A few years ago, entrepreneur and New York Times contributor Jay Goltz asked owners of failed small businesses what had gone wrong.
Most of them didn’t really have a clue.
To a certain extent that’s not surprising. Had they known what the problem was, they might have been able to fix it.
Some owners were in denial. Instead of acknowledging their own responsibility, they blamed the economy, the current administration, the bank or an idiot partner. Never themselves.
In many cases, Goltz noted that (ex) customers had a much better understanding of what went wrong. The owner still had his stubborn head in the sand.
Over the years, I’ve counseled quite a few struggling voice-overs who were ready to give up. Without exception they were sweet, well-intentioned and hard-working people. Some of them were even talented. And like the folks Goltz interviewed, they were wondering why their new career was going down the drain.
Larry called himself a victim of the recession.
Victoria Feinerman says
Truly excellent article, and 100% true!
Back in the olden days when I wanted to be a writer, I submitted a short story to a fantasy anthology compiled by my favorite author, certain that my wonderful story would be accepted. Well, she wrote me back a pretty harsh rejection letter… and I LEARNED from that letter and saved it as if it were made of GOLD, until I managed to get a short story and several poems published.
Learning from failures (our own or those of others) turns them into something useful and helps us succeed!
Matt Forrest says
Good points, Paul. Just the other day, I had another person ask how to get into the biz because lots of folks tell her she ‘has a nice voice.’ I try to explain that there’s so much more to it than that…and that your ‘voice’ is actually not nearly as important as your willingness to learn, your business sense, your tenacity, and your technical ability.
Raúl Méndez says
Thank you Paul, for your words, even when you are a successful entrepreneur, having success means you are always on top, researching, working, taking lessons in business. To be a successful voice over talent, means learning to be not only a talent in voice, but in marketing, accounting, writing skills, social media, business administration and many more.
Lorcia Mediro says
Great points you make there Paul. Sometimes we have to look at ourselves first before going far. To be successful, we must be a well rounded. We need to have business skills on top of talent.
Paul Hernandez says
Once again, you’ve blog about some excellent and practical points. I believe that a lot of talented people fail because they don’t treat this career as a business. The more I’ve grasped that concept, the more success I’ve seen.
Lance DeBock says
“Preamplifiers are really bad at marketing”. That’s a classic Paul, cracked me up!
J. Christopher Dunn says
Watching people make the same mistakes over and over and who are not interested in changing their approach is difficult to watch. You’re right, they don’t have a clue why they actually failed.
There is something I was once told by a friend of mine, who had been through many occupational failures, that I never forget. “You can do everything right and still fail miserably.”
Bruce Abels says
As a self-employed freelance copywriter, CD, producer since 1986, (and added VO in 2009), failure is an everyday occurrence. Luckily, so is success. Thanks Paul.
Jim Powers says
Great insights Paul! As a rookie, it’s good to be cognizant of these pitfalls.