with Liz Atherton
So – you’re an entrepreneur, you decided to go full-on VO and suddenly you FREAK OUT! No, you are not the only one who is secretly second-guessing everything you’re doing, worried that you’ve made a grave mistake, checking your bank balance while peeking from behind sunglasses – YIKES! Take a moment to feel part of something good as VO Boss host Anne Ganguzza and guest host Liz Atherton share insights, support and affirmation to the brave souls who took a leap of faith in themselves!
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Entrepreneurial life is hard, scary – you are human and will survive!
PANIC – it’s taking over!
Doers often OVER do but it’s also what makes you powerful!
So worried about money! Change is hard! If you build it, will it come?
VO peeps ARE entrepreneurs!
Moving forward rarely happens as fast as you want it to.
YIKES: What was I thinking?
Rebrand your thinking!
I’m not broke – I’m fully invested in me ← say this to yourself Every. Single. Day!
Broke is not a pretty word – change your paradigm!
I believe in ME!
Scary brilliant – that’s what you are!
Why would someone else invest in you if you don’t fully invest in you?!!
Allow the goodness to happen!
Anne’s mom: It always works out! ← smart woman!
Enjoy the excitement!
Life truly pivots when you look at yourself as a WINNER!
How fortunate are you that you can make a living as a VOICE ACTOR!
Yup – going from steady money to 1099-driven money is SCARY!
You ABSOLUTELY must have a belief in self – you CAN do this!
Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur – and that’s OK!
As a human being, your goal is to seek your joy.
If you are following your heart into VO, and that’s your passion, you are on the right path!
Drive and passion should be part of the mix!
It’s scary being an entrepreneur. But it’s scarier not to have your health – unhappy is unhealthy!
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter your politics, where your check come from, or anything else if you’re’ not happy!
It’s OK to panic as long as you hold onto the faith that you are going to be OK. YOU ARE!
Find an accountability group – like-minded people who help keep you on track with understanding!
The VO cocoon – find things like the VO Watercooler, VO Peeps, conferences to keep yourself connected to other humans doing what you do!.
Every single person in the VO world was/is just as scared as you are!
Don’t let the “bookings postings” scare you – people need pats on the back – give them freely!
We’re all human beings. We’re all trying to make our way. Support your fellow VO being!
Be PROUD of yourself! PROUD! You are an AWESOME being!
Ahh, man – this entrepreneurship thing is hard!
It’s a journey – know that you are not alone – the bosses HAVE YOUR BACK!
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
Learn how to overcome panic as an entreprenuer
Find out about Castvoices.com
Recorded on ipDTL
Awesome editing by Carl Bahner
>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premier 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, along with the bee, the queen, my special guest cohost, Liz Atherton.
Liz: [laughs] I am the bee! The queen!
Anne: The bee.
Anne: The bee comma Queen.
Liz: Yes, yes. Oh my God. Hi Anne. How are you doing?
Anne: I am doing great. Liz, I love your laugh. I just think it’s the cutest thing ever. It’s the cutest thing ever.
Liz: [kissing noises] [laughs]
Anne: It’s good that we can laugh because I’ll tell you what, Liz, I have had an entrepreneurial week from hell. And I think, I want to be real, I want to be real, and I want people to know, this stuff is hard, and it’s scary. I think we should exchange horror stories. Horror stories from being an entrepreneur, and just so that other people can see that we’re all human and it happens, and it’s ok. And we’re still going on about our business, because I still have a business. Liz, you still have a business, right?
Liz: I do, I do.
Anne: We’re not quitting. So.
Anne: We can have weeks from hell.
Liz: Or months or maybe even years, yes, we can, Anne, yes, we can.
Anne: We can. We can. Shall I begin? I will tell you –
Anne: – my current state is panic.
Liz: Oh no.
Anne: I mean, but it’s panic, but it’s good. It’s all working itself out. I mean, most people know that I was on this quest. Last year I thought it’d be kind of cool to just move.
Anne: Let’s just sell our house and buy a new one, and that would be really awesome, and then we’ll move and everything will be happy and flowers. In the meantime, I didn’t realize how stressful it actually is to do all of that and maintain my entrepreneurial business.
Liz: And your marriage.
Anne: No, yeah.
Liz: And your health. There’s all that.
Anne: My general well-being, to sell the house, pack the house, and do all of that good stuff, and still maintain that business, and not only that, I was feeling very much under the gun, that I had to make a certain amount of money during the process, because my finances were tied up into down payments and all sorts of things, looking into your furniture, getting at new curtains, all of that good stuff. So I literally for a good few months was in panic mode. People think I have it together. I ‘m just going to tell you, it’s hard. I’m going to be really honest and say that I was panic stricken for kind of a good portion of the time, thinking oh my gosh, am I going to be able to get the gigs in order to be able to afford the extra money that’s going into this house? It was a real thing.
Liz: Listen, Anne, you’re not alone. I have people that shared stories with me all the time. Here’s my goal. Especially in the VO business, right, as entrepreneurs, people don’t necessarily address themselves as entrepreneurs, but yet they are, especially those that have decided to take this full-time. This year has been particularly interesting for me because I sold my agency with the intent of starting my software company, and then I didn’t have funding, and I didn’t have funding, and I didn’t have funding, and then I finally did have funding. Through that funding we had to get all of our paperwork. By the way, my investors are the most awesome people in the world. But through this whole time I’m like, ok, this isn’t happening as fast as I want it to happen. Do I need to go get another job? What am I going to do? How am I going to eat? I got to get this stuff done. And I used to panic, and I was to address myself as, oh my God, you’re so broke. Oh my God, you’re so broken. Oh my gosh. Maybe a lot of people out there are like me. We’re single and we’re doing it on our own, and you’re like, [gasps] I don’t have a fallback position. And then something clicked for me a couple of months ago that really made an impression. I’m not broke. I’m fully invested in me.
Anne: There you go. I love that.
Liz: Just seriously, just that change of paradigm –
Anne: Oh yeah.
Liz: – meant so much to me, because when you sit there as someone who has been successful for much of your life and suddenly you are in this [gasps] panic – you want to talk about people with panic mode – and then you begin to look at yourself as a loser. Listen, I’m not trying to go down a sad path here, I’m just like, the word broke in and of itself is not necessarily a pretty word, right?
Anne: Yeah, I agree.
Liz: But when you can change that and turn that around and instead say no, I’m fully invested in me, because I friggin’ believe in me, I believe in what I am doing, I believe it so strongly that I have risked everything about me to make it happen, does that make me scary stupid? A little.
Liz: But it is also scary brilliant, because honestly –
Anne: Scary brilliant. That’s a good thing.
Liz: Why would you invest in me if I wasn’t all in? You have to be immersed in what you’re doing.
Liz: The same is true for a voiceover talent. So now voiceover is not something that just knocks on your door every day and says “hey, I heard about you, Anne. I want to hire you.”
Anne: Let me give you lots of money.
Liz: Yes, please, please. So now Anne, and other VO people, they’re like, [gasps] “oh my God. How am I going to find work? What am I going to be doing?” They go into this panic mode instead of saying, “hey man, I am a killer voice over talent, and I just need to go out there and let people hear me so that we can make this work.” And I don’t mean from a boastful –
Anne: No, no. It’s a confidence. It comes from an area of confidence. You said something so important just a few moments ago, and that was your paradigm shift in thinking. I’m going to tell you yes, when I was in my panic mode thinking what was I thinking “I could just go and buy a new house and sell this house,” and it’d be easy and it’d be fun? I think when I stopped myself and just did a couple of deep breaths in, and I decided to allow this to happen, because I had a belief it was all going to work out, it was going to be ok, and I just remember, gosh, I just remember my mother, my mother who said to me, you know what, Anne, it will just work out. You know, it always just works out. And I think about that.
Liz: [sings] Que sera, sera.
Anne: Yeah, right? When it is true that way, it shifts the universe into –
Liz: Absolutely, Anne. I mean and here, let me help you a little bit with the house thing, that decision of yours. You have been very fortunate to have a great partner in life, and you’ve lived in your house, and you’ve wanted to try something new, and how fortunate for you that your life has led you up to the opportunity to be able to try that something new, as opposed to “oh my God, what was I thinking?” Instead it is like, “oh, how fun. Yeah, I planned for this and I continue to plan for this, but looky, I get to go by new curtains!”
Anne: I do.
Liz: Or whatever, and that’s the excitement side of it. For me, things just took a whole pivot when I made a decision to look at myself as a winner, as the winner with good ideas, where I think I see panic in people when they’re like, “oh my God, I’ve quit my job to go do voiceover full-time, what am I going to do?” Instead of saying, “how fortunate am I that I have this voice that I can make a living with?” I mean I wish I had that voice. I don’t.
Anne: Yeah, I have to say, when I quit my full-time job, I said well, let me just go into voiceover, it was the most motivating thing, because I went from money coming in that was dependable to like no money. And that alone motivated the heck out of me to go ahead and make some money. Because I was starting to feel, I need to contribute. I need to contribute to the household here, and I know I can do this. I think it’s just that leap of faith we talk about, that you give it up and say that “yep, you know what? I’m going to manifest, things are going to happen and we’re going to move forward and try to think positively.”
Liz: Where does that start from, Anne? That starts from a belief in self. And you absolutely have to have a belief in self. Because Anne, you would not have quit that job if you did not have a belief in self. The reality is is that you knew that you could do it. I want to say this to you again. You knew that you could do it.
Anne: Deep down, deep down.
Liz: And that is the difference between you and somebody that, and there is nothing wrong with, but stays in their 8 to 5 or whatever job, working for someone else. That’s fine. They don’t have the desire to do it, and it’s not a money driven thing. and that’s ok.
Anne: It’s ok. Not everybody’s meant to be an entrepreneur. You know, it’s true. It’s ok if you’re not. I think it’s awfully cool if you try. If you have got the desire and that you try, I think that’s awesome. I think it says a lot. If you learn enough about yourself that maybe you say it isn’t for me, I truly believe that that happens to people. And I think that’s ok, because it’s a journey.
Liz: Truly as a human being, your goal is to seek your joy. Right? And for an entrepreneur, it is, I mean at least for me, your goal is to seek your joy, to find your joy with whatever steps you are taking in front of yourself the next day. But if your joy is to do the work that is passionate for you, and you seek that passionate work, then you’re on the right path.
Liz: It’s just scary. It can be. I used to talk with actors that were going to go to Hollywood. They wanted to go be an actor and do bigger films and things like that. I’d always say you need five months, five months’ living expenses in your pocket, ok?
Anne: Yes, good advice.
Liz: I mean, you’re going to pick up a part-time job, but if you pick up a part-time job, what if that audition comes through and you’ve got to be there? Well, then you have a quandary. So I mean if you could have more than that, then that’s ideal. But this is the same thing when you are an entrepreneur. But the thing about it is you don’t always get that luxury. You don’t always get the luxury of having that kind of fallback position. So what do you have? You have your drive, and you have your passion. If you don’t have your drive and your passion, then you maybe should rethink your decision.
Anne: I am always the person saying, does it bring you joy? It has to bring you joy. It really does, and I think that that’s what drives my passion, if it brings me joy. I’ll tell you what, it’s scary being an entrepreneur, but you know what’s scarier? Not having your health. I think that there are certain things, Liz, you and I can both identify with that, that you know, when you start to see the perspective, and I’m not suggesting that people have to be unhealthy or anything to be able to see this, but what it does for us, if we are motivated by really wanting to go out and pursue our joy, it makes it all the more important to seek that joy, because at the end of the day, if we’re not here, what can we say about how we lived our life and what we did? I want to make sure that mine was joyful.
Liz: Absolutely, Anne. You hit on something that I think it transcends anything we talk about. Ultimately at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter your politics, it doesn’t matter where your check comes from, you know, any of that, if you’re not happy, it just doesn’t. I talk about this with my children. I talk about this with my friends. Me on Facebook is typically a series of memes encouraging people to think outside their box, to smile at themselves in the morning. Back to that entrepreneur, when you’re an entrepreneur, you seem to be or can be so hard on yourself. You didn’t hit that monthly goal and oh my gosh, you did have to dip into savings for the third month in a row in order to pay your utility bill, but if you can stand back out of the panic and say, “but I also got to take Thursday off and go see a middle of the day,” you know what I mean?
Anne: I like that you said step outside your panic. That means it’s ok to panic. It happens. I think we’re human.
Liz: Yes, ma’am.
Anne: But I think the capability of being able to set outside the panic and just have the faith in knowing that it will work out, and if you don’t have that faith at that moment, I think calling upon someone, a good friend, a mentor that you have in the industry, to just kind of reset things, to kind of keep you on track. I think that’s so important.
Liz: There is a trend in voiceover, and I just see it because I have friends that do this and sometimes invite me into their circle. But there are these accountability groups.
Liz: I looove the accountability groups, because you know, it doesn’t have to be that you’re trying to make $10,000 this month. It could be just that you don’t want to do a drunk text. I mean, whatever it is, you know? But you have got this accountability group of like-minded people, who are seeking their joy in this particular case through voiceover, but what are the things that keep you from doing what you need to do, or what are the things that you need encouragement in order to make sure you do what you need to do? I would encourage everybody to find an accountability group or an accountability partner, someone that you can talk with once a week, whatever it is, that understands where you’re coming from and can encourage you to become what you need to become.
Anne: Absolutely. We talk about this over and over again about how isolated this industry can be –
Liz: The cocoon.
Anne: It is, it’s the cocoon and that’s why we have great things like water coolers that I know Bev Standing hosts –
Liz: She’s great.
Anne: I know, it’s really wonderful, and then we have the VO Peeps meet-ups and things like that. We have conferences like VO Atlanta, we have Camp VO, which I’m super excited, that allows us to really network together and get that support that we need, when we are in the panic state or we’re in a state – you know, I can’t even tell you, in the beginning of this, when I used to say to myself, “oh my God, I’m a loser, what’s happening? Like I’m not getting a gig, should I not even be in this industry?” I remember very vividly those times in the very beginning when I really had my doubts about, should I, shouldn’t I, and I really was at a place where – this was before the Internet was born – no, but it was kind of before the groups became a thing, before the digital explosion, and there really wasn’t a ton of people that I knew outside of my own self in this industry. And so we’re lucky, I think today’s voiceover talent –
Liz: So lucky.
Anne: – is so lucky to be able to have this type of community, and probably that is why we have grown, to be the size that —
Liz: [laughs] Scary.
Anne: Remember when there was only a couple hundred voice talent, really, in the beginning? Do you remember?
Liz: I do. I do. Oh yes.
Anne: And now it’s like, if you had to guess, how many voice talent do you think are out there?
Liz: There’s 400,000 plus.
Anne: I believe that.
Liz: No, I mean I know these numbers from doing my research for CastVoices.
Anne: Wow, that’s crazy!
Liz: That doesn’t include India and some of the Third World countries.
Anne: Wow, that is crazy. We think it’s a small industry. Well, I mean –
Liz: It’s not small.
Anne: It’s not small.
Liz: Everything talks to you. Everything talks to you. Most of that gets a voice paid to record it, so there is lots of work out there. And I still think we’re still in a little bit of flux with all of the things that have happened over the last couple of years with who all buys this, that, and the other thing, but ultimately, the voiceover community is a community of 1099ers. That’s what we are. We’re all self, we are all self-employed, we all live in our own little cocoon, and I absolutely encourage, just like you said, the conference. You know, save your money and go to three or four conferences a year. Reach out and touch someone. I love it. It is a city of weirdos. I say this with a term of endearment. Anybody that wants to make their living talking from a booth already has a little bit of something special about them. But if you look at these conferences and look across the room, it is a city of really creative people who are so individual, because they made a choice to do something different than the rest of the world, and they took their gifted mouth and did something with it that allowed them to make a living. I think it’s beautiful.
Anne: And I want every one of you BOSS listeners to know that every single one of those people out in the industry, out in that network is probably just as panicked or just as scared as you are at times, but we like to put on that brave face. Social media has not been helpful in that respect. I know there is probably those people that sit back, and they look at people posting on Facebook, life is beautiful and wonderful and they’re getting jobs here and there, and it becomes a very isolating, possibly sad, you know, thing for people who are not feeling like they’re succeeding, but just know that I guarantee every single one of us has gone through our panic moment, every single one of us has been scared, and yeah. It has been hard, and maybe curled up in the fetal position once or twice [laughs] with tears. Just yesterday.
Liz: Just yesterday. I like what you’re saying, because I want everybody to know that we’re all human beings, and we all are just trying to make our way, and the best we can do is just continue to be supportive of one another. And I mean, Anne, I agree, there’s a lot of “look what I booked!” Those kind of bug me. I don’t know why, I’m not trying to –
Anne: I agree.
Liz: – be mean. I’m really, really happy for people when they do, but I really like the stories where people say, look what voiceover has afforded me to do. Like the other day, Jason Linere White, I see him at Disneyland with his family, and I’m like, I know that you’re a voiceover artist, and I’m like, that rocks, man. You know what I mean? You have the ability to do that, or Anne’s buying a new house. Yeah, that rocks.
Anne: You’ve got the ability to support your family. That is a wonderful thing. That is something to be so proud of, because –
Liz: Oh, huge.
Anne: I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve worked in corporate. I’ve worked myself, I ‘m very tough to work for.
Liz: No way. [laughs]
Anne: Oh my gosh. I am like really tough to work for. I even said to my husband the other day, “oh man, you know, ugh I just had another thing that happened, and I’ve got to deal with it.” And I’m like, “this entrepreneurship thing is hard.” He goes, “hey, I know.”
Anne: He said, “I know. That’s why I’m working for corporate.” But he has a great job that he loves. Again it’s a journey, and I wish all of you guys out there, all of you BOSSes out there, the absolute best, know that you are not alone. We are all panicked at one point or another.
Liz: We’re all panicked together.
Anne: Panicked together, curled up in the fetal position, but we got your back. So the BOSSes got your back, and I’d like to give a great big shout-out to another person who has our back, and that is our sponsor, ipDTL. I love ipDTL, again another way that we can network and not be isolated from one another. You can find out more at ipdtl.com. You guys, have a great week, we love you, and we will see you next week.
Liz: Take care, Anne.
>> 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.
Anne: I think people missed the podcast because we’re getting more downloads.
Liz: Excellent. Well good. Of course they missed you.
Anne: I think that’s the case. Let’s see, let me stop this.
Liz: I’ve had people text me about my chicken. [laughs]
Anne: Oh have they? Oh my God. You have to tell me. Well, it was pretty awesome.
Liz: Oh my God.
Liz: Hey, can I get a little sidebar here?
Liz: So I am coming at you from the studio of Diana Birdsall –
Liz: – who is the most awesome – Diana, come in just real quick. Sorry, sorry, everybody that’s listening. She hears me up here. She knows I am not a voiceover. She brings me a big old glass of water, because she knows I’m thirsty without me even asking. How awesome is that?
Anne: Because she’s amazing like that.
Diana: It might be vodka.
Liz: It’s vodka. Oh, I’m sorry.
Anne: It might be vodka!
Diana: Oh, is it still morning? I’m sorry. No, it’s afternoon.
Anne: It’s 5:00 somewhere. We know that.