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BOSS Mindset: Fear of Success

Dun Dun DUNNNN! There are so many things to be afraid of but is your biggest fear really a FEAR OF SUCCESS? Join us for this shocking, eye-opening, spine-tingling (not really) edition of VO Boss. We expose the monster under your voiceover booth and tell the boogey-man to eat a suck-it sandwich! Listen…if you dare. And stick around for hilarious outtakes that lighten the mood.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Fear of failure is real & logical but so is a fear of success.

  2. Gabby and I talk openly about their business fears and how they deal with business fears.

  3. If you are afraid of growing – you might be dealing with a fear of success.

  4. Not allowing yourself to think toward the future is a fear of success.

  5. It may be a form of complacency. Some many view it as laziness. But for most successful

  6. business owners who aren’t afraid of hard work – they are holding themselves back.

  7. When things are good we want to stay there for a moment and enjoy it.

  8. Many entrepreneurs stifle innovation or technological improvements because they are afraid of what those changes might bring.

  9. Expansions are especially frightening for most businesses.

  10. Maintaining a new level of success can also be very scary as well as making a financial investment.

  11. Adaptability is important and avoiding over-thinking a scenario.

  12. Successful people are often very uncertain of what happens next in their success.

  13. Success comes in plateaus – so might failure.

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Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Learn more about the Fear of Success from Psychology Today

  2. Recorded on ipDTL

Full Episode Transcript

>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.




Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my VO BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico.

Gabby: Hi!

Anne: Gabby! Gabby, I’m scared.

Gabby: Me too, hold me.

Anne: I’m so scared.

Gabby: Why are you scared?

Anne: You know, we talk about fear of failure all the time.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: And that’s like, everybody’s like, “I have a fear of failure. I have a fear of failure.” But how many times do you actually think about you have a fear of success? I never thought that I had a fear of success. Not me. Do you know what I mean? I was always like “I’m confident, I’m strong”… I never thought I had a fear of success.

Gabby: I’m… look…mmm…this is… Ok, I’m afraid of everything, ok, like everything, ok? I was explaining to somebody the other day how the way my brain works is that, right, everything can be fine, OK, stable. If one thing goes wrong, I don’t go from like A to B to C to D. No, I go from A to Z. I go right to like the catastrophic, cataclysmic –

Anne: Fetal position, crying.

Gabby: – you know, yeah, end, and I have this tendency of doing it, and I skip the middle. Right? Ok, so this is why I’m in therapy.

[both laugh]

Gabby: And because that middle is really important because you can’t. Yeah. But fear of success –

Anne: Yeah, that’s a different, that’s a twist, Gabby.

Gabby: Elaborate.

Anne: Ok, so [laughs] fear of failure, I think it’s very logical. Right? You’re like “oh, I did something, it didn’t work, I lost money,” whatever happened, “I had a great idea, nobody liked it, sucks to be me,” kind of thing, right? But fear of success I think is a twist on fear of failure in a way that if you are afraid of growing, I think it’s almost something that stops you from growing. You can have a certain level of success, and you can say, “you know what? I’m really proud. I accomplished this, I’ve been in voiceover for, you know, whatever, 12, 14 years, and I’ve reached a certain level of success that I can be proud of.” However there is another level where you refuse to allow yourself to think about “well, what’s next, or what sort of other things can you accomplish?” If you’ve come this far, I think there’s kind of a level of “oh, I’m happy, I’m satisfied,” and you stay there. Well, I think the fear of success prevents you from thinking of ideas or trying things that would help you to succeed even further because oh my God, there’s an even bigger risk of failure.

Gabby: This is fascinating.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: So is it, is fear of success –

Anne: Complacency?

Gabby: Is it laziness? Yeah.

Anne: I don’t think it’s laziness.

Gabby: Is it complacency?

Anne: I think it’s complacency. I don’t think it’s laziness, or is it?

Gabby: I don’t know, but that’s what I’m saying. Is that not, you know, glass half-full, glass half empty? I dunno.

Anne: I think for me it’s complacency. One thing I learned, gosh, when I was in the corporate world – Ok, I worked in the corporate world, I did very well for myself, I was very happy, and I was, you know, I thought I had it, had it all. Right? It was one of those things, had a great job making good money, and as the years rolled on, and every year I kind of had – I was very fortunate, and this was before the crash of 2008 where I got a raise every year and I was kind of, I was pretty stable in my job. I’d gotten to a level of ok, expecting that. I didn’t really after a while look any further to grow. I mean, I always wanted to grow. I could never really be happy doing the same thing over and over again, but I never really looked at where else I could possibly be. So I don’t think I truly felt it until I made the leap from corporate to full-time VO, and when I did that, it was just such a humongous leap where I, because I had been complacent for too long in my corporate job, and I realized after a while – I think it was physically making me ill, Gabby. I, you know, I was like “ok, I know I’m gonna get my raise next year, and I know I’m gonna stay here and I keep getting moved into different positions,” theoretically higher up the chain where I became like a director, manager, kind of thing. And then I was like, “ok, but I’m not really happy doing this. It’s kind of like, it’s not my thing, I don’t really love it. I’d rather just be in there, you know, getting my hands dirty and solving people’s problems.” It got to that point where I didn’t think next until I made the leap, right, of what’s next for Anne. What’s next for Anne? It’d become just a predictable kind of a stable thing which was really good in a way, but really bad in a way because I realized it wasn’t making me happy. I made that leap, and I was like oh [beep], [laughs] now what did I do?

Gabby: Wow, you just cursed.

Anne: I know…

Gabby: Good for you.

Anne: I know. [laughs]

Gabby: Unprompted, wow.

Anne: I know! And I was like, “now what do I do? Now what do I do?” Right? And I was like, “well, I got to do something because I literally just gave up this really safe, cushy, secure job and now what? What do I do now?” [laughs] Ultimately now in building up a business, I get to certain levels of success, and I stay there for a minute, and I’m like “I have succeeded in this. I have done this, I have succeeded,” and then I sit there. I think that’s where the next move, I feel the fear. So I think in one way, Gabby, the fear of moving forward and growing bigger requires a much bigger investment. Bigger investment of my brain, my work efforts and my pocket, my financial, right, and that’s where I think the scary part comes, because with a bigger success becomes bigger risks and bigger chances that it won’t work out. I think that’s the fear of success I talk about.

Gabby: Ok. So I mean, it is still in a way, it’s kind of fear of failure, but it’s fear of failure with a different spin or a different angle. This makes a ton of sense to me because I’ve worked for people like that. I’ve met countless entrepreneurs and business owners where, not trying to like pass judgment on somebody’s business, but sometimes you see what somebody’s doing and you go, “oh man, if you did this, that could be so much better, so much more efficient, so much faster,” whatever it is, and there is a pushback. I’ve seen a lot of hesitation. I see it a lot with innovating, right, with technology. Some people will see it and go, “oh, it’s a fear of the tech,” I go, “mmm, maybe not.” What if what you’re saying here applies? What if it’s a fear of, if we do this faster and more efficiently, we’re going to have more business than we can handle?

Anne: Goodness. I think also it’s a fear of the unknown. Maybe you don’t have a clear vision of what could be next. Right? If you try this particular avenue or you invest your money here, and say, you know what? Let’s try. I’ll give a brief example. In any kind of entrepreneurship, let’s try a membership, right? Let’s try doing something this way, let’s try hosting a webinar. That sort of thing is very scary for people that are just getting in to or are at least experiencing some type of success already. So maybe they want to grow and expand, but they’re not quite sure what to do. So they’re gonna say, “alright, maybe I’ll try this,” and it could be a complete flop. That’s where they have to invest their time, they have to invest their heart and their passion, and I think that it’s a fear of “what happens when I do succeed” and then “what happens when I do succeed at that? When I succeed at that, then it’s gonna require more staff, or it’s gonna require more of my energy, and I may not have that if I want to do X or Y or Z.”

Gabby: I don’t know. I wonder if either I’m not wired this way, or maybe I just don’t realize I am, and I have to kind of soul search this one. I mean, I look around just in my booth and I go, I see lots of examples of failure. Like right here in the place where I make the majority of my money, I see all these little things that “I go, oh yeah, I gave that a shot. That didn’t really work out the way I was hoping…” I don’t know, I just don’t see them as failures, or I think I’m one of those I just sort of look before I leap a little bit, and I go, “well, let’s see what happens. If nothing happens, or if it doesn’t work, well, I tried, or I learned something new.”

Anne: I get that. I get that. I’m just thinking of all types of things. Let’s just say maybe I want to expand the studio, and I’ve thought about getting office space because maybe something of this will become larger, or VO BOSS could become bigger in lots of ways, but how? Right? And so if I think of all the ways, “oh no, that’s gonna require this,” or “oh no, that’s going to require that.” I think the fear of success – because here’s the deal. Once I make my mind up, I will be successful no matter what, if it hurts me, in a lot of ways. And like, I think I’ve spoken about this before, I do just shift direction slightly, if what I originally think doesn’t work. Once I get there it’s like oh no, now what do I do? How do I support it, how do I maintain it? Right? How do I maintain it? I think I mentioned this before. Gabby, running your own voiceover business can cost you, you know, investment money, and I think that’s probably the biggest scare for me is investing money in something when you don’t know that you’re gonna make it back. And I think that can happen at a very basic level for every voiceover artist, right, that might be building a studio or wants to maybe get a new demo or learn a new skill. That’s an investment. I think that there’s a fear in the investment because “oh, maybe it won’t work out. Let me just –” I get a lot of students that come to me and say, “well, you know, I tend to get a lot of narration work,” so that’s like the safe bet, right, when in their heart they want to be a character actor, or they want to do animation. I’m like, well, here’s what you have to do. Here’s the way I see it. That may or may not stop people, or propel them, or motivate them further.

Gabby: This also reminds me of an episode we did a while back about an entrepreneur’s adaptability and our innate kind of need and skill at being able to adapt, change quickly, move on to a new situation. I think that these are both, they’re definitely, intrinsically tied together. This is also making me think a little bit about students that I, I find myself telling them that they overthink, and I kind of feel like maybe this is part of what’s happening for them is that there’s so many unknowns.

Anne: I think with success comes exposure. Right? And with that comes a big responsibility. Right? And I think that also kind of plays into a fear of success. Right? We are, there are certain expectations when you reach a level of success that I think people – and I think a lot of times in any industry, when you look at other who you feel are more successful than you, it seems to be like “oh, well, they did that and it seems so easy,” right? “Oh, so they just did this and they’re successful. Wow. I wish I had done that or I wish I could do that.” I think a lot of that wishful thinking when you’re looking at other people who you feel are more successful, I think what most people don’t realize is that it’s hard for people who are successful too, right, because there’s never – I wish I could say I was 100% sure all the time of everything I did, but I’m not, of any move really, when I try to grow and expand my business. I don’t know for sure. I think it looks to other people that, it looks so simple, and “well, she did that because,” or “it’s easy for her because of,” and I think I’m here to say that it’s, maybe it’s not, because the more successful we become, again I think the more responsibility you have to yourself and maybe to others.

Gabby: If I can make it a visual analogy, is that I think people see the vertical climb, and you get to all the way to the summit. And if you fail it’s a hard fall. Right? But what they don’t realize is that it doesn’t – I don’t see that it works that way. It’s plateaus, it’s little, like, steps. The further you get, well sure, seemingly if you go straight from the top to the bottom, that’s going to hurt a lot, but what’s more than likely is you’re just gonna get knocked back a rung or two. You’re gonna end up just slightly below that, where you were previously. And that’s ok. When you start to acknowledge that and realize it’s not that straight descent, it’s not so bad.

Anne: It’s not always a straight climb either.

Gabby: That’s what I mean about those plateaus. It’s not a straight climb up. It’s not gonna be a straight drop down.

Anne: And when you get up there to the top, well [laughs] it can be lonely sometimes, right, which I think is one of the cases for –

Gabby: Nahh, I found you.

Anne: Aww. Aww, that’s so sweet, Gabby.

Gabby: If we found each other, everybody’s got a bosstie out there somewhere.

Anne: I think so. Kind of may explain my serial entrepreneurship.

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: If anybody were ever trying to think, well, it just could be that, you know what? I reached a certain level and then I was like, now what? Now how do I go beyond this? How do I expand? One thing I will say though, and I think that any of us who have been in this business for any length of time can probably attest to is that I feel pretty confident that no matter what happens, I can find a way to success. I think my failures have taught me so much, and I hope that everybody out there realizes that, to not be scared, let those failures help serve to teach you ,and motivate you that, you know what? No matter what happens, you’ll figure a way.

Gabby: You will. It’s a beautiful sentiment –

Anne: It is.

Gabby: – to end today’s episode.

Anne: Don’t be fearful of failure. Learn from it. And don’t be fearful of success because I think the sky’s the limit, I mean, whatever you can imagine and even those things that you can’t imagine. I don’t think it’s an easy ride for any one of us, and we all have a lot to risk, a lot to bear, and I think in the end, it all becomes worthwhile. The journey becomes worthwhile, and it’s not necessarily ends. It’s the journey that got you there.

Gabby: Exactly. We’re glad to be part of your journey and be here with you guys along the way. We want to thank our sponsors,, efficient, fair, transparent; your voice, your way, and of course our beloved ipDTL.

Anne: You can learn more about becoming a BOSS with ipDTL at

Gabby: And for all things BOSS, guys, check out the website, We’ve got lots of great things up there.

Anne: Ok, guys, have a great week, and we’ll see you next week.

Gabby: Bye!

Anne: Bye!

Announcer: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.



Gabby: So you’re in New York City. Tom, where are you from though?

Tom: I’m a Jersey guy.

Gabby: You’re a Jersey boy.

Tom: Born and raised.

Gabby: And are you keeper of the fabulous New York City Voice Actors logo that I fell in love with at VOA?

Tom: No, that was not me.

Gabby: Whose is that?

Tom: That’s Carin Gilfry.

Gabby: I loved it. I freaking loved it. I was just like “oh my God.” It’s the logo that stole my heart.


Anne: So Tom, anything you don’t want to talk about?

Tom: Meh.

Anne: OK.

Gabby: [laughs] Best answer ever.


Gabby: Anne.

Anne: Oh! Gabby. I asked the last question. [laughs]

Gabby: Oh, ok, all right. Sometimes you follow up.

Anne: Sometimes I do follow up. You’re right, I do. I’m sorry, Gabby.

Gabby: That’s OK.


Anne: If you think that I can’t hear that you’re doing [beep] [laughs] I can. Like the whole first half of that last podcast, you were doing something. You were making noise. Just sayin’.

Gabby: Yeah, but I can take it out.

Anne: Oh, ok. You can?

Gabby: We’re on two separate tracks.

Anne: Yeah….You can take your noise out?

Gabby: So if you’re talking, I mute me.

Anne: Oh, ok. All right.

Gabby: I do it all the time. No, what you were hearing was this.

Anne: You were eating.

Gabby: This. [rustling] You hear that?

Anne: Is that a burrito wrapper?

Gabby: No, it’s one of my plushies. He’s fallen off the wall.

Anne: Is that a burrito wrapper, Gabby?

Gabby: No, it’s not a burrito wrapper. He was falling off the wall. I was trying to hold him up.

Anne: Oh. I gotcha. He’s all squishy.


Gabby: Well, I had her clean the fridge because I was embarrassed, and I was having issues about the fridge.

Anne: [laughs] You’re having fridge issues.

Gabby: I was. So I had her clean the fridge when she was here yesterday. She put my [beep] tomatoes in the fridge.

Anne: [gasps]

Gabby: She put tomatoes in the fridge, vine ripe [beep] tomatoes.

Anne: No, no, no.

Gabby: In the fridge, in the fridge! Ahhh!

Anne: No tomatoes in the fridge.

Gabby: Like that I haven’t grown horns is –

Anne: Oh my goodness, wow.

Gabby: My tomatoes in the fridge!

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: Anyway.


Anne: Said, “all right, I quit. I quit my job, I’m going to go –

[dog barking]

Gabby: Hold on. Hold on. Pause.

Anne: Pause.

Gabby: Shut your faces.


Anne: And well, what if I succeed, then I’ve got to do this. And then –

[dog barking]

Gabby: Hold on. Hold on. Guys, come on. What the [beep]? What? Who’s here?

>> I’m back.

Gabby: Hi.

>> Sorry.

Gabby: It’s all right. [sighs] Continue.


Anne: Alrighty then. Here I am!

Gabby: Yay!

Anne: [singing something] “Who’s Your Demo For,” yeah. Ok, cool. I like it. All right.

Gabby: It’s like, who’s your daddy…demo?

Anne: Who’s your demo Daddy?

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: Who’s your demo, who’s your demo mama?


Anne: I’m Anne Ganguzza, along with my lovely cohost Gabby Niskico.

[both saying nonsense]

Anne: Nabby, Nabby Gistico.

Gabby: [babbling]

Anne: Outtake.


Anne: Hey, everybody, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, with my wonderful cohost Gabby Niskico.

Gabby: Hi, Anne, what’re you doing, what’re you doing?

Mark: I screwed up your name.


Anne: Gabby, I’m super excited today because we have a special guest, somebody who is one of my cla, colleagues – grhh, what’s wrong with me?


Anne: Somebody that is a dear colleague and friend of mine as well as yours, it’s gonna be a good talk because already we’ve had to restart this podcast maybe three times due to technical difficulties and mouth difficulties from me. I think the topic that I really want to, that we’re gonna talk about is gonna be fantastic today.


Anne: Gabby, just to let you know I stopped and restarted my recording 100 times. So you will have outtakes.