Being a small business owner is rewarding in many ways, but finding motivation to keep doing the little things that make a business successful can be challenging.
As voice actors, people see our big wins splashed across their TVs, tablets, and movie screens, yet the daily grind is invisible. Here are a few tips to keep your head in the game when the weight of business building starts to feel heavy on your shoulders.
1.) Have a routine, and stick with it.
If your workday has an established flow, it’s easier to get into a rhythm and feel as though you are operating at a high level. My days start with a check of my email and social media, a shower, and breakfast. Them I’m into admin. I clear my inbox before anything else, starting with messages that simply require a reply. Next are client projects that can be cleared quickly. Commercials, short narrations, promos, etc…. get done in the early part of my day. Then I clear priority auditions from agents, management, and existing clients/rosters. After this I have my task list, which includes invoicing, handling requests from coaching and demo clients, demo scripting, and other admin. Now I’m several hours into my day, and live sessions will dominate the rest of my time, while I handle emails and urgent auditions in the short gaps between sessions. Short breaks for lunch and dinner, lather rinse repeat the next day. This clear and consistent process allows me to keep my deck clear and my inbox as close to zero as possible throughout the day, so things don’t pile up. It also allows me to ease in and out of my week and avoid working weekends as much as possible.
2.) Build in downtime.
I’m a grinder. I go hard in the middle of my week with few breaks, but I intentionally book Mondays and Fridays as light as possible, and I don’t work weekends. I cram 50+ hours into the middle of my week, but that allows a lot of planned 3 and 4-day weekends, and I plan several weeks throughout the year to simply book out. Golden handcuffs clients can interfere with this, but if you build in downtime and stick with it, you’ll have something to look forward to as you are in the whirlwind, which will keep you motivated.
3.) Your income starts at ZERO every month.
I track my numbers religiously, but the number that I keep front and center on my tracking sheet is how much I’ve earned this month. For newer talent, seeing that number climb will often motivate you sufficiently, but for established talent looking at the number you’ve earned so far versus your needs/expectations for monthly income based on past performance helps to gamify the work experience, and adds motivation. No matter how much you’ve earned so far in a given year, seeing a small number staring at you on the second or third….or tenth! of the month can be enough to keep the fire under your ass burning and motivate you not to rest on your laurels or the expectation of repeat business.
Leave your comments below and let us know how YOU stay motivated!