We’ve all been there.
You have those days when you just aren’t “feeling it.” Your energy is low, your last read just didn’t sound or feel right, or you get feedback from the client that they didn’t like the first take at all and you have to start completely over. Maybe you’re sending out loads of emails and just not hearing anything back.
Let’s face it; it hurts.
And this is exactly where your “inner game” needs some work. Inner game is another way of saying “how you’re feeling about yourself”, or how you operate under stress and in response to criticism. Essentially, it’s what keeps you going when the going gets tough. Because voiceover is NOT easy. You’re dealing with a lot of issues — technical snafus, moody client whims, etc. And you need to be able to stay on top of all of it with (hopefully) a smile on your face.
Here are 3 tips for keeping up your “inner game”…
1) Get Zen and Let Go Of The Outcome.
Bill Dewees, one of the best in the business, once said that after he sends off his demo to a potential client, he doesn’t think about it again. Instead he moves on to the next potential relationship. And he does this dozens of times a day.
If you are rejected for a potential job or by an agent, it’s nothing personal. You might not have been the right fit at the right time. You can’t let it bring you down or allow it to affect you
I recently went on a mountain-top wine tour in Sonoma, California, where we got to see all four square miles of this enormous vineyard. We drove through row upon row of gorgeous, lush vines. But it wasn’t until we got towards the top that our tour guide told us that their best, most-sought after grapes grew. These grapes yielded the most juice. Why?
Because they had the thickest skin.
I was stunned by this — what a gorgeous (and delicious) metaphor. In order to be successful in this business, that’s exactly what you need — a thick skin. Let rejection and “no’s” slide off your back, and allow them to fuel you to work even harder.
2) Develop an Internal Locus of Control
People who have low self esteem often allow what others think about them to color how they feel about themselves.
This is called having an “external locus of control”.
In voiceover, if you allow rejection or bad feedback to color your sense of self, you will be negatively affected every time.
The worst thing you can do is take it personally. Instead, see it as a numbers game. Realize that agencies receive hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of emails per year from similar talents. There could be a dozen reasons why you haven’t heard back. Maybe they haven’t gotten to you yet — I’ve had agencies contact me six months after I submitted my materials, wanting to then start working together. Maybe one of their existing talent relationships is about to change, and you’re next in line.
You have to plant a lot of seeds in order to start developing relationships with clients. Just stay patient and persistent, and remind yourself that you’re better than you think you are.
Oh, and another thing…remember that you’re working with clients. And that’s NOT easy. While some clients are easy and fun, others are picky and finicky. You might not just be doing a read for one person — there might be a whole team (or SEVERAL) who review your reads, and everyone has an opinion. Remember — you’re here to do a job, so do it the best you can.
3) Develop Your Support Network
Running your own business is tough. Entrepreneurs are notoriously lonely people. And when you’re left alone with your thoughts, the checks and balances on what’s really going on fade away.
Instead, develop a supportive network of friends, family, and colleagues who can be there when you need to vent or work through something.
For example, my wife is great at this. When I get some negative feedback from a client, I’ll ask her to talk it out with me so I can better process what they’re looking for. She’s my sounding board.
I also belong to various voiceover, entreprenurial and business groups on Facebook, as well as masterminds (small groups of like-minded business colleagues). When I need a question answered or advice on something, I turn to these people, and vice versa.
By doing so, I feel connected and supported, and better equipped to handle the challenges that this kind of lifestyle and business present. As a result of that, I step into the booth ready to face whatever shows up.
What’s your way of boosting your inner game? Let us know by leaving a comment below.