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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...

Oct 18, 2022

Build a circle that will support, motivate, and promote your inner joy, strength & courage. Anne & Lau are breaking down fear to build up your confidence. Your confidence level can make or break your biz, but it all starts from within. Do you really want success? Are you ready to put in the work to achieve your dreams? Instead of asking coaches, peers, and friends, you have to ask yourself and answer with honesty. Creating goals that feel insurmountable is what will end your business before you begin. But with the right tools & wisdom from your favorite business superheroes, we know you can tackle any task!


>> 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 in the business superpower series. I'm your host Anne Ganguzza, and I'm excited to welcome back to the show special guest co-host Lau Lapides. Lau, how are you today?

Lau: Fabulous. Fabulous. Thank you, Anne. It's great to be back.

Anne: Yeah, I am excited about our series, so excited.

Lau: Me too.

Anne: And the last couple of series we've were learning more and more about you. And I wanted to kind of bring into the mold a little bit about when I first started back in, oh God, this is so long ago, but not quite as long -- I think you've been in the business longer than me <laugh> but --

Lau: I have.

Anne: I remember distinctly, I remember distinctly when I started, I didn't come from a creative background. You know, I didn't have a job and a creative background. Well, everything can be a creative field I think if you make it a creative field, but it wasn't distinctly a creative field of voiceover. So I remember when I gave up my cushy job, my cushy corporate job or cushy corporate job in education, I was scared. I was really scared about starting a full time job in voiceover. And I was really a little bit timid and lacked a little bit of confidence because I had never embarked on something. I had never been an entrepreneur and started my own business.

So, and I know that a lot of people, this is somewhat intimidating to them. So I thought we could talk about the topic of confidence, because I truly believe that the evolution of my confidence and how I manifested it helped me to really get through the first stumbling blocks and hard times. And not that there aren't hard times now, but I feel like confidence really plays a big part in how well we get through events that may or may not be everyday roses.

Lau: Yeah, I'm right there with you. I think it's the bedrock of what we do as performers. I mean, if you put aside right now, the idea that you're an entrepreneur, you're a BOSS, you, you head up your own company, whether you're a DBA, an LLC, or whatever those letters are after your name, it's your own deal. It's your own shindig. But put that aside for a second, just as a person, as a human being -- we're performers and our job is to, to some degree become vulnerable, to open up to a world, something inside of us and reveal something. And how do we do that? Right? How do we get to that? How do we have that confidence to be able to expose ourself in that way and then be able to reel it in? So I think, think, yes, I think confidence is really, really just a foundation of where we start from and where we're working from and what helps define us as the, the superheroes that we are asked to become every day.

Anne: And I was even talking just business-wise, like, how do I even do this thing? And you brought in the whole other aspect of performance that, yeah, we do have to show ourselves to be vulnerable. We have to really be able to bring ourselves to the copy. And a lot of times that means exposing ourselves and that is sometimes very uncomfortable for people, especially if they're not used to doing it. And so I just remember so many self-doubts flooding my brain. And I didn't have anybody to talk to 'cause I didn't know anybody that had really done what I was doing in my immediate circle. As a matter of fact, most people, sometimes my parents too, would be like -- well, my mother would be like, honey, when are you gonna get a real job? <laugh> And bless her, I love her. But she would say, well, you know, when are you gonna get? And, and I'm like, but Mom, I.

Lau: <Laugh>. Right. Right.

Anne: I'm an entrepreneur, Mom. And it was funny because it took her a while before she finally, you know, understood what it was that I was doing. And so I think first of all, we have to assess the current situation that we're in, and we have to actually acknowledge that I think fear could be something that is contributing to our lack of confidence. I think that's step number one. What are your thoughts?

Lau: I'm with you all the way. I think that fear is, is a huge factor. And I often talk to my clients about this, is that there's two really big obstacles that can get in our way. One is fear and one is focus, and the two of them together can be powerhouse if used wisely because the truth is we're never gonna not feel fear. That's like a double negative. But that's just, you know, we're human beings. We're, we're animalistic in a survivalist kind of way. We're built to have instinct about things, which is important. We have to listen to our inner voice as well as our outer voice. We have to pay attention when we feel there's danger or something that's not going to work for us. Right? So don't put that inner fear factor voice away, but it's really like feeling the fear, but then doing it anyway, if that's a calculated risk, if that's a risk worth taking for you, how do I manage that?

I always feel like I can never really control anything as much as I would love to. I can't. I have to be able to manage the difficulties and the conflicts and the obstructions and all that stuff that gets thrown in our path. But if we think about it as oh, but I have to control my fear, I shouldn't be feeling fear -- that's wrong. I think then we're already off on the wrong path. We have to accept the fact that we're built to feel fear. You know, even our breathing as speakers, we understand what fight or flight breathing is. You know, if we go into our upper thoracic chest cavity, if we go into the clavicular area of our throat, we know we're in more of a stress fight or flight mode. Right? And it's not great for speaking, but it's meant for other occasions that will kind of save us and save our lives.

Anne: Right. Right.

Lau: So you are right, Anne. I think fear is important. It's necessary, but a lot of people have a negative connotation of fear and how to manage the fear.

Anne: I think if you don't feel fear, then you are not growing.

Lau: Yeah, and, and like, do we even care about it?

Anne: Right. Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. I think if you're not feeling fear, then you're not maybe pushing yourself to where I think you could be. And I think that that is something that if you can take that fear and not fear the fear <laugh> but yet figure out a way to push through the fear and roll with the fear and know that it's normal and know that it's normal even for veterans like us I think that have been in the business for a long time. I still feel fear as a matter of fact, quite a bit. And I've grown to the point where I know that if I don't feel fear, that I'm not pushing myself. And I just, for me, I think to be the best entrepreneur and the best that I can be, I need to be able to feel that and push through it. But it doesn't mean that it makes it any easier sometimes.

Lau: No, it doesn't, but fear can be fun. Remember the show that used to be on, Fear Factor.

Anne: Yeah. Right, right.

Lau: That a huge, massive audience. Like why are we so fascinated with seeing people in fear? Why is the horror genre in film or in audiobooks so massive, a billion dollar industry? Because there's a catharsis that we need as human beings that we live through that we learn, at least have the potential to learn about morality about what to do, what not to do, about how to protect ourselves, about how to build a better situation for ourselves. It's fun. And it's exciting. And there's a little, you know, frisson that comes in the back of the neck. But at the end of the day, we wanna walk out and we wanna say, hey, I kind of discovered something here. I learned something about myself or about my surroundings. And the fear was like a little bit of a, a sign saying, pay, pay attention. You know, just, just look at the details of what's happening here. And fear in a way is care.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely. That's a really good point.

Lau: Like I care when I feel fear. Right?

Anne: Yeah. Absolutely.

Lau: So we have to be kind of fearless about fear. <Laugh>

Anne: And so, you know, let's talk about what are the things that are, I think common fears when we become entrepreneurs. I'll, I'll start with, I fear that I'm not going to be able to make it or make any money and I will be, I will fail. So therefore it becomes that thought that I won't be good enough. I won't be able to make money and I'll have to go back to the corporate world and I'll fail. And that was my biggest fear in the beginning. And it was a very like blanket, like thought. And it was a very big thought that like, oh no, it will never work. I will fail. And then I'll have to go back.

And that was looking at it at a, on a very large scale. I think one of the things that helped me to kind of get through that is to start to look at things in a smaller light and have little steps that maybe I could feel that I wouldn't fail, but that was number one, the fear that the whole thing wouldn't work, and it wasn't just, oh, I won't be good enough. It'll just be like the whole thing won't work. I don't know anything about starting a business. I haven't researched it really. I've never done it before. And I don't have anybody in my immediate circle that has started a business. So where do I go for help? So there was all these unknown questions. That was my -- what about you when you first started?

Lau: That's a good one. Actually. That's a hard one to top; that fear of failure in is like big. I think your engineer needs to do a, some, some like good trivia music right now. Just like some Jeopardy music right now.

Anne: Yeah. Right?

Lau: See if I could top that one. Okay. Here's one. The fear of spending money, IE the fear of losing money.

Anne: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Lau: Right. Without an ROI that's secure, if there is such a thing without knowing what my return really will be, without knowing if I'll ever get work, I'm scared to spend money. I'm scared to go broke. I'm scared to waste money. That's a big one, right?

Anne: That's a very common fear I think for a lot of people just getting into the industry, it's their, they like, I don't have money to invest, but I need to get work. And it's that which came first. Right?

Lau: Right.

Anne: And so thankfully I think anybody that goes into this full or, or even part-time needs to, first of all, make sure they have a little bit of a financial cushion so that they can invest the money. Just knowing I didn't quit my corporate job completely blind. I did understand that I would need to invest money. And so I think that securing that knowledge that you have money to invest in your career is one thing. And that's a big thing.

And that even now, as I have been in the industry for more than 15 years to continually invest in my company, because now that I have seven to eight people right now that work for me, that was a big thing, right? To be able to like, oh my God, I'm gonna pay someone, and do I have the extra money to pay someone? And so BOSSes, what's really cool about that comparison is that going from an independent, I work for myself, I'm going out to make money, and to grow to a point where you're now gonna hire an assistant that can help you because you're grown to the point so that you can continue to do what it is that you love and have other people that can do the things that maybe you don't love so much, or that you're not as good at.

And so that whole first decision like, oh my gosh, do I have the money to hire someone and to spend and to invest? That's a big fear as well. And I think what gave me confidence was I did it small steps at a time. And I think that's one thing for you, BOSSes, is to think about it. What are the small steps they're gonna take you to get you to your goal and what are the achievable steps that will then give you confidence, right, to continue moving forward?

Lau; Right. And, Anne, I wanna piggyback on that point , which is so necessary. It's like bottom line again, bedrock principle what you're talking about here is mindset, mindset, mindset over your matter. You really have to power up that mindset when it comes to investment and say, am I coming from a mindset of poverty or am I coming from a mindset of wealth? And I'm not only talking about physical money. I'm also talking about abundance, surplus, glass half full. Am I a hopeful positive, I'm gonna take that lemon and make it into lemonade? That to me is wealth, wealth of knowledge, wealth of spirit, wealth of fun and risk taking. So you have to be honest with yourself I think, Anne, and say, am I really in a position to do this? Because my mindset needs to be able to open up to the possibilities of success. Like I, I always say to my clients be careful what you wish for. You may get it.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Lau: Right? Because success is difficult. It's hard. It holds you to a very high level of responsibility and industry standard and timeline and everything. Success isn't easy. Success is a challenge. Right?

Anne: And there's a fear of success as well. That is absolutely a thing.

Lau: Ooh, that's your number three, I think, right?

Anne: Yeah. Fear of success. That's number -- and then wanting to continue and continue to grow. And I think it's a cycle. Every step, as you move up really becomes, I'm afraid. <laugh> like acknowledging the fear, and then breaking it up maybe into smaller chunks. How can I get from this level to this level? And then breaking that up into small steps and then being able to manifest <laugh> come from that place of abundance, and just push through until that small step is achieved. That will give you the conference to move up to the next step.

Lau: Absolutely.

Anne: And help you to manifest the next step. And I think that that might be a, a great process for people to work through the fear and build their confidence in order to grow their business.

Lau: Yeah. And yeah, I do think you have to be as honest with yourself as possible and your crew around you, your coaches, your directors, whoever you're working with, even your professional accountability buddies in saying, do I really want success? Or do I like the idea of success? Because the reality is a job, it's work, it's time. It's wonderful, but it's work. So do I really want to put in what I need to put in to work or do I have self sabotaging patterns where every time I start getting close to something that's progressive and good, I put something in the way of it to wall it off? Which I see an awful lot of people doing, whether it's, I can't make that timeframe.

Anne: I see that on social media.

Lau: I'm busy with something else. Yeah. yeah. And you think, well, wait a second, isn't this your goal? Isn't this what you wanna be doing? Yes. As long as it's within my timeframe, within my structure, my context and not really realizing that you're really have to be more client centered, more audience centered, more producer centered. It's not about you in your world. It's really about what you're doing for the client. And so the self sabotage can start to take over. That's common.

Anne: Yeah. That's I think a, a big thing. And I do see that on social media where there'll be forums and people will be talking about, well, how do I get work? Or how do you find success in this? And you know, well, I just can't because of this. I can't because of that. I can't because of, and so, you know, again, it's that sort of thing where you're, you're kind of putting all the things that you can't do in front of things that you can do to grow and to move up. And I think, again, it's got to start with you being honest and taking a real honest look at yourself and finding out if you're willing to do the work. You know, there's so many people, and I know you've run into this as well, Lau, that say, do I have what it takes? <laugh> Do I have what it takes to make it?

Lau: <Laugh> Right.

Anne: So there's a good question, Lau. What is your answer to the people who will ask you that? Do I have what it takes?

Lau: <Laugh> I always say, you know, when that type of question comes up, I always feel immediately, my knee jerk reaction is I think you're asking the wrong question, to be honest with you. I think a more effective question to ask would be, am I willing to set up a realistic work structure for myself, then I can adhere to on a time management basis and really hold myself accountable to that. Am I willing to do that? Because I always feel like when I went to grad school, I was in a accepted to a three year conservatory full program. And I was nervous about it, nervous, fearful, a little scared. I asked one of my dear friends who had come out of a program. I said, what do I expect? What should I be looking for? He said, listen, simple as this, what you put into it is what you're gonna get out of it.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: And I said, what a brilliant answer. I've used that for years and years, because it's an individual journey. It's an individual's path. I can't predict your level of success. I can't predict who's going to perceive you as a incredible talent. I can't even predict what kind of genre you're gonna go into, honestly. I can give you my, my advice and that's what I can do. but you have to be honest with yourself and say, do I want this? Am I willing to set up a work schedule for myself? Can I invest in this? Am I willing to not be an ego and set up professionals who know a lot more than I do surrounding me to teach me? I mean, am I willing to do this? And then I can get closer to the answer to that question.

Anne: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think there's so many people that think it takes like, well, do I have the voice for it? And honestly, I always try to tell people it's about so much more than just your voice. It's really about your connection and the ability to bring yourself to the words and be able to connect. And I believe that if you have the ability to connect with people on a day to day basis, you have the basis for what it takes to do voiceover, because everybody's looking for authenticity. And I think if you're not at the point in your journey where you can bring authenticity to your craft, then that might be the question to ask. It's not, do I have the voice, but do I have the courage to expose myself and be authentic through the art? And once I am, then does that bring me the joy that will bring the passion, the emotion to the craft, which I think is what is truly the connection with people and what people respond to.

I'm gonna say the physical aspects of the voice in this whole career, like, will you be successful, I think there's a very small percentage of us -- and again, it's very subjective, right? That have a voice that has the physical characteristics that are like, oh my goodness, like the majority of people will find that beautiful. Very few. There's a lot of us out here though that have a great ability to connect with people. And that almost means more because if you have a beautiful voice and you're not able to connect with authenticity, that is only gonna buy you a certain level of success, I believe.

Lau: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. And, you know, I think we just came up with your next episode, and that is like all the wrong questions to ask.

Anne: Yeah. Right?

Lau: When you start voiceover, there's really a lot -- I don't even like to use the word wrong. It's not that it's wrong. It's that it's not appropriate at the time to ask that kind of question.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: Until you've really been in it for a while. Like a question like coming into it, how much money can I make doing this? It's not an appropriate or effective question to answer at the beginning stages of a career. It just, it just isn't. So that's your next episode, I think, that's the next one.

Anne: Well, I, what I was hoping with that explanation was to also give people a boost of confidence so that it does help. I mean, this whole episode is about how to build your confidence up and how to overcome the fear. And I, I really believe that if you understand that about this industry and understand that about this career, again, it's so much more than just that voice, then it becomes, do you have the courage to build a business? Do you have the courage to do the work? And again, that I think if you break it down into the small steps and that's about my only solution for it is to really maybe write your goals down, which I think is a phenomenal way to really help you break down this fear, right, and give yourself confidence.

And I also think, and, and I believe that we talked about this before, or I must have talked about it 100 times before writing down those small accomplishments can really mean the world to giving yourself more confidence to continue forward. And as well as the fact that you wrote it down, right, gives you a benchmark. So again, you have to grow step by step moving forward and moving more forward. How do you know if you don't compare it to where you've been? Right? You don't have a benchmark.

Lau: So exactly. There's just no context for it in time, in your timeline of your life and also of your career that you're in the middle of. I, I'm also gonna add to that and say, build your circle. I won't even say network. I'll just say circle because it could be family. It could be friends. It could be whoever it could be pets. It could be anyone or anything that helps promote your inner strength, your inner joy and your courage, the word you used earlier. I think is a really smart and frightening word to a lot of people. Like, how do I get courageous? How do I get brave? How, how do I become the superhero? Well, it's just like little moments, little detailed steps you take every day. It isn't these big, massive moves of saving the world. It's like, if you're helping the environment, how do I save the world? I can't save the world. Well, just pick up the can.

Anne: Well, exactly.

Lau: You know, just pick up a bottle. Put it in here.

Anne: Exactly. Take the small step. <laugh>.

Lau: That's all you have to do.

Anne: That's such a wonderful example because honestly, if it becomes this all encompassing, overwhelming thing, you've quit before you've even started.

Lau: Right, I can't do that.

Anne: If you make it so large and so big, and it's like, oh my God, I can't possibly like, if you're beginning, you're beginning to say, well, I didn't make any money this week. And that is what deters you from, you know, the entire career, then --

Lau: Then you quit.

Anne: Yeah, exactly.

Lau: You've already quit.

Anne: You've already quit.

Lau: I got one more to throw in the mix, 'cause I hear this a lot. Especially from my crowd that's over 40, fear of technology. Very scary to a lot of people who are not digital natives. They didn't grow up on computers. They didn't grow up using a microphone. They didn't grow up on a video screen. They just didn't, right? I'm in that generation. I'm generation X. We didn't grow up that way. We learned, I mean, I didn't learn it. It was till I was in my 30's, like how to even be on a computer, you know, we didn't have cell phones. So that fear of technology I think can stop a lot of people's progress, and it's important that if you recognize you have the fear, again, it's okay to have the fear it's, it's natural. It's normal.

Just how do I manage the fear? Well, one way I could manage the fear, I could delegate some tasks to some of my circle that's around me that I find overwhelming or I find scary. It could be something like, help me choose a microphone or help me, help me learn some new apps on my computer or help me whatever. And also delegating actual tasks to someone else. Like you have an engineer you hire, I have an engineer I hire, I mean that's okay once you have enough money in the pot to hire people and have them do a job that you're not proficient at, you don't have the time for, you don't want to be doing <laugh> whatever. It's like give yourself permission to delegate.

Anne: One of the biggest confidence builders I've found myself as I've grown through the years. Is that money in the pot thing <laugh> right? So if you can put together a savings account and as you make money, right? Put some in. I mean, that sounds like my mom and dad, like from just, we save a penny. Right? But having money in the pot will help you have confidence so that when there is a low period or maybe you don't get a job for a week or two or a month, that will give you the confidence to still continue on and move forward, and also give you the confidence to help reinvest that money someplace else. The bigger that savings account is, I'll tell you once I got my savings account to a certain level, I was bold as yeah. Anything good.

Lau: Yes, yes, yes.

Anne: Because I was like, okay, this is okay. I was bold in everything bold in how I was gonna grow my business, bold in, you know, oh, maybe I'll try this now. Right? I was bold to make different steps. And it really changed the way that I ran my business, and it was exhilarating to me. And that gave me confidence like nothing else. I'm not gonna say money is the only thing that gives you confidence, but in this kind of an industry where you have a lot of highs and a lot of lows and a lot of fears, and a lot of the fear I think is fear of failure. And for me, because I went full time, I wanted to contribute to the household expenses, right? This was not just something that I could just enjoy for the rest of my life. I wasn't retiring.

I needed to make money to pay the mortgage. And so money for me there gave me a lot of confidence. So I think BOSSes, take tiny steps to understand that there is fear. Take those tiny steps, write down those goals, celebrate those milestones, generate that confidence, and continue to grow and be BOSSes. Right?

Lau: I love it. We'll call that VO bucks. Put away your VO bucks, right?

Anne: Your VO bucks. I love it.

Lau: VO bucks. And when someone says to you, Anne, but honestly I'm telling you honestly, Anne, I don't have the money. I can't buy a new microphone. You say, well, wait a second, wait a second. This is where the financial advisor and you start popping out and you say, wait a second. Didn't you go to the movies last weekend? Did you eat out a couple times this week?

Anne: Did you buy that Starbucks?

Lau: <laugh> yes. Just, just be willing to sacrifice that. Do the math on, on that. Put it towards the microphone or whatever you need. And then tell me later, wow. I was able to reprioritize, redirect my VO bucks, and I somehow magically found the money. I found it.

Anne: Yeah, hey, I got a part-time job as a office assistant and my mother was like, here, I came out of my six figure, you know, corporate job. And then I'm like, well I'm an office assistant, and I would never downplay any of that. But it was one of those things I did part-time while I was building up the business so that I could have the money and not feel horribly guilty. Right? That I wasn't contributing. And I was building up the business. So giving me confidence, giving me the money to reinvest. BOSSes, you can do it. We've got the faith in you. <laugh> so.

Lau: Everyone is the superhero at the end of the day, Anne, everyone has those powers.

Anne: Business superpowers. So awesome episode. Thank you so much, Lau. It's been so much fun.

Lau: So much fun.

Anne: And, and I am going to give a great big shout out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect and network like BOSSes. Find out more at And also I want to let you know about You can use your voice to make an immediate difference in the world and give back to the communities that give to you. So find out more at You guys, have an amazing week and we'll see you next week. Bye.

Lau: 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.