Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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...

Apr 4, 2023

There are very few things in life that are black and white. The world is full of nuances, nuances that can be challenging when they come up in business. Anne & Lau dive into the emotions & decision making process that happens when you make a decision to protect the ethics of your business. Most people don’t want to talk about ethics in business. They are uncomfortable with the topic and don’t know how to approach it, but discussion is one of the only ways to bring awkward subjects into the light. No decision is without trade-offs. It usually means losing something, whether that's time, money or energy. When faced with a tough decision, ask yourself how this feels in your gut? Is it the right thing for you? For the future of your business? Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. Only decisions that feel right or wrong for you at this moment in time.


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 I am excited today to bring back to the show Lau Lapides. 
Lau: Hey.
Anne: Yay. Hey Lau. Here we are. The BOSS Superpower series. I'm so excited. 
Lau: Me too. I feel like it's been a long time since I saw you. 
Anne: I know, right? 
Lau: I just came back from vacation. 
Anne: Well, and I, of course I'm working over here like a dog (laughs), and I need a vacation now. But I have to say I encountered something that was difficult for me and my business while you were having fun in the sun there. And I thought we could talk about it today. And it's all about ethics, and ethics in your business, and what you can do to get through a situation that is not easy to deal with, especially when it comes to your moral ethics in terms of will you work with a client. So I had a client. And they asked me for something that did not sit well with me, Lau. And it made me feel icky. (laughs). 
Lau: Gotcha. Oh my gosh. 
Anne: Yeah. And it was one of those things where the opportunity was great. There was gonna be opportunities for more work, and this was a very well-known brand. And I really struggled, and it was one of those things, and I thought, well, is it worth it, right, to align myself with this brand when I'm kind of feeling icky about what they're asking me to do, because it could mean more work if I maybe choose not to work with this client? Will I be seen as somebody that's not easy to work with or difficult to work with and will they tell other people? And so it just became, ugh, such a difficult decision, Lau. And I know that in our businesses, I like to think that everything's easy, and all the clients are easy and I get to choose what clients I wanna work with. 
But every once in a while, a client can also kind of flip on you (laughs). So typically I think I'm a good judge of character, and I can say this is gonna be a great work relationship, and I'm gonna be able to work with this client. But sometimes those clients, maybe the company changes hands or you're working with somebody else from the company, or the rules change or the policy change or whatever it is. Or the script changes. This actually didn't really have to do with the script, Lau, but I also think this applies to any potential job that talent have the opportunity to voice that maybe they don't agree with the copy, with the script. 
Lau: Right. I'm telling you, as long as I've been alive on this earth, I can tell you that the longer you're in business, the more often you're going to experience this kind of thing. And, and it is to be expected. And as uncomfortable as it is, and it is really uncomfortable, and I, you know, I'm trying to put on my empathy face right now, I also have that feeling that yeah, it's to be anticipated, it's to be expected. And I always like to think of it as like a magic carpet ride. You've got this beautiful carpet, you created it, you're floating, you're flying, you're moving in the direction you wanna be moving in. You're going fast, you're high. 
Anne: I was flying high, Lau.
Lau: Flying high. You feel really secure. You got your seatbelt on. Then all of a sudden the carpet gets pulled out from under you and then you fall. And you feel like you're falling, you feel like your credibility's falling, your hopes are falling. The perception of your audience is falling. You feel like you're losing something. And it's scary 'cause you don't know how it's gonna land. You don't know, am I gonna survive this? Am I gonna get out the other way and get up and run? And you always do. You always do. You're most resilient person I know. Like you're gonna get up and run after it. But to go through it is really like, what would you call it? Like the milestone of moving through life and moving through your business and saying when difficult things happen, that's when I build my character. That's really how I react to that and how I stand my ground, and how I build my character is really, I'd like to say what it's all about at the end of the day. And I think you're amazing in the choices that you're making. And so you're making choices about this, right? 
Anne: Yeah. Oh yeah. 
Lau: The path, which way you went. 
Anne: I have to say I made the tough choice, and I chose not to work with the client. And after that, Lau, I had days, I had days where I was second guessing that decision, thinking what would be the ramifications and how would it affect my business, in all aspects. Because I thought, well, this might become something that other clients will know 'causethis client knew a lot of other potential clients that I've worked with. And so it became a thing where I had to sit back in a quiet space and just ask myself how does my gut feel? And I, I know we've talked about this is I, I like to run my business by my gut, and I usually listen to my gut, 'cause for me it's usually the right thing. But I'll tell you, I was back and forth with this and once I made my decision, then I second guessed myself again for days. 
I mean there was no way, once I had made the decision to cut the relationship; I mean, I couldn't really go back. And so then I just sat there and worried and I thought, oh no. And again, you think that being in business all these years, maybe it would be easier. Or I would be able to get through it quicker. But I think maybe sharing my experience with the BOSSes out there, I can at least share my experience and, and talk to people about here, it happened to me. This is how I felt. Like how did I feel? I felt like once I was given the opportunity, and it was presented with a job, I was initially like taken aback and was so surprised. And then I thought, oh, that doesn't seem right. (laughs) That just doesn't seem right. And so I asked a couple of close friends and colleagues of mine what they thought if maybe I was misreading something. ‘Cause I wanted to kind of have another set of eyes on it. 
And of course this was with people that I trusted and of course I wouldn't wanna shout this on social media or on the rooftops because again, it was a private connection between me and my client. And so I kind of got other people's first initial reactions, which were similar to mine from a lot of people that I spoke to. I then sat with it for a while, and I couldn't get it outta my brain. It was one of those things that, until I said something, we were gonna be working together. It was just gonna be a wonderful thing and a great relationship that was gonna continue on, and I was just gonna continue to work with this client, and things were gonna be lovely, and my business was gonna be accelerated by this. But I kept thinking and feeling in the back of my brain and in my heart that something just didn't sit well. 
And so then I made that tough decision to cut ties with the client, and then there's the ramifications of the back and forth because I cut the ties with the client through an official email. Right? I had to do that. I would've liked to have actually maybe had some, I don't know, some Zoom time or maybe a phone call. But I had to cut the ties via email. And that was tough. I mean, because trying to go back and forth on something that it's a little more than a, than a negotiation on a job, it's tough to do through email, through text or email. And I was hoping that I would have an opportunity to further, I don't know, either talk to the client and maybe -- I didn't burn any bridges. I didn't wanna burn any bridges. And that was important. So I think that when that happens, BOSSes, you have to really consider, I don't wanna burn bridges. That's just kind of who I am. Although you may not be able to do it without burning a bridge. What are your thoughts, Lau, with all of your years and and experience in the businesses that you've built? It's happened to you. 
Lau: Oh my goodness. Yes. That's the thing. And you and I talk about this all the time, Anne, you can't get through life completely unscathed, as much as we would like to because we're positive minded people. We wanna think the best of our connections. We wanna give the best, we have the best intentions. You're dealing with human communication. You're dealing with behaviors of human beings that have this whole frame of reference that has nothing to do with you. They're coming to the table with a whole life, a whole mindset, a whole viewpoint that has nothing to do with you. 
So in my mind that slides into every single exchange that happens, their ethics, their behavior, their morality, their persona. That kind of goes into the mix. And we have to understand that, that when we're doing the recipe, it's not always gonna taste good. The cake's not always gonna come out the way we think it's gonna come out. And that's okay. So I think as women, we make a couple mistakes. One is we do take the brunt, we take the emotional brunt of having to make important decisions or what we perceive to be important decisions and stand that ground and feel uncomfortable with that, and take on the other's trauma, the other's mistakes, the other’s whatever. We take that on and we emotionalize that. And I think that's a big issue for us as women because we're high pathos. We're very visceral beings. That's what makes us good at our jobs. But it also is a double-edged sword because that's what makes us take on a lot of things that are not our problem. They're just not our problem. 
So being able to objectify it just enough, sort of like an audition. So for those of you who are listening in who audition for a living, right, you have to care about it. You have to emotionalize it enough. You have to connect to it so it's authentic. But then when it's done, you have to walk away from it, and you have to disconnect, and you have to not make it the most important thing in your world. And that's the skill that you have, that all successful people have to cultivate is not saying, oh, I don't want things to go wrong. I don't want things to happen where the rug is pulled out from under me. No. But saying --
Anne: I don't wanna disrupt things. I don't wanna disrupt things. 
Lau: Yes. It's like, are you a gentle disruptor? Are you an eloquent disruptor? Are you an intelligent disruptor? But the disruption will happen. It's just the nature of dealing with human beings, and it's the nature of business. Business is just difficult (laughs) on so many levels. It's tough. It's not easy. And I think if we could learn to objectify enough and walk away, that would be really important to do. Another thing we do too is we exaggerate situations. I noticed this in myself for many years, 'cause I was an actor. I was a professional actor for many years. And I would say, am I a drama queen? I mean, am I, what is wrong with me? Oh ah, I'm an artist. I see things in a certain way, typically emotionally first. And then it becomes larger and larger and larger and larger until it's like massive. 
But to the outside world, they don't see it that way. To them, it's small, it's simple, it's almost non-existent at times. So I found that for me as a technique to save myself and sort of objectify and say, I think I'm blowing this out of proportion. I think I'm exaggerating this into something really huge when I don't think it's viable as a huge thing. I think it's just my perception in the moment of the massiveness of it. The truth is we're not a golden calf. We can be replaced; they can move on. And then sometimes it's almost as if it never happened. 
Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And I like that you mentioned the over dramatization and, and that I think in terms of feeling the way that I was feeling, right? Oh my gosh, is this going to bring down my business? What are people going to think of me? What if other people find out what happened, and that kind of thing. And I, and you're right, I think it became like for me, emotionally bigger than it should have because I beat myself up over it for a good few days and spent a lot of energy thinking about what if, what if, what if, or oh my gosh, and being stressed out about it that I feel that I probably wasted a lot of energy on that. And I think at that point, when you're going through something like that, having the support of colleagues and friends that can remind you of things like, hey look, this is okay. Do what you feel is right. We'll support you no matter what -- I think that's so important to help you through the tough times for that. 
And also I think being able to talk about it with a trusted colleague is going to be very, very helpful. And just to remember those things. I mean that's something you said to me, look, why is it that you feel bad for something that has nothing to do with you? And you're right, to the outside world, like it's insignificant, right? And a lot of times we build those issues up in our brain to be larger than life, when in fact nobody's really necessarily even thinking about them or concerned about them. But for me, in my business, I was in such a dilemma. And so I think that for me, after I went through the days of second guessing myself, stress, thinking about what if, what if, what if, I now have come out the other side, and I am proud that I stood my ground and did what I believed in, and I feel stronger for the experience. And again, this is not the first time it's happened to me. And I'm sure it's happened to you as well multiple times in your business. It's happened to me before and I've come out the other side fine. And I should remind myself of those things. But I think every situation is different. And in the moment, it may seem like it's, oh my gosh, it's the worst thing in the world that could happen. 
Lau: It's the worst thing in the world. 
Anne: Yeah. 
Lau: And also just for you to note, and I love doing this as a coach but also as a person in the world -- I love passing on what someone says about someone else that they would never know that could be like super amazing and life changing. So I passed on the generality of the situation to a dear female coach and family member of mine of many, many years, just generally speaking. And you know what she said about you, Anne, and you, you don't know her at all. She's not in the industry. She's actually a therapist. Not my therapist. But she's a therapist in the world and we have a lot of crossovers 'cause we're both coaches; she's a life coach. And she said, isn't it nice to know, Lau, that you're not only working with someone of that caliber, but there are people still left in the world that character and morality really means something to them?
Anne: Wow. 
Lau: And are willing to stand their ground for it? And I thought, oh, it's so uncomfortable and upsetting to Anne, but it's so amazing. And like, I don't know what the word is, but it's so like revolutionary to the people who witness it around you, who say — it's almost like you can take a breath and say, wow, there are people in our industry that feel something real about injustice when it happens and actually do something about it, but do something in a very professional, kind, diplomatic, and thoughtful way, not a hostile, angry, violent way. Oh, I love that civility. That level of civility and diplomacy I think is to really be rewarded. And again, you don't know it, and you don't feel it in the situation, and you feel quite oppositional to that. But those around you, your circle that circles you, that witnesses that is really inspired and in awe of that. It sort of gives other people courage. It gives other people strength to say, yeah, if something comes at me, and my rug gets pulled out from under me, people like Anne, people like — are doing things to help build themselves up without getting destroyed by it. I can do that too. 
Anne: Well, I appreciate you telling me that. Thank you so much. And now I feel even better about my decision and I appreciate you saying that to me. And I think it was very important and worth mentioning again, when you are handling something like this and taking a stand, especially when it's in regards to your business -- and this could just be me. I'm always like trying to be the professional, always trying to not burn my bridges. Because again, you never know where your relationship will go, how the client will react, maybe something wonderful can happen out of it. So I never choose to burn my bridges. And so I did break ties with the client as professionally and as diplomatically as I could and thank them for the opportunity to work with them and appreciated everything that we had worked on together. And yeah, I think that's an important thing to consider when you are faced with ethical decisions. 
And again, this doesn't just have to be about scripts, because I know we've spoken about that before. I mean it could be like, well, what if you get a script and you have to voice something that you don't believe in? I'm strong on that one. I'm like, I don't have to voice that. Like to me, that's a no-brainer. But when it came to my business and working with a client that I thought maybe didn't align to the same goals as I did and making that tough decision, I think that the ethics, it's all around. We have to address ethics all around in our business. Not just on what script we voice. And again, BOSSes out there, I entirely encourage people that if you don't feel comfortable voicing a script, you can take that stand and turn that down. 
Lau: Or even you are not comfortable working with someone. Like you don't have to justify it. It's okay. You don't have to tell everyone. But you can certainly internalize and say, why am I feeling uncomfortable? I just had this recently with a new partnership with an agent out in LA who was interviewing one of our people and said, you know, I have to be honest with you, I wasn't comfortable with him. This was on Zoom; this wasn't — I wasn't comfortable. I just didn't, I didn't like his personality. He made me feel uncomfortable. I didn't feel like I would be able to do dealings with him, and I didn't offer him a contract. And I said, well good for you. I didn't take any offense to that at all. I said if I were in your position, I probably would do the same. Because you wanna be able to have that free flow of ideas and conversation in that somewhat level of trust that you're on the same page, you're tracking kind of thing. 
Anne: Yeah. Yeah. That you align.
Lau: You're tracking. I'm gonna make a prediction for everyone in the audience. Here's my prediction. My prediction is this client, Anne, is gonna come back to you for future things, whatever that is. Whether it's a recording job or whether it's uh, something else. And you're gonna have another decision to make. And that is, do I want to work with them? Because somehow how we feel like, oh, the coffin shut, the nails are in. And that's often not the case because guess what? The time goes by. They realize who their friends are, they realize who they can trust. They realize and they say, you know, that wasn't a comfortable thing that happened, but a year has gone by. Two years have gone by. I miss her. Where is she? Let me got in contact with her again. Don't be surprised if it's not the end of the relationship. 
Anne: Yeah. Very interesting. Hmm. Wow. Well, it certainly was something that threw me for a loop this past week, and I'm glad I'm out the other side. But I did wanna share my experiences 'cause I thought maybe if I can help anybody — and it's funny because I'm, I'm very much a person who likes to showcase my business as being together. And every time, Lau, you and I get together on this show, I'm always going, oh my God, Lau. I've sabotaged myself. I'm feeling insecure, but I'm sharing because I'm hoping it will help people that they're not alone. This happens even if you've been in the industry for a long time, and it looks to everybody like -- I mean I like to think that I have it together, but ultimately the experiences that I go through have helped me to build my character, build my business stronger and hopefully continue to do that. I think the last thing I want, because I put so much of myself into it, is for my business to not survive something like a client relationship that I have decided not to pursue any further. 
Lau: I also think too, unless you run the kind of business where you're really relying on one or two or three clients to keep you alive -- I think you're so diversified and you working with so many people, I don't think that's actually possible when you have so many irons in the fire. But I think it's that, again, it's that sort of blown out of proportion perception, that six months down the line or a year when we are talking, you'll be like, how did I take that so hard? Or why was that so important to me? 
Anne: Why was that so hard for me? Yeah.
Lau: Why did I go through that? I did the right thing. But why did I, like we, we have a Yiddish word called grizsha. Grizsha. It means to sit for a week and just worry and up, grizsha and upset. Make friction for yourself because you're going through the process of it. It's like grief. It's a loss. You're going through a loss. 
Anne: Yeah, that's exactly right. That it was a loss. And I always think, well, the reason why I went into business for myself is so that I didn't have to go through the stresses that I went through when I was working for people. Right? When I was working in the corporate world. And I was like, I'm not gonna be beaten by the man. And literally I'm like, this is what I love about working for myself is that I get to choose. Right? I get to choose who I work with. I get to choose the projects. And again, I think that is such a wonderful blessing, and it's such a wonderful thing to be able to build a business for yourself. ‘Cause you do have the options to make all these choices. 
And I think that if you do end up going through an ethical dilemma, I think it's good for the soul, even though it wasn't pleasant going through it. And I second guessed myself and stressed out, and -- but I do think that it is one of the reasons that I think being employed or self-employed and having your own business is such an advantage. I mean, we have those choices in front of us to decide upon who we work with. And again, I don't think you get to that point in your business until you're confident and you have -- for me, it always comes back to, and this is a sad thing to say, but it's a reality is, if you have the financial stability in your business to be able to really make those decisions. And I am grateful, and I'm also proud of the fact that I've built my business to the point where I'm okay, I can say no to a client. And I think any BOSS out there that has been able to do that, wow. I mean how wonderful is that? It's just an amazing thing and you should all be so proud that you are able to make those decisions and able to decide whether or not you want to work with a client or not. That's a luxury. 
Lau: It's a huge luxury. And you have to have that awareness of not being such a people pleaser, such a yes person that you're doing that at the demise of you, your business, your model, your time, whatever. Like that's an ethical dilemma for a lot of people. I went through it for many years 'cause I'm a natural-born people pleaser.
Anne: Yeah, me too. 
Lau: I was brought up that way actually. And I love having that quality still. A lot of people call me Mama Lau, 'causeit has like sort of caring --
Anne: Oh yeah. That's great.
Lau: — essence to it. But at the same token, you have to be very careful because there are things you must say no to. There are things you must decline, you must whatever. And those are the hard moments, whether they're ethically driven or financially driven or whatever, that you just know in your heart, I really shouldn't be doing this. Or I really don't wanna do this or what — and you're still saying yes, that's your own ethical dilemma. That's your own saying, what is my value system? What are my principles? What do I stand for? And sometimes there's nothing wrong on the other side. It's just you shouldn't be doing it for whatever reason. You know what I mean? So I think you're awakening us all to really having a good hard heart to heart talk with ourselves and saying, yeah, what do we believe in? What do we wanna be doing? What do we wanna spend our time with? When is it okay to say no? And just set that up. Just be okay with that. Don't kill yourself because you're saying no for whatever reason. 
Anne: Yeah. Good talk. Thank you, Lau. 
Lau: Amazing. 
Anne: Mama Lau. 
Lau: Amazing. 
Anne: I love Mama Lau. (both laugh) That's pretty awesome. Oh man, great discussion. Thank you so much as always. Words of wisdom, golden nuggets from Mama Lau (laughs). BOSSes out there, as individuals, it may seem difficult to make a huge impact, but as a group we can contribute to the growth of our communities in ways that we never before thought possible. Visit to learn how. And a big shout-out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect and network like BOSSes. Find out more at Guys, have an amazing week, and we'll 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.