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Business of VO: Passive Income

Hey you – stay passive – come on, you can do it! Yup, you read that right, The Bosses want your business to be passive! Because when it comes to income, passive is the new active! Many entrepreneurs view passive income as their final hurdle. The missing key to life-long success and we couldn’t agree more. So grab a chair, kick up your feet and come get passive with us!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Anne and Gabby are so flipping excited about this topic; they can’t stop talking over one another!

  2. Making money while you sleep, when you’re not working, even on the weekends. This is Passive Income.

  3. Business owners feel the most accomplished when they start to build passive income.

  4. They also begin to secure a solid retirement when they begin to secure passive income.

  5. Most voiceover actors think that passive income isn’t possible and will never happen because our job is dependent on us being ‘active’ to make money.

  6. Residuals create passive income for some voice actors but they are not reliable.

  7. Audiobook profit/royalty sharing can create opportunities as well.

  8. That’s why this episode focuses on ways that you can make passive income that is apart from voiceover.

  9. Coaching, courses, instant downloads, and other educational products can create passive income streams.

  10. Physical products can create passive income as well but require manufacturing.

  11. You must have a unique product, service or sales position for passive income to be generated.

  12. Voiceover actors have scheduling freedom and can use that time to cultivate a side venture.

  13. Anne creates and sells her Vocal Essentials line of products.

  14. Gabby creates and sells jewelry, gemstones & minerals.

  15. As voiceover coaches, they both have passive income in the form of related voiceover products & services.

  16. And now they are creating new passive income streams together.

  17. You are not a failure if you don’t make 100% of your money from voiceover.

  18. A side hustle makes you a better business owner all around.

  19. Creative outlets keep us from becoming stagnant.

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Share ideas with your own network ++

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Abacus Studios

  2. A Great Book by This Author

  3. That thing we liked on Instagram

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

Gabby: Hi.

Anne: Gabby, today, I think we should talk about one of my favorite topics, although we always talk about my favorite topics. [laughs] One of my favorite topics, and I think it’s yours too. How to make money without working.

Gabby: Yeah, well, this is defined in a lot of different ways for entrepreneurs. Right? This is making money while you sleep.

Anne: Yes.

Gabby: This is making money when you’re not working, making money on the weekends.

Anne: Yes.

Gabby: Passive income.

Anne: Yes, passive income is, yeah, the term that I think we all know and love.

Gabby: It makes me tingle. [laughs] It gets me so excited, the very, the concept, the thought of it, like what it represents. It’s because I think truly –

Anne: Sorry.

Gabby: Go ahead, go ahead.

Anne: I was gonna say –

Gabby: This is the problem. We’re both so damn excited. [laughs]

Anne: I know, it’s like the entrepreneurial crown.

Gabby: It’s the holy grail.

Anne: It is.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: It’s like, I’ve earned my crown when I have, I have succeeded at passive income.

Gabby: Oh for sure.

Anne: And how many different ways can I make passive income? I love it.

Gabby: Oh. [laughs] There’s the big picture piece. But I think for most business owners, they don’t really, truly realize their potential for longevity and success and retirement until they figure out this all-important piece, until passive income becomes a regular part of their job.

Anne: I don’t know about you, Gabby, but I am preparing for a glorious retirement, and in doing so, my brain, my business brain is thinking differently now. Maybe not differently, but it’s more focused – it’s really focused on, how am I going to secure income in the future so I can live and travel the country like I want to do and do everything that I want to do? Passive income is right there at the top of the list. So let’s talk about passive income, and how do we start planning for it, Gabby?

Gabby: Let’s back up one step. Let’s address the voiceover elephant in the room, right?

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: I remember like years ago the first time I really heard the phrase, the expression passive income, I just of course went, ‘ok. Well that’s never going to happen.”

Anne: Yeah, yeah.

Gabby: Because my immediate thought was, right, what I do is dependent upon me in that moment.

Anne: Voice.

Gabby: Working, being engaged, like what could I possibly sell or have that’s going to be passive?

Anne: I don’t have a product. Exactly.

Gabby: This episode is going to be a little different than what we normally do. We’re talking about things that could be voiceover related but ultimately are outside of the voiceover sector.

Anne: Yes. Now –

Gabby: I don’t believe that there’s a way as a voice actor, doing the proper job of voice acting, there’s a way for passive income to be possible. Do you see one, Anne? I mean, residuals, I guess.

Anne: Yeah, residuals. I mean, and royalties –

Gabby: Residuals are a form.

Anne: They’re a form of that.

Gabby: But of course there is no – you can’t depend on residuals. They’re –

Anne: Unless you can craft a way so that in the future, which I’m sure people are scared of and thinking about and investigating, of having your voice footprint as a product that you sell over and over again, which sounds scarily like text-to-speech AI, all that good stuff. You know, but hey, I say be an entrepreneur. [laughs] There could be something there.

Gabby: There could be.

Anne: You know?

Gabby: There’s also royalty shares and profit shares with things like audiobooks.

Anne: Sure, sure. Absolutely.

Gabby: That’s another example, but outside of that.

Anne: There’s really not –

Gabby: I don’t think there really is one. It’s ok for me, I mean, well, both of us, as coaches. We have in some ways explored a version of passive income there.

Anne: Yes, it’s another product.

Gabby: Exactly. And we have specific products and things people can go to our websites and instantly buy or download and pay for, on the spot, instant gratification all the way around, and then we get thee little text payment from –

Anne: I love that.

Gabby: Yeah, PayPal says you made money. You made money. [laughs]

Anne: “You’ve received.” Probably one of the more popular forms of it would be, like you said, like digital downloads, or courseware. Courseware I think is super important –

Gabby: For sure.

Anne: – for a lot of people in our industry because it’s something you can sell that’s completely digital. It’s not a physical product where you have to worry about packaging and shipping and purchasing, that sort of thing. You just have to put in the work to create it. That’s why you see so many people with so many online courses. So I think for that you run in to the issue where it’s a great idea, and it’s a great way to make revenue, but it’s so competitive.

Gabby: It is, and the coaching market, not just in voiceover, but all around is –

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: – very, very oversaturated. There’s going to come a point in time where it’s really going to max out. We’re in sort a trend phase with that, and I think it’s gonna get thinned at some point.

Anne: There’s also styles too, Gabby, ways and styles of marketing, those services, that I think have become tiresome to people.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: Marketing has a cycle. [laughs] Sometimes the coaching sales funnel becomes tiresome.

Gabby: It’s becoming smarmy. It’s becoming very drawn out. It’s these big giant websites with 60 pages of sales language, and things that are –

Anne: Download freebies.

Gabby: – yeah, hook you in. I never try to dissuade anyone from coaching in voiceover, but it’s important that if you’re going to start a coaching venture, you have to be offering something that’s different, whether it be your perspective, your methods, whatever it is, and then you can carve –

Anne: A niche.

Gabby: – a way in which people know you.

Anne: And again, it’s not unlike being unique in voiceover, right? What is your unique selling proposition? What do you have that is a product that no one else has, or that can be different or better? What do you offer that provides value to the client that they’re not getting elsewhere in the marketplace? That’s just good business, when you’re thinking about how to sell yourself. Those are core fundamentals of how you figure out how you’re gonna become unique and sell yourself. Same thing for passive income. What can you do, what’s out there, how can you make it different?

Gabby: Well, and I think this is a really fun part of what voiceover affords most of us. Let’s be honest. Yeah, we put a lot of time into what we do and a lot of effort into it, but compared to some other professions, we don’t really work the same type of hours. We have a freedom.

Anne: We do have a freedom.

Gabby: Yeah, I mean, we’re not tied to anything. So what I find myself prompting people to do, and it’s what I myself have done, is taking other passions, developing them and having a side venture.

Anne: For years I’ve been selling my vocal sprays. That’s a physical product on the side, but it was born out of a necessity for my first industry, voiceover, because I had a scratchy throat. I wanted to be able to voice better, and so I had developed a spray, which I ended up using, and it worked, and I loved it. And I said, you know what? I think this can benefit other people. Everybody in the voiceover industry was like, how do you correct dry mouth? How do you correct that rasp? And so I was the same person looking for a solution. When you’re working on your business and what you have to offer, that is a core part of your research that you have to do. What is the market demanding or what are the needs in the marketplace and how can you fulfill them? I fulfilled a need for myself, and I realized that this could fulfill a need for others as well. It’s a nice little side gig. I always talk about my business and how I have tendrils of my business. I have all sorts of different types of projects I’m working on, and a few of them are passive income projects. I don’t want anyone to think passive income is you’re really not doing any work. There’s a lot of work you’re doing like in the foreground and then maybe maintaining, you don’t have to do as much work. That’s what we’re talking about, when we can go to sleep and wake up with all sorts of lovely PayPal and Stripe messages, at least for me, about how much money we just made. [laughs]

Gabby: Well, it started off as very much being a product for voiceover, and now it’s expanded.

Anne: Even my chiropractor’s office.

Gabby: Other industries that are related have seen value and benefit in it, so that gave you more income streams.

Anne: And I just go and replenish, I go visit my chiropractor – do you need more bottles? I just go and refill every time I visit and get paid. So I’m starting to develop some great customers that are outside of the voiceover industry as well, which is really cool. Gabby, you have a cool new venture that you’re working on as well.

Gabby: I’ve always had creative brain and creative hands and that the need to make and do. I’m that weird fidgety person. I don’t know how people just watch a movie. [laughs]

Anne: First of all, I love staying at Gabby’s, but every time we sit down, at the end of a day, after we’ve worked our tushies off all day, she sits down, I’m like, “ok, so we’ll watch the latest episode of blah blah, or watch a movie,” Gabby is still moving. She’s still working. Like her hands don’t stop. They just, crafting, fidgeting.

Gabby: I can’t.

Anne: Yeah, you don’t stop at all.

Gabby: I think it’s why I was a smoker when I was young.

Anne: Yes, yes.

Gabby: My hands need something to do.

Anne: They need something to do.

Gabby: Long story short because it does seem kind of cliché, but I make jewelry. And I found a little niche. I found a little sliver in the jewelry market that’s unique, that’s a little different, that has an antique component, and so I started making these rings, and that has turned into other forms of necklaces, earrings and all kinds of other stuff.

Anne: And the coolest necklaces. I just have to say, Anne Ganguzza benefits from her bosstie-bestie.

Gabby: The last time you were at my house, you were blinged from head to toe. It was so funny.

Anne: This one, and this one, and this one. And you’re like, “are you going to take them all?” I’m like, “yeah, well, let me decide.” And then I ended up taking them all.

Gabby: Yeah, it’s fine. It happens.

Anne: [laughs] You know, Gabby, what I don’t want people to think is there’s a stigma. I think some people feel like they’re a failure if they can’t make 24/7 their voiceover business and people feel it’s less than, you can’t say I’m a voice over artist or that’s what I do if they are, if they have some sort of thing going on on the side. I feel like they don’t feel complete, and that’s such a wrong, a wrong way to look at things.

Gabby: I used to do that in my early days in VO, I definitely I think suffered from that. This is what I’ve learned. No matter what it is I’m doing, no matter how much I love it, no matter how passionate I am, there will come a point in time where I will get bored. I will become slightly complacent, so if I don’t find something else to spark my creativity and passion to get myself reengaged, then my core will suffer. My primary business will suffer.

Anne: Yeah, I agree.

Gabby: I can’t ever become bored with voiceover if I have other creative little outlets going on at the same time.

Anne: The worst thing that can happen to me is that I become stagnant. I become complacent. And I become bored. I’ve long said, and everybody that knows me knows how much I love Gerry. I’m surprised that I’m married because I always, I have to do something. I cannot be bored. Gerry just keeps me on my toes all the time. That’s my nature as well, and I think with all of us in this industry, we are creatives, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong. There are veterans out there that are organizing closets. What’s cool about it is that they love it. Every little piece of what we do, because we’re entrepreneurs, is something that we love. And that’s what I think is so wonderful about it. I do a bunch of things, and some people might say that I’m too spread out, but I’ll tell you what. Every single thing that I do, I love, and I make sure it contributes to my income.

Gabby: That’s the key. Here’s what happens to a lot of people from the brain piece, the psychological piece. We know that we’re idea people. We know that we can come up with these brilliant concepts and ideas, or products or services or whatever it is, but there’s a gap for most people between the idea and the actual execution. And then it’s, how do I convert it to money? How do I take the investment, whatever I’ve done, and actually make it successful in that sense? So I think that when people say, you’re too spread out, or you’re too busy, that’s really the question at the end. Am I? As long as this arm or this tendril of my business is making money or is on the path to making money, then no. I don’t feel that way.

Anne: You know, Gabby, you know, VO BOSS was such a thing for me. Right? I had done – so VO Peeps was an extension of, right, a passive income generating idea which started out of my passion, right, developed into a side of passive income, and VO BOSS, the very same thing. I was at a point where I was like, you know what, I need something new. I’ve always wanted to do this. It’s one of my favorite things to do is VO BOSS, it really is.

Gabby: For both of us.

Anne: It’s like my new love. And we have products, which is so cool.

Gabby: And now, what’s starting to develop is the two of us, because we’ve combined forces the way we have, we have new things on the horizon.

Anne: Oh we do.

Gabby: New – oh God, guys, we’re a-scheming and a-planning and a-blueprinting and you’ve no idea. We’ll tell you soon. We’ll share –

Anne: All the cool things.

Gabby: – when we’re ready.

Anne: I feel like I just posted that on Facebook, and I said, I can’t tell you now –

Gabby: Can’t tell you.

Anne: But good things are coming. Like really awesome things.

Gabby: But you see how like excited we’re, how much of fuels that? Sometimes people talk about this in relation to money, the very, very wealthy. What’s next? People get kind of weird when there’s nothing to look forward to, there’s nothing to work towards, nothing to plan. People go, I’ve traveled the globe, I’ve already been everywhere. Well, that sucks.

Anne: Yeah, right. [laughs]

Gabby: There’s nothing new for you.

Anne: Sucks to be you.

Gabby: Yeah, kind of. You’ve lost –

Anne: You’ve lost it.

Gabby: – that spark. This is what you and I perpetuate in one another.

Anne: Be sparkly together. We’re sparkly together, you and I.

Gabby: But it’s not just you and I. Other people in our lives help us do the same.

Anne: Oh very true.

Gabby: So here’s another piece to the passive income that I think is critical for me. Passive income, in my case, whether it be jewelry, or gems and minerals, or you know, different types of artwork, my friends’ photography, whatever, if it weren’t for that, guys, I would never see people!

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: I wouldn’t [laughs] I need those other things to create the social outlet that otherwise I would only get through voiceover once or twice a year when we’re all at a conference together.

Anne: I just keep thinking of things, Gabby. Cats, like my studio cats, I have a store to sell like –

Gabby: Duh.

Anne: – like to sell merchandise for my studio cats. I mean, it all just, it was born out of something that I loved, and I think every one of you out there has something that they love in addition to voice over, right, just like you love different genres in voiceover. There are different things that you love out there that can spark that creativity and can spark that joy. I think you really need to start thinking about how might you turn that into something that, you know, could be profitable for you?

Gabby: Yes.

Anne: Because as entrepreneurs, we’ve got to be the ones looking out for ourselves, facing forward in the future. I want to be able to enjoy a retirement where I will not have to worry about money and where it’s coming from next. I’m already like well into providing for myself and my family, and I know you are too, Gabby.

Gabby: My life revolves around two questions now. This was all just from the introduction into my brain, the thought process of how can I make passive income, how can I do that? Once you ask it, it’s there, guys. You can’t unask ask it. It’s going to stick with you.

Anne: That’s right.

Gabby: Everything, everything, every new experience, I have two questions. Question number one is, can I make money off that?

Anne: Oh yeah, exactly. [laughs]

Gabby: Question number two is even funnier. Can I expense that? My gem and mineral side hustle, whatever you want to call it, it started off as just a hobby. That’s all it was, and it got to a place where, in the buying and the acquisition, I was like this sucks. I can’t expense any of this. Like this is a lot of money that I can’t offset, but I could the minute I sold something.

Anne: Exactly. Scrapbooking, Gabby. Anne Ganguzza has a Michael’s store in her – alongside her studio, she has a Michael’s store.

Gabby: [laughs] So true.

Anne: The funniest thing is for years people said “you should, you know, do that for a living,” and I’m like, “God, nobody could pay me enough.” And it wasn’t because I felt I was that good. It was because I could not do the same thing twice. I was like, I cannot reproduce things like this. They’re one time creations of art. I’ve always still had that idea in the back of my mind feeling like there could be a way I could do that if I so chose to. Right now it’s on hold. I still have the Michael’s store, and I’m formulating that in the back of my brain, how can I make money? I love that. “How can I make money from this?” Hell, Gabby, I look at my husband and I’m like, how can I make money? [laughs]

Gabby: I know, you try to pimp out your husband. And it’s really funny.

Anne: I do. Do you know how many times – we, we’re going to have a cooking show. It will go viral, I’m just sayin’.

Gabby: Don’t you want to do a YouTube channel? Like, you’re so good at explaining stuff to people, you’re so great –

Anne: Absolutely.

Gabby: I totally get it. I totally get it. So guys, you already have this. You’re here, you are an entrepreneur. This spark is already there. I can tell you that the part two of this conversation somewhere down the line, probably in another episode, becomes how do I juggle it all, how do I manage it? That is a separate challenge, but initially you have to find those things and start playing with those ideas that can ultimately lead to passive profit. I got to go back to my blueprint, Anne. I got like 12 more ideas.

Anne: I know, right? And hey, guys, we want to hear from you. What kind of cool things you got brewing in your mind?

Gabby: Oh, if you already have a passive income stream going, and it’s something outside voiceover, share it with us. We’ll make like a little post directory and share everybody’s stuff. That would be great.

Anne: Or we’ll feature you on the podcast. That’ll be great. I’m going to thank our sponsor that again allows us to spark our creativity every single day practically, and that is ipDTL. You too can record and connect and spark like a boss and find out more at

Gabby: And of course, viva la! The revolution, as I keep saying, guys, is underway. Effective, fair, transparent, go to their website, check it out.

Anne: And watch those videos. Matt’s putting out some really great videos explaining the process. So if you ever had a question, just watch one of his videos. 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: Oh my God, we could have talked about that for [beep] hours.

Anne: I know, right?