'Thank God I Am Not An Old Car'
... Time For A Voice Over Biz Tune-Up?
June 10, 2013
By Roxanne Coyne
Is it time for a tune-up? I am the proud owner of a 1997 Honda CR-V that has 220K miles on it. Iíve taken really good care of the car over the years, never missing an oil change or tune-up ... until recently.
Somehow, in the rush of everyday life and the increasing demands of my family and my business I let an entire year go by without taking the car in for service.
So, a couple of weeks ago I dropped the car off and went home to wait for the phone call telling me the car was ready for pickup.
The call came. But instead of being ready for pickup, the service tech proceeded to break some unexpected bad news:
What does this have to do with voice over? Quite a lot, actually.
BEWARE GAPING HOLES
I returned from Faff Camp last month with a list of plans and ideas for taking my voice business to the next level. I had a clear path ahead of me.
Part of that plan included speaking with advisers about how to best improve my marketing materials and how to be more productive. I thought everything was humming along pretty well, but after consulting with my trusted advisers I quickly discovered some gaping holes in the business.
Gaping HOLES? Yes. Scary gaping holes.
I discovered it was time for a tune-up!
WHAT TO TUNE UP ...
I needed to reevaluate some things I had taken for granted. I could certainly keep going just as I had for years, but in order to really grow and move to the next level, certain things needed to be addressed.
Hereís what I am talking about:
Performance skills. If you havenít had any training in a while, consider getting some. Over time you can easily develop bad habits that are hard to break. Stay current and find coaches you trust. If youíre not getting better, chances are you are slipping.
Your mission. How solid is your business foundation? Have you really identified your strengths? Have you drafted a mission statement? Do you have a very clear idea of your brand?
Time Management. Time is possibly our most precious resource. Are you using the time you have for your career wisely? Are you clearing distractions? Are you productive?
Your Team. Do you have a support team, or are you trying to work in complete isolation? Do you have trusted advisers to encourage, guide and consult with? Are you willing to accept criticism?
Itís easy to find people who will stroke your ego and tell you that everythingís just fine.
What you really need is to seek out those who will challenge you. These are the people you need on your team.
Seek out those who will give you the straight scoop - not those who will placate.
SCHEDULE YOUR TUNE-UP
Moral of this story? DONíT MISS YOUR TUNE-UPS!
Like my old car, I was taken aback by the honest evaluation of my business. It needed attention.
I canít build a world class business on a shaky foundation. Itís like making a road trip on bald tires.
I hope your goal is to build a world class voice over business. Making that happen means you might find yourself taking a few steps backward. Thatís okay. Voice over is not a Ďget rich quickí business enterprise.
HELP IS AVAILABLE
The good news is that help is available if you look for it. Most problems are probably within your power to fix.
You can learn and implement the skills you need if youíre patient and willing to learn. And best of all, you are NOT an old car.
No oneís going to sell you off to the scrap heap for spare parts. At least I hope not.
Get your tune-ups and oil changes regularly:
Roxanne Hernandez Coyne has been working as a voice artist since the mid 1990ís. She works in Spanish, English, and occasionally in Portuguese, voicing telephony, e-learning, medical narration, audiobooks, and Spanish language commercials. She has young twins, lives in Los Angeles, and is currently paying off an auto repair bill.
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So that was YOU rambling by Starbucks yesterday? You've got another 100,000 to go! And much more than that with your VO career.
...and my CRV, 2000 model, has 246,000 miles and counting....yep, keep those tune-ups coming! But sometimes, in VO too, you'll need some major work done anyway.
Totally worth it.