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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...

Dec 27, 2022

Are you feeling the energy of newness & hope that we do? Anne & Lau are getting ready for the new year and all that comes with it. Before you jump to goal setting, take a minute to think about what has happened this year & what you want to create next. Reflecting on your accomplishments is an empowering exercise that can help you feel successful & inspired. It is also essential to take a look at the industry as it is now & research any predictions about the near future. Understanding the demands of the industry will help you build your goals and business plans around what will serve the current market. Now BOSSES, it is time to goal set. Think big, but not unrealistic…and if you need help, listen up because Anne & Lau have your 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 everyone, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and today I am so happy to have back to the show the one and only Lau Lapides. Hey Lau.

Lau: Hey, I love how you took a breath before you said my name. Yay.

Anne: I did <laugh>. You deserve that extra drama, that extra drama pause. So.

Lau: Thank you. I love that.

Anne: Awesome. Well, you know Lau, it is coming to a close, the year of 2022.

Lau: Unbelievable.

Anne: Yeah. And of course 2023, with that comes the new year, resolutions, goals, all those good things. And I think I wanna kind of take a step back and not just talk about 2023, but I wanna reimagine what your business and what the BOSSes out there, reimagine what your businesses could look like in 2023, maybe in a little different light this year. Because I think, I feel like people are feeling more comfortable now. They're getting out, they're seeing each other. I think there's a lot of hope and renewal in the air. I mean, I'm feeling it. And for me, I've taken a look at what's going on this past year and the industry and how it's shifting. And I think we really need to take a good look at our businesses to see how we can maybe shift and evolve and reimagine our businesses in the new year.

Lau: Mm. No question about it. And this is the best time. I'm always saying, you're winding down. You're tying up loose ends. You're excited about any holidays that are happening. And even if you don't celebrate holidays, it gives you permission that everyone else is to just relax, be with family, take it easy, but then also to plan.

Anne: Yeah. Right?

Lau: To think about quarter one in the new year, where do you wanna be? Who do you wanna be? And what does your vision look like of your business?

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: That's exciting. I love that time.

Anne: It's so exciting. I mean, and I really like to have that time to reflect. And I'll tell you what, you and I, we are soul sisters, right? We work, work, work, work, work. And the other day I literally, I had to go to a doctor's appointment. Maybe not the most fun thing in the world, but it got me into the car. And it got me on a long ride 'cause there was traffic. And I actually really like that. And I miss that in a way because whenever I would drive, I was able to think, right? Because I can't be typing at my computer. I have to just sit there and think. And I came to the realization, Lau, that I have been in business for myself for 15 years.

Lau: Wow.

Anne: And you think I would've thought about that before. I mean, I kind of knew it, but I just, it hit me all of a sudden.

Lau: Awesome, awesome.

Anne: Wow. That is something to be proud of. And I know you have been in business just about as long as I have.

Lau: Mm-hmm.

Anne: Full-time, your own business. And I think that number one, before any BOSSes start to think about what they are going to do next year, right, and create goals, I think you should stop, reflect, and give yourself credit and realize your accomplishments that you have so far. Because that, I think gives you a great baseline to jumpstart a new year.

Lau: Absolutely. And you know, I was thinking about you saying that you were in the car, and that's that autonomic thing in your brain that you know how to drive the car. You don't have to think about it. So you can go into your imagination, you can go into processing things, and you've got the privacy. You're alone. And here's the thing, we're moving forward. Most of the time, unless we're sitting at a light or backing up, we're moving forward. So if you drive, if you bike, if you walk and you're moving forward, and you're thinking about your life, think about your business as moving forward. You've got this kinesthetic energy that's happening as you're thinking about what's to come.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Lau: And we're meant to be in action. I know I'm one of those people, Anne, and I know you are as well, that I am better about working and getting things done when I'm in action.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely. I agree.

Lau: I'm not as good on the outside of it. I'm better on the inside of it.

Anne: Well, you know what else too, when I am though, in that moment where I can be quiet and reflect, I also like to watch or listen to other creative things so that I can learn and be inspired. And so, believe it or not, I was listening to another podcast, and it wasn't anything to do with voiceover, and it didn't even have to do with business, but it was people in the creative arts. And when I listen to them banter back and forth about what they do on a day-to-day basis, or that maybe they're interviewing somebody that's in television or the movies, and it always gets me thinking outside of my bubble. I really think that most of us voice talent. We stay in this bubble, this safe, comfortable bubble of, this is my industry, this is what I know, and this is how I need to go forward. These are the steps that other people in my industry have told me.

And I think that you really need to step outside of that once in a while to get creative inspiration. Like I love watching good movies. I love listening to new music. I love listening to anybody in the creative arts talking about their career or what they do to inspire themselves or to get ahead or to grow themselves or their business. That inspires me and gives my business new ideas.

Lau: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. I'm right there with you. And just last night I was watching a program on PBS about the American Musical Theater.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Lau: And the Jewish influence on that thematically, like the Jewish people that are coming in and influencing that. And they talked to Mel Brooks, and they talked to Stephen Sondheim and they talked, and here's the theme. They came up with. The great musicals were all revolving around hope and joy and happiness, you know, "Put on a happy face" and "Singing in the rain" and all. And I'm telling you, I was crying my eyes out with joy. I was crying my eyes out because I wanted to remember that what we do in our industry should be around joy rather than around negative.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: You know, we can still have agendas, we can still have purposes that are serious, that we really care about. We wanna uplift and we want to support, but overall, I know I wanna have a joyous outlook about myself, my business, my clients.

Anne: Absolutely.

Lau: My world. I want, I wanna go in with the upward mobility rather than downward.

Anne: Yeah. Upward. And along those same lines is really understanding what it is that you do and how you contribute to the world and society and within your business. And I think that we talk about this all the time, know your worth, know your worth. But I think we, we talk about it in terms of just knowing your worth in terms of what do I charge? Right? What do I charge for this voiceover job? I want you to think broader and grander than that. Like, how does my voice fit into the very small piece of the pie that can affect people on grand levels?

Do you know what I mean? My voice that fits into a documentary or something that's uplifting, or a meditation or, or however that works in a creative, entertaining spot. How does that fit in? And how does it overall affect not just you and your business, but society and the world? And when I think you start to realize where that sits, you start to value yourself and your business even more. And that helps you to create even grander goals that can be achievable, not grand goals that are not achievable. It gives you inspiration that you can achieve this.

Lau: Yes. And that there is an outcome that you are responsible for. And the outcome is surrounded by impact.

Anne: Mm. Yes.

Lau: Like what kind of impact and outcome does your audience, your client base, the people who surround you, what are they going to feel? What's the affect? What are they going to learn? What's your logos and education around what you bring to them? And how will they be persuaded? You know, like how will they move in a direction or a new direction based on what you're giving to them and offering them, which is you're offering them value.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: You're really giving value. So it's not just about setting your rates and setting your pricing.

Anne: Sure.

Lau: It's about saying, take a step back. What value am I really giving to them? And how long lasting is that value?

Anne: I totally agree with you. And so in looking, I think, BOSSes, before you start to make those goals for 2023, and you start reimagining, start taking a look at what you do now and start looking beyond just the surface of -- for me, for example, I don't necessarily do documentaries every day of my life or impactful commercials every day of my life, but I do voiceover every day of my life. And every single piece that I do voiceover for every single piece of copy has a meaning and has an impact to someone out there. And I think we don't often look beyond the words. Right? And the end of the job and the paycheck. I think we really have to say, what is it that we are contributing? And also, I think if you are really thinking about the overall impact, it's gonna help you with your performance as well.

Your performance is gonna mean more artistically. And also, again, I think everything just falls into place because again, as I was mentioning before, if we look at the evolution of this industry and how things are changing and evolving, technology, it keeps coming. Right? It keeps coming. There is the potential for a large amount of disruption in our industry because of technology. If you remember, I think the first was home studios and then ISDN, right? Or ISDN, that was a technology that led to home studios. And then home studios led to more and more people in the industry. And then after that, I'm thinking, what else is changing in the industry? Online casting sites, right? Pay to plays. That was technology that, it disrupted our industry. And technology, by the way, doesn't just disrupt our industry. Technology disrupts every industry.

And again, there's another movement for, I'm gonna say it, synthetic voices. And I know that people don't wanna hear that, but yet it is coming. And so as businesses and when we are trying to imagine our business moving forward, we need to be aware. We need to keep our eyes open. And we also need to think that if synthetic voices are coming, we need to be even more human in our craft. Right? Even more human, to make the impact to differentiate ourselves from the other product that may be coming.

And also possibly consider having an additional product in your service. Right? Maybe a human voice. Well, obviously a human voice, right? But maybe think about how a synthetic voice might play into your business. I'm not gonna say that I am out there taking away jobs, but I'll tell you what, they're not gonna stop for me. <laugh>.

Lau: Exactly.

Anne: And so for me, I wanna hone my craft so that I can give as much human Anne to my performance and make an impact with that as I can. And so that gives me lots of goals for next year, lots of goals.

Lau: Tons of goals. It's never ending goals. And I think there's the nature of human beings, not just in our industry, but to sort of have resistance against change.

Anne: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Lau: Like anything that looks scary, unknown, change -- will that take my job? Will that take my value away? Will that take my worth away? Well, our job, I think as human beings is to say, no, I have to re-envision what my value and what my place is, and then I have to offer that.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: If I sit back and I put up the resistance wall and I become super toxic, and start low talking everything and downgrading everything -- listen, as you said, it's not gonna change because I'm upset about it. Trust me on that.

Anne: Exactly. Yeah.

Lau: So when in Rome -- like you have to figure out, how do I carve out my business and rearrange that to fit the new waves that are happening in the industry? And if you really look closely, there's going to be positives. There's going to be pros, there's going to be great stuff. And then there, there will be cons too.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: So I always found like you, I need to stay positive about it and really do the due diligence of figuring out how do I swim in this market? What do I have to offer? And what do I need to change and re-envision in order to still fit into the industry?

Anne: Right. And I think it's important, again, just to reiterate with some different words, but saying the same thing, it is the market. We are a business who provides a product to a market, and we need to pay attention to that market. I can't just be a voice actor and say, but I have an amazing voice. Hire me.

Lau: Right.

Anne: It doesn't matter how great my voice is if the market is not demanding it. Right? And that's just business 101. You have to understand what the market is looking for, and then as a business, offer something that will serve that market.

Lau: Yeah. I mean, if it's any consolation and you view it all as a commodity, and that we are a product, in essence, go out and look at every single product on the market from an Apple computer to Tide soap to your car, to your house, whatever. It doesn't stay the same. It's all new. It's improved.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: You've got new ingredients, you've got new packaging, you've got environmentally friendly, you've got da, da da, da, da. It just doesn't stay the same. Like, I'm this laundry detergent and it's good. And take it or leave it. It doesn't stay that way. It has to change with the mindset, the vision, and also the generational influences. It has to shift and change to appeal to those target demographics. And it doesn't mean that it's not good anymore. It means that it needs to move in the direction where that audience figures out what the value is.

Anne: We can't, "get off my lawn!" We can't do that.

Lau: No, no.

Anne: We just, we just can't -- we may be getting older. And it's interesting because as I --

Lau: What are you doing on my lawn?

Anne: Get off my lawn.

Lau: Get off.

Anne: As I mentioned, I've been in the industry for 15 years. I have seen a lot of change.

Lau: <laugh>

Anne: Again, when I mentioned when I started home studio was just a thought.

Lau: Yeah.

Anne: It wasn't a requirement. Online casting sites hadn't begun yet. And really, if you're not, again, watching and looking and educating yourself, you're not gonna be able to move forward. Your business is not gonna be able to move forward. So if you're a voice artist and you love what you do, and you wanna remain a voice artist, then I think you definitely need to take some time. And this time of the year is a great time to do it. If you haven't been writing down your accomplishments --

So I'm gonna say before you write down goals, I have a wonderful planner that I write down weekly, daily accomplishments, things that I've done. And it's something that, a place that I can go to look back at. And it gives me a nice benchmark to say, oh yeah, you know what? If I'm feeling down and I feel like, oh, it's a slow week and what's going on, I don't feel like I'm making any progress -- I can go look at things that I've written down and say, wow, you know what? Like the epiphany that 15 years, wow. That's something to be proud of.

Lau: Look how much you did. It's very easy to forget about it and brush it aside when you're busy and stressed about the up and coming projects. But when you really take the time to look back on everything, oh my goodness, you go, did I do that? Oh, <laugh>. It's incredible. And you should be proud of that. Like you should take the time to celebrate it. Take the time to really go, oh my God, that's me. I did that. Like I always say, we're the alchemists thinking about creating a business out of nothing.

Anne: Right.

Lau: There's nothing there. It's air. And then you fill it with a thought and you conceive it, and then you start to plan it, and then you start to execute it. And then when you do it, you go, oh yeah, I just did it. It wasn't a big deal. Yeah. I got to do -- well, you forgot about the whole process --

Anne: It was a big deal.

Lau: -- leading up to it.

Anne: Exactly. Mm-Hmm.

Lau: A huge deal getting there.

Anne: It's interesting, as I was thinking about that, I'm also writing like, what are the biggest myths about starting a business in the voiceover industry? And one of the biggest myths is that you're born to be a business person or born to be an entrepreneur. And I think I'm the first one to negate that because I wasn't born to be an entrepreneur. I learned everything as I was going along. And so in reality, that's an accomplishment.

Lau: Oh yeah. I don't even know anyone who, even if they're born into families of entrepreneurs and they're studying in an entrepreneurial, you know, MBA track, they're not naturals at it oftentimes. They have to learn, they have to absorb, they have to be in the surrounding, they have to be in the mindset, the thought process. And that's not even to say, are they brave? Like, do they, they have that risk taking, that calculated risk taking thing. Are they willing to work really hard? Are they creative? Do they have a creative brain? I mean, that's all stuff that is part of your makeup, part of your chemistry. But you have to have the exposure, the teachings, the environment to help cultivate all that.

Anne: BOSSes out there, if you haven't already gotten a pen and paper and started writing down these accomplishments -- because if you are here, if you are in the industry, if you've started your business, that is an accomplishment. And that is something to jumpstart, springboard off that for reimagining your next year. And I've got some, you know, hefty plans for myself, more so than I think I did this past year. I mean, I always like to think big, but this year I'm really starting to evolve and change, and I think get off my lawn kind of talk. I have been planning for my retirement for the last five years.

The wheels have been turning. I wanna make passive income so that when I retire, I can travel and I don't have to be taking my mic everywhere with me and enjoy my retirement. So I've always been planning year after year after year, what can I do? How can I evolve my business? How can I grow it? And part of that is sitting down and looking at my accomplishments and then figuring out what new things do I wanna do for this next year? And I think because I've seen a bigger change in the industry this year, more things out in the industry that are affecting the industry and trends and where they're going -- and I think next year I want to be able to offer more to my clients.

And so I'm going to have to really dig deep and figure out what parts of my business do I wanna change? Do I want to upgrade? Do I want to, I can't be Anne Ganguzza more than 24 hours a day. I just don't have the time. And so now I've gotta really figure out a new way to rework the business so it's more efficient. And I can put more of my, I guess I wanna say my genuine self into it and not have to spend hours doing things that maybe I can outsource or have another method of getting them done or maybe go a different direction.

Lau: Hmm. No question about it. I think that that's the way to go. And when your BOSSes are ready to do that, delegating, growing your team, going from solopreneur to really businesspreneur, entrepreneur, whatever is important when you're ready for that step. And that's a courage step. You have to have a lot of courage and faith that you've reached that certain benchmark, but you need to get to the next level up. And in order to do it, you can't be everywhere all the time. You have to have others helping you. That was hard for me, honestly, Anne, because I'm the type of person, I don't know, maybe I'm a control freak and I'll say --

Anne: No, I hear you.

Lau: Maybe I'm a control freak, but I like to touch everything. You know what I mean?

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: I'm like a toddler. I like to touch that and touch that email and touch that.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: And I'm learning that I don't always have to do that.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Lau: And sometimes, and this was like a huge ego thing, and BOSSes, you might be able to relate to this, the idea that it won't go well or it won't be of high value if I'm not involved with it, is really not true. It's just not true. It's your insecurity potentially.

Anne: Yes. Absolutely.

Lau: Being worried about things going wrong versus that client really getting their value, enjoying themselves fully with another coach or with another engineer, or with another whatever you do like all the millions of jobs. I always say job number 82, you know what I mean?

Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Well, there's something to be said when you do outsource. I mean, I've had, gosh, I wanna say I've had my second hired employee is still with me. Wow. She's been with me for, I'm gonna say nine years now.

Lau: Wow.

Anne: Think about that. Nine years. Right?

Lau: Nine years.

Anne: I have been employing, I mean, I have at least nine people on my team now, but they've stayed with me. And that's yet another thing to think about. If you're outsourcing, you have to manage, right? You have to manage employees, you have to delegate, you still have to delegate so you have a little bit of your piece of the pie. You have your hand, your fingers in the pie there. And it's something of an accomplishment to have an employee that is loyal, that wants to stay with you for that long, that you can hopefully motivate and inspire. And it's, it's not just about the money for them.

Because I realize that if I want quality work and the type of work that I'm so control freakish myself, right? It's gotta be at a level that's way up here -- if you want your employees to perform at that level, then you have to respect them. You have to treat them well, you have to pay them well. And that also is a big challenge because we are our own business and to invest money, right, again into ourselves for performance training, for demos, for marketing, for outsourcing, it's always, I think, a scary thing for us to spend our money. Right? Our well-earned money. And so again, that's another thing that I can have on my accomplishment list to say I have been a good boss to my employees. And they have not left me in the dust. They've stayed with me. We have a wonderfully respectful, productive relationship. And I'm very proud of that.

Lau: And you should be proud of that. That's amazing. And in a world where most bosses just don't care, like workers are dispensable, oftentimes they're not even recognized. It's like you're a number in a lecture classroom kind of thing -- you have built a core business built on value and warmth and a family friendly environment and really nurturing, really just nurturing your talent and your clients, and really making sure you've got a caring, watchful eye. Hard to find that. That is invaluable. Like that is priceless. You know what I mean?

To be able to do something like that. We pride ourselves on that too. And I recently said what you said. I said, oh, I've been an amazing boss. Like, I'm incredible. But here's the double-edged sword. I have been the toughest boss that I have ever worked for. I'm much tougher on these than I am on the people that work with me and for me. And that's an issue. Like it's good that you're able to drive yourself. It's not good that you drive yourself crazy.

Anne: Oh, I completely agree. I completely agree. And you know what's so interesting? I think that because our product is really a very personal, part of our personal brand, right? It represents our personal brand, whether we are hiring somebody to help market, for us to help engineer, for us to help communicate to potential clients for us, they are representing our brand. And so by default, I like to say, of course, I'm the most caring, warm boss out there. But part of it is also because they're representing my brand, right? And I wanna make sure that I get tip top work, right? Top-notch work. I know myself, I'm not gonna get top-notch work from workers who aren't paid enough. Right? How can I preach the value of knowing your worth if I don't pay my employees what they're worth? Right? How do I get them to care about me and my brand?

Because if they write an email and say the wrong thing or come off on a different level or a different way, that is impacting me and affecting my business. And so I have to make sure that my employees are on the ball all the time. And, and I think that's part of the motivation too, for treating your employees well. And I always think you should treat your employees well anyways. Happy employees are gonna be ones that really serve your company and will stay with you for the long term.

Lau: That's right. That's part of your envisioning and re-envisioning of your business, that I'm working with the best crew that I can work with. I'm inspiring them. I'm offering them the resources they need. I'm educating them. I'm taking care of them well financially and emotionally, but I'm also motivating myself in a new way and getting courageous about that. Like what's the next step? Let me be honest. How do I level up personally and professionally? How do I get to that next place? And I'm telling you, it can be a leap. I'm going through it myself. It can be, after 14 years, it is really crazy to like take a leap to go from whatever it is, whether it's the six figure to the seven figure mark.

Anne: Sure. Absolutely.

Lau: Or to go from this level of client to that level of client, or it's very, very unsettling to do that.

Anne: And I'll tell you another thing. I always think about at this time of the year, right? Next year, am I going to raise my prices? Right?

Lau: Hmm. We were just talking about that. Yeah.

Anne: And I think that, Lau, that's a whole 'nother episode, but it's something, BOSSes, I want you to think about, right? Are you going to be raising your prices? And in economic times such as these, right? When there's a recession or the looming recession, how much are you going to, are you going to change your prices for new clients? Maybe your existing clients, you'll give them a grandfather clause where they get the same rate. But I do think that every time I change my prices, I have a little mini heart attack because it's scary even for us, right Lau, when we --

Lau: Oh, yes.

Anne: It takes courage to do things like that, to raise your prices, to hire someone, to fire someone, anything when it comes to your business for growth, it takes courage to grow.

Lau: It does.

Anne: And I'll tell you what though, I have all the faith in the world for 2023 and the BOSSes that listen to this podcast, that you guys are gonna go write down those accomplishments so that you can have a springboard to really, really reimagine what your business will be like in 2023. And think big. I like to think big, but don't think unrealistic because I'm ever hopeful that I really do believe that when I do reimagine my 2023, I will always make it so it works for me. Because I certainly don't like, I don't like to fail. I mean, I do fail all the time, but I don't like it to look like a failure. So I just say, oh, I changed my mind. So <laugh>.

Lau: Yeah, exactly.

Anne: But again, it's all about growth.

Lau: Exactly.

Anne: And I think that if you have done this for any amount of time, or if you're just getting into it, taking risks and having courage to grow your business -- you don't have to say, oh, I'm gonna go from $1000 a year to $100,000 a year. You don't have to make some crazy grand goal. As a matter of fact, most of my growth has come from goals that I kind of worked backwards from. And so they were step by step by step. And so each one was incremental in a realistic way, so that I never felt like I was losing or a failure or I couldn't make it.

Lau: Exactly. And and you know, we have fancy terms that we use now that really justify those moves. Like changing your mind is now called pivoting. We pivot.

Anne: Yeah. There you go.

Lau: Because it either doesn't work or it's not what we thought it is, or it's just not panning out for whatever reason, or we no longer wanna do it. It doesn't satisfy our overall goal. So we pivot in a new direction. So as you're able to transition and pivot and move, I would say, stay in action, move forward. Keep envisioning and re-envisioning, and don't be apologetic if you need to change course, if you need to pivot like you do, Anne, like I do every single day. That's really part of the game. And if you're gonna be in it, you need to keep that action moving forward. And just go for it. Like don't hold back. Go for it.

Anne: Well, I am Inspired, Lau, by you and I thank you, Lau. This is our last podcast episode of this year. We are continuing next year, which I'm so excited for.

Lau: Yay.

Anne: But yeah, so I have to say I am truly grateful and appreciative of having you these past few months as my co-host and absolutely love growing my business with you and growing VO BOSS. And for the BOSSes out there, I wanna say it's been an amazing year. Thank you so much for supporting us. One last thing, big shout out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect and network like BOSSes and reimagine your 2023 with ipDTL. Find out more at I have all the good feels for next year for all of you. Keep listening, we love you, and we'll see you next year.

Lau: Thanks everyone. See you next year.

Anne: Thanks, BOSSes.

>> 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.