Sep 27, 2022
Iterate or evaporate. In this episode, Anne & Erikka are here to get you out of a funk. Whether it’s a slow season in your genre or you are feeling like work isn’t coming as easily as it did a few months ago, your hosts are here to cheer you on. Connecting with a community can help motivate you, but really the only person you have to impress is yourself! This industry requires you to be consistent, tenacious, and ready to keep going even when it feels impossible. Reflecting on recent accomplishments or setting new goals can reignite that fire. Maybe you need to journal about why you got into voice over in the first place. Whatever it is, we are here for you and if you need a little boost, put this episode on repeat!
>> 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'm happy to be back this morning, having a balanced breakfast with my good friend, Erikka J. Erikka! Yay! How are you?
Erikka: Hey Ann. I am good. I did not have a balanced breakfast, but.
Erikka: I'm coming back balanced and refreshed from vacation.
Anne: Well, there you go.
Erikka: That's great.
Anne: And since we wanna remain with our theme of balance, I wanted to ask you, it seems like you had a wonderful, luxurious vacation. Did it restore the balance to your creative and professional life as well as your personal life?
Erikka: I think so. I think so, but it was crazy because kind of looping back to what we said in earlier episode, I had like a chaotic day, right before I left. I know we've talked about like having backups and all those things, and man, did it save my behind because --
Anne: Ah, very important. Talk about it. Let's talk about it.
Erikka: Oh my goodness. I had a SAG video game session that I've worked with once or twice before, but still, you know, those are like super exciting, but also wanna make sure everything's right. So had everything set up. They had me on Zoom first and they get on SourceConnect. And for whatever reason, Zoom and SourceConnect hated each other that day. And like my interface wouldn't work, and my DAW wouldn't work and it was just like, ohhhh, like.
Anne: That's tense. That's a tense situation. So what happened? So what happened?
Erikka: Luckily I had backups, Anne.
Erikka: So <laugh> so I switched from my Apollo right over to my Audient, and I switched from Adobe audition right over to Pro Tools, which they use too, so they were super cool with. And I actually heard them comment, "isn't it great when an actor like knows what they're doing with the technical stuff?"
Anne: Ooh. Score.
Erikka: And I was, like --
Anne: That was awesome.
Anne: And you know what? I absolutely am quite sure that's gonna have a big bearing on them wanting to work with you again.
Erikka: Well, I'll tell you what, it was also a very nice way to kick off vacation by not leaving a session, like, oh my God, I screwed up. It was like, it all worked out in the end. So then I could go on vacation happily and you know, relax. So it was great.
Anne: Wow. Well, congratulations on that for sure.
Erikka: Thank you.
Anne: I know that for me, like when I go on vacation, I'm very much all on or I'm very much all off. And when I go on vacation, I can completely, thankfully I can completely disconnect. And then I find that when I get back, it's tough to motivate myself again.
Anne: So I figured it would be kind of a good thing to talk about. How do you motivate yourself? And then also, how do you motivate yourself when, during the course of your voiceover career, let's say, things aren't working out the way you expect? I know a lot of people come to me, you know, I'm not booking and it's just really frustrating. And how do you self motivate when you're just coming off a vacation or when the chips are down?
Erikka: Oh boy, that's something that I think is like a muscle that we have to keep toned in this business, you know? Because there's so many things that can not help to keep us motivate --
Anne: Demotivate. Yeah.
Erikka: Exactly. Exactly. So, you know, you're not booking or whatever, but coming back off a vacation, it's like, yes, you've had this refresh, but it's always like hard to get back in the saddle, right? So usually what I'll do is I'll have at least one day of rest to make sure that like, I don't have --
Anne: Once you come back.
Erikka: I'm typically still booked out.
Anne: Yeah. I love that. Yes, I do that too. I book out one extra day when I come back for that jet leg or whatever it is. So you can just relax and kind of get yourself geared back up.
Erikka: Yep. And if I see like an audition I really wanna do, I might try to do like one or two just to kind of like warm up <laugh> getting back in the booth.
Erikka: But you know, that way it's kind of my choice, 'cause I've already said like, hey, I'm booked out this day.
Anne: Important question though. Did you completely book out during that vacation? Did you bring any equipment with you?
Erikka: I did. So I have that Shure MV 88, which is plus, which is super tiny and it's so small that I don't mind carrying that. I stopped carrying around my 416 and my interface, 'cause that just felt like -- it was hard to be on vacation <laugh> yeah. And I always get stopped by TSA. Like it's a microphone.
Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Me too.
Erikka: So I did bring it with me, but yeah, I didn't record a single thing on vacation. It was great.
Anne: Good. Congratulations on that. Yeah.
Erikka: Thank you. Thank you.
Erikka: Yeah. So self-motivating, man, you gotta -- there's a lot of different things, whether that's warming up to get back in the booth and then thinking about why are you doing this? You know, what are your personal goals? What are your professional goals? What about you, Anne?
Anne: Well, I think a lot of times, if you're getting frustrated, when let's say work, isn't coming your way or you didn't book that audition or you're not sure what's happening, obviously number one, it happens to all of us. So just know that. There are times when things can be slow, and things may not be happening the way that you expect them to. So number one, know that you're not alone. Number two, reach out. I think reach out to somebody that can be an accountability buddy or, or just a friend in the industry that can help you motivate, get yourself back on track. And just to kind of reinforce the fact that you're not alone, and maybe they're having some slow moments too, or maybe they're not, <laugh> and then that may or may not make you feel better. But <laugh> but for sure, I think know that it happens to all of us and reach out and communicate. Don't just let it sit inside you and fester.
Erikka: Fester, yes.
Anne: Because I think that just is like a self-fulfilling prophecy, you know what I mean? It just, it's hard to get out of until somebody can help snap you out of it. And so, Hey, just put this VO BOSS episode on repeat. So whenever you're down, and you need motivation to say it's okay and it happens, there are slow times in the industry.
Anne: Keep plugging away at it. It is a marathon, not a sprint. What other things do we say? Interestingly enough, Erikka, I've been in this industry over 15 years, and honestly it does take tenacity, and it takes consistency and staying with it.
Anne: Now obviously if you haven't booked in a year, that might be an indication that maybe you need some other outside help or maybe performance technique or something else. Maybe you're not marketing enough. But I think for the most part, when you go through these lulls, for sure, just understand that it does happen and reach out so that you're not in this self-sabotaging moments of saying, that's it; I can't do this or this isn't for me and quit, because it is a marathon. It is a marathon.
Erikka: Yeah. Yeah. And I think what you said is important about like, not just reaching out, like remembering that that also includes like coaches or, you know, finding workshops that maybe you need just need a refresh. Everybody still needs to train. I just had a class on Thursday when I got back. But you know, also sort of honing in on what exactly. like what's the problem? You can't really solve it until you know exactly what's missing. Is it that you're not reaching out enough and you're not drumming up enough leads? Or are you getting the leads and not quite landing the auditions? Maybe it's audition technique, 'cause maybe once you're in the job, it's great and they love you, but you're not getting the attention and standing out from the pack. Just sort of honing in on what is it that I need to work on to drum things up and knowing what the lulls are in the industry is key. Because it may not be you; it may just be the time of year, you know?
Anne: Yeah, and also, not just the time of year, but the genre that you're working in as well.
Erikka: Yes. Yeah.
Anne: Like there are certain genres that probably don't let up, like if you're in promo, right? And you're the voice of a show, you will have a schedule that will be somewhat predictable when the show is running or before the show -- whatever it is, you'll be on a schedule for those particular jobs. Versus let's say commercial: if you're the voice of a particular campaign, there may be a lot of work at once and then the campaign might be over. And so then you're onto the next campaign. If it's e-learning or corporate, it could be kind of hit or miss, you know, sometimes it's feast or famine, that sort of thing.
Erikka: Yeah, yeah.
Anne: And just understand that when there is a famine, I think that's the time when you have to step back and increase the marketing levels, increase your, you know, reaching out to your contacts, making sure that you're continually on the lookout for that next client. I think you really should never be complacent if you're busy and when you're busy. Always be on the lookout for finding that next client, because you just never know when that job may end. And I think for me, I don't expect anything --
Anne: -- from my clients and the more predictable the work is, obviously the more comfortable and the more confident you're gonna be. So for me, I've got some regular clients that I know in advance like what jobs are coming up. And that gives me a source of confidence so that I can go and audition for more jobs and maybe a different genre and take some chances there. Because I always like to mix that up.
Erikka: Absolutely. Yeah. You don't wanna be taking all your risk at one point and then you don't have anything going on. You wanna kind of have your foundation, you know, know your, what your business plan is, know what your strategy is to keep yourself balanced, right, and to keep your balance sheet in balance.
Anne: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Erikka: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So those are all, all great things.
Anne: And I think we talk about like goal setting in a recent episode. You know, I think goal setting is important because we can lose sight of -- within that goal setting, we write things down. We also not just write our goals down, but our accomplishments. And if you're doing that on a timely basis, on a weekly basis, a monthly basis, whatever that is, going back and taking a look at your progress and your accomplishments is going to be something I think that you can always keep track of. And that can also help to motivate you to say -- you know, I was thinking I haven't been busy, but in reality, I got that job. Or, you know, I got that wonderful testimonial from that client. Or I made contact with a bunch of new production houses that I'm on the roster. Whatever that is, you can take a look at what has happened so far. That's why I think keeping track in goal setting and writing down your accomplishments and goals that have come to fruition, I think that's so, so important.
Erikka: Absolutely. Like my metrics are super self-motivating for me. And it actually has kind of pulled me out of a, oh, I don't think I'm doing as much work. You know, I haven't been feeling well, all of this. And then I go back, and I look and I'm like, well, it's not that bad. You know, and maybe it's not as bad as I kind of -- we, we inflate these things in our head, but when you go back and look at the numbers, especially like, what I do is I'll definitely look at my year over year. So I'll see I did this last March and you know, this this March and kind of get an idea of where I'm at, looking at incomes, you know, a number of auditions that I did, bookings, and even like callbacks. Like if I got a callback in a genre that I haven't gotten a call back in before, that is progress, and that's showing that, you know, I've gotten better. So all that stuff is incredibly self-motivating.
Anne: Well, you know, you mentioned income, and I'd like to touch upon that just a little bit. I will say that for me, of course it's about voiceover. But for me, it's also about being the entrepreneur, and the entrepreneur is someone who can design their business so that it can be profitable and fruitful both in self-fulfillment as well as let's say financial, and I am not ashamed to say that that is part of a game for me. I like to make money. It helps me to support the household and the family, and I'm not ashamed to say that. And I think there's a lot of us that, especially when starting out in the industry are very timid. "I'm not experienced enough. I'm not good enough yet. I need more training." And they're very timid about charging a particular amount, charging what they're worth. We've touched on charging what you're worth, you know, multiple times in this podcast. But I will say that if you charge what you're worth, and even just once in a while, throw out a number that you think is ridiculous. When you get that number, that is a motivator, like no other <laugh>.
Erikka: Yes, totally agree. Totally agree. And being able to kind of, tying that in with goals and the income thing, is making sure that your goals are -- and I wanna be cautious with the word realistic. And what I think I really mean is incremental and iterative.
Erikka: So it is okay to set astronomical goals for yourself, but make that a long term thing.
Erikka: What are the steps to get there? If you wanna make $100,000 in voiceover, what is it gonna take for you to make per month, per week, per day? How many reachouts or, you know, whatever your lead generation strategy is, what do you need to do to to generate that number? And then taking a look at where you landed and kind of setting for the next iteration, what's a more realistic goal for me if I didn't hit it or, oh, I did go over. So maybe I need to reach a little harder because you put that into the universe, I really believe that you can limit yourself by kind of having lower goals. But if you have somewhere in the sweet spot, it can help you be very motivated.
Anne: Yeah. And I do wanna continue a little bit more on that financial aspect of it, but if you have a cushion, if you have been able to, if you have a great repeat client, if you have -- or anything, not even, even if it's voiceover, if you have another job, right, that you're making income and you have some money that you have put aside, and this is my voiceover business investment money -- once you have the confidence of having money in there, I believe it is a true motivator to allow you to take more risks in your business.
Erikka: Yes, totally agree.
Anne: And that to me has been honestly, something that has helped me grow exponentially, just that confidence that I don't have to worry about the money because I've got money set aside for investment. I have a little bit of time to kind of strategize and calculate what can I do now to make money? And again, without people thinking I'm greedy, 'cause I don't like to classify that as greed at all. It's a simple acknowledgement and understanding that money makes the world go around right now, and I need to pay a mortgage. And so with that hardcore realization, to me, it becomes a challenge. "Okay. How can I have enough money set aside and reinvest that money so that I can make more money?"
Erikka: Yep, absolutely.
Anne: So that I can maybe invest in a good vacation that will help me reset myself creatively, which is something that I need and is coming up in the next year. You know, I've made plans to go on a nice vacation. That is something that I think is not only helpful for me personally, but also professionally because it's going to help me to reset. And so many of us have certain blocks for money. And once we realize what those blocks are, we can work to kind of clear those blocks and just, without getting too woo-woo, right <laugh> allow the abundance, allow the money and not be ashamed or feel bad about it or simply accept it and allow it to come into our lives. 14:30
Erikka: Yeah, absolutely. So keeping that balanced mindset, not one of scarcity, but one of abundance and welcoming that not just money itself because yes, I love making money too. And recognizing that you have value when you are voicing these projects. You are helping these companies make money in some type of way.
Erikka: So you should be compensated for it. There's nothing wrong with that. But this money can allow you, you to not just hitting the number goal, but it can allow you to reach personal goals. Like maybe paying off debt or helping a parent or a child go to college or whatever. So it's a tool. Money is a tool that you can use to do things in your life. You work for it, you should get it, and there's nothing wrong with setting goals based on that.
Anne: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the biggest money blocks that I faced when I was growing up was that my father was supposed to be the head of the household and making the money.
Anne: And my mother was raising the children, right? And bless them both, love them both, but that was kind of what I was raised with. But thankfully my parents were always encouraging, saying I could be whatever I wanted to be. I didn't feel like there was a limitation, but just because it was something that I grew up with, and I saw, as I became a business owner, should I feel bad that I'm making more money? I remember when I was going out to get a job, I'm like, well, how much money should I make? Like that was an actual thought in my head. Well, if I get married, my husband should make more money than me, and I, you know, of course immediately put a stop to that. But I don't want that to be a limitation at all for that. So it was always like, well, as a woman, I shouldn't be making as much money. And of course I put a stop right to that in today's world. Heck no.
Anne: <laugh> You know? For me --
Erikka: Yeah, absolutely. I always wanted as much as possible. <laugh>
Anne: Yeah, exactly. And for me, believe it or not, you wanna talk about how we're motivating, how to motivate when the chips are down, that's a motivator. It is a motivator. And so I am continually trying to improve. And when I set my goals and again, I love that you said the incremental-iterive not outlandish goals, but when you set decent goals that are incremental, and you hit those goals, that becomes such a motivator.
Erikka: Yes, yes.
Anne: And again, it doesn't consume my business, but it absolutely drives my business because you want to be successful. And so to be successful, I'd like to make a profit for this because it is my full-time career. Now, if you're in voiceover, and maybe it's your part-time career, I want you to have a goal of making money as well, because I don't want you to not care about it because then it will drive down, let's say, it may drive down the valuation in the industry, right? So every one of us should get paid, whether we're working full-time or part-time, we should get paid what we're worth.
Erikka: Absolutely. Think about, even if it's, if it is part-time or just side money for you, think about what you could do with that extra money, and maybe that'll help you keep your rates up like vacations. You know, just went to Cabo and it was gorgeous. It could be saving for retirement. It could be saving for college for kids. It could be saving to take care of an aging parent. It could be just investing, you know, go buy an investment property. So don't see it as just, oh yeah, I'll do this for $100 because who cares?
Anne: It's just a hobby for me. No. I want you to turn that thought around and say, hey, demand the money that you're worth and concentrate on the clients who are willing to pay you what you're worth.
Anne: And try to even change the notion that there are some jobs that may not be worth as much. I mean, I think a lot of that is our own self-inflicted limitations on what we can charge for a job. I mean, a lot of times, you know, we have talked about negotiation before. You know, the person who mentions money first usually loses. And so always asking for a budget really helps because one of the last jobs I asked for a budget, and it was literally five times bigger than the budget I had in my brain. And I said, oh, I think I can work with that. Right? And that was a great motivator that --
Anne: I'm like --
Anne: -- wow. You know, I could actually get that money for that job and I didn't feel guilty. I didn't feel like it was overcharged because again, like you've mentioned, you're helping a business to make money. And so, you know, you are absolutely worth the money, and even if it's more than you think. And that really, I think helps to set like little benchmarks for like, okay, so I got paid for this particular genre this amount and you know what, it's not impossible that I could get paid that again or not more so.
Erikka: Agreed. And even some like external motivators 'cause we wanna balance what's motivating us, right? 'Cause money is great. Money's important. Money is probably the main reason that most of us are doing this. We wanna get paid and compensated for our time and talents. But understanding that there are other motivators as well, in addition to other goals you can set, it can be personal, just kind of growing your artistic muscles and being a great actor, but even external motivations like awards. I think that awards showing achievements that you've made in certain categories, for one, I think that they are a marketing and advertising tool, which is great to drum up new business. And it's nice to be recognized by your peers and to be able to say, I did such a great job on this that I was awarded for it. So those can be great too.
Anne: Absolutely. There is such a difference of opinion with some people about the awards.
Anne: Are they valid for us or not? But I think any type of recognition from our peers, that's validation. There's so many times when, again, we're such an isolated business and it's such a personal aspect of our brand that we're being judged on. Whether we get paid or not, right, whether we get that job or not, right, it is a personal part of us that is being valued, right? It's our voice. And so if we can have other people say, wow, great job, that really, really helps to motivate. And that includes award ceremonies. And again, there's the whole argument, well, you're paying for the award. Well, like you mentioned, consider that in investment in marketing.
Anne: Does it really make a difference? I say, yeah, it does. I mean, it makes a difference to the person who may not be familiar with the voiceover industry, and they say, well, they've been awarded, so they must be good. I'm not necessarily marketing to voiceover people when I get an award on my voiceover work. I'm advertising to companies or other people that might hire me for the same thing. And it does leave an impression.
Erikka: Yeah. Think about, I know that we've all either had a product or a brand or something that we've seen, and they have on their website when they've been talked about in certain magazines or when they've earned certain awards. Again, we are businesses as well. So why would we see this as any different? There's nothing wrong with it. And if you have the argument, what does it help? My retort would be how does it hurt? <laugh>
Anne: Yeah. Agreed.
Erikka: You know, like --
Anne: That's a great retort.
Anne: I mean, why not? So.
Erikka: Why not? Get dressed up and have fun with your friends.
Anne: Yeah. Yeah. I also think it's like, so anybody that knows me kind of knows that I'm a little competitive <laugh> as I laugh, just a tiny bit competitive. And just the competitiveness of it all, even if I don't win, right?
Anne: Which, you know, I'll be like rrr, but anyways <laugh>, but even that little bit of competition is stirs up my adrenaline. Right? It's just fun.
Erikka: It's fun.
Anne: And again, it's something that wakes me up out of complacency. I think if you're not motivated, you're complacent. And complacency for me is like a dead end. It is a place where I can't grow and a place where ultimately I'll just get bored, and it's just not a place to be in my career.
Erikka: Yeah. I don't know if I've said this quote before on this podcast, because it's like one of my favorites. So forgive me if it's a repeat, but one of my favorite quotes, because it's so short is iterate or evaporate.
Anne: Ooh, I like that. I've never heard that.
Erikka: I love it. It's like keep getting better, keep doing things and kind of going back and looking at how you're doing, or you're going to fade away.
Anne: That's the nicer way of saying evolve or die.
Erikka: Yeah. Exactly.
Anne: Yeah, exactly. Which is one of my favorite <laugh>
Erikka: Yeah, yeah.
Anne: Actually that's so funny. Iterate or evaporate. Okay. So I'm gonna say that from now on. I like that. That's great. <Laugh> Yeah. So any other ways that we can help to self-motivate? Sometimes you just have to go on muscle memory, I think, you know what I mean? And just know as much as you're not feeling it, you're feeling low, you're feeling down, you're depressed maybe because you haven't booked a gig in a while. Just kind of going on memory again, play this podcast, and know that things will change. Things will change if you keep going, keep plugging away, be consistent. I think co consistency is key.
Erikka: And remembering that yes, we have all these external factors like, you know, awards and money and all these things we've talked about. But personally, and as an internal factor, remember why you started. You know, why do you love voiceover? Why are you here? Why are you doing this? Why are you spending money on all this equipment and this training? And if you can get back to that love, that drive that got you started, that can be sort of a nice refresh to get you motivated to keep going.
Anne: Yeah. What a wonderful way to end on this, Erikka. I love that you said it because when you remember why you got into it in the first place, that passion, that love it comes out in your performance.
Anne: And there's no denying that can vibrate from your soul. Right? The passion and the love that you have for it. It really, I think it's infectious, you know? And it draws people into listening. And so I think that's a really wonderful way. Hey, wanna improve your performance? Remember why you started in the first place, bring that passion back to your reads.
Erikka: And that passion might get you booked.
Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Back --
Erikka: You'd be surprised.
Anne: -- your leads, back to your marketing, bring the passion back to every aspect of your business, and it can only grow from there and move up. So.
Erikka: You know it, indeed.
Anne: Excellent, excellent episode, Erikka. Starting our morning outright with a balanced breakfast. <laugh>
Erikka: Or a balanced conversation for those of who just have simple carbs.
Anne: A balanced, balanced motivation. So, ah, I love it. I love it. I love it. So I'd like to give a great big shout-out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect like BOSSes. Find out more at ipdtl.com. And also BOSSes, here's a chance for you to use your voice, to make a difference and give back to the communities that give to you. You can find out more at 100voiceswhocare.org. 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 voBOSS.com 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.