How To Think Like a Success by Tom Dheere
Jul 11 2013
I teach Business and Money 201 for Edge Studio. It’s a one-hour webinar where I cover topics like invoicing, goal-setting, negotiating rates, etc. At the beginning of each class, I always try to “prime” the students, so they’re in the right frame of mind to receive and process what I’m about to teach. I talk about Systems of Thought (why you do what you do) and Systems of Execution (how you should do it). I share what I like to call “The Newbie Paradigm,” giving specific examples of how their Systems of Thought usually lead to failure. The most important piece of advice I give is to learn how to think like a successful voice talent.
It’s very simple: you’re an artist inside the booth, and a business outside the booth.
What does that mean? The first part is simple enough. When you’re in a recording session, you’re an artist, a performer. You’re vocally, mentally, and physically free. You’re open-minded and taking direction happily. You’re emoting and fully immersed in your technique. It’s all rainbows and unicorns in there, and everyone is happy.
The second part is where most people go off the rails. Many people are attracted to the voice over industry because they think it’s easy. “You just talk, right?” (Sigh.) They think you get coached up, get a demo, get an agent, and the money rolls in. Oh, and they get famous, too, because they get hired to do Family Guy, just like that. (Double sigh.) I hate to burst their bubble, but that’s just not how it works.
When I say you’re a business outside of the booth, I mean just that. Do you think the heads of IBM just wake up in the morning and say, “I wanna make some money today. Let’s build computers!” Without a plan? Designs? A budget? A marketing campaign? You need to be your own Accountant, Office Manager, Marketing Department, and Human Resources Manager. You need to set goals, have an Action Plan, build a budget, build your brand, and much, much more. If you think like a business, you will act like a business. What’s more, people will treat you more like a business. If you have the talent, self-discipline, and a willingness to fail and learn, then you will succeed. If you won’t do what it takes to be a business, may I suggest community theater?
There’s an old saying, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” In the voice over industry, many are called, but few make the right choices.