In Today’s episode I give a mid-summer update and talk about the importance of accountability partners.
This summer has been very different from all the other summers in my life. Usually, I can make plans and stick to them. This summer, it seems like everything is a moving target. I planned a vacation. Then, I had to cancel it. I planned some summer activities for my kids, and most of them got cancelled. How does anyone keep moving forward when things keep changing? As an entrepreneur, I get to set my own yard stick. I get to determine what success looks like. To keep things realistic, I’ve had to adjust my goals. My accountability partners are helping me stay on track and see how far I’ve come.
Mentioned in this episode
Sean Pratt is my audiobook narration coach.
Medical narration script samples:
When I recorded my medical narration demo on March 11, I expected to have some time to bring my voiceover business up to speed before my kids were home for the summer. Instead, I ended up caring for my kids and homeschooling them for more than 6 weeks, starting March 16. Then, I handed the reins over to my husband when he lost his job May 1. I’ve been working on the business daily, but things are really slow right now.
Here’s a quick update on my husband, Nathan. He lost his job May 1, due to a reduction in force. As I record this on July 9, 2020, he is still unemployed. It seems like he’s doing everything right though. He updated his LinkedIn profile and his resume. He’s applying for jobs, and recruiters are helping him. Every week, he has interviews either on the phone, via Skype, or in-person. I’ll keep you posted!
My husband and I are a great team. I watch the kids while he interviews for jobs, and he takes care of things so I can work on my voiceover business every day. What does it mean to work on my voiceover business? Part of what I’m doing is learning. Another part is practicing my skills. The other part is trying to find work.
I started Sean Pratt’s audiobook narration program last June, and I’m determined to finish it! I’m improving my performance skills and learning about the business side of audiobooks. Homework takes several hours each week. I love what I’m learning, and I’m on-track to graduate in September this year. I’m also watching webinars and practicing my medical narration skills. For the medical narration practice, I either record myself and listen to the playback or work with a “workout partner.”
As for trying to find work, I’m making connections on social media, especially LinkedIn, auditioning, and all the other fun stuff that goes along with marketing my business. Like I said earlier things are kinda slow right now, and that works well for my current availability. The kids and my husband are around all the time! Any time I need to record, it takes teamwork to get the house quiet. I thought my kids would be out of the house more this summer and my husband would be at work. Like I said, this summer is very different.
Something that’s going really well is my podcast. Between inviting guests, confirming interviews, recording interviews, and recording solo shows, it keeps me busy. I love it, my guests are wonderful, and I’m happy to be on episode 26!
I have voice actor friends who meet with me every other week as part of a support group or accountability group. They are a helpful part of my journey from pharmacist to voice actor. They keep me accountable, and they help me keep myself accountable. If I say I’m going to do something, they ask about it. Just think. What would you say if someone asked you every other week:
“What have you accomplished in the last two weeks?”
“What are you working on now?”
“What’s next for you?”
“What’s in your way?”
It makes me really think about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and if it’s getting me to where I want to be. If you had to answer to someone else or even articulate the answers to those questions to yourself, what would you say? If you have goals, and you don’t have an accountability partner, recruit one, and get started holding one another accountable today!
I also have two audiobook narration accountability buddies. We’re going through Sean Pratt’s audiobook narration program at the same time. It’s helpful to talk to one another about goals, this month’s lessons, and any life hacks we have for making things easier. Our conversations are monthly.
I’m still working on my public speaking skills and meeting with my Toastmasters Club on Fridays via Zoom. I missed last Friday because I was up late last Thursday with family shooting off fireworks and celebrating the 4th of July holiday a little early. For my listeners overseas, the 4th of July is a US holiday to celebrate America’s birthday otherwise known as our “Independence Day.”
On Friday, July 10, I am giving a speech at my Toastmasters Club. This speech is called an Ice Breaker Speech because it’s the first one I’m giving. I’ve taken on other roles in the club, but I have never signed up to give a 4-6 minute speech like this before. Once I get the evaluation of my speech from someone in the club, I’ll let you know how it went. I might even include that speech in episode 28, on July 24. In case you have not heard about Toastmasters International, it’s a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. There might even be a club near you! Clubs meet via Zoom right now because of the pandemic. If you’re interested, check them out!
We’re in these strange times with the COVID pandemic. I feel thankful every day to be healthy. In spite of the barriers and hardships my family and I face, I’m motivated to wake up every day, work on my business, and be present for my family. I’m thankful for the roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my plate, and the hope that things WILL GET BETTER.
Next year or the year after that, I want to take the vacation we missed out on this summer. We were supposed to be drive from Ohio to South Carolina. We were planning to stop in Williamstown, KY and visit the Ark Encounter. It’s a museum with a replica of Noah’s Ark. Yes, from the Biblical story. Next, we wanted to visit The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I love castles, and the Biltmore, to me, is one of the closest things we have to a castle in the Eastern US. And, finally, we were planning to rent a Beach House in Isle of Palms, SC near Charleston. If your plans got put on hold too, I hope you get to pick up where you left off some day too.
In the mean time, think local. I am! Try some fun local stuff. Plant a garden. I did! I’m growing mostly flowers. But, I’m also growing one cherry tomato plant.
I have been hiking at local parks and going for long bike rides with my family. My son Kraig and I even went for a 10-mile bike ride with my Dad, who is 70 years old! We visited some of our favorite childhood spots, and he shared some childhood stories with me. If you haven’t guessed it, my parents raised me in the same small town that they grew up in. In fact, at one point my parents, their parents, and two out of four of my great grandparents all lived on the same 5 mile stretch of road in Ohio. If your parents are still alive and able to ride their bikes or go for a walk with you, ask them to show you some stuff and tell you some stories. It’s pretty fun.
I’m also a big fan of board games, and we have been playing some great board games this summer. There are too many to name, but two that come to mind are Settlers of Catan (the original board game) and Ticket to Ride India.
I’m a motorcycle rider. Right now, I have a BMW Scooter. It’s a lot of fun, and I’ve had a few good, long rides so far this summer. In fact, with any luck, I’ll be out on my bike on my birthday: this Sunday, July 12!
Episode 27 is next Friday, July 17. It’s an interview with Dr. Wendy Stephan, an epidemiologist with the Florida Poison Information Center in Miami.