Happy 20th anniversary to me!
I launched my voiceover business 20 years ago.
Since my last post was about using my journal, it’s only appropriate that this one goes back to where it all began, my first entry in my first book.
Saturday 8/28/1999 9:25pm
I’m spending my evening copying the CD of my first voice-over demo with the plan to mail a few to agents on Monday. How I got to this point and where I go from here will be the subject of this journal.
Friday 9/3/99 10:15pm
On Wednesday, September 1, 1999, I mailed 3 CDs to [3 Atlanta VO agents]. It was such a huge step, and I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment and excitement to have pushed the dream out to people who could do something about it!
The past 20 years have been a remarkable evolutionary journey, to say the least! As I was reflecting on all that I’ve seen, read, written, voiced, and otherwise done in that time, I decided a blog post of 20 things I’ve learned would be a great way to celebrate this milestone!
So here’s the list, in no particular order. By the way, you’ll find more private journal entries sprinkled throughout these articles!
1) As I wrote in my journal on 8/30/99 (the part highlighted in green is from that journal entry), all of your family or friends won’t necessarily support you in your efforts to follow your dreams. That’s okay. People are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
2) Like so many people, I mailed my first demo to VO agents without first establishing I was a marketable commodity who could offer them something they didn’t already have among the people they represent.
3) My library has a smorgasbord of material that will help me move forward in this career.
4) Every freelance voice talent/audiobook narrator needs a web site so people can find you. You wouldn’t believe how many times I see people asking on Facebook for contact info for a certain audiobook narrator. For what it’s worth, I’m on version 4 of my web site, and it probably won’t be my last.
5) Being a creative person in the public eye means that bad reviews go with the territory. If the reviews reveal a trend, it’s time to work with a coach to improve. Otherwise, shrug off the criticism.
6) I learned 6 valuable lessons from my first voiceover job.
7) If you don’t have work, create your own, and then do it again.
8) When the idea fairy hands you an inspired idea, act quickly because ideas love speed.
9) People who are price shoppers will cause you to spend the most time on their project, aren’t easily satisfied, brag to their friends about beating you down on price, and are often the slowest to pay. I don’t compete on price but instead market my strengths to prospective clients.
10) I’ve read a lot about the Law of Attraction. I constantly must remind myself to not complain and instead think/speak/write what I want into existence.
11) I’m naturally an organized person, but creating and using a central repository for ideas was a game changer.
12) Every passion shouldn’t necessarily lead to a career choice, but the ones that do can fill you with boundless joy and an incredible sense of accomplishment!
13) As a strong introvert, I have a lot of natural resistance to meeting new people. However, I’ve found some ways to feel more at ease in —and even enjoy — those situations.
14) Stop the comparisons! It is the most self-defeating, self-negating behavior many of us have. I strive to be like Mel Fisher and maintain NOW thinking.
15) Every moment has meaning, so I decided to not only be grateful for the day job, but look for ways to actually find happiness when I hated that job.
16) One of the most exciting days in my life yielded 10 observations about marketing in a crowded marketplace.
17) I always look to see how other situations can apply to me and my business. I’ve drawn parallels and discovered secrets to success from my hair stylist, a tree service, our surfing instructor in Hawaii, movies like this one and this one, a TV show, and even during my time in swimming laps at the gym pool.
18) Acceptance of my life was the key to being in the flow. I don’t have to force things to happen. They will occur when the time is right.
19) The majority of audiobooks posted on ACX.com have royalty share contracts. I look for certain criteria before accepting one.
20) Helping other people achieve their dream has greatly helped me get even closer to fulfilling my own. I’m so very grateful for and humbled by all your kind comments here, on social media, and in person about how my articles and Facebook responses have helped you.
I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface with this list! Check out my blog archives for even more lessons learned!
Now that I’m heading into my 21st year of my business, it’s fitting that I’m stepping into an exciting new level of my destiny! My new site NarratorsRoadmap.com will be unveiled this month. Whether you dream of becoming an audiobook narrator or already are one, this site will be THE designation for narrators of all levels! Sign up for email updates or follow me and/or NarratorsRoadmap on Twitter to be alerted about the grand opening!
Karen, Thank you for this wonderful list along with all the links to resources. I am a narrator and am working on learning Spanish on Mango Languages but had never thought about accessing it for accents. Brilliant! Thank you for your continued recommendation to inexpensive and accessible knowledge. Here’s to another great 20!
Karen Commins says
Hi, Blair! Thanks for this very nice comment! I’m so glad you’re finding this info to be useful.
Best wishes for your success!