When you’re self employed, as those of us doing voice over for a living are, there’s a pressure that doesn’t exist when you work for someone else.
When you’re working for someone else there will always be a pay cheque coming. When you work for yourself, there isn’t necessarily the same kind of guarantee. For example, when I worked in radio, I got paid sick days and paid vacation. In voice over, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Period.
It’s really easy to let voice over consume you. If you’re on the Pay 2 Play sites, this is particularly true. You feel like you have to be in the studio all day everyday otherwise you’re missing the auditions.
Heck, on some of the sites, if you don’t audition within the first 10 minutes, you’re basically screwed. With that kind of pressure it’s no wonder it’s easy for us to let voice over consume us.
International clients add a whole other dynamic into the mix. Now you’re dealing with different timezones. The middle of the night for you might be the middle of the night for them.
Have you ever recorded a voice over a 3am? I have!
Burning Both Ends
I understand the pressure to audition for every opportunity, to talk to every client, to meet every last request and need.
Rent is still due. Hydro has to be paid. There’s cable bills, gas bills, water bills, insurance bills and on and on and on and on.
Taking time out of the studio means missing out on potential jobs. Missing out on potential jobs means less money in your pocket. Less money in your pocket means picking which bills don’t get paid.
So instead, we work. All the time.
Man Cannot Live On Voice Over Alone
Sorry. Not what I meant. 😉
Instead, what I mean by man cannot live on voice over alone is, as much as the pressure may exist for you to be open for business 24/7, you need to resist it.
- You need a day off.
- You need a vacation.
- You need a hobby.
- You need time with family.
- You need time with friends.
All of these things are absolutely essential to your life, your sanity and, believe it or not, your career.
If you burn yourself out by working 12, 14, 16 or 22 hours a day, pretty soon you’ll be good to no one, including yourself, your family and your clients. Your success depends on you finding a balance between work and play!
You success depends on you finding a balance between work and play!
Know When To Walk
Have you had a dry spell and felt like hope was lost? That’s when you need a day off.
Have you ever got frustrated with a client? That’s when you need a hobby.
Have you ever cursed equipment or software? That’s when you need family.
What I mean to say is, when things aren’t going well in the studio, forcing yourself to keep going will likely only make things go worse. When you’re having an off day, take a day off! Trust me, when you’re not in the right frame of mind, you won’t be making any money anyway!
It’s too easy to let work consume you when you’re self employed. One of the best things you can do for your career is create boundaries and stick to them. Make time for everything else and don’t worry about the auditions or maybe even the jobs you’re missing.
If there’s one thing this business has taught me it’s that there will be more opportunities tomorrow.