting me tell you to get another job weren’t you? Assuming I’d say there’s no way to make a living in voice over and to add a second job to your schedule.

Sorry. Not what I meant. 😉

Instead, what I mean by man cannot live on voice over alone is, as much as the pressure may exist for you to be open for business 24/7, you need to resist it.

  • You need a day off.
  • You need a vacation.
  • You need a hobby.
  • You need time with family.
  • You need time with friends.

All of these things are absolutely essential to your life, your sanity and, believe it or not, your career.

If you burn yourself out by working 12, 14, 16 or 22 hours a day, pretty soon you’ll be good to no one, including yourself, your family and your clients. Your success depends on you finding a balance between work and play!

You success depends on you finding a balance between work and play!

Know When To Walk

Have you had a dry spell and felt like hope was lost? That’s when you need a day off.

Have you ever got frustrated with a client? That’s when you need a hobby.

Have you ever cursed equipment or software? That’s when you need family.

What I mean to say is, when things aren’t going well in the studio, forcing yourself to keep going will likely only make things go worse. When you’re having an off day, take a day off! Trust me, when you’re not in the right frame of mind, you won’t be making any money anyway!

It’s too easy to let work consume you when you’re self employed. One of the best things you can do for your career is create boundaries and stick to them. Make time for everything else and don’t worry about the auditions or maybe even the jobs you’re missing.

If there’s one thing this business has taught me it’s that there will be more opportunities tomorrow.

QUESTION: Do you schedule days off, vacations and keep priorities in balance? Or do you always make yourself available for work no matter what?