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BOSS Mindset – Fear

It’s a ghoulish and frightful episode as we tackle FEAR – the hidden terror that stops all entrepreneurs in our tracks! Running your own business IS scary. Some days there are treats and sometimes it’s all tricks as you work toward making your career goals a reality. It’s the fight, flight, or freeze episode this Halloween as we explore the F WORD. And stick around after the credits for some sweet VOBoss outtakes.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Most business owners experience fear very regularly. They jut might not admit it.

  2. Fearful thoughts can easily become a runaway train of negativity and negative thinking.

  3. Fear can be a motivator for some people and a way to tackle the emotion head-on.

  4. Fear can also cause us to be frozen and unable to make a move.

  5. Self-employed people always live with the fear of failure in the back of the minds.

  6. Fear can be a helpful, healthy emotion.

  7. Panic and fear are not the same things.

  8. Get to the bottom of your actual fear. What’s on the surface is probably irrational.

  9. Emotions & logic probably need to be separated to help you see the issue clearly.

  10. Talk about fear with other business owners. Take the power away from the fear.

  11. A little fear will not kill you! However, don’t bottle up your fear.

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

Check out the BOSS University Classes in the VO BOSS Shop
Recorded on ipDTL


Announcer: Today’s voice over talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS, a VO BOSS. Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with you host Anne Ganguzza along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS.

Anne: Hey, guys. VO BOSS has amazing classes that can help you to self-propel your goals and increase your business and your bottom line. So for both beginning and advanced VO talents, we have our BOSS University, so you can select from different classes at different levels.

Gabby: This is like our podcast on steroids, guys. This is me and Anne at our best, doing what we do, putting our BOSS brains together, right, ‘cause two BOSS brains is totally better than one.

Anne: Totally.

Gabby: And giving you all kinds of webinars and ways that you can improve your bossness and bossibility and make more money.

Anne: Go to and just click on the shop tab.

Gabby: And now, on with the show.

[Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor plays]

Anne: Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my beautiful but sometimes scary [laughs] cohost, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Hi! [laughs]

Anne: Wait, do you want me to do that again?

Gabby: I’ll take scary, no, I like it.

Anne: Well you know, it is the season, Gabby.

Gabby: I know.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: We should talk about, right, the big elephant in the room.

Anne: Ohhh yeah.

Gabby: The F word.

Anne: Oh ho, the F word. Gabby, which F word are you talking about?

Gabby: Everybody knows that my vocabulary is frequently peppered, but —

Anne: [laughs] With an F word.

Gabby: But this F word is a specific one I think is so taboo for entrepreneurs, it is perfect discussion for our Halloween episode.

Anne: Ohh yes.

Gabby: Fear.

Anne: Fear.

Gabby: Mm-hmm.

Anne: Every day I experience some of that. I don’t know about you, Gabby, but —

Gabby: Yeah, like Halloween is every day when you are running your own business. There’s no —

Anne: [laughs] Halloween is every day. Yeah. You know, fear is just like, it’s a part of my being, running my own business. And I think so many people are — run! — makes sense, run from the fear and just try to stay away from fear, so therefore it prohibits them, I think, from becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Gabby: It does. And it, and it’s funny. One of the acronyms for fear that gets used a lot in business is Forget Everything And Run.

Anne: There you go. [laughs]

Gabby: So it’s so, so poignant. There’s, there’s another acronym that I think is, is also one that people may be familiar with, right, False Evidence Appearing Real.

Anne: Real, yeah.

Gabby: That’s a biggie.

Anne: I’ll tell you what, Gabby, I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be honest and up front right away, and I am going to just say, I experience fear — like I do, every day and, on varying levels, but there are some times that I just literally in my head, I am like, “oh…my…God, what am I doing? And it — will this work out, and what am I going to do?” Even now after all these years, I have put a lot of things in place so that I can, you know, work voiceover as my full-time gig, and put things into place so that I have, you know, income coming in, and I don’t have to worry about that. But there are some days when I am like, “what am I even doing?” And I am not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. So Gabby, what — does that happen to you?

Gabby: It does, but I’ll tell you what’s interesting for me. Fear in, in my life has always been a really big motivator.

Anne: Mm, yeah, well.

Gabby: When I’m fearful, I bust my ass.

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Gabby: Because that’s the only way I know to overcome it. That’s the only way I know to beat that monster. Instead of running away from it or you know putting my head under the covers, no, I, I go right at it. And I’m like, “OK, we’re going to tackle this beast.”

Anne: Well, you know, I think it’s important, Gabby, that you acknowledge it. If you try to deny it to a certain point, you’re not giving yourself umm the benefit to grow from that. Just as you said, that you use it as an opportunity to motivate and move you forward. I definitely am just going to say, as I mentioned to you, I was up front. I acknowledge that emotion, and then I burrow my head deeper into my work, and just try to move forward. And if moving forward in the one direction is not working, which is usually what’s causing the fear, right, I sit there, and I brainstorm, and try to figure out another way that could work, and head that way. And ultimately that just becomes what I’m doing on a daily basis, trying to shift gears into something that is going to be working for me, because what isn’t working is what causes fear.

Gabby: So what you are describing is the process of turning fear into fuel.

Anne: Yeah, I think so. I think so.

Gabby: And not letting it make you freeze up, because that happens to a lot of people. Fear paralyzes, and it becomes in business one of the worst things that you can do, which is stagnation.

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: Just doing nothing, because “I’m afraid.”

Anne: And trying to keep the status quo and then just, and then just giving up. I think fear causes a lot of people to just give up, especially in, in creative endeavors, in creative industries where sometimes so unpredictable. And that’s where I think we may experience fear more than somebody working for somebody else in, in a corporate job. I’m not saying that they don’t experience fear, but for us, I think there’s an added level because there’s such unpredictability about this industry, and where’s that next job coming from? And that’s what I think is so scary for people.

Gabby: The idea of being frozen into inaction is in and of itself really scary.

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: How do you… tackle it? I mean, what do you recommend people do?

Anne: As I mentioned before, the first thing you have to do is acknowledge it, and say, it’s OK. Because guys, it is OK. It happens, it happens to all of us. It happens, and it happened to me just, God, yesterday. [laughs] It happened to me yesterday, Gabby. And it happened to me a couple of nights ago where I was up at night like worrying and thinking about things, and so acknowledge it first. Know that it is OK. Know that it happens to all of us, and even us veterans in the industry, it happens to us. If it starts happening maybe every single day, might be something you want to look at. What can I change, what strategies can I move — but I think a good dose of fear is healthy for all of us, acknowledge and then try to just face that fear head on. Say “what is it that isn’t working, that is making me afraid, and what can I do to turn that around and change the mentality?” We talked before about money blocks, that a lot of those money blocks are from fear, and the first thing is to acknowledge. The second thing is to try to change your mindset. Instead of being like, “oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, I can’t do anything,” try to think about, “OK, what am I learning from this, and how can I move forward?”

Gabby: All right, love all of that. I think you’re absolutely dead on. I’m a big ruminator, right? So like I get a thought or an idea stuck in my head, and it’ll stick with me for a couple of days. I’ll think about it, and I’ll think about it, and I’ll think about it. And sometimes, yes, it’s a little bit obsessive, I’ll admit that.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: [laughs] But there’s a process that I’m going through, and that process, for me anyway, is really about making sure that I am identifying the thing that I am afraid of properly, because often what we think is surface is not, it’s not it. It’s not the answer. And we have to really get to the core, what is at the bottom of that fear cycle, or that thing you are trapped in? You know, it’s common for any business owner to go, “um sales are down.”

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Gabby: I start panicking. “I’m afraid, I’m” — what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of having a dip in sales? No, not really. You are afraid of what’s allll the way down that tunnel. [laughs] You are afraid of what is possibly months, weeks, years down the road, that ultimate fear of failure, closing the doors, bankruptcy, you know, not being able to pay the bills. And so many times when we start to really break it down, we go, “well, is my fear rational, or is it irrational? Where am I right now?  What’s the state of my bills?

What’s the state of my finances? Am I OK, am I not OK?” And sometimes when we start to kind of analyze, we can take some of the panic out of the fear and realize, “OK, if I want to prevent bankruptcy as, as, as big or huge a thing that that is, I have to start making adjustments now.”

Anne: Right. Right.

Gabby: Rather than just be consumed by the fear.

Anne: Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s the time, you know, try to break it down so that you’re taking the amount of time you’re being consumed by fear — and I like how you said you sit on it, and you kind of think about it, and you think about it. The way I have run my business and the way I’ve always — I think the way I’ve always lived my life is I tend to do that too. I sit on things, and I kind of wait for them to… formulate a plan and a strategy, and I think a lot of it is, I listen to my gut. [laughs]

Gabby: Mmm.

Anne: And I think I’ve said that before of how I run a business. Just about all of my decisions, even if they are scary, I try to feel them out and sit on them, ruminate and think logically, number one, yes, because I am a tech head, I try to logically figure out the answer. But if I don’t necessarily — if I can’t figure out the answer quick enough, I will sit on it and ruminate, and kind of just let my feeling about it take over, and if it feels OK, and it feels good, and it feels like that’s the way — that just didn’t sound right. Umm if that’s the way the business should progress, I’m going to put the word business in there —

Gabby: No! I think it sounds wonderful because I’m laughing at the fact that my process is totally the opposite.

Anne: Oh really?

Gabby: I get — the emotional factor, the feelings factor is what takes over first. Then I get to logic. You go in logic first. I think it’s really interesting.

Anne: That is interesting. Logic first, and then I, and then I wait.

Gabby: My initial feeling is chicken with the head cut off running around.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: Ahhh!

Anne: I think that’s just my technical brain, do you know what I mean, always trying to solve the problem first, and then I feel it, so that’s very interesting. I think, I think either way, right, Gabby, seems to be an effective strategy for people who may experience fear and how to handle and deal with it.

Gabby: And I think, here’s the other thing. Much like we’re doing right now, talk about it.

Anne: Oh yes, so important.

Gabby: Talk about it with other business owners, other voice actors, with other entrepreneurs. You are going to find that — and we don’t, right? We don’t talk about this. We don’t put this front and center, because who wants to like walk into the room and go, “hi, my name’s Bob, and I am terrified”?

Anne: I am terrified, and I have failed. That is what everybody is afraid of. You’re right, Gabby.

Gabby: Exactly, exactly. We’re all afraid to fail. Every last one of us.

Anne: Yup, agreed.

Gabby: But my failure or my definition of failure is not the same as yours, or this person, or that person, or anyone else. So you have to know — it’s kind of like your own limitations in that and understanding one person’s failure is another person’s success.

Anne: I don’t even like to call it failure. Anything that doesn’t quite work out the way you expect. I like to just think of it that way, and that we just, we just switch directions and, “OK, so that didn’t work exactly the way I anticipated, so let’s try something else.” And that keeps me more positive rather than scared and, and immobile.

Gabby: In, in a weird way, it is a little bit like Halloween, right? This is the time of year where we’re intentionally scaring ourselves. Why? Because, you know what, it gets the endorphins going.

Anne: That’s right.

Gabby: It gets the blood running.

Anne: Absolutely.

Gabby: It’s, it’s — there’s kind of a cathartic thing there that comes from it. A little fear is not going to kill you.

Anne: It’s a motivator. Fear is an emotion. Isn’t it funny how emotions run so much of our lives? Like first and foremost, I mean, it’s an emotion. I know that, you know, in advertising, people buy with emotion rather than through facts and all the time, right, rather than just the features, and it’s really about the emotion that somebody feels when they encounter a product that makes them feel good, or makes them feel a certain way.

Gabby: Yeah, and I think it works though too with who we choose to do business with and the people we keep around us, people that lead with fear or have a lot of fear on them. It’s not good.

Anne: Well, I love how you said to open up and talk about it. I think that is the number one thing that you can do to start a healing process, should I say, if you want to heal yourself, maybe not heal yourself, but if you want to start turning that fear around into something that’s motivating, talk to other people. Gabby, I think that’s, that’s the best advice that you — that any of us could really take is to talk to people, talk about it because it becomes less scary.

Gabby: And we take the stigma away.

Anne: Yup.

Gabby: And we take all of the hidden secret away, right? Because it’s not. It is universal. It is common.

Anne: Yeah. The hidden secret.

Gabby: Nobody likes that. I mean, yeah. Just get rid of that.

Anne: And the funny thing is is we’re all looking at each other, I mean right? Like who’s going to admit this, right? I will. I mean, we’re all looking at each other in this industry and we’re like, “OK, so we are assessing,” right? I think a big fear is that other people are assessing you in a negative fashion or your business in a negative fashion, but I think we’re — assessment is not a bad thing all the time. I look at other businesses, and I assess how they’re doing, I’m essentially learning from it. So instead of assessing in a fear-based, negative way, I’m trying to learn from businesses around me who are successful, so that I can take that and, and, and apply it to my own.

Gabby: It is kind of funny. It is sort of what financial planners do, right? It’s fear assessment and risk management, knowing your tolerance level and, and what works. And I think we don’t, we just don’t talk about it enough. If you went to the most fearless person you know and asked them about the last big leap that they took, they would go, “I was terrified. I didn’t know it was going to work, but I did it anyway.”

Anne: [laughs] Turn that into like an endorphin that just gets you motivated. I love that. I love that.

Gabby: And just say F you to the F-word. We don’t need any of that. We don’t need any of you in our business. Nyeh!

Anne: You know, guys, we love to hear your feedback, by the way, speaking of wanting to talk to people and open up. Go ahead and tell us what are you afraid of? Or what fear did you overcome? How about that, if it makes that even easier? What fear did you overcome, and how did you overcome it? We’d love to hear.

Gabby: We would. If you send us something really meaty and really juicy, we’ll make you part of one of our featured BOSS Fix episodes, where we will actually tackle different problems that our listeners bring, different things needing solutions on the air.

Anne: Yeah, I love it, the BOSS Fix. The BOSS Band-Aid. We’re here to help. Guys, I would like to give a big shout out to our big helper [laughs] ipDTL. If you want to know more about quality recordings, you can find out more at

Gabby: And exactly, I mean, they’re, they’re all treat and no trick. We love them. For more uhh fun BOSSness throughout your life, all of our social medias and of course is where you’re going to find all the ways you can engage the two of us and use our products and services to better your own business.

Anne: That would be nifty tricks and treats from the BOSSes. Ha ha. [laughs] All right, guys. Have a great week. And we’ll talk to you next week.

Gabby: Stay safe. 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.



Anne: Gabby, I know that you and I both get a lot of questions about people that are interested in this… blah. [laughs]

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: In this blahhh.


Gabby: Yeah, we got so into the topic — hmm as I choke on my own I don’t know what.


Anne: What about you?

Gabby: Well, [clears throat] sorry. [coughs] Furball.

Anne: What about — [laughs]


Anne: Let’s give this a shot, shall we?

Gabby: All right.

Anne: [laughs] OK, I’m just going to launch right into it. Hopefully I won’t [bleep] up.

Gabby: Mm-hmm.

Anne: [laughs]


Gabby: I’m coming, hang on, hang on. I’m fighting my way through the pets.

Anne: I’m waiting. I was waiting to hit the record button. So oh my God, My little girl’s finally, she’s all like got an incision and stuff, and I bought her the cutest little camouflage um — it’s called a suiticle.

Gabby: Oh God.

Anne: So what it does is because I didn’t want to keep the cone on her. The cone is horrible, and the cone is like, you know — I’m on the floor right now.

Gabby: They are, they are awful.

Anne: But yeah, they’re awful because they lose their sense of balance, and she can’t like, she couldn’t go to the litter.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: You know, and so I ended up, I take it off after the first couple of hours, and I said, look. I’m going to be home, I’m going to watch her like a hawk. And she’s been really good so far. Um and yesterday was her last day on the meds, and so today she’s actually playful and running around a little bit.

Gabby: Oh good.

Anne: The little suiticle that I bought is like a little T-shirt, it’s got little arm holes for her front feet, and it kind of snaps like a little diaper in the back so she can still go to the litter box. Well, oh my God, like, it was camouflage [laughs] So she’s so like, I put it on her, and she like, she like could not move.

Gabby: Awwww.

Anne: Like she was completely still. And she hung her little head, and I felt like the worst mommy ever. I was like, oh my God, I got to get it off of her. It was so cute, but yet, she was like terrified in it.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: And they say that it calms them down, and I’m like, oh my God, that’s because it makes them feel like they can’t move. So I just took it off of her because I couldn’t bear, I couldn’t bear to watch her like that. She was all submissive and like —

Gabby: Yeah, it takes them a little while to get used to something like that.

Anne: Oh my God. So — but I can’t bear to watch that, you know what I mean? I’m like, oh my God, I’m worst mother ever. So I spent $40 on that little suiticle –

[both laugh]

Anne: — so that I can see it for one minute on her, and then go, “oh my God, I’m horrible.”


Anne: Welcome to the podcast. I’m Anne Ganguzza along with my wonderful host, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Hi!

Anne: Today we’re going to talk about — [bleep] what are we talking about today?


Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m Anne Ganguzza along with my lovely co-heo — [laughs] My co-has, my co-ho, my co-hoe.

Gabby: my co-hoe!

Anne: I like that. I like co-hoe.

Gabby: co-hoe!

[both laugh]

Gabby: I will totally respond to co-hoe.

Anne: Oh my God.

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: That is too funny.

Gabby: I think we are going to have to do matching T-shirts, cohost and or —

Anne: Co-hoe.

Gabby: Co-host and co-hoe. [laughs]

Anne: Co-hoe.


Anne: Welcome, welcome, everybody to the VO BOSS podcast. That’s VO BOSS, business — crap. [laughs] I was like, what am I?


Anne: Where we talk to you a little bit about what this podcast is all about. Hang on.


Anne: Who’s a good girl? Shelley’s a good girl.

Gabby: I swear, we have the strangest relationship in this office.

[both laugh]

Gabby: Who wants a Scooby snack?

Anne: Who’s a big boy? Who’s a big boy? You come on over here. Sorry, so sorry. We should really not record today.

Gabby: This is why —

Anne: Or we should.


Anne: I’m like, who’s that little girl, and she goes miaaooo, rolls around, wants me to pet her, she spreads her legs. She wants me to pet her stomach.

Gabby: Well hello, all right.

Anne: Yup, she does.

Gabby: Your little girl’s a hussy.

Anne: She is. She’s just like, just like her mama. Are we recording?


Gabby: We’ll just pull a Howard Stern. One of us will sit on a speaker, and the other one will just (blows lips) Yeah.

Anne: Gabby, please hum.

[both laugh]

Anne: Please hum.

Gabby: Ohhh dear Christ, we’re going to hell. [laughs]

Anne: I know we are. That’s it.


Anne: Check, check, check.

Gabby: Heather, can you just talk for a little bit?

Heather: Yes, sure.

Gabby: OK. Can you —

Heather: Hi.

Gabby: Can you turn your gain down just a skooch?

Anne: A skooch. That’s a real technical term, a skooch.

Gabby: It is. It’s a skooch, it’s a smidge or a skooch.

Anne: Heather —

Heather: How’s this?

Gabby: That’s —

Heather: Is that better?

Anne: Why does it sound louder? [laughs]

Gabby: Well, yeah, she does sound a little bit louder.

Anne: [laughs]

Heather: Oh, did I move closer to the mic maybe?

Anne and Gabby: I think you did.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: Heather, back off, will ya? [laughs]

Gabby: [laughs]

Heather: How’s this, is it better?

Anne: Um.

Gabby: Still sounds the same.

Anne: You still sound loud.

Heather: Hold on, I got another button.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: OK. More buttons.

Heather: How’s this?

Anne: No.

Gabby: No.

Heather: Ok.

[Anne and Gabby laugh]

Anne: Uhh no.

Heather: How’s this? You’re getting quieter.

Gabby: Funny. She’s on a shotgun. All right.

Heather: OK, how’s this?

[Anne and Gabby laugh]

Anne: Talk more, talk more, Heather.

Gabby: This is literally the funniest thing ever.

Heather: How’s this one, is this better?

Anne: No!

Gabby: No. [laughs]


Gabby: Ahh fantastical.

Anne: So —

Gabby: I see, I see.

Anne: What did you say, testicle?

Gabby: Fantastical.

Anne: Oh, I thought you said testicle.

Gabby: Fantastical!

Anne: I’m like, what does a testicle have to do it that?

Gabby: Testicle is a great word.

Anne: Heather, Heather, we’re in a mood today.

Gabby: Testicle is a great word.

[speaking simultaneously]

Anne: Well, I just got yelled at for saying moist, so —

Gabby: Horrible word. Awful, terrible, terrible word.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: Terrible word. I have issues.

Anne: Heather Costa.

Heather: Yes, hello. [laughs]

Anne: Heather.


Anne: Are you kidding? Oh my God, if I’m horizontal, I’m sleeping at like 8:00.

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: Hang, hang on a minute while I get my big old ass up. Here we go.