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
Just look where I am now:
- Over a million dollars in voiceovers since I launched full-time in 2016
- Over 2 million in self-employment since 2003
- Five published books
- One of my books featured on Backstage
- Three established VO business websites
- Nearly 300 blogs and 4000 subscribers
- Six produced training videos, with a 7th in the works
- Well-attended workshops
- Served as a Judge at the 2020 SABA Audiobook Awards
- Formed and maintain a Facebook group of 6k members
- Presented for Kickstart Into VO's
- Spoke at OneVoice
- Spoke at VoiceMasters
- Spoke at VO Atlanta
- Interviewed 16 times
- Guest panelist at VO Atlanta
- Created my own Voiceover CRM
- Converted our 880 sf shop into a beautiful, modern new recording studio
- Guest speaker in a Marc Cashman webinar with Tracy Lindley and Tom Aglio
- 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
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...
YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.
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