In just about every sport I’ve ever tried, one of the keys to being effective in said sport was having good follow through. In golf, baseball, soccer, track and field and other sports I am in no way qualified to coach, they all required good follow through.
Recently, I was at a networking event and a bunch of aspiring folks got together to chat about doing voice overs. It’s a great new group here in town and the people who showed up obviously want to work in that field. There were two speakers who are very successful in the biz and shared much wisdom with the audience. I had to leave a bit early because I get up at stupid o’clock and whatnot, so I didn’t catch the very end of their presentations. It seems that they were about to wrap things up as I left, so hopefully I didn’t miss much.
One thing I did miss – or I didn’t hear them talk about was follow through. They talked about microphones, acoustics, websites, SEO and all kinds of other stuff. But they seemed to miss one key factor: follow through. You need the perseverance to ‘sally forth’ when things look bleak, because they will! Starting out as a voice actor later in life (as most of the attendees were) means you most likely have a job, kids, bills, responsibilities…you know, excuses. You can easily get side-tracked, you can easily be dismayed by the outlay of money you will need to start your new side hustle.
The key thing to remember AFTER you’ve set up your booth, microphone, etc. is STAYING POWER! Yeah, not giving up when you have gone 6 months with no gigs. Not using your mic stand as a laundry rack. Not following through with getting that website updated or demo produced.
I won’t drone on and on with examples of what you should or should not do – except to say that you have to stick with it with a laser focus. Don’t be deterred, don’t lose sight of the prize.
If you’ve read a few of my Blatherings, you know that my life revolves around movie quotes. The one above makes my point succinctly. Plus – Burt Young and Keith Gordon – two fantastically under celebrated actors.
I’ve learned that you really need to CYA at all times regardless of how well you “think” you know who you are dealing with. This holds true for business and personal encounters. I might be slightly naive to believe in my heart that most people want to do the right thing. I think it breaks down when it comes to the part where they must take action, and if it is at all an inconvenience.
If you’ve ever had to barter services for mutual benefit, you know how easy it is for one or even both parties in the transaction to devalue the services being bartered – especially when any out of pocket expenses are involved.
Let’s say you have a service that a friend of yours needs. That friend has the ability to really get your services out to his or her network. Do those values match? You really need to figure that out, otherwise you might be on the losing end of the bargain. If you would normally charge $2,000.00 for your service, you had better be sure that your pal gives you equal or greater value. Sure, if your service is no out of pocket and you want to do your ‘bro’ a favor, that’s totally cool and totally your call – “The Dude Abides”.
If you enter into any kind of barter arrangement – WRITE IT UP! Make sure both parties have the deal in writing. It is all too easy for someone to say they misunderstood and not deliver the quid pro quo. I have had this happen to me and it is really unfortunate – especially if you like the person who suddenly ghosts you when you’re looking for your part of the barter.
I’m a forgiving and understanding person, so I get it. Sometimes you can be excited about a barter situation because it will really benefit you and you’re not entirely worried about the end game when you have to pony up your end of the deal. Protip: don’t promise something you cannot deliver – and get it in writing. I’ve moved on from my disappointments so I’m good with it all, but I won’t make that mistake again!
Oh man – today have been one heck of a trial in my quest for inner peace and positivity. Ever since I have gotten this job I have battled with my perceived expectations and the realities of this gig. 20 years ago, having your own morning radio gig was a real accomplishment. Today, it is just another job. While, it is a job I love doing, it is a constant battle within myself to only see the good and ignore the bad.
My wife and I have always been paycheck to paycheck. I had the misconception that if I got a decent full-time radio gig, I would get those coveted free-bees we always see the jocks getting. “New cars, new bathrooms, new roofs, new closets…” Then, reality set in. I get some decent perks, don’t get me wrong, but most of the really big stuff I really need, don’t come. That stuff goes to the A-Team in town. Ironically, the ones who typically can pay for all of that themselves get it for free. It has been a constant battle for me to deal with. I feel like a little primadonna if I complain about it, because after all, I don’t deserve any of that just because I am in this seat. ANYONE could be in this seat. They get those things because they have popular radio shows and have become staples in this community – and I am just a guy from FL, I get that. So – I have to write to deal with this. I now publish these thoughts to the world, because maybe someone else goes through these things and can get something from my writing.
This is all a greater lesson for me to learn
I must realize that these things I want are not coming to me because there is a greater lesson for me to learn. Maybe I’m supposed to figure out a way on my own. Maybe I was not meant to get this stuff just given to me, because it would not help me to grow. I’m kind of a late bloomer. My own family (my former nuclear family, not my current one) always felt that my parents spoiled me. They did so much for me that my brothers had to do for themselves. They have animosity towards me – even if it is not my fault entirely. This is something I’ve recently learned that I am dealing with. Maybe that’s the greater lesson here.
My Take away from all of this
I needed to think through all of this, I guess. I don’t need handouts. I don’t need anyone to think I’m anything special because I need to get this all for myself, so I can be proud and own it. I do the best I can with what I have each and every day on the air. I play music people like and I say some funny things from time to time, so there is value in that. All the while I am learning how to better myself and provide a different kind of value: self-value. Does that make sense?
Thanks for allowing me to Blather – I feel better now. Try it. Blather in the comments below – we can help each other out.
I have a belief that going the extra mile will get you an extra 10 miles when it comes to business…or even in life. I have a client who needed some re-records. It was part client changes and part fixes on my end, like pronunciations and an editing oversite. Our contract states that if the changes are at their request, I can charge a re-record fee – but if they are my fault, I can’t. I did the records and editing fixes and sent them back, but was trying to decide if I should invoice them or just let it go. I sought advice from others and got a bit of both sides of it, so I was still stuck. Then the client called back to let me know that there was another round of changes to record – but they were their changes and not mistakes on my part. Win! I could now confidently bill them for the work. But that’s not the point of my little story here.
When the second round came through they were very apologetic about having a round two. They knew it was an inconvenience for me considering my recording schedule was so tight – and I legitimately appreciated their concern for my schedule. I simply told them it was no problem and that I would consider it part of the first round of re-records and for them to not worry one bit. It was no big deal for me to act that way. I know people who would have given them the riot act – seeing it as an opportunity to bill again and go through that process. But I think that doesn’t do you any good for the long-term relationship with your clients.
My client was so happy with my attitude that she was happy to pass along how easy I was to work with to the CEO of the company. That is only good news. Now, I am on the CEO’s radar and that’s good capital. So, I put the quick buck aside and looked at the long-game….and if you’re not thinking that way, you’re doomed….eventually.