The Message Very Few Want To Hear

DisappointmentWhat if…

What if you advertise yourself as a pro, but you’re still learning on the job;

What if you wonder why you’re not booking, but you’re too cheap to hire a coach;

What if you’re too lazy to look things up, and count on your community to bail you out;

What if you think you can break into the business on a shoestring budget;

What if you’re convinced you can crush the competition by undercutting rates;

What if you feel that no one has your back, but you refuse to join WoVo;

What if “What’s in it for me?” is your motto, and you don’t care about your colleagues;

What if you expect to make money, but you don’t know how to run a business;

What if your Pay-to-Play acts unethically, yet you don’t raise your voice;

What if your client pays dirt, but you bend over backwards anyway;

What if you are totally exhausted, but you never take a break;

What if you love to complain, but you never contribute;

What if you don’t believe in yourself, yet you hope others will…

Well, I’m really sorry, but I cannot help you. You have to help yourself, and up your game if you want to become a pro.

Pros know what to do. That’s what they’re getting paid for;

Pros never stop learning. Even the best work with a coach;

Pros are proactive, and do their own homework;

Pros invest in quality, and are willing to pay for it;

Pros know what they’re worth, and charge accordingly;

Pros stick together, and belong to the World-Voices Organization;

Pros look at the bigger picture, and care about community;

Pros are business savvy, and price for profit;

Pros speak up when they’re treated with little respect;

Pros work with clients who recognize their value;

Pros take care of themselves, knowing they can’t give what they don’t have;

Pros aren’t whiners; they are winners;

Pros are poised, and self-assured.

Pros realize that talent entitles them to nothing. It challenges them to do everything. 

And above all, Pros know that success is the result of many small, intelligent steps, taken in the right direction.

Success can’t be rushed. It can’t be bought. It can’t be forced or faked.

It has to be learned.

It has to be earned. 

Every. Single. Day.

Paul Strikwerda ©nethervoice

PS Be Sweet. Please retweet!

photo credit: Disappointed via photopin (license)

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About the author

Paul Strikwerda

is a Dutch-English voice-over pro, coach, and writer. His blog is one of the most widely read and influential blogs in the industry. Paul is also the author of “Making Money In Your PJs, Freelancing for voice-overs and other solopreneurs.”

by Paul Strikwerda in Articles, Career, Freelancing, Pay-to-Play

30 Responses to The Message Very Few Want To Hear

  1. Joe Lewis

    Word up Paul. THANK YOU.

    Edifying and equally entertaining as always… Can’t tell if it’s the clarity of your wisdom or the wisdom of your clarity. 🙂



  2. Paul Boucher

    Another good piece Paul. Thanks.

    Pros also wake up to the reality that they don’t know all the answers every day, and that get OUT there and network face to face in your own community with other entrepreneurs will yield some fantastic insights on how to take your career and your business to the next level.


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Great advice, Paul. We can learn a lot from other solopreneurs. My next blog post is about the Freelancers Union, bringing together many independent workers.


  3. Karyn O'Bryant

    Thank you, Paul. We all need to hear this now and again. Like Bob said, sometimes we don’t feel all that confident — but knowing others have our backs makes all the difference.
    And thank you for your faith in (and shout-outs to) WoVO. I hope all your readers seriously consider joining!


  4. Karen Asconi

    Bravo, Paul!
    Thank you.


  5. Justin Hibbard

    YES. Just YES.


  6. Lee Ann Howlett

    Great advice, as always, Paul! Doesn’t hurt to hear this now and again as inspiration.


  7. Paul Garner

    A great one, as usual, Paul! Being a Pro takes effort, investment, time, constant learning. Thanks.


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  9. Mark Owen Middlestadt

    Wonderful! Right on the money Paul!
    I especially like your last 4 lines.
    Essentially, there is no overnight success. As you say, “it has to be earned, it has to be learned!”
    Great Thursday wisdom.


  10. Justa Guy

    Love the Disappointed Girl in the accompanying photograph. It is as if she is contemplating adding Tattoos, because the Nose Ring alone didn’t bring her the overnight success she knows she so very much deserves.

    Can you imagine her reaction, if she learned that you had used her photograph, and I had the unmitigated gall to comment on it?


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Just to clarify: I often use to find images for my blog posts. PhotoPin uses the Flickr API and searches creative commons photos to use for blogs. At the very end of each blog post, credit is always given to the photographer. By clicking on the image, the reader is consistently redirected to the source.

    FYI I chose to keep your comment because it gave me a chance to tell my readers about photo accreditation. Anonymous comments, or comments made by someone with a hidden identity such as “Just a Guy,” will be deleted.


  11. Debby Barnes

    Two words: Simply Perfect. 😉


  12. Bob Souer

    I like what you’ve written a great day, Paul; but I think it’s fair to point out that even the best and most experienced professionals aren’t “poisted, and self-assured” all the time. We each have our moments of self-doubt and self-criticism and I would submit even those moments of weakness are part of what set us apart as true pros.

    Some of the most self-assured people I know are folks who have no idea how much they don’t know because they are too green to fully understand.


    Glenn Howard Reply:

    An excellent point, Bob. It’s an incredibly vulnerable state performers put ourselves in. Recognizing our own vulnerability and using it as just another tool to exact a performance is something I believe every performer needs to develop and nurture no matter whether you’re a musician, a dancer, painter, or voice actor.


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Good point, Bob. It’s humanly impossible to be something all the time. Our behavior may change depending on the context. The best sign of poise and self-confidence is the fact that the person this applies to doesn’t have to put on an act.


  13. Dan Lenard


    Hey everyone, Read this again, and again, and again, and AGAIN! Bind it as a sign on your microphone to remind you that this is the truth you should live by as a Professional, in any industry.

    Bravo Paul!


  14. Brent Abdulla

    A manifesto for any industry!


  15. Mike Harrison

    Very predictable.

    And that’s exactly why the pros come here week after week… to read Paul’s insights and outlooks, knowing he’s going to nail the topic every single time.

    Predictably, consistently right on the money.


    Paul Strikwerda Reply:

    Oh no… I’ve become predictable!


  16. Randye Kaye

    Voiceover blog of the week! So many great points….hmmm might post this one of my wall. The real one, not the Internet one 🙂


  17. Jeff Bugonian

    Pros read your blog and listen to it.


  18. Dave Airozo

    Inspirational as always Paul. Makes the start of my day a lot brighter. Thank you


  19. Marie Hoffman


    You’ve done it again- hit the nail on the head. How do you do that, week after week? I’m glad you do. Keep ’em coming!



  20. Sean O. Shea

    New slogan:

    We’ve upped our game.
    Up yours!!


    Chris Mezzolesta Reply:

    This wins The Internet for today!


    Debbie Irwin Reply:

    Sean– I couldn’t help but laugh at the double entendre of your comment!


  21. Ruth Weisberg

    Admirable prose for exceptional pros. Bravo, Paul!


  22. Chuck Davis

    Good one Paul, as usual. Good on you for a little WoVO promotion too!


  23. Ted Mcaleer

    What if you knew all the answers. Oh wait… You do! That’s why I come here every Thursday!


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