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The VO Boss podcast blends business advice with inspiration & motivation for today's voice talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza shares guest interviews + voice over industry insights to help you grow your business and stay focused on what matters...

Nov 23, 2021

You may be busy carving the turkey and making holiday shopping lists, but have you really spent time considering what makes you grateful? In this episode, Anne and Laya reflect on gratitude during the holiday season, covering how to tastefully thank clients during the holidays + how the concept of gratitude can help you reframe negative experiences, elevate your business, and improve your relationships like a #VOBOSS!.


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my very special guest cohost Laya Hoffman. Hey girl. How are you?

Laya: Yay. And Hey, BOSSes. It is so good to be back chatting with you, of loving our conversations and just let's keep it flowing. We got so much to talk about.

Anne: Well you know, my calendar has reminded me, for some people, there's a holiday here that is Thanksgiving.

Laya: Oh yes.

Anne: And I thought to myself, you know what? It may just be one day on the calendar, but for me every day needs to be Thanksgiving. And I thought it would be a great opportunity to start talking about attitude of gratitude and how that can help our modern mindset and our businesses on a day-to-day basis.

Laya: And I'm so glad we are, because it seems like such a small thing, or maybe even, I don't know, cliche in a way --

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: -- to like act from a place of gratitude, but it is really the core of my business. And I believe helps center myself and my whole family to keep us on track and keep us grounded every day. So I'm glad you -- we're talking about it today.

Anne: Totally agreed. And so I think that I have some things that I do that, that help me express my gratitude and make sure that I'm thinking about that on a day-to-day basis. And I'm asking, what do you do to express your gratitude or to think gratitude? I know what I do when I wake up in the morning. I really try every day to think about what I'm grateful for. And I just take a moment, take a deep breath and give thanks. And usually I have my loving husband around, my family of cats, and I always, whenever I see them, I just smile and I'm very grateful. And that just helps me to just be grateful for everything that I am fortunate to have in my lifetime. What about you?

Laya: Yeah. You know, that's great. It's really just about being present and looking around, even if that's the simplest act of gratitude you can incorporate in your day. For us, we've taken it to a family level and a way to try to cultivate more gratitude and appreciation from the core for our daughter. So at dinner every night, we say, what are your gratefuls? You know, we're not a religious family for all intents and purposes. I'm Jewish. My husband, we're, we're a little loose in the religious space, and that's okay because our spirituality is really gratitude based. And so we say at night, while we're just sitting around having conversation, we say, let's do our gratefuls tonight. And we go around the table, and we say what we're grateful for.

Anne: I love that.

Laya: And sometimes it's the small things --

Anne: Yup.

Laya: -- like how beautiful the weather was today, or this breeze you felt, or it's the big stuff, you know, a big win or the opportunity to use our voice for good every day.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Laya: That's something we often talk about. My husband has another cool tip. I love that you say your family is included in this too, whether it's your cats or your partner --

Anne: Yup.

Laya: -- but my husband actually has an alarm on his phone that is a gratitude check-in every day. I think his is two times a day. And it's just --

Anne: I love that.

Laya: -- something that a beep that goes off. Yeah, right? And sometimes when it's just him, I guess he just envisions it in his mind. But if we're around he's like, all right guys, gratitude check-in, and we just rattle off three quick things. It helps you get focused.

Anne: Oh, I love that.

Laya: Like really remember what's important, especially if you're having kind of an off day, right?

Anne: Absolutely. And like you said, even just the simple things like this morning, right before, right before getting on ipDTL with you, bacon. I am grateful for bacon and my husband who cooks it for me.

Laya: I'm grateful for that too.

Anne: Something, something is as small as that, but I think --

Laya: Sure.

Anne: -- you know, it really helps to translate it to the larger picture, and it helps to really translate it into your business as well. And I think sometimes, I've been doing this for so long, you know, you tend to forget sometimes that it is a privilege to be able to literally roll out of bed, and, you know, walk over to my studio, and --

Laya: Yes.

Anne: -- do this job that I love on a day-to-day basis. And I know it sounds like you said, I don't want to sound cliche, but it's true. I think we just, you know, everybody --

Laya: It's a gift.

Anne: -- that brings up the gratitude at this time of the year or every day, it is something that is so important to be grateful for. And I know that, you know, we've talked about social media and how sometimes that can turn like sour and -- with reading comments, and I don't know, arguments discussions. I think if we start to approach our businesses with gratitude and maybe just push that out, manifest that out to the universe. And that's even in our social media, because that represents our business.

Laya: Absolutely.

Anne: There's so many eyeballs looking at us, and it amazes me because I try to put myself in my potential client's position while I'm reading Facebook posts. And I'm like, wow, there's so many people that are like, they're miserable, you know? Or they're not happy, or they're, they're complaining about where are the jobs? They don't know how to get the jobs or whatever. They're posting out there into the universe. And I think, gosh, if I were a potential client, I don't know if I'd want to work with this person.

Laya: Right.

Anne: Yeah. I think it just really speaks to your brand if you are expressing gratitude.

Laya: Yeah. And you've hit on so many things that I just want to chat about with you --

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: -- because you've totally hit the nail on the head. Think about it. If your words are energy, your thoughts are energy. They turn into words. They come from the heart. It puts this energy out there in the world. And whether you believe in manifestation or the power of attraction or anything like that, say what you will, that puts out an energetic force field around you. And so if you're coming from a place of misery, you're going to attract more misery.

Anne: Yup.

Laya: If you're coming from an abundant mindset, you're going to attract more of that. Now, if you apply that social media, right --

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: -- and all the eyeballs on you, and you're griping, you've just doubled, tripled, you've magnified the negativity instead of magnifying the positivity.

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: Which is why in almost every one of my posts, my hashtag has always been for years gratitude is the attitude, love what you do, because I really do. This is a gift we're given here, no matter where you are on the trajectory or in your career. It's a gift to be able to use your voice and get paid for it --

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: -- and cultivate someone else's story. And there's no better way to show your appreciation than knowing it.

Anne: And if it's genuine, right?

Laya: Yeah.

Anne: And I'm just going to say, there are those people who will actually kind of poke fun at the people who are hashtag gratitude, hashtag blessed, hashtag -- you know, that has become something that I have seen. And I think that that's honestly, I think that's a little bit sad.

Laya: Yeah.

Anne: Because if somebody is expressing and it's truly authentic -- I don't want to say it's truly authentic. Some people, maybe it's not authentic, but who am I to judge? Right?

Laya: Right.

Anne: But if I'm posting that, I'm grateful for something somebody's making fun of that or kind of just poking fun at that whole hashtag thing, I'm sad for them.

Laya: I agree.

Anne: You know?

Laya: I am too, because sometimes you do have to fake it 'til you make it.

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: We don't all have perfect days. We are --

Anne: Isn't that the truth?

Laya: -- spiraling in a world of just a new level of anxiety where we're all at right now, especially coming through this pandemic. We're still in it. So sometimes you do have to put it out there and fake it 'til you make it. And sometimes you do have to remind yourself or have other people say, hey, great job. And I prefer to surround myself, especially in social, but in my private circles as well with people that are lifting each other up.

Anne: Absolutely. Oh my gosh.

Laya: If your tribe isn't also operating from a place of appreciation and respect and support and lifting each other up, then there is something more wrong with their picture. Then there's something sour in their space, and maybe they can't appreciate someone else's success or their gratitude because they're not happy with what's going on for them.

Anne: Absolutely.

Laya: And I wish there was a different pull there.

Ane: Yeah, no. And I try to, even if that is the case, there's always a reason. Right? I think I'm trying to be understanding and gracious for everyone, trying to think that, okay, there's a reason why they're posting this, and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with me. And so I try not to be angry or toxic at that either the fact that they might post something that is, you know, against, let's say my particular post or making fun of my post or for any reason, I try to just know, we don't know what's going on with anybody from day to day, from time to time. And I'm sure there's many reasons for them to post what they post. And I guess my other question, Laya would be, so how do we extend this gratitude from a business perspective to our clients? I know that I do periodically the year, I'm always expressing gratitude to my clients, and it means a lot to them. I think picking up the phone, believe it or not, and actually contacting my clients. And just, if I'm on the job or asking a question, making sure that I'm always thanking them for their business and really trying to connect with them on a human level to express my gratitude, to be able to work with them. As a matter of fact, I just made a post the other day that, you know, one of my partners in crime, my audio engineer, I love, love, love working with him. And I'm so grateful to know him and to be able to work with him that I, you know, I sent him a, a nice little post, and here's to you, John, thanks so much.

Laya: Sure.

Anne: I'm grateful to work with you. And it's amazing how many people chimed in.

Laya: And lift each other up.

Anne: Yup.

Laya: And that gives credit and appreciation on a public level. Yeah. And like you said, definitely on that personal level, that one-on-one connection, it just deepens the relationship. Right?

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: And so to answer your question about how to convey or transmit this positivity, this gratitude into business, I think we need to take a step back as talent. I think back in the day maybe when voice talent were like screen actors, and there was this ego involved, like you walked into a studio, and I don't know, I hear crazy stories about talent from engineers and producers and creatives today that have these horror stories --

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: -- about personalities and negative egos in the studio and how this talent wasn't willing to do this. Like I'm all about setting your boundaries, don't get me wrong --

Anne: Yeah, yeah.

Laya: -- but -- and not being taken advantage of. But if you're the talent that comes to the booth with great appreciation, thanking each person in the session. Thank you for inviting me in. I'm so honored to be working with you today, or that you've brought me back for a particular project. And thank you so much, you know, at the beginning and the end of those sessions, then they will know that you, you know, really mean it --

Anne: Yeah, yeah.

Laya: -- and you're coming from that authentic place, and that you take pride in your work, and you don't take it for granted. And I think people are more willing to bring those type of people back in than those with the ego problem and who couldn't be bothered or don't want to cop to whatever, 'cause we're all human. Right?

Anne: Oh, yes.

Laya: And that levels the playing field, for sure.

Anne: And for goodness' sake, if you didn't have a good session, don't come back and post about it.

Laya: Oh gosh.

Anne: Just, you know, I, I cannot believe the amount of posts that I see where it's like, oh, I had a horrible session. Or the director drove me crazy. Or the client, for whatever reason, the client wasn't happy. If you can just walk away from that, I think that that really behooves your business --

Laya: Yes.

Anne: -- because I myself have looked upon those posts, and I'll be -- and in my head, I'll go, ooh, not sure that's a good thing to actually post.

Laya: I wouldn't put that on a -- exactly.

Anne: And I won't say anything. So I don't think that we can ever have a really true idea of how many eyeballs are actually on that post. And I think we forget that. We become, you know, those brave people behind the keyboard, and just because somebody didn't like or comment on it, don't think that there aren't a thousand other people who've looked at it --

Laya: Sure.

Anne: -- and made a judgment call right then and there, whether or not they want to work with you again.

Laya: Absolutely. Well, the other part of that too is I would encourage BOSSes to consider or reframe those negative experiences to be, hey, what did I learn from this?

Anne: Right.

Laya: You know, there's a takeaway here that I'm not seeing, or what's going on for me, that I can't see the lesson in this.

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: And if you can flip those negative situations on their head, that's also a modern mindset as it pertains to the positive takeaway that can be from this. It's something I teach my daughter. So why not put it into practice myself? You know? Not everything has to be so humdrum when it goes wrong. Because if you focus on that, you'll continue to spiral down --

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: -- instead of spiral up and say, you know what? I blew something there. Or they really didn't, you know, they got me beat on this, or I didn't get paid fairly enough or man -- but what is the lesson there? And if you can pull that out, even just one little thing, then you win.

Anne: Always a lesson, right?

Laya: Yeah.

Anne: Always a lesson, even from something that didn't go well. And I don't want to just contain this to just jobs that you've done. I would like to also extend this for any auditions that you do. You know, just --

Laya: Oh yeah.

Anne: -- just no talk, just to, there should just be no talk about any auditions because that's even more, I think, on the edge of potentially discouraging people from wanting to work with you. If you're going to complain about an audition or complain about the audition specs, even if you're on a pay-to-play and you're not getting auditions, I honestly, I just, I stay away from any of that type of chatter on social media, even in the groups that you think are closed and personal, and you know --

Laya: You never know.

Anne: You never know who's in that group and who's looking, or it could be somebody that, you know, in the group that then ultimately private messages their friend, who happens to be a casting director --

Laya: Sure.

Anne: -- or their friend who happens to be a potential client. And it happens all the time. How many times, right, do we read something and then maybe post something in Messenger to our friend or text somebody and say, oh my gosh, did you see that post? Or did you hear what he said? And honestly, that's just what happens. And I think that's what I think keeps me in social media control. But the other thing too, it also keeps me cognizant of being grateful and looking at, oh, look at this. I don't know. I don't think, I don't agree with that. I think that that's, that's spreading toxicity for me. It just gives me a good old reminder that let's just be grateful for everything. And I'll tell you, I mean, gosh, I'm the last person to say I have perfect days all the time. It may seem like it, you know? I don't necessarily want to present negative things, but I'll present things that I think have a value to people, that aren't, you know, necessarily being toxic. If I don't have a good day and I share it and I think it will help people, yeah. I'll share that, but I'm not necessarily going to complain about an audition or a job or a potential client to really kind of put a stain on my brand.

Laya: And you hit the nail on the head is where my train of thought was going, Anne. It is the integrity of your brand. You are your brand.

Anne: Yup.

Laya: So the integrity of your brand is being put out there. And would you like the integrity of your brand to be compromised by your complaint or your attitude or negativity or your lack of gratitude for these opportunities that we're given on a daily basis when so many are not? I mean, that to me is one of the most profound things about gratitude is what you can do with, with the positivity and with a different frame of mind, as we've been talking about during this entire thing. To have the opportunity to just talk for a living in the privacy of our homes, when so many are really struggling out there, especially coming out of a pandemic. I don't know about you, my business had a boost during the pandemic because of these capabilities. How cool is that? How grateful are we? Right? And so I encourage everyone to keep that positive spin upwards, and also keep your projection outwards positive so you can attract more positivity.

Anne: Absolutely. And again, I'm going to go back to when you are talking to your clients that you have currently. You know, there's nothing wrong with just sending them a note or picking up the phone, or I think that that probably almost means more than let's say a gift. 'Cause usually around the holidays, we all talk about what do you send your clients? Do you give a gift? How do you express your appreciation? Sometimes it's just really picking up the phone or taking the time to write a personalized note saying, you know what? I love working with you and why, and it doesn't have to be flowery professional language. It can be like, you know what? Your brand is so cool or I love your product. It means the world for me to be able to work with your company. And I love how easy you make it for me, and all those things that really compliment the person that hires you, the person that writes that check. And it can be, I think if you delve a little bit deeper than, you know, a surface thank you for your business, right, that's going to really mean a lot to the person 'cause we're connecting on a human level. And I think if we can push ourselves to go to the human level and just say maybe that one thing that just says, you know what, I love your product. And thank you for giving me the opportunity. You make it so easy for me to love your brand or whatever it is that compliments the person that's hired you or the person that you're communicating with.

Laya: Yes. In fact, I have two ideas that are coming to mind right now. And so one, I want to answer the thought of how do you gift or do you gift or show your thanks around the holidays? I personally don't send gifts, hard goods. Right now, we're in a pandemic. Things have been weird. It's a big cost. And like you said, so many other big companies are doing those types of things. What I like to do is send, you know those e-cards?

Anne: Yup.

Laya: You can personalize an e-card and it just pops up in their box. It's a little bit different.

You can personalize those as you go, and it doesn't cost you anything or maybe a couple of bucks if you want to make it frilly. That's one thing that I've done, and I've found some great feedback from and just deepening the relationship and the connection with our clients.

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: The other thing is, you really want to show gratitude? One of the best things I've found to do is to go on LinkedIn and leave them a recommendation --

Anne: Oh my gosh, yes.

Laya: -- on their page. If you do that -- they're of course going to see it, but their colleagues are going to see it. And not only that, they're going to see your name as a voice talent and --

Anne: Absolutely.

Laya: -- appreciative you are of working with that creative. In fact, I just did this the other day, and it even got me another job. So let me tell you how we did this, real quick. I worked with an excellent director in a session. I couldn't get his last name. It was just not appropriate for me to really dive deep. There was about 18 people on the call, but this guy was so on the ball and so efficient. He was honestly such a pleasure to run this session because of this, the way he was directing. Couldn't find him, but I knew his company, and I reached out to the principals of his company, and I said, hey, I just want to let you know, I just worked with John from your production team. And he was the honest to God the best director I've ever worked with. You're doing a great job over there cultivating killer creative talent. Thank you for making my job as a voice talent easier --

Anne: Yup.

Laya: -- and just left it as that. Can you pass this along to John --

Anne: Absolutely.

Laya: -- if you get that message, to go to his boss and give him that compliment? Oh my gosh. Yeah, it was a win-win win-win spreading that gratitude.

Anne: Absolutely. Absolutely. That's a wonderful idea. I love the LinkedIn idea because it makes it public. And the other day I had one of my interviewees for the podcast for the AI and voice series, they were promoting the podcast and really gave me such kudos and said, thank you so much for the interview. It was wonderful to connect with a former educator -- because this gentleman was also an educator. And just, we were both like elevating each other.

Laya: Yes.

Anne: And I think it was so nice because I'm like, wow, thank you for what you do for the community and what you're doing for educating people in this industry and -- and all the wonderful work you've done. And I think that that just really generates such great positivity. And, you know, I guarantee you that there will be more leads that will come from that.

Laya: Yes. Yeah. And then one other thing I was thinking of while we were talking is how do we convey that even in our social media posts, one thing that kind of gets my goat is when I see creative houses or casting put out the final video and we cast this. Well, who did you cast? Right? We're always looking to get a little bit of credibility for the creative that we put out. And when production teams leave out the voice actor, you know how that feels.

Anne: Yup.

Laya: And so knowing that from my standpoint, as a business, as a brand, as a human, as anytime I put the information or final product out there with permission, of course, I always make sure to thank all parties --

Anne: Yup.

Laya: -- and tag them appropriately and give them credit publicly for the work they did, because we don't always see the same in return, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do the same for them.

Anne: Exactly. Absolutely.

Laya: Follow them, engage, like, tag them, use their hashtags in your posts. One, it will increase your visibility. It will further your projection of positivity and show them, whoever they may be listening or watching from their side, hey, that you took the time to follow the right person, tag the right business, and give them credit.

Anne: Absolutely. It's all about recognition, right?

Laya: Yeah.

Anne: And credit --

Laya: Credit is due.

Anne: -- because we know it's always appreciated, always appreciated.

Laya: Yeah.

Anne: So in terms of gratitude, in terms of a daily, I don't know, a daily mantra, do you have anything that you do that we can share with the BOSSes so that they can maybe start to adopt this, if they haven't already done so already? Any, any tips, tricks? I'll start with mine.

Laya: Please.

Anne: I like writing it down. Writing it down makes a big difference for me to really understand and really feel the appreciation and the gratitude for things that I'm grateful for. And I'll just jot it down in my, and I have a little like journal on a day-to-day basis, and I just keep them as a list. And so if I'm ever feeling, oh gosh, if I'm ever feeling down or just, oh my gosh, what am I even doing the today? I like to go back and look at that list because it really is a great reminder. And it brings me joy --

Laya: Yes.

Anne: -- to be able to see all those things I'm grateful for and accomplishments that have happened in my business because of that.

Laya: Yes, exactly right. Milestones achieved, et cetera. I do another version of that that really just came to me out of sure -- I couldn't contain my pride in myself after a recent job I completed. And so I flipped the camera on myself, and I recorded a note to me that said, this was such an incredible opportunity. Laya, this is what it took to get here. This is what this feels like right now. I am so grateful for that. I saved the video. Maybe I'll post it if I feel cute when the project comes out. Who knows? But I have a folder on my phone, an album that has just snippets of video to myself to remind me when I'm having one of those days that doesn't feel so great to come back to source of like, wow, that really felt good. And see the passion in my eyes, my face --

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: -- my body language and my voice --

Anne: Yup.

Laya: -- when I knew it and I felt it the most.

Anne: Absolutely.

Laya: That's a great tip. I love writing it down. I usually jot down three things in the morning as well in my journal when I'm doing my Kundalini yoga practice. And then, like I said, the nightly round table with the fam brings everybody together. We'll even do it when we've got guests or visitors coming over. Makes everybody feel a little awkward at first, but it resets the mood, enlightens the levity. And when you bring people into that space --

Anne: Oh gosh, yes.

Laya: -- they're like, oh yeah. Gratitude is the attitude.

Anne: When I've done that, I've never had anyone complain.

Laya: No.

Anne: As a matter of fact, just the opposite. It's been like, wow, what an amazing, thank you so much for that. And what an amazing dinner. And everybody walks away feeling good. And I, I like that too, because in my family growing up, my family was never one to talk or open up about their feelings.

Laya: Sure.

Anne: I would always be that person. You couldn't shut me up.

Laya: You don't say.

Anne: I mean, so obviously I became a voice talent. Yeah.

Laya: Right.

Anne: So, but you know, during Thanksgiving I would start to do that. I would say, all right, guys, we're going to go around the table and say what we're grateful for. And I remember the first time I did it, everybody was like, huh, kind of awkward.

Laya: Yeah.

Anne: But as we went along, it just started to pick up momentum --

Laya: Yes.

Anne: -- and it was really a beautiful thing to see. And like I thought, oh my gosh, I didn't think I could really talk heart to heart with my father. Right? He was always like, you know, the quiet one that went to work, and you know, this is showing you how my family is a little bit old school. Right? My father went off to work and didn't say much. My mother was the one that kind of stayed home with the kids, made the food and the dinners. And so when we started, as we were getting older, and things were changing and evolving, when I started doing that, it was really wonderful to hear what my father had to say, what he was grateful for and what my brothers had to say, when traditionally, we didn't really talk on that level to one another.

Laya: Yeah.

Anne: So I love how it just opened up the space and allowed for a lot more love to flow.

Laya: Yes.

Anne: Just a lot more positive feelings and all good stuff.

Laya: Yeah. How beautiful is that, right?

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: So no matter how our BOSSes are celebrating this year or what these belief systems that you are -- or you've cultivated, maybe sit down and say, hey, what's everybody's gratefuls? And if it makes everyone a little uncomfortable at first, start with three.

Anne: Yeah.

Laya: Get the conversation going and put yourself out there and feel vulnerable. Right? Brene Brown says our vulnerability is the key to unlocking success and happiness and positivity and love and --

Anne: Absolutely.

Laya: -- therefore, abundance. So you know, that gratitude will build on an abundant mindset, which will build on your business.

Anne: Yeah. Absolutely. Well said, Laya. It has been a wonderful, wonderful episode. I am so grateful. I am very grateful to have you as a special guest co-host for these sessions. And I am truly loving our conversations as well. So thank you for that. BOSSes --

Laya: Thank you, Anne. Grateful for you and all these opportunities and your listeners out there, way to level up. Thank you.

Anne: Grateful for our BOSSes, I am also grateful for our sponsor ipDTL. You too can connect and network like a BOSS and express your gratitude through the awesome connectivity that is ipDTL. Find out more at You guys, have an amazing week, grateful for all of you. We'll see you next week.

Laya: See you guys. Take care.

Anne: Bye.

>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.