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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...

Jun 6, 2023

Are past mistakes holding you back from achieving voice over success? Join Anne & Lau on this episode of VO BOSS, where they discuss how to turn missteps into valuable learning experiences. From investing in a voiceover demo to navigating social media mishaps, discover the importance of apologies, accountability, and self-compassion in personal and professional relationships. Learn how admitting to our mistakes can elevate connections with others and avoid the pitfalls of impulsive responses on social media. Tune in to embrace growth, mindfulness, and self-compassion on the journey towards success. Bosses, don't let past mistakes hold you back.
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, hey everyone. (audio blip) VO BOSS podcast and the BOSS Superpower series. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and I'm here with my BOSS co-host, Lau Lapiedes. Hey, Lau. 
Lau: Hey everyone. 
Anne: Yay! 
Lau: So good to see you, An Happy Saturday. 
Anne: Yes, Lau, happy S-- (audio blip) Lau, guess what happened to me this week? 
Lau: What happened, Anne?
Anne: Lau, I made a mistake. 
Lau: Oh no. You never make mistakes. 
Anne: Well, no Lau, actually, I make mistakes all the time. (laughs) 
Lau: Don't believe her --
Anne: (audio blip) Do. And you know what? Of course, nobody wants to make mistakes, but I'm glad I made this mistake because I learned a whole lot, Lau about how I can maybe not make that mistake again, or take (audio blip) when I was making the mistake and make it better and improve it. And I get students that come to me, new students that come to me quite a bit, that say, gosh, I wish I knew then what I know now. And I would never have done that. 
I'd like to address that because let's take one example. One example is students that come to me and say, I never should have made that demo. And I had somebody listen to it and they said, no, no, you were not ready to make that demo. And they just come to me with all (audio blip) shame and remorse, and I get that, but I don't think it's worth anyone beating themselves up over, because honestly, we learn, you know, if we always take a look at what we do in life, and we learn and we made a mistake, (audio blip) so you know, so much better (laughs). And you can then progress and move forward. 
And so I want all of those students who ever, ever came to me or ever came to Lau and said, oh God, I wish I hadn't have done that. I spent all this money and it was just a waste of my time. And (audio blip) don't beat yourself up over it. Because honestly, I think that there is such a value of information, just such a value in it. And consider it, like we were talking before, Lau, consider it an investment in the real grand scheme of things. (audio blip) been a few thousand dollars. But if I were to sit back and look at where have I spent a few thousand dollars in my lifetime, house, car, those kinds of things, I mean, honestly, consider an investment. Lau, what are your thoughts? 
Lau: I couldn't agree (audio blip). I would even argue is there such a thing as a mistake? Because when you really think about that, we give a name and label to something that happens from us, to us, with us that is superbly uncomfortable and then (audio blip) toward us in our perception, it punishes us. But was that thing an actual mistake? 
Anne: Sure. 
Lau: I don't know how to answer that because I do feel there's lessons to be learned in the process of the, I'll give it air quotes, the mistake (audio blip) more painful than others, but really, really necessary as we journey through life. Like if we didn't do that, we wouldn't know what rewards really are. 
Anne: Right. 
Lau: We wouldn't know how to really build our business. We wouldn't really know that. Right? So comparatively speaking, (audio blip) and oftentimes as you know, when you make those mistakes, they're fantastic. Like you're hired for them, you're celebrated for them. It's like, whoops, I did that in my business. How could I have thought that? Oh my, wow. People love that. They want that. Right? (audio blip) I would venture to say, take a step back and really say what is a mistake and what are the mistakes in the mistake that make it a mistake? That's really important. But getting back to your investment on demo, I'm with you all the way. I do not (audio blip) corner and cry over a demo. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: Process, process, process. Your first demo, your first demos -- 
Anne: Yes. We all started somewhere. 
Lau: They're never gonna be super, super high level pro because guess what? You don't have the experience yet. You're moving towards getting that experience. (audio blip) Like if you went to college or grad school or trade school or you were an apprentice, you are working on working. So the working to get the working is never a waste of time. It's always, what are you putting into it? What are you getting out of it? How has that (audio blip) work for you? Rather than saying, oh, everything's got to be about that one demo. It just isn't. It's like a work in progress. Your whole life, your whole business is a work in progress. 
Anne: Right? And it's very much like you don't know what you don't know. And so you cannot (audio blip) blame yourself for something that you didn't know. Now, maybe if you're just starting out and you're lucky and you're listening to our podcast, the BOSS podcast, you'll hear this discussion and you'll say, oh, okay, so maybe I'll wait a little bit before I make that demo. (audio blip) truly believe that sometimes when you make an expensive mistake, it's a mistake that you are not apt to repeat ever again or quickly. That is for sure. 
I know sometimes, like I used to pay money to a personal trainer, right? Because it was the only way I knew (audio blip) go and work out right and do the things that I really needed to do to move forward and to progress forward and to really improve myself. So in a way I was like, yes, I'm gonna pay to kind of get a little beaten up. So, it's okay. It's okay. And I just don't (audio blip) into this to, to ever feel regret about anything because there's always those lessons as you mentioned that you learned. Maybe you learned about a process that did not work for you. Right? 
And so now you'll move forward and you will (audio blip) to work with longer so that you can improve upon your performance before you go ahead and record another demo. And again, like I said, when it comes to demos on our performances, we're always improving. We're like those continuous students, like the never-ending student (audio blip) learning our craft and enhancing and improving it. And so at any point, you're never quite as good as you'll be today. So unless you're gonna make a demo every single day to keep yourself refreshed on that, I would say take it with a grain of salt. Take it as a lesson. And (audio blip) also maybe it was a demo that did not represent the genre very well, or it was maybe a, a demo that didn't have today's standards or current relevant scripts. Or it just might have been something (audioblip) done it and had somebody listen to it and they commented on it. Guess what? That's another learning experience. So. 
Lau: And guess what? Doing a demo as one example is like a little work of art. It's a vocal portfolio. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: So there is artistic vision. There's (audio blip) no matter who you're working with, whoever your team is of engineers and coaches, some care, some don't care. Some are experts, some are not experts, and there's everything in between. It's like working with an expert painter or working with an expert dancer. There's all (audio blip) that go into unlocking your potential, unlocking your talent. Maybe they're great at that, maybe they're not great at it. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: Maybe they're mediocre. Whatever the case may be, it really is on us you meaning you to put (audio blip) to your process. Because when you walk away, it's your process. It's not really theirs. 
Anne: Right. 
Lau: They're not gonna claim it anymore. It's your process to say, what did I do? Did I put it in time? 
Anne: Sure. 
Lau: Did I rehearse? Did I practice? Did I take it serious (audio blip)? Did I do all the due diligence boxes and check that off to bring out the best outcome? Or was I learning how to do that? I wasn't quite there yet. As a lot of people in school, in college, in grad school; sometimes they don't show up. Sometimes they fail tests. Some (audio blip) and they're learning how to discipline themselves, how to commit to a process and who they're identifying as a talent. What is a talent, what is a business person, what is a VO? I mean, they're learning all of that. So you gotta give your (audio blip) to learn. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: You can't be perfect. You can't know everything. There's gotta be space. And as you said, we're students over a lifetime. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: We're not just students for a first demo. We're students. And if those of us who own a business, and I know many listeners own a business, you are always learn (audio blip) that one. Just when you think you know as much as you need to know, then the whole script flips on you. 
Anne: Yeah. And you know, I don't mean to make light of people's investments, so I don't want any of the BOSSes out there to think that I'm making light of a few (audio blip). But I will say that when you compare that to, you've beaten yourself up over and over and over again. And maybe it even deters you from getting into what it is that you've always wanted to do in your lifetime (audio blip) that's a higher price in a lot of ways. And I think that of course, before you make any investment in anything, not just voiceover, I think that you have to come at it with an educated point of view. You have to educate yourself as much as possible before you make that inve- (audio blip). Just, I think if we all kind of take that lesson, right, with anything, I think it at least helps us, so that we know that we've investigated what other common mistakes in voiceover. 
Maybe people buy the wrong equipment, right? Or they (audio blip) doesn't suit their voice. Well, this is why you can return a lot of things. So if you made the smart investment, if you've educated yourself and purchased with a vendor that allows you to return within a certain amount of time, then you have that option. If it does not work (audio blip) that you can then return it to get your money back. 
And there's always selling. I mean, I made many mistakes with my equipment, especially my travel equipment. I tell this story over and over again. I bought every new gadget that there was that was tiny and small so that (audio blip) I could have a convenient, tiny little mic. And whenever I would go, I could never get it to sound worth anything. I could not do that. And I spent so much money. But here's the deal. I spent the money, but then I was able to sell the equipment that if you (audio blip) I was then able to sell it or donate it. And so lesson learned.
Lau: Lesson learned. And there are even much more sophisticated mistakes that we think we're making. And that is in human communication. Now, I won't even say the business of it. I'll say the com- (audio blip), that's in the emails you're sending and receiving. 
Anne: Oh yes. 
Lau: That's in your invoicing, that's in your sales, you're building of rapport when you're live at a conference. All of that stuff has layers of nuance and layers of sophistication to it. (audio blip) if you are present and focused, when you've said something that just doesn't land right on someone. Doesn't mean you're offending them. It doesn't mean it's inappropriate. It just means you're not tracking, you're not on the same track. And how do I fix that? How do I --
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: — turn around and pivot from that. I don't believe it's a mistake, but in your perception, it feels uncomfortable. Like, why did I say that? Or why did I respond in that way? Or how come I didn't get back to them in seven days when they wanted me to get back to them in a day? 
Anne: Right. 
Lau: You know what I like to do, Anne? Very uncomfortable. And then I learned how to do it. Just fix it right away. 
Anne: Yes. 
Lau: Just like you're gonna gimme a shot at the doctor’s, you're gonna do whatever that's uncom- — just do it. Just do it. Don't hold off and think about it. Right?
Anne: And when you do it, be human about it. Something you said didn't land right. Say, for me, I'm always like, you're human. Right? I'm sorry.
Lau: Yeah. 
Anne: Maybe I should have said it this way. 
Lau: Yeah. And you know what? When I apologize like that, which I do a lot because I perceive that I did something wrong --
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: Oftentimes the response is, please (audio blip) sorry, Lau. You were busy and rightly so, and I'm not first on the list. And sometimes it brings out the humanity in other people, when you're, you're not lowering yourself. You're actually hiring your vibration by saying, I am a (audio blip) I'm a person that is far from perfect. 
Anne: Yes. 
Lau: But I'm a person that wants to connect with you authentically. So if you can understand and forgive that perception of something that wasn't done that was comfortable for you, then we can continue on. And nine times outta 10, they're not(audio blip) of it. They love you for it because if you're being real with them. You're not saying, well, I didn't know, I didn't do anything wrong. I'm taking accountability. I'm not a -- no. I want them to feel like I'm like you. I'm not better than you. I'm like you in a lot of ways. And that means (audio blip) oh.
Anne: Right. 
Lau: Like what the right thing is right now. Could that be a mistake? I don't know. That's all in the perception, I think, is that a mistake or am I learning from that? Are they learning from that? 
Anne Right, right. 
Lau: Are we deepening the relationship and communication? I'd like to think we (audio blip) really a mistake. It's more of a mishap. 
Anne: Yeah. And if there is a mistake that has been made like that, and you have offered an apology or an explanation, or your attempts to fix it did not fix it, then I think sitting back and then just trying to take a deep breath, and (audio blip) maybe that wasn't meant to be in this particular timeframe, or maybe it just wasn't meant to be. I mean, I've had relationships where I don't know what happened. I've tried to go and be human and apologize and just work (audio blip) just didn't work out. 
Lau: And that's okay. 
Anne: And that's okay. I mean, that's going to happen. And I think what we need to really focus on is not necessarily the fact that it happened, but how can we move forward? How can we grow? How can we feel okay? I think (audio blip) oh, I either feel bad or I feel ashamed, or I feel stupid for a lot of that type of emotional baggage and beating up, that's where I want to feel better about myself. What do we do then? 
Lau: Well, I'm a big fan of express. I think expression is so, so important. It sounds a little silly to say that because our whole field is about expression, but so much of the time, especially as performers, will mask up who we really (audioblip) official thing versus say, let me quickly get in touch with how I'm really feeling, and maybe have a sounding board. So if I have a few safe people that I can talk to about it, that can sound me out quickly. Like, get me in my right mind again, so to speak. (audio blip) move on from it quickly rather than holding onto it and letting it fester. And I find solving it relieves the stress. It relieves the heaviness. Like, why did that go wrong? I was terrible. It was a -- no, let's just fix it and let me talk about it and express it to the right (audio blip) who can offer me sound advice, no pun intended. Sound advice. 
Anne: Yeah, yeah. And I think also, when we're talking about perceived mistakes in either face-to-face networking or relationships, but also on social media, did I post something? Oh my gosh, that was (audio blip). I can't erase it. I can't take it back. I, I can't delete it. 
Lau: Yep. 
Anne: How do I backpedal, or how do I recover from that? I think that the written word, we've all been using it long enough that we have to approach that type of communication with a little bit (audio blip) forethought. Right? 
Lau: Yeah. 
Anne: A little more thoughtfulness before we type, before we press that enter key, just stop, take a breath. I've had to really learn to do that in the last 10 years, I would say. Because there have been times on social media where I've been triggered (audio blip) to like type something is a fast response and, and I literally have to just get up and walk away. And I find that that is the best cure for me is to get up and walk away. Take a big deep breath. And a lot of people, as you know, have chosen, they, they get off the platform for (audio blip), and I think sometimes that's a very smart thing to do in terms of before you type something that you might not feel good about later on. 
Lau: Agreed.
Anne: And there are ways though too, if you have to try to type your way back into good graces, I (audio blip) ways that you can do that. But you have to be careful. And sometimes it's best to just get up and walk away. And then give it a few hours, a few days, whatever, take a breath and then go from there. Really. 
Lau: I agree. I think the time that we spend beating ourselves up (audio blip) mistakes is time not well spent. It's really, if you wanna reflect, if you wanna say, I'm gonna journal about this, I'm gonna express this, and work it through, and come to something that's meaningful, something that's useful, and something that is potentially fixable, that's (audio blip) versus sitting there and stewing in, oh, I'm upset, I'm uncomfortable. It was awful. And they don't feel -- and oftentimes, here's the funny thing, you and I spoke about this recently. 
Oftentimes that thing, that circumstance is turned around quicker than you think (audio blip) together again. All of a sudden they're asking you about whatever is, if it never happened, and you think, wow, did we have that conflict? Wow. Were they upset about this? Because all of a sudden they're coming to me for something else. So sometimes our perception as creatives is (audio blip) proportion. It's very histrionic, it's dramatic. It's larger than life. And someone on the other end does not perceive it that way oftentimes. 
Anne: Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. 
Lau: It's much lighter and less to them. Now if they go over the top, and they're crazy in histri- (audio blip), you're noticing that you're saying, okay, there's a lesson in that this may not be the right client relationship, colleague or friend. 
Anne: Sure. 
Lau: Because this circumstance does not warrant that response. 
Anne: And I think you bring up such a good point, especially when we are dealing with (audio blip) to us in our voiceover bubble, right? 
Lau: Yes. 
Anne: We have certain things that are very important to us, right? Things that like I need to hear back. When will I get paid? All of those. There's lots of those things. When in fact, a lot of times your client (audio blip) things on their plate. And so if you're not hearing back any feedback, if you're not getting paid within a certain amount of time, there are usually things that are going on that we are very unaware of. And I know that a lot of times, I'll have to even sit back and just (audio blip) -- there are some clients, believe it or not, that you think you didn't get paid and that was a mistake, and you wanna make sure that that is made right. But in reality, they have a 90-day net terms. And so really I think that it's one of those things that if you can (audio blip) and communicative, that will absolutely help anything that might lead to a mistake, or you just saying something that, or accusing that they haven't paid you and it's unjust. I think that that is something that we all need to just sit back, take a break (audio blip) and communicate. 
Lau: Thank you for saying that one, Anne. That's brilliant. Don't assume the worst in people. 
Anne: Yes. 
Lau: Assume the best in people. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: And even if it is the worst, live in that great river that in Egypt we all love. And that's “de Nile,” a little bit in denial. Willie Wonka land and Wizard of Oz teaches us something. It's like, assume people are good. They're not evil, they're not out to get you. They're busy, they're crazy, they're forgetting, they're this or that. Now what if they are pulling something into (audio blip) what? It's okay. Forgive them, move on. It taught you something. It taught you don't work with them. That's what it taught you. 
It taught you to look for signs in others that they taught you what those signs are of danger, of unsafety (audio blip) ever. God forbid, nothing serious happens to your person, if they're cheating you outta money or whatever. It's a bad thing. It's not to lessen or lighten that. And it's a terrible feeling to feel victimized in that way. But move ahead of it and say, okay, that made me feel bad (audio blip) and unethical, but what did I learn in that, that I can then install in my business, in my tactics, in my profession, and teach others so that that doesn't happen as much as possible? It happens once in a while, but we can alleviate it (audio blip) in the signs of it. 
Anne: And you know what, Lau, in my over 15 years of working in voiceover, I have never not gotten paid. And so always trusting the good in people. And also, when I vet my clients, I do have a, a certain set of standards that I (audioblip) make sure that there is somebody at the other end that I'm communicating with. And it's not just a person through email that is inquired, how much will this job cost? Or can you do this job by tomorrow? Here it is. I have policies that I have in place where I demand payment upfront (audio blip) clients that are new. 
And what's so interesting is when I have that in my terms of services, that I demand full payment upfront, I get it. (laughs)I've gotten paid within the first five minutes of securing a job before I've even recorded it. (audio blip) I've been very fortunate, I would say, but I also have been what I consider to be, well, I've taught myself to be savvy in terms of who my clients are, in making sure that I'm gonna be working with someone that is going to reciprocate. If I provide (audio blip) they will reciprocate and give me payment. And so thankfully and gratefully, I can say that I've not encountered any mistakes because I think I've always been open with my communication, and I think that's an important thing. And had I not been open (audio blip) communication, I would've found out right away things might be different. 
Lau: And that's experience. That's time. It's being seasoned, it's experience. And it takes most people, including myself, time to work through that, learn that, (audio blip), see what the best practices are for you. See if you can be a psychologist and really listen to people, watch people, watch for cues. Focus in on it. Don't just get lost in your own head or your own services, your (audio blip). Listen, because oftentimes you can pick up these cues before something bad actually happens. 
Anne: Yes. 
Lau: And oftentimes the mistake is simply like, I'm just not paying attention. 
Anne: Paying attention. 
Lau: Yeah. Let me be honest. I could have caught that if I was really in (audio blip) with what they were saying and doing. But what I was doing was, and women are notorious for this, I was lying to myself. I was saying, oh, it'll be okay. Oh, that didn't happen. Oh, they mean this. Oh -- I was interpreting it in a whole way that it (audio blip) way, and then when the boom hit, and I said, wow, that really happened, I look back and I say, well, could I have caught that earlier? Most of the time it's yes. Most of the time it's me sugarcoating the situation. So there's that. There's that in that mis- (audioblip) to happen because I need to learn that lesson. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Be good to them, but also don't sugarcoat things too much and see them for what they are when they reveal themselves to you. 
Anne: Exactly. Exactly. 
Lau: Right? Oh, fantastic. We're turning into psychologists. (laughs)
Anne: Mistakes are good. Mistakes can be very good. Mistakes are learning experiences. And I think really, BOSSes out there, I think to become even better BOSSes, right, we need to make mistakes. We need to learn and we need to grow and move forward. (audio blip) else do we want for our businesses? Right?
Lau: There it is. 
Anne: There it is.
Lau: You wanna learn and grow and thrive. And we have to go through that process in order to do it.
Anne: Good talk, Lau.
Lau: The best, as always. 
Anne: Ah, you know, BOSS (audio blip) mission, big impact. 100 voices, one hour, $10,000. What is Anne even talking about? Oh, four times a year. By the way. Visit to find out more. All right. Big shout-out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You (audio blip) can connect like BOSSes, like Lau and myself. Find out more at You guys, have an amazing week and go ahead and make those mistakes, and we'll see you next week. Bye.
Lau: See you next week. 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.