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Why are you successful?

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

Courtesy of Netflix and Tenacious D

A very interesting question was asked at a recent Mastermind Group…. What do you attribute your success in voiceover to? This group contained many voiceover industry veterans who were extremely talented and booked jobs on a regular basis. You may be surprised that the answer was similar from all of them and may not be what you were expecting. Was it talent? Nope. Was it experience? Nope. Was it how great their voice was? Negatory. Have you guessed it yet?

Within the group, everyone answered with one form or another of TENACITY. Yep, good old dogged hard work and determination. That may come as a surprise to many starting out in this industry who think it has more to do with your voice. A VERY common misconception. But what does tenacity mean within the creative endeavor that we call voiceover?

Have you ever read “The war of art” by Stephen Pressfield? (Click here for Amazon Link). There is a line in that book that always make me smile and relates well to tenacity. “Someone once asked Somerset Maughham (Playwright) if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. "I write only when inspiration strikes," he replied. "Fortunately, it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp.”

You need to get up every day and approach your work as a professional. Does that scare you? Are you the type of creative that thinks that your talent and God given ability will drive you to success? True. That could happen. But I would think that we are talking for the top 0.000001%. Hollywood is full of stories of overnight successes that were actually down to hard work and dedication over a prolonged period of time before the “big break” happened.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. For some people, that may be the demise of their career in voiceover. It’s damn hard work. Yes, it’s fun, but it’s still bloody hard work. Those who are successful get as much of a kick out of finding a new client than they do for recording the actual job. I know I do. They know that getting your voice in front of new people every day is essential to building a voiceover business. And finding creative ways of doing that is, well, creative in itself.

So next time you are asking yourself if you can make a success of voiceover, ask yourself if you have tenacity. Are you willing to get up early in the morning so you can connect with people on the other side of the world during their workday? Are you prepared for the long haul of sending out numerous cold emails into the ether and feeling like they just disappear into a black hole? Are you willing to analyze the data and find out if things are working and if not, pivot? Are you prepared to work hard? If you are in any doubt, then the answer is probably no. You don’t have what it takes. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t change……

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