My Journey to Self-Employment: Big Ideas
Landing on that big idea.
Greetings, fellow travelers! Returning to the issue of “Taking Action,” I have a few things to say. It’s amazing how once you decide to start down a path, the universe rushes up to meet you. I’ve talked a bit about my backstory, but I want to tell you more about how I came to this point and why I am so passionate about the journey.
People have always told me I have an engaging voice. I gave a speech once in one of my undergraduate classes, and I remember my surprise when I realized that folks had ceased doodling and were listening to me. I enjoyed hosting webinars in my last job, but once I decided to become a voice talent, amazing things started to happen. I started voiceover training before I was laid off, I named my business, and I bought “500 business cards for $9.99” all before I thought to visit the IRS website to see what they had to say about this foolishness.
I decided “voiceover artist” was who I was going to be, since the job market was being so unfriendly. Suddenly it was like being on a football field: jump over, scoot under, push past or knock down any obstacle, but always keep the goal in sight. Since then, I’ve just refused to let any opportunity pass me by.
Before I decided to follow this dream, I attended job fairs and networking events and workshops that focused on how to get a job. I found that some of those same resources could inform the way I went about creating “The Business of Me:” build your skills and your confidence and then find opportunities to practice your craft.
I started running into people who were doing what I wanted to do or “knew someone who knew someone.” I found a MeetUp for voice actors and learned how to tailor my business card to better define who I was. I got up early on a Saturday morning and drove 26 miles to participate in a conference that connected me to other artists from all over the world. I received coaching from professionals who encouraged me. An old colleague became a friend and offered to help me do a demo.
You’ll find that when people know something is on your heart, they’ll do what they can to help you. And how they know it’s on your heart? You’ll talk about it all the time. It’ll be your conversation. It’s your “elevator speech” on steroids.
I used my severance to get a great computer, a professional microphone and software. I also emptied out my walk-in closet to use as a studio to make room for my new career.
“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill
- Taking the First Steps on the Road to Self-Employment
- Hustle While You Wait
- Is Self-Employment Right for Me
- Find Your Focus
- Work in Progress
- Big Ideas