Today’s episode is about getting out of my comfort zone, trying new things, taking risks, and growing. I’ll talk about some experiences I’ve had this summer working on my business and an update on my family.
Mark Zuckerberg once said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking any risks.” I appreciate that statement.
This has been a summer to remember. My husband, Nathan, and I have been together for 27 years and married for 19 of them. This is the first summer he’s been home in more than 20 years.
For anyone new to the podcast, my husband lost his job May 1, due to a reduction in force, or RIF. He offered to take over for me with the kids and managing the house. He’s doing a great job.
For the first time since I started my journey from pharmacist to voice actor, I’ve been able to work on my business full-time. After more than 2 years of training part-time “in the margins,” I recorded a medical narration demo on March 11, right before my children’s school district went online-only due to the Pandemic. I became a homeschool teacher for my two teenage children, and I struggled to work on my business after my husband came home in the evenings.
When my husband told me I could work on my business full-time, I felt a little like a deer in the headlights. I had goals, but I never had time to work on them aggressively. I’ll get to the point quickly here. The biggest lesson I learned this summer is that working full-time as a voice actor isn’t like turning a light switch on. I didn’t have an agent. I wasn’t on any pay-to-play sites. I was just starting to direct-marketing to potential clients. There was still a lot for me to learn and do. Plus, I’m still finishing my audiobook narration course with Sean Pratt. I am scheduled to graduate September 2.
Between May 1 and now, I have learned a lot. I got out of my comfort zone, tried new things and took some risks. Some of the things I tried made me uncomfortable, and that’s ok. I grow when I’m uncomfortable. We’re not talking reckless and irresponsible. I’ve been selective about the opportunities I’ve chosen to pursue. Let me give you some examples.
- Expanding my network on LinkedIn and other social media sites.
- Proactive auditioning.
- Creating new demos for the audiobook platforms on which I’m listed as a narrator.
- Tried a pay-to-play site. I’ll try another one in mid-September.
- Learned to accept silence.
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” This quote by entertainer Dita Von Teese is a gentle reminder for me to stay authentic to my brand and keep trying.
A little bit of discomfort goes a long way in terms of personal development. When I injured one of the joints in my left foot, I became a swimmer. The doctor told me that if I wanted my foot to heal, I couldn’t do any high-impact activities or attend group cycling class for months. I was devastated.
I joined a swim class as soon as I could. I conquered beginner, intermediate, and advanced lap swim classes to become a proficient swimmer. I have even competed in adult swim meets! I was able to participate in triathlons too. After at total of 16 weeks of swimming, my foot healed enough for me to return to group cycling class.
If I hadn’t tried swimming due to a foot injury, I would not have gotten in the water. If I hadn’t become a swimmer, I wouldn’t have tried triathlons. I was very uncomfortable swimming at first because of my asthma and lack of stroke development. In the end, I became a skilled swimmer and a competitor. Going outside my comfort zone took me places. I took a risk, tried something new, and grew…just like I grow all the time on my journey from pharmacist to voice actor.
Family update! (I recorded this episode on August 20.) My two teenaged sons returned to school this week. My older son with autism goes every day. My younger son who is typically developing goes Wednesday and Friday. The other 3 days are online from home.
This summer, my husband, Nathan, opened up, put himself out there, took his own risks, and grew. After working at the same company for more than 12 years, he had to rewrite his resume, update his LinkedIn profile, and figure a few things out. He had to figure what he loves to do, what he’s good at, what the world needs, and what he could get paid to do. It paid off. He had several interviews and recently accepted a job offer. He starts August 31. I’ll announce the company in the next solo podcast Friday, September 4. Call me superstitions, but I don’t feel right announcing it just yet.