I went to Spain on holiday determined to get a tan. I came back 'the colour of very milky tea', apparently. Which, sadly, seems whiter than when I left. But, at least I'll maintain a youthful complexion (squints to check wrinkles...)
It was lovely, but I found it really hard to turn my phone off and zone out for a week. This self employment malarky is a full time job. On this occasion, my sporadic email checking was worth it as I had enquiries which lead to having work lined up for the post holiday week. As grateful as I am for the jobs, I couldn't help wishing there'd have been nothing but pizza discount vouchers and penis enlargement emails in my inbox, so that I could see it's ok to properly have a week off without losing work. Sadly, on this occasion, I was proven wrong. I think it'll be a while before I can truly switch off and enjoy a break again. But, I guess, it's the same at the start of building any business. My 'Voice Over' business is no different. If I want to build my client list and expand my CV, I have to put the hours in. Holidays come second.
When not recording jobs, it's a constant stream of auditioning for jobs, re-doing demos, emailing out demos, emailing existing clients, finding new clients, doing courses, practising voices, updating online profiles, reading blogs, writing blogs and generally keeping abreast of advancements within the industry. The hours go in so that the jobs will come in. Luckily over the past few weeks I've been reaping the benefits of months of hard work. At the time, these efforts sometimes seemed futile. It's difficult to stay focused and positive in the early stages when you are putting in the time and working really hard without seeing the benefits. Now, as jobs come in steadily, I am even more inspired to get my name and voice out there, keep promoting my brand, and building this business.
A wise person once told me, "The slower you go up, the slower you come down". Although I'm sure they were referring to a recent skiing trip, I'm applying that theory to my current career trajectory. A slow and steady progression to the 'top' is sustainable and what I have thus far managed to create. Perhaps the 'top' is a false premise in an industry like this, as you can always improve your skills and work with new clients. I think I like that idea. If I can never reach the 'top' of this odd but excellent career, I can never come down again.