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This Is The Secret To Success


There you go. One word. You probably don’t even need to read the rest of this post. The secret to success is action.

Now, for those of you interested in diving a little deeper, I’m happy to do it.

Your level of success will be relative to your level of action. That is to say, take little action and you’ll achieve little success. On the other hand, take massive action and you’ll achieve massive success.

Or will you?

Taking Massive Action

Take Jim, for example (named changed to respect privacy). Jim reached out to me after submitting over 300 auditions on casting sites without a single booking, and only a handful of “thumbs up.”

By any definition, I think we can agree that submitting 300 plus auditions on a casting site would qualify as massive action. That’s a lot of time. A lot of effort. A lot of talking! With that kind of massive action, it stands to reason that Jim should be achieving massive success, correct?

How about Lacy (named changed to respect privacy). “Marc, I’ve submitted my demos to over 20 different agents in the last two months and haven’t received a single reply. What am I doing wrong?”

Again, an example of digging your heels in and taking massive action. Yet, also again, one would assume the results would be massive success. Sadly, such is not the case.

Finally, I offer the story of Jason (name changed….). Jason dropped over $10,000 on studio equipment. The finest of just about everything. All in the name of having better audio for better auditions for better bookings. Jason hasn’t yet earned back even a portion of his investment.

If the secret to success is action, where’s the massive success relative to the massive action?

First, A Word About Action

First all of, let me say this… in all cases, despite the unsuccessful results, I’m incredibly proud of Jim, Lacy and Jason.


They took massive action. I promise you, less than 20% of the people I coach within the voice over industry will ever take massive action. In fact, if I was being brutally honest, that number may even be more like less than 10%!

Every single day I dispense advice to voice actors through this blog, social media, videos and courses. Every single day.

Why aren’t they all successful??? Like I said, probably less than 10% of the people who receive the advice I share will ever take the corresponding action. Especially massive action.

Action is hard. Action is work. Action risks failure. Many would rather remain comfortable or stagnant or miserable than risk any kind of failure.

So well done, Jim. Well done, Lacy. Well done, Jason. You did what most won’t and that’s absolutely respectable in my book!

Action is hard. Action is work. Action risks failure. Most people won’t do it. #vopreneur
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The Third Word Is The Missing Link

If the key to success isn’t simply massive action, as we’ve already established not all massive action produces successful results, what then, is it?

It’s my belief and practice that the key to successful is effective massive action.

If you’re taking massive action and you’re not seeing massive success, it’s because your action isn’t effective.

The good news is, this is easily fixable.

I checked out Jim’s casting site profile and made a few suggestions. I also referred him to a coach who will help Jim work on some of his reads. When he’s done that little extra training and making those profile tweaks, I believe with all confidence that Jim’s next round of massive action is going to result in a lot more bookings.

Lacy needed to change her approach with the agents. What do I always preach about email marketing? Personalize, personalize, personalize! Gone are the days of generic form letters. The only thing they’ll do for you is get you flagged as spam. With a new strategy, I believe Lacy is going find some new representation in her future with her next round of massive action.

Do you want to know how good a $5,000 microphone sounds in an untreated space? Jason knows. Having the best and fanciest equipment isn’t worth a dime if your space isn’t properly treated. Being able to say you have a Neumann may look nice on your website or when speaking to a producer, but if your space sounds awful, nothing will highlight it better than your fancy microphone. Once Jason gets his space treated, he’ll be ready to take effective massive action and start paying off his investment.

It May Be Time To Re-Evaluate

If you’re taking massive action and not seeing the results you want to see, it’s time to re-evaluate. Don’t feel bad. You didn’t fail. Well, as long as you don’t just give up, anyway, you certainly didn’t fail. You had a misstep is all. Missteps are easily repairable! Oh, and guess what… every person who has ever taken massive action, regardless of industry, has had missteps!

You’re in good company.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is step back and look clearly. Pause and reflect. Or, better yet, find a coach or mentor who will take a look for you. It could be one small variable standing in the way of you and your desired results. Finding it could be as simple as asking for a little help.

FYI: There’s no shame in asking for help. The wisest, most successful people on earth do it. That’s how they got there!

If you have the gumption to take massive action, you’re already in a small, exclusive group. By making sure it’s effective massive action, you’ll be well on your way to achieving all of your goals!

What massive action did you take that didn’t produce? What are you going to do to make it effective massive action?

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Why You Need to Pick a Path to Follow

Where are you going?

Do you have a clear path you’re following? Or are you just moving in whatever direction you end up?

Before I head out on my bike, I have a plan. I pick a trail. I follow it. I have a destination in mind. Whether I’m going for a quick 15k to clear my head, or a long 60k to see some sights; I always have a plan.

Your voice over business needs to be the same. You need to have a plan.

There are too many talents trying to be too many things to too many people, and wondering why they don’t seem to be making any progress.

Jack of All Trades

Jack of All Trades, Master of None. In this business, that shouldn’t be taken as a compliment.

For me, I’d rather be crushing a couple areas than trying to scrape by in six or eight or ten. I know my strengths. I play to them.

I’m staying in my lane. Are you?

Success is taking 20 steps in one direction rather than one step in 20 directions.

Sounds simple enough, right?

It really can be if you intentionally apply it to your decision making processes and goals.

  • It means NOT submitting for every audition on a casting site.
  • It means NOT making 18 different demos.
  • It means NOT trying to make 12 different social networks work for you.
  • It means NOT dividing your attention between four tasks at once.
  • It means NOT checking your phone and Facebook every 60 seconds.
  • It means NOT trying to master every genre of voice over.
  • It means NOT asking for a hundred different opinions on the same subject.
  • It means NOT working with 27 coaches.
If you’re struggling with success in #voiceover you may be going in too many directions.
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Pick ONE Path and Follow It

One of the reasons I reached six-figures in my voice over business is because I decided very early I was going to focus on just a couple areas of VO and do whatever it took to get really great at them. That meant that not only did I not market myself in the other genres, but I didn’t even pay attention to what was going on in them. I didn’t want my efforts divided. I didn’t want the distraction.

I made a decision very early on to take 20 steps in one direction, not one step in 20 directions.

What about you?

Have you ever put any effort into identifying your voice over sweet spot?

Have you ever consulted with a coach to get some guidance on what genres to pursue?

Have you ever considered your strengths, not just in performance, but in marketing as well?

Have you ever stopped to think about whether you’re walking 20 steps in one direction or one step in 20?

If you’re going to succeed in this business, you need to have a clear path and you need to be intentional about following it.

That’s how you’re going to get yourself where you want to be.

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Try This Motivation Technique

“I don’t feel like it today.”

How many times have you uttered those words? Or, maybe you didn’t even say the words. You just kind of felt them. Thought them. No matter how they were communicated, they became the accepted reality for your day.

Another day wasted.

Another day you procrastinated on something you know you should be doing.

Another day where you let your feelings control your life. Business. Destiny.

Another opportunity squandered.

We’ve all been there at least a time or two. Some more than others, of course. Too often, we let our feelings dictate our actions and the cost is often far greater than we realize.

One quote you’ll hear me say often in presentations is, “successful people make decisions based on goals, NOT feelings.”

It’s true.

A New Approach to Motivation

This week I’ve started reading a new book. It’s titled, “The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone.

I’m only about 15% of the way into it, but I’ve already been inspired, challenged, motivated and encouraged.

If you’re one of those people that find yourself giving into your excuses and feelings, this book is going to kick your butt and make you feel differently about things. I’m not even that guy. I’m generally pretty good about getting things done. But wow… Grant has definitely placed his foot firmly on my butt more than a few times within the first several chapters.

Of all the quotes I highlighted, there’s one that has spoke to me more than any other. Perhaps because in the last year, my life circumstances have changed. Last summer I got married, and with that marriage, I also took on the responsibility of two daughters. One 5 and one 10.

Here’s the quote.

“Pretend you’re being recorded as a model by which your children and grandchildren will learn how to succeed in life.” Grant Cardone
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Tell me, how do you feel about your excuses now?

After reading that, are you more or less likely to give into your feelings? Or will you be making decisions and taking massive action based on your goals.

Now that I’m a father, that spoke to me powerfully.

Teaching my kids to succeed is one of my most important goals. Modeling it for them is one of the most effective ways to get it done.

Your kids are watching… are you going to crush it today?

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What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

Have you ever read Seth Godin’s blog? One of the things I love about it, apart from the brilliant wisdom he shares, is the length.

Seth is often a man of few words. Somehow, he just knows how to drive home a point without having a to say a lot.

I tend to ramble.

Perhaps it’s because I think more words makes me sound smarter. Possibly it’s because I like the sound of my own typing? On the other hand, I equate quality to quantity, which, if we’re being honest, is really dumb. But I to tend to think more words must mean it’s a better blog.

What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

I’m working on a new studio in our new family home. I shared a couple pics of a couple design drafts on Facebook this weekend. Just two of about a dozen different drafts.

After that, I received a few emails talking about how lucky I am. Lucky to have space. Lucky to be building a studio. Lucky to be able to afford it, and so on and so forth.

That got me to thinking. Thinking about luck. Thinking about wisdom. Thinking about Seth. Could I drop a knowledge bomb like Seth does in just a sentence?

Here goes… it’s not luck. It’s consistency.

Consistently showing up. Consistently doing the work. Consistently fighting excuses. Consistently learning. Consistently growing. Consistently trying. Consistently setting goals. Consistently failing so, ultimately, I can consistently succeed.

I didn’t get here with luck. I got here with consistency.

Is this the part where I drop the mic?

Success isn’t about luck. It’s about consistency.
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The Most Important Factor For Voice Over Success

When people ask, “What’s the most important factor for voice over success?” generally speaking, I don’t like to give an answer. In most cases I find these people are looking for the easy answer. The get rich quick answer. They want me to tell them one secret, key, magic ingredient, and they’ll be well on their way, skipping 47 other steps required.

That said, it’s something I’ve definitely thought about at length as I reflect on my own career and journey.

Factors For Voice Over Success

The Voice: This is the obvious answer, right? I mean, it was probably your first instinct when I asked the question. Well, consider this… from a vocal standpoint, what do Gilbert Gottfried, Fran Drescher, Morgan Freeman, June Foray, Dennis Leary and Wanda Sykes have in common? Not a whole heck of a lot. Yet, each of them, with their own unique voice, has found great success across multiple genres.

It would seem that a particular voice, tone or style isn’t necessarily indicative of success or failure.

The Equipment: When I started doing voice work from home I was given one specific technical piece of advice. Under no circumstances was I to record with an EV-RE2O… unquestionably the worst voice over microphone of all time. More than one “professional” VO told me this. In return, I recorded host VO for three syndicated TV shows and one syndicated radio show. I also recorded tens of thousands of dollars in paid voice work… with the worst VO microphone of all time. I know VO’s dropping coin on Neumann’s, and I know VO’s making a living on Blue Yeti’s.

With that broad of a spectrum, I guess equipment isn’t as big of a factor as some would have you believe.

The Studio: So about the studio. From the fall of 2007 until the fall of 2014 (when I moved into my current studio space), I recorded in my living room. As in… my wide open living room in my apartment. With an EV-RE20, the worst voice over mic of all time (so I was told). There was no treatment. No Whisper Room. There was a desk. A couch. A TV and a big honking open living room. I built my entire business recording VO’s in my living room.

Clearly it would seem the studio space is not the deciding factor in success.

The Agent(s): About the agents… as I’m writing this blog post on Sunday May 8, 2016, I do not have, nor have I ever had an agent. That hasn’t stopped me from building my voice over income to nearly six-figures annually, since starting full-time in 2012. To be clear, I have nothing against agents, and will actually sign with at least one or two this year. However, I was still able to achieve success without an agent.

Though an agent can absolutely contribute to your success, I think we can safely say they’re not the most important factor.

The Training: Last winter, I worked with Uncle Roy for about six weeks to prepare for my new commercial demo. This was the first time in my career I had worked with a professional coach. Granted, I came from a broadcasting background and worked with some amazing producers in my days in radio and television. I’ve heard some VO’s with a natural ability that required very little coaching. I’ve heard some VO’s who’ve worked with dozens of coaches and still can’t book a job.

Training, then, it would seem, while unquestionably a factor in success, is still not number one.


The Most Important Factor For Voice Over Success

I’ve eliminated the most obvious answers, haven’t I? Ask this question to a dozen VO’s and no doubt most of them are going to point to any combination of the above factors. Not me.

Facebook offers a feature on your profile called, “On This Day.” When you click the link, it will take you to a page with statuses posted on that particular day from the previous years you’ve been on Facebook. It’s a feature that’s been around for a while, but I only really started paying attention to it a few weeks ago.

Here’s what I noticed. A few years ago, my attitude was total crap.

Nearly everything I posted had some kind of negative connotation to it. Whether in the form of sarcasm, bitterness, anger, sadness, or otherwise, clearly my mindset was NOT in a very good place. These were also the years I was struggling most both professionally and personally.

Some of you will immediately respond, “that makes sense. When times are tough of course your attitude is going to be less than stellar.”

To that I emphatically state, “that’s no excuse. The two things do not necessarily have to go hand-in-hand.”

When I got my attitude in check, things turned around for me.

Not a little bit. A complete 180 degrees!

When I stopped allowing my circumstances to dictate my attitude, and started thinking and speaking positively regardless of what was going on in my life, everything changed. In my voice over business and in my life in general.

The most important factor for your voice over success, without question, hesitation or doubt is attitudeClick to Tweet

Mindset matters and when yours is right, success won’t be too long to follow.

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.