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HEALTH & BUSINESS
Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Stay Home ...
And Sharpen Your VO Business Axe
March 23, 2020

By Paul Strikwerda
Voice Actor, Coach & Author

Camp VO was canceled. VO Atlanta was postponed, and the One Voice Conference in London is going ahead in a virtual format.

I think we can all agree that the right decisions were made, given the extraordinary circumstances. However, the feeling of disappointment remains.

What will be axed next, you wonder? The summer Olympics?

It's fascinating that the word crisis comes from the Greek word krisis, which means "turning point in a disease, a change which indicates recovery or death."

This COVID-19 crisis has forced all of us to change our behavior in ways we would have never imagined, only a few weeks ago. The main questions on my mind were:
  • What exactly is going on?
  • What are the consequences?
  • How do I respond?
Now I'd like to tell you how I am dealing with the corona crisis, by sharing some of my recent Instagram posts. If you're not following me yet, I hope you will after reading this article (@nethervoice).

What I want to do with these statements is increase awareness, and make people think twice about the situation they're in. My strategy is always to say as much as I can in as few words as possible without distorting the truth. At least, my version of the truth.

IN MY VIEW ...

For many people, being confined to their home seems to be a major challenge. I count myself very lucky that living and working in isolation is no problem for me.


Other people are clearly having a hard time staying away from one another. They mob supermarkets hunting for toilet paper and hand sanitizer. What's up with that?


Because my wife and I are in a risk group, people seem to believe we should be very afraid. For me, knowing what's going on helps me get a better grip on the situation. Ignorance weakens. Knowledge empowers.


Some politicians were accusing the messenger throughout this pandemic, and they continue to do so.

Before we blame the press for all our woes, let's agree that it's up to us which source of information we trust, and what we do with the information from that source.

The media cannot make us do anything. We are responsible for how we respond to what we see, hear, and choose to believe.


I'm not worried about those who practice social distancing, and stay home as much as they can. I'm not worried about those who are mindful of others.

I do worry about those who think they don't have to change their behavior, just because they do not notice any symptoms.


To me, the image below sums up the best response we could have to COVID-19. I'd rather be overly careful, than underestimate the situation we're in.


You don't have to be an expert to see that this corona virus is not only a health crisis but an economic one as well. Unless you're selling sanitizers, respirators and protective clothing, your business will slow down and suffer.

I hate to say it, but from now on it's going to be survival of the smartest and those who are best prepared.

The good news is that with less work coming in, you'll have more time to prepare yourself for the months and years to come.

Abraham Lincoln, who was a skilled woodcutter before becoming one of the most important presidents in US history, famously said:
"If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the axe."
SHARPEN YOUR AXE

Well, my friends, this is the time to sharpen your axe, and use it wisely.

Refresh your demos, revamp your website, step up your marketing, increase your social media exposure, work with a coach on your weaknesses, build a proper studio, upgrade your gear.

Invest. Invest. Invest.

If you don't do it, others will, and they'll come out of this crisis ready and running. And remember:

----------------
ABOUT PAUL
Paul Strikwerda is a 25+-year veteran of the voice over industry whose Nethervoice service features German and Dutch voice overs, translation and evaluation services. Born in Holland, he has worked for Dutch national and international radio, the BBC and American Public Radio. Although 90% of his work is in English, Strikwerda also records in Dutch, German and French. Clients include Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, and the Discovery Channel. He is also a voice over coach, author of the book, Making MONEY In Your PJs: Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs, and writes an informative and entertaining blog.

Web: www.nethervoice.com
Blog: www.nethervoice.com/nethervoice
Making MONEY In Your PJs: http://makingmoneyinyourpjs.com

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Comments (1)
Dave Johnston
3/25/2020 at 5:58 PM
Greetings Paul, trust this finds you well. As per usual your blog was excellent. A great reminder to take the time to take stalk of what's important in this moment to get done, and remain healthy and steadfast. Take care. Just a note - was looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta, like tomorrow, there will be a next time
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