Swimming Down A River of Dreams

Growing Pains

business cards

 

Reality Check

front & center

I did not feel like being silly this week.  There is a time and a place for everything.  This week?  It is time for encouragement, and reflecting on where I have been, where I am, and where I am going.

The truth is, I will never not be an entrepreneur. I have logged so many fruitless hours in the pursuit of someone else’s dream. As Robbie Nevil sang in C’Est La Vie so many years ago:

 

“Punching in…punching out…is this really what life’s all about?”

 

 

The truth is, I am in love with voiceovers and my career.  I am SO grateful for the giftings and skills and acumen God gave me, and what I have been able to harness and sharpen along the way. As my wife once penned, “Everything in the past has led to now…and I’m in love with now.”

Don’t ever give up on your dreams. Don’t ever settle for.

Good is always the worst enemy of best.

If you have a dream, chase it until you are utterly spent, your heart is beating like a rabbit and you are convulsing on the ground, trying desperately to catch your breath. Cry into your pillow until your dreams are fulfilled. Feel it in your TEETH.

I once nearly gave up on the dream of self-employment many years ago, until a client at the time shared a Chinese proverb with me: “The temptation to quit will always be greatest just before your greatest success.”

How very true. I was tempted. I did not give in and quit.

 

Mommy, Wow - I'm a Big Kid Now

books

Just look where I am now:

  1. Over a million dollars in voiceovers since I launched full-time in 2016
  2. Over 2 million in self-employment since 2003
  3. Five published books
  4. One of my books featured on Backstage
  5. Three established VO business websites
  6. Nearly 300 blogs and 4000 subscribers
  7. Six produced training videos, with a 7th in the works
  8. Well-attended workshops
  9. Served as a Judge at the 2020 SABA Audiobook Awards
  10. Formed and maintain a Facebook group of 6k members
  11. Presented for Kickstart Into VO's
  12. Spoke at OneVoice
  13. Spoke at VoiceMasters
  14. Spoke at VO Atlanta
  15. Interviewed 16 times
  16. Guest panelist at VO Atlanta
  17. Created my own Voiceover CRM
  18. Converted our 880 sf shop into a beautiful, modern new recording studio
  19. Guest speaker in a Marc Cashman webinar with Tracy Lindley and Tom Aglio
  20. And recently, I launched as a Voiceover Business Coach and am now with my 10th client.

 

Now, the naysayers will say, "Josh is just boasting."  Well, consider this: I look back at that list with my mouth agape: incredulous, and filled with gratitude.  I cannot believe what God has given me through this vocation. That comes from a place of intense gratitude; not boasting.  I am incredulous at how far I have come, and I am just as incredulous as you are.  I say all this because I want you to know that you can do what I did, and more.

I am a voiceover artist and entrepreneur to my core. I have truly found what fits me like a glove. I felt it in my teeth.  I studied, watched and waited, laying the groundwork for my 9-5 exodus for many, many years. I stealthily waited on the riverbank until the time was right for me not to tippy-toe and see if my hope would maybe call forth reality; no….I dove in headfirst and swam with all my might. And I am still swimming to this day.

I am ***so*** eternally grateful.  If you think that is boasting, then I also have some charming oceanfront property in Utah to sell you.

 

Your Turn To Dream

studio glory

This past week I experienced a fair amount of annoyance over someone in the voiceover community who has been singling me out.  He is a bit of a curmudgeon: someone who deliberately takes pleasure in attacking others.  I am not saying that as my own opinion; he has a trail of destruction in his wake that I continually hear from many sources; and I do not know a single person who has a high opinion of him.  He has been intentionally shooting down my blog posts in a group he "helps" to moderate.  This is the result of personal attacks on me based on absolutely misguided perceptions that my blog is designed to steer traffic towards my training.  This blog site is not even commercial in nature.  As any of my readers will observe, I take great pains to inspire, encourage, and make people laugh, and that is my goal with my blogs.  Always has been.  But we see what we want to see, I guess.

The sad part?  The blog he shot down - last week's blog on "The Church of Voiceovers" - was all about how the voiceover community is just that: a community.  This man is not really part of our community.  He is an outsider.  A rogue.  A bit of a snake in the grass.

In short, a nightmare.

But as we all know, nightmares are fleeting: they rear their ugly heads and then go quietly into the night, and you don't remember them as much as the joy you do from dreams.  They just don't measure up.  They are forgettable.

I have had run-ins with him before because I am not willing to take his crap, as he has the reputation of a profane loudmouth.  He labels all of us bloggers as "spewing out our cross-posted drivel", when all we want to do is inspire, encourage, and inform.  This is an insult on all voiceover bloggers.  He insinuates that my blog has commercial links pointing to my training and therefore will not allow it, yet he allows other bloggers whose blogs have commercial links pointing to their training.  Double standard, anyone?

Haters gonna hate.

The truth is, in my opinion, he is a jealous and bitter man with a pathetic purpose, and I pity him.  It appears that he has lost the ability to dream and contribute - both for himself and others.  He would rather belittle, complain, and inundate his own group with pathetic tripe and profane ramblings. Listen, my wife and I have been victims of cyberstalkers before.  We are very familiar with textbook definition bullies who take pleasure in making trouble for others.

In the end, I appealed to the admin, and my membership and ability to post were restored.

But it does prompt me to ask you: what kind of person are you?  Are you a dreamer?  Will you be part of community and contribute to others' dreams?  Will you be a force for good in this dreamy river?

Dive in and swim.  Do not ever look back.  And take your dreams with you: keep them close and engage with them often.

Dreams are life vests.

Thank you, Lord, for the realization of dreams. I’m so grateful for what I get to do every…single…day. I know where I came from…I know where I am now…and the thing that happened in between was DREAMS.

Everything in the past has led to now...and I am in love with now.

May you fall in love with your now.  C'est La Vie!  That's just the way it goes.

In the comments below, I would absolutely love to hear what dreams you have seen fulfilled though your career in voiceovers!

Make like Dory...and just keep swimming...just keep swimming...

Dory

 

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YouDidIt

YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.

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Joshua Alexander
The Voices In My Head Blog
blog@itsthevoicesinmyhead.com ∙ josh@supervoiceover.com
360.339.1900

28 thoughts on “Swimming Down A River of Dreams”

    1. As are YOU, Aleesha…and I am forever grateful for your encouragement and motivation to start my VO business coaching services. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for being a lover, not a fighter, and for swimming! 🙂

  1. Yes, Josh!! You are an encouraging voice in the (sometimes) chaos. I so enjoy your perspective, and I appreciate your insights. I have lurked for about a year in several VO community forums and sites, and it becomes clear which is authentically wanting to contribute to the conversation and industry in a productive way, and which are Doody. Doodyheads gonna doody, and I leave them far behind. I started auditioning in earnest this last April, and I think the advice and guidance found on your sites and the other non-doody sites have absolutely helped me in avoiding scams and low-ball jobs. I’ve landed a good handful of gigs, have a great new coaching team, and I’m dog paddling as best I can in that river 🙂 So thank you, and keep on swimming! <3

    1. Thank you so much, Jenn. I’m glad for you! Keep up the great work. It does take some sifting through, doesn’t it? Keep practicing discretion. I forgive him, but I did need to put this out there: after all, I don’t take things lying down, and when someone is singling someone else out in the VO community, and they are a known teacher, they need to be called out for their hypocrisy and selfish vindictiveness. Such is the case with this guy. I’ve already extended an olive branch to him which was rejected. Oh well. Maybe I’ll try again, but not sure of any positive results. I would like peace, but sometimes peace only comes at the edge of a sword. Hopefully no one else will have to fall on his sword.

  2. When I started in VoiceOver, you were just quitting your wedding videography business. And I remember that very distinctly, at some point talking to you about how much you hated it and how relieved you were to be switching to voiceover full-time. then, a few years later, when I saw you speak at one voice, I was absolutely inspired by all of the amazing tips you gave us, and everything you’ve done since, I never see as boasting, but as encouraging.

    Congratulations on everything you’ve accomplished and thank you for inspiring me. 😊🙏

    1. Thank you my friend! I deeply appreciate you, Billie Jo: for your friendship, your inspiration, your honesty, and your fantastic blogs. Keep being you. Haters gonna hate, right? I’m glad you’re filled with love, because you’re a magnet.

  3. Josh, you keep on keepin’ on, OK? That guy sounds like a real creep. I’m sorry. I appreciate your posts, your candor and your enthusiasm.

  4. Keep on swimming, Josh! There are always sharks in the water. This just one happens to be rather toothless. The rest of us will happily follow along in your wake. Ha! Double entendre! Did ya get it? Huh? Huh? 😆 Keep on posting, man. 😊 Er, fish. Whatever. 😏

  5. You have a fine resume, Josh – and are we not supposed to document or catalogue our skill, reputability, and ability to show who we are?

    I am really liking this phrase you keep mentioning: “Feel it in your teeth”. I went to the dentist this past week; I’ve since been left with an odd, distracting gritty feeling in my teeth and would much rather welcome voiceover stuff in its place. But I REALLY like the idea behind it.

    And to answer your final questions: our VO dreams! I LOVE character work. While the most fruitful for me has been medical narration thus far in my journey, I still want character and video game work in my repertoire. So I went to PAX this weekend to meet game devs, network, and hopefully help further accomplish that dream!!

    1. WOW!! Well that sounds fun! Did Karina go with you? Either way, what a blast! I hope you had fun. Maybe…just maybe…you could start dreaming about Medical Character Narration! Perhaps the stars will align! Close those eyes, stare wistfully up at the stars, and repeat after me: “The mononucleosis factor of glucose monitoring for the epidemiological study of I WILL KILL YOU, RARRRRRRRR, HOW DARE YOU ENTER MY SACRED TEMPLE BEFORE THE WITCHING HOUR BEGINS, I WILL RIP YOUR FLESH FROM YOUR bone density contributes to cellular degeneration coupled with dimethylamidophenyldimethylpyrazolone esophagogastroduodenoscopy!”

  6. Hey, even I know that Utah doesn’t have ocean. Now where’s my snake oil?

    Josh, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there should be more “boasting” about success, financial and otherwise. Obviously there’s a time and a place… but when everybody keeps this stuff to themselves, people get taken advantage of and things end up getting really unfair and competitive. That’s what I reckon, anyway.

    As for dreams? Love ’em. I am still working on my big voiceover dreams, but the first one was to make a good income, myself, with my own talents and hard work. Seeing money in the bank and thinking “I did that!”. That’s a good feeling.

    1. That’s a GREAT feeling, Sumara! To know that following your dreams manifest revenue is SO rewarding, isn’t it? I really appreciate you, your heart, your fabulous ways, your panache, and all you contribute to the VO community. DO NOT EVER CHANGE! 🙂 Have a stellar week in voiceovers, my friend. Keep dreaming.

  7. There is a time and place for everything, including sharing your gratitude and the successes you have been graced with. Some people will never appreciate that. For some, any talk of accomplishment smacks of boasting. I suppose it is a matter of perspective, but what is the point of calling someone out publicly? Who does this serve? Setting aside the debate of whether it is right or wrong (why does it have to be either?), it seems to me that how we handle the things that offend us is a pretty good measure of a persons character. If you share with genuine gratitude and with the intent to inspire others, which I believe you do, then you have no reason to be concerned about the petty sniping of those who speak from a place of ill intent. Let it roll off your back and use it for fuel moving forward. Keep you heart in a place of gratitude and communicate the love within you. There is no argument against that.

    1. Thank you for such a well written and heartfelt reply, Jon – but I would expect no less coming from you, my friend! I appreciate your perspective and understanding. Admittedly, it is so difficult to be second-guessed when I simply wish to inspire and encourage. The suspicion of others who seem to see so many things through murky windows is depressing at times. You balance out that suspicion – and any comments that would stem from it – with beautiful heart. Thanks brother!

  8. First of all, congratulations on all of your wins. And thank you for inspiring other VOs to see what hard work, dedication, talent, etc. can bring. Regarding the hater… you’re right, haters are going to hate. I don’t really understand why some people are so negative and have to bring other people down with their negativity. You have always been so encouraging and helpful to me, and have never tried to sell me anything or ask for anything in return. Thank you for that, Josh! Keep up the excellent work, the fun blog and all of the encouragement that you give to our community!

    1. Thank you Theresa! Well, to be honest, I HAVE posted about my coaching and training videos, so in truth, I HAVE tried to sell it to you and others. But I think you mean it’s not an in-your-face thing. Ha! For that I’m grateful. That’s not who I am. And that’s certainly not why I blog. I truly strive to write something creative, fun, memorable, and something that will give you a practical application lesson pertinent to voiceovers. Kind of a “tie it all together with a string” at the end….type of blog. That’s always my goal. Thank you so much for reading and enjoying and commenting, my friend!

    1. It is the ONLY place we should work from…if you work from a place of gratitude, you have no expectations of, or jealousy of, others. You’re simply too grateful to care about others, much less to judge or wish them ill. That’s what I’ve tried to do. I am *immeasurably* grateful for my career in voiceovers. Overwhelmingly so, for what God has provided through them. Thank you Lord. 🙂

  9. Wow, it took me very long to get just around this river bend! Yikes! lol.
    I’m so glad you have such great progress!! Joyce has used that quote many times before and they have a few stories within their own teams.
    I think the biggest dream I’ve seen done so far was the fully produced short story and of course one original story produced too. Granted, they are not commercial projects, but producing a full story on your own is a lot of work.

    Keep writing and sharing and don’t let the kind of curmudgeon around the interwebs spoil it for you. Sorry he’s been so difficult… Glad it’s resolved though! 😀

    1. Let’s just say that each Monday we may face the same issue with him, as that’s when I release my blogs. We’ll see what happens today. Thanks so much for the encouragement, my friend. And keep swimming and chasing your dreams as well! 🙂

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