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...

Nov 15, 2022

What gets you through the hard days? Purpose. It's what keeps you going when things are tough and when life seems overwhelming. Purpose is your why. Your VO biz is not just a job, it's an expression of who you are and what matters most to you. This week, Anne & Lau talk about what purpose is, why it matters (and why it doesn’t have to be all about profits), + how you can identify your business' purpose. They also discuss ways to make sure that your clients, agents, and peers can feel your passion in your presence + hear it in your voice. Finally, they talk about how clear communication of your purpose can help align you with other people who share similar visions and goals.


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

Lau: Hey! I'm awesome. I'm loving being back as always.

Anne: I love this series, speaking of the business superpower series. So as business owners, we are superpowers, and one of our superpowers, Lau, has to be our purpose, right? Why did we get into this whole voiceover thing in the first place? And I think it's really important for us to understand what our purpose is and bring it to our business. I've been in this business for a long time, and sometimes that gets thrown by the wayside during the busy days. And sometimes we can maybe forget what our purpose is in the business, but I think we need to realign ourselves with who we are and who we are as a business and what is our purpose. Because people and potential clients align with that. And I think it's important these days.

Lau: Yes, well said, Anne. We were just saying before that we start out with purpose when we're starting a business, but the purpose may change. It doesn't always stay the same through the years. If you're have luck and fate and love and passion, and you have a lot of longevity in your business, you become more and more purposeful and more and more subdivided in the reenvisioning and repurposing your purpose. And that, you know, that's something that all of our superheroes that we know and love have in common. They all have purpose. It's like to save the world, right, from certain destruction.

Anne: Right.

Lau: One of my purposes is to offer the world something specific that helps solve their pain point. What's their problem? What's their need? What is it?

Anne: Exactly, what's their problem. And I'm going to say that it's important these days to have purpose beyond profit, right? There should be some element of your purpose that not only are you in business to make money, but you are also wanting to bring value to society or value to a cause that you might believe in, and something that I think your potential clients can hear clearly stemming from your business and get on board with, because I think you'll really end up with a lot of customer loyalty if you get people on board with your purpose. So it's not just to, I wanna voice a national commercial. I know that when we first start in the industry, we start with something very close to us. Well, it's a passion, you know, a lot of people getting into it. I love to create character voices, or I read to my children a lot. And so -- I've been told I have a good voice. And so I wanna be able to bring something to my career with my voice. I wanna be able to use it.

So I think we need to look further and deeper into ourselves beyond that sole purpose of, yes, I'm passionate about voicing, but what else is it that you wanna bring to, let's say your business, to society that can help to, I think, elevate you and motivate you forward? And especially as you said over the years, like we kind of conquer and divide or divide and conquer and, and create more aspects of our business. And yeah, sometimes we start to really lose where that purpose -- where did that go? What am I doing this for?

Lau: Hmm, yes. It's like losing an inner compass for a lot of us that start out extremely strong. I think it would be fair to say as a sweeping generalization, that many entrepreneurs, many solopreneurs start out with a high level of zest, of passion, of what used to be inserts that none of us ever knew; that was the Retzin. Like what's the Retzin in our purpose? So you gotta have that because that passion, that purpose really inspires you through the difficult days, through the tough times. You're right. It can't just be profit driven because there are gonna be many days where you're simply not gonna make a profit. And it's unrealistic to think that it's my business -- yeah, my business should be making profit all the time. I actually thought that at one point.

Anne: News flash! News flash. <Laugh>. You may not make a profit every day.

Lau: It sounds ridiculous. But it's like one of my actors, literally, literally this morning, I was talking to her and she said, I'm concerned -- she had switched agencies. And she said, I'm very concerned. I said, why are you concerned? She said, I'm not getting that many auditions. I'm getting like, whatever a week. I said, well, wait a second here. First of all, you have to examine -- I use the word intention, but purpose is great, fits right in right here -- like, what do you realistically want here? And what is your purpose in doing this? Surely it can't be that you're gonna get auditions all day long and book gigs all day long.

Anne: Right.

Lau: And make a profit all day long. Right? A lot of people actually do think that way. They think, well, I'm here. I'm talented. I love what I do. I'm ready. so why aren't I getting the outcomes that I'm expecting? Well, life isn't like that and business isn't like that. Business is really about relational management. How are you paying attention to the details of the client and what is their purpose and identifying it, like determining do they have purpose? And is it specific enough?

Anne: Yeah. And I think that purpose probably starts when people get into the voice industry. I have so many people that I do consults with and there are people like, well, you know what, it's the pandemic, I'm at home. And I wanna be able to work from home and make money. I need to make money. And I'm like, well, okay. So that purpose is not as developed as somebody that I would necessarily wanna work with. So because their whole purpose is to simply survive probably or make money. And that's not necessarily the best purpose to come into the voiceover industry just simply because it's freelancer, and, and yeah, news flash we don't make profits every single day or maybe we do. But in order to get to that point of making a profit every single day, I think there's a lot more steps that need to be taken in terms of evolving your business and growing your business.

But in the beginning, it's almost like a self-centered, I have a passion for voiceover. I enjoy it. I'm passionate about it, but I think it needs to go further than that. So it's a passion for you that you love to do, but what can it bring to your business? What can it bring to your potential clients? So for me, for example, some of my background, I worked for a short bit of time in orthopedic industry and in medicine. And so my voiceover genres have evolved into medical narration. And so I really take heart in wanting to voice something that will help people. And so my purpose, when I'm reading the back of that pharmaceutical label, it's not so that I can make money. It's my gig. I'm making, you know, $1000 or whatever I'm making. I'm imagining that I am helping someone who is frantically reading that label to make sure that they're taking the right dosage and to make sure that they're not gonna have crazy side effects and what to do in case they are, and where do they contact? What number do I call?

And so I'm really thinking about that purpose, going beyond just me getting paid for the job. I wanna make sure that I'm able to bring my voice and my help and my service to people, to society. And that is just one small example. It's another reason also why I do eLearning gigs, because I feel that my purpose in life is to educate and to be -- I feel like that's really where my sole purpose is, is to really educate and bring education to other people, to help them grow their businesses or grow their voice over careers. And so for me, that love of teaching extends to my business, to my client. And so I take pride in the fact that there's purpose in that. There's purpose in this podcast. You know, this podcast stemmed from my wanting to give back to the community and have an educational resource for people that wanted to find out more about the voiceover industry.

Lau: Mm that's great. I love that. What a great soliloquy and you know what? I just had a visual, speaking of branding and everything we talk about with business, I had a visual of like cleaner, like Windex cleaner or one of those cleaners. Why? Because on the front label, you almost always see the word multipurpose, on the front label. Okay, so that's the claim that they're making is that I can use it on my stove and my sink and I can use it on the windows. Right? It makes me think we need to have multipurpose as well. I think its a misnomer to think well, I just have one purpose. What's my purpose?

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: We're multidimensional human beings. And I can have the purpose that I honestly wanna help someone. I wanna guide them. I wanna sherpa them, if you will, but I also want them to create a viable return based business. And then I also want to lift the ethos of the company or what have you. So it's a multidimensional, multi-purpose framework that I think we can create versus this idea of, oh, I just have one thing in mind.

Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I was thinking about this this past week and I wanted to tell you, Lau, the one thing that I love about you, I honestly feel and I get the vibe that you are more excited even than I am to get work for me as an, as an agent. I really feel that because you reach out and you're asking me questions and then I can feel and hear the excitement. You're like, oh, I've got an opportunity. And I really believe that you get so excited about bringing opportunities and bringing job fulfillment to your roster. But I think it's more than just job fulfillment. It's about helping us to grow. And I really feel that from you.

And so it's like practice what we're talking about, that makes me want to align with you even more. And so it really does my heart good to feel that from someone that I'm working with, because that makes me wanna work with you more. And I really believe that if we have a purpose that is to serve our clients, right, in the very best way, that's gonna be very obvious to them that that is what we are there. We are there to help them, to help them grow, to help them sell that campaign, whatever it is. If you are admitting that through your job, through your voice, through your interactions with them, it's very much a feel and something that makes them want to work with you again.

Lau: Oh, thank you for saying that.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: I deeply appreciate that. And it's all true.

Anne: It's true. It's very true.

Lau: And I feel like you can feel that from an email, you can feel that from a text, at least I can and you can.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: I can feel the level of connectivity.

Anne: In three words. 'Cause you're busy, and you send me three words and I'm like, oh God, she's excited. She's gonna get me an opportunity. I can tell --

Lau: That's right, that's right.

Anne: -- from that short sentence and it's so amazing that you can do that. And it's like a magnet. And I think that that is something that we all can learn for our own selves in understanding our purpose and understanding us wanting to be more than just the profit making business. that's out there doing voiceovers.

Lau: I would venture to say purpose is addictive. It's addictive. It's catchy. It's something when you're around, it influences you. You know, we talked about influencers all the time, but how do we influence our peeps, your VO Peeps and our audiences to move in a purposeful, mindful, specific and honest way is how we demo what we do, how we role play, what we do. It's hard to tell, but, but you guys should do this and you should do that. And then, then they don't see it in you. They're watching, they're mirroring psychologically. They're saying, Anne, I wanna see that in you. And when I see that in you, all of a sudden, I feel like I wanna do more. I feel like I wanna commit more. In fact, I wanna try, I wanna take more risks.

Anne: It's motivational. It's inspirational. And again, if I go back to this podcast, I specifically remember, gosh, the podcast is now I'm gonna say close to six years old.

Lau: Woo!

Anne: That's a commitment by the way. This podcast is, is a free resource for people, my heart wanting to give something back to the community. And interestingly enough, I feel like for myself, when I got to a point in my career where I was not so frantic, but about, oh my God, am I going to make it? Am I going to be okay? And I started to feel the success, I wanted to share that and give back. And that became the sole mission of the VO BOSS podcast was to give back and to provide an educational resource. And even more so like these series, the superpower series, my AI series, you know, that's something that, again, I wanted to be kind of up front and educate myself and help educate the community on what's coming up in the industry. And what do we need to be on the lookout for?

And that all comes from a place of wanting to help and wanting to provide resources so that people can use those resources to intelligently make decisions about their own businesses. And hopefully people that listen to the podcast feel that. And they, they can feel that from me as I continue to bring phenomenal guests like yourself onto the show so that we can help to be a resource.

Lau: No doubt. No doubt. I do agree with you. I think even if you're not thinking in a philanthropic mindset, there is this essence, this circular, however you believe, a karmic essence, a circular that what you put out into the world -- and I teach this to my children and I try very hard to live it -- is put out exactly what you would want to get back. If it were a boomerang and I said this to someone, I did this to or for someone, would I want that for myself?

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: That old do unto others. But it really is true because there is a circular effect in our industry of what I'm putting out. And sometimes it's not profit driven, as we know. And sometimes we don't get paid as we know. There's always this karma effect of wonderful things that come back to you, and it could be in the form of just like a quick one liner. Someone says you change the way I think. You change the trajectory of maybe my life and you think, whoa, I love paychecks, but no paycheck can make me feel that way.

Anne: It reminds me exactly why I loved education. And that's why I was in the education industry for 20 years. The fact that I had an opportunity to make a difference. And the funny thing is, is that it wasn't even about like, was I a good teacher? It was the fact that I had the opportunity to help and shape and hopefully motivate, hopefully inspire a mind that can grow and be successful, and I can be happy. And there is nothing, nothing better than that feeling of watching a student of yours go on to be successful. And I I'm gonna say I'm so, I'm so blessed, I really am, to have experienced that for so long and continue to experience. And I, I think that's why I think I was born to be an educator, which is why so much of my business is about education.

Now, of course it's about voiceover as well. But like you said, there can be multiple purposes. So is there just one purpose? No, not necessarily. Right? I have that purpose of, I wanna be that voice that helps people when they're reading the back of the pharmaceutical label. I wanna be a voice that can educate others through an e-learning module. I also want to actually have something that can, you know, like my podcast or my VO Peeps group that can help the education. And again, VO Peeps was also stemmed from that same reasoning when I moved from the east coast to the west coast, I wanted to meet people who were in the industry. And I thought, well, what better way than let's create a group of people who are voiceover artists and VO Peeps began. And then I wanted to provide resources because I missed teaching.

So it's funny because of course I love voiceover, but it turned into like multiple compartments of my business. And I think that anybody today in the voiceover industry, I don't know if I'd be so bold just to say this, but I think there are times as we grow, we do need to have multiple paths of income, right, in this industry. So I might not just be doing voiceover for all of my money. A lot of people it's just starting out have to have a part-time job or multiple revenue streams until they get to a point where voiceover becomes their full-time income. And that's where your purposes come in.

Lau: Absolutely, Anne. I mean, that's, to me, it's a given, to you it's a given, but we do have to educate people that that is the nature of being a contractor. That is the nature of being a trades person, that you are going from job to job. And you kind of have to remember that throughout your life, but also it's okay. Like give yourself permission that whatever you call yourself, you're a creative, you're an artist. You are, whatever you call that thing in you that drives you, that gives you purpose also multitasks in different creative directions that you have to realize. A lot of times you can't be satisfied in just one direction. You have to be multi-directional --

Anne: Ding ding ding!

Lau: -- multi-purposeful, right, to feel like --

Anne: Ding ding ding!

Lau: -- yeah, excited and revived, a little splash in the face, 'cause you got a new project. I'm taking on a few new things right now that scare me to death, which I love. Because I haven't done them before. You do that throughout your whole life.

Anne: I think as creatives, right, that's part of the whole creative mindset, is that I've always said I can't be bored, which is probably why I love to learn. Right? It's probably why I loved technology. I was in technology 'cause things change, things evolve. I liked fixing things. I was in technology. I would fix broken computers, all of those things that required me to do different creative things every single day. And thus, yes, I think as a creative entrepreneur, that's why multiple purposes can be beneficial.

And for me it's so much about what can I give, and even in our performances, I'm always telling my students, it's not about your voice. It's about your connection to your listener, and what is it that you're going to do for your listener as you are servicing that piece of copy, right, for a company that's selling a product? What is that product going to do for the person that's listening? How is it going to help them? And that is where the glue is. That's where the connection is. That's where sales become successful. When you are able to help people, right, with a product that will make them feel better, look better, whatever, help them in some way. And that's what becomes the attraction, that force. Right?

Lau: So, Anne, would it be fair to say that no matter where you're at in this game, that you've gotta think multi-purposeful and multidimensional that, on one hand, okay. It's a truism, I'd like to work. I'd like to be trained well. I'd like to have great equipment. Okay. We get that. But what is the higher purpose? What is the more multidimensional purpose of how -- let's say you're doing educational reads, eLearning -- how am I affecting a generation of middle schoolers as I do do this?

Anne: Sure.

Lau: How is my messaging? My voice, but my messaging here really taking effect? And is that an honest purpose that I have?

Anne: Sure. And it can go beyond just the purpose of the effect of your voice having on let's say certain campaigns or people, but it can go on to say, well maybe I decide to take a percentage of my earnings. And I donate it or whatever that is. Or as part of my day to day business, I have a certain set amount of time where I mentor people, and it doesn't even have to be in voiceover. It could be in any sort of thing. Right? So a lot of companies have that philanthropic part to their business, because again, it's that what is a higher purpose for your company, for your business?

And it's funny because a lot of people will relate it to like the creative aspect of it. What is my purpose? But in reality, defining your purpose in your business, right, it goes beyond just what is my purpose? But how does this purpose affect your business? And how is it that you are communicating that purpose? Is it clear? Do potential clients understand this about you and your brand? How are you communicating that purpose out to the world?

Lau: And is it in alignment with the population or the clients that you're working with or out of you? Or are you out of alignment? I think identifying that and being honest about that -- sometimes you're just not in alignment with the people that you're working with or clients that you're working with. And then it's not a good thing that.

Anne: Yeah, usually that doesn't end up working out.

Lau: Yeah. I mean, you might have an organization that's highly philanthropic, and they want you to have an honest connection to the work you're doing. And you're coming in and saying, well, it's good gig. I'll add it to my resume. I'll get some money on it. It'll be good. People will hear my voice, but their vision is a lot deeper than that. And they need a lot more emotional commitment.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Lau: You have to kind of be honest about that and say, is this a good fit? Are we spiritually aligned? Sometimes you have to think that way. Because sometimes you're not.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: And we can hear that. Like we get that. We can hear that.

Anne: Absolutely.

Lau: I can hear that in a demo even. I can hear it demo when someone is just not aligned, not present. They're not aligned. They're not present, they're doing it. And it's more of a perfunctory exercise than having joy. Some of my closer friends in the industry talk a lot about having honest, happiness and joy in what you're doing.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Lau: And I think that's okay to have. It doesn't have to be this heavy, serious thing all the time.

Anne: Right, right.

Lau: There's okay to have humor. It's okay. To have joy. It's okay. To have that level of cookiness and quirkiness 'cause you're creative. That's what creatives do.

Anne: Yeah, yeah.

Lau: Right? We get paid to be quirky.

Anne: Yes. There you go. <Laugh>

Lau: In a way, you know what I mean? Like, oh, I shouldn't do this. I shouldn't sound that I shouldn't. Well, but sometimes you get hired for that stuff. Sometimes you have long term relationships 'cause they know how quirky you are. Right? And we're both quirky.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Lau: And sometimes that becomes kind of part of the purpose is like one of my purposes is I'm gonna stay true to my persona and my personality while I service the client in the most honest way that I can, but I don't wanna lose myself. In other words, I don't wanna lose my identity. I don't wanna lose who I am. That's a toughie.

Anne: Sure. Yeah. A lot of times when we think about, okay, do you align with certain ideals? Right? Do you align with diversity, inclusivity in casting? That's a big one today, right, that all around in corporations, it's all about inclusion, diversity and that sort of thing. So is that something that you align with in casting? Are you willing to pass on opportunities if you feel that it's not the right job for you. Are you gonna pass on an audition or are you gonna recommend somebody that you feel would be better?

So that goes beyond, well, I'm gonna do every single job, and it's not just about like the political genre, right? Because the political genre, that's very obvious. Right? So are you on one side or the other? And so this really just goes beyond just a political genre kind of thing in terms of like your purpose and aligning yourself with ideals and making them known to your client. It's about everything that you do. It's about how you communicate it to your client. It's embedded in your performance. That's what I love that you, you brought that back into the performance aspect. We can hear it if you are not aligned in that way. And so I think for the BOSSes out there, if you haven't sat down and just, in a quiet area and just thought about your purpose, maybe jot it down or your purposes, right, what is it that you really are trying to do with your business that can be more than just creating profit?

Lau: Yes. I'll leave you on this note. My dad who recently passed away, not too long ago, he was a great businessman, great entrepreneur. And he would give me loads of wisdom, loads of gems of wisdom. And one of the ones I will never forget, way before I even started a business, he would say about starting businesses, he'd say you need to do what your plan is, what your plan of action is, do it for free, and do it for a long time to make sure that you wanna do it because once you start a business on it, don't expect to make money for a good five to seven years.

Anne: Yeah.

Lau: Right? And the Eastern philosophy is like 10 years. Like don't expect to really make a profit. Okay. So I always kept that in the back of my head. Don't mistake that for devaluing what you do. Oh, I'm only gonna do it for free and work for free. It's to say like, if you take that as an example, don't take it too literally. Take that as an example and say for a period of time, whether it's philanthropic or whether it's just for my own sense of knowing what my purpose is, I'm not gonna collect money on this. And these situations are appropriate for me not to collect money on this, and see how I feel about the work that I'm doing. Am I really willing to put in X amount of hours without billing X amount of hours? I found that very telling, and certainly actors who come from actor backgrounds spend years not getting paid or getting paid very low wages, and still do it, still wanna do it, still wanna continue it.

Anne: And that's so interesting because if you've ever read any of Bob Bergen's posts, he's all about, I didn't start doing it for the money, and he had a purpose.

Lau: Right, right.

Anne: And so he's very adamant about that to the point where I think some people kind of look at him and go, okay, okay. Okay. But I've gotta, you know, pay the mortgage.

Lau: <laugh> Exactly.

Anne: That kind of a thing, but it's the thought, right? So this is --

Lau: It's the thought.

Anne: -- purpose driven beyond profit, but it doesn't mean that if you're a good business, you cannot create wealth, right? Not just, you cannot make money, wealth in so many ways, right, is that you are contributing to society in a positive manner, as well as making money doing it. And so therein lies the question. So what is my purpose? And have I stayed true to that? Or my purposes, right? And have I stayed true to that?

Lau: Yes. To piggyback onto what you just said, one testament to that may be that you are working, you are having a viable business -- take on some charity projects, take on some philanthropic, take on some projects where you're mentoring or maybe you are doing something for visually impaired or what have you so that you can balance it out in your heart and your soul and say, not everything is a paycheck, not everything is an invoice, not everything is how much I can get -- but really get you off that just for a moment to say, oh, this may be another purpose for me that is a slightly higher purpose at times.

Anne: Right. Right.

Lau: That can feed me in a way that the other jobs may not be able to feed me.

Anne: Sure. Sure.

Lau: And kind of balance it that way versus all or nothing. I either work for free or I work for as much as I can get.

Anne: Or if it is for a profit redistributing that, right, maybe giving back in some other way. Right?

Lau: Exactly. Exactly.

Anne: So sharing the wealth, so to speak. But yeah, what a great conversation.

Lau: What a great conversation.

Anne: I really had some time to think about it. I really enjoyed writing that blog article. It just really led me to think about, what am I here today doing, and how did I start off, and how have I evolved over the years? And I can say, I'm grateful that I'm still true to my original purpose and also my evolved purposes. So I feel like I'm staying on track. It's something that I, I don't take for granted either. So I think we should all take some time and to kind of check deep within and see if we have that purpose and if we're following that purpose.

Lau: I love it. And now we can all be like the cleaners. Like we can all be like Windex and 409 and say we're multi-purpose.

Anne: Multi-purpose.

Lau: We're gonna clean up. But we're multi-purpose.

Anne: I love it. All right. Wow. Great stuff.

Lau: Good stuff.

Anne: Great stuff. So I'm going to give a great big shout-out to my sponsor, If you wanna find out how you can make a difference, and this can be part of your purpose, go to and find out ways that you can give back. Also big shout-out to sponsor ipDTL. I love, love, love ipDTL and networking with BOSSes like Lau. Find out more at You 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.