A Plan for the Future

I think I have mentioned it before, but I have never really planned anything significant in my life. It has been one foot in front of the other with common sense, curiosity and initiative forging a steady yet unexpected path.

Last year, my new year’s resolution was to start to plan. By that I didn’t mean a business plan or a marketing plan, though I am constantly reminded by my compadres, blogs, experts that I should probably do that – especially a marketing plan.

No, it meant planning to meet people for dinner, or the movies, or a dinner party. Yes, that basic people kind of planning. My usual MOO (method of operation) is to be hard a work doing whatever I do all day and suddenly look up at the clock and realize that it is about 4 PM and wouldn’t it be nice to go out to dinner with someone? […]

2017-04-20T20:45:42+00:00 December 29th, 2013|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|

Never Assume – and you know why…

I don’t know about you, but when I get busy, and I start to tackle a new project that – on the surface – resembles so many of my other projects, I tend to slip into auto-pilot mode. I just KNOW what the producer wants. Well, maybe. Maybe not. Remember that old adage – “never assume – because it makes an ass out of you and me?” Slipping into what has been called Stage Four Learning can sometimes mean getting a project off on the wrong foot. Sometimes it can mean losing a client.

Here is a quick refresher on the Four Stages of Learning…

  1. Unconsciously incompetent
    You don’t understand how to do something – and probably don’t even realize that you don’t know how to do it. Relating this to voiceover work – you have been told you should be doing voiceover work, but you don’t know anything about the business, or […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 December 8th, 2013|Categories: Business, Musings|

I Have 3 Lawn Mowers and 5 Mics

Scattered in the storage area behind the garage are three (yes, I said 3) lawn mowers. Two gas mowers and an electric mower. None of them work. Well, one can be coaxed into mowing, if you know the secret sequence of events that involves lots of starter fluid sprayed in the spark plug socket and the carburetor in just the right order. Only one person knows how to do that.

I should probably get rid of all three of them and get one that works right the first time you yank on the starter.

I have two weed whackers. One is gas powered and I don’t think that one works. The battery operated whacker works, but not for very long on a charge. That one I got on Craig’s List.

I had a couple of loppers to cut the branches off the fig tree every year in August when the figs have turned […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 December 1st, 2013|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating, Recording, Technology|

Give it away, give it away now

The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” has a couple of lyrics that make me think about the way I live my life and do business. I’m pretty lucky to be doing what I am doing and make a living at it. Still looking to spend more time on the dancin’ part of it, and better do that soon before my agility runs out.

“Lucky me swimmin’ in my ability. Dancin’ down on life with agility.”

At least I am interpreting these lyrics in this way. Not being the type of person who plans, but someone who has a bit of common sense and intuition, I ended up being able to carve out a living doing something that I enjoy. In fact, enjoy to the point where I don’t really consider it work. This gets to be an issue when I don’t take the time to dance.

Later on in the song, we […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 November 22nd, 2013|Categories: Business, Negotiating|Tags: , |

Life. Time to Live It!

The past five years have been a challenge. I started to see my mom’s abilities start to dissolve and knew that I had to do something to make sure that she was safe. Being that she was 3000 miles away, I found that my abilities to solve her problems (mostly computer problems) were not able to keep up with the questions. When the questions became things like “how do I make the letters bigger?” I knew that something was happening that would make it difficult for her to live on her own.

A knee replacement surgery opened the doors for the joint bank account and the Power of Attorney. The support of her banker and her lawyer was helpful, as they were just grateful that someone was aware of what was happening. I can tell you though, the first time she got a bank statement with my name on the envelope, […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 November 9th, 2013|Categories: Musings|

A Crisis of Confidence and Tree Trimming

The past 6 months or so have been great on many fronts. Business and personal. I had a great summer. The weather was wonderful and I became an Artlab groupie. Never ending concerts and art shows. There were parties and events and bike rides and sunsets at the beach.

And business was booming. I switched my invoicing to Freshbooks in May and have been watching the columns grow steadily. Until this month.

It has been a fairly dismal month so far compared to the last 5 months. I have some projects yet to be billed, so they don’t show up on the columns yet, and by the end of the month, it will look better, but still, looking at it now makes me wonder what the heck I am doing.

I’ve been making my living doing only voiceover work for more than 10 years – after many years working as […]

OMG – I Lost My Phone!

This is the first time I have every really LOST my cell phone. My lovely Samsung Galaxy SIII. With its cool new protective cover. Lost. Misplaced. Dare I suggest picked up with no intent of returning it to the carrier. The innocent Pollyanna in me simply cannot comprehend anyone actually finding a phone and not returning it. Someone purposely stealing the phone is easier for me to understand, but finding a phone and not turning it in…well, my brain doesn’t work that way.

I found my old Samsung – in a bag ready to be recycled – so I will charge that up until the replacement arrives – which should be tomorrow.

But the reality of not being connected hit hard.

Wait, did I say that I wasn’t connected? What am I talking about! OK, for the short term, until I get to the Verizon store and get the old phone turned on, […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 October 16th, 2013|Categories: Musings|Tags: |

I’m Confused. Just What Constitutes a Business These Days?

I wasn’t always a full-time voiceover talent. I am first and foremost a video producer and writer – and wore those hats during the first 20+ years of my career. After finding myself working at a television station in the mid-70’s as a graphic artist (art degree), I moved into production and decided that this was perhaps an industry where I could find a career. So I went to graduate school and learned more about it.

It being the 70’s (by now the late 70’s) and being that I am a woman with a Masters Degree, I was hired immediately at a TV station as a director. That didn’t last long. I decided that I really didn’t want to be a news director, I wanted to produce and write. But I found myself in a tiny booth as a live booth announcer for the station – part-time. This was because I […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 October 11th, 2013|Categories: Business|

East Coast – Left Coast – and Other Times Around the World

I live in California. Pacific Time Zone. 3 hours later than many of my agents and clients. 9 or so hours different from several other agents and clients scattered across Europe.

This means that my operating hours are not 9-5 Pacific time. They are 9 AM to 9 AM anytime. Over, the years, as more of my clients are in far flung parts of the globe, I find that I do a lot of work very early in the morning. I get up fairly early anyway, but more and more it seems as though I must be “in voice” for a 7 AM session.

Just part of the customer service.

It used to be – when I was working in the local studios, I could ask my agent to arrange for sessions between 10 and 2 so that I didn’t have to mess with the traffic. This usually worked. Not for any on-camera […]

2017-04-20T20:45:43+00:00 September 28th, 2013|Categories: Business, Musings|

I’ll Gladly Pay You Someday for a Voiceover Job Today

Why is it that creative businesses (mostly independent freelancers) find themselves on the short end of the stick when it comes to getting paid in a timely manner? My voiceover friend Paul Strikwerda discussed this phenomenon today in his Nethervoice blog – http://www.nethervoice.com/2013/09/18/when-a-client-owes-you/

Why is it that the sub-contractors have to wait for their money until the prime contractor gets paid. This is not the way it is supposed to work. Paul postulates as to why we find ourselves in this position of being the tail on the dog when it comes to getting paid.

When I was an active video producer, I mostly worked in-house or for a large production company and didn’t have problems with getting paid for what I did, or paying the people that worked for me. There was a much larger machine chugging along with enough accounts receivable to cover the costs of the jobs. I just […]

2017-04-20T20:45:44+00:00 September 19th, 2013|Categories: Business, Musings, Negotiating|Tags: , , , |