Last night featured the opening celebration dinner of the 8th EURO VO Retreat.
As always, it was an evening of laughter, fun, indulgence, and the joy of the finer things in life, as we prepare to embark on another week of intensive small-group learning, this time on the banks of Lake Lucerne in lovely Vitznau, Switzerland.
Paul Strikwerda recently wrote an article on the retreats, (https://www.nethervoice.com/jmcs-euro-vo-retreats-extravagant-or-priceless/) in which he rhetorically asked if an event with a price point over $5,000 that limits attendance to a dozen or so jet-setting voice actors is elitist. Fair question, and to some surely the answer will be yes.
But however lavish a EURO VO Retreat may be, it’s the “why” behind their existence that I haven’t discussed often enough.
Lessons Learned at the EURO VO Retreat
Being comprised of thousands of solopreneurs, all largely isolated in padded rooms and social media bubbles, it is very easy to allow a scarcity mindset to creep into what we do. Being self-employed is inherently terrifying, with a sense of insecurity being a defining feature for many. However good things may happen one day, there’s no corporate paycheck to fall back on if they slow down the next. We are our own safety net, and that net can feel thin at times.
This insecurity leads to gravitation towards compromising our value, lowering our expectations for pay, long-term security, personal happiness and pleasure, and the play we all deserve as a reward for our hard work. It makes many feel that they are not entitled to the same quality of life that their friends who work in the corporate world may have and causes them to buy into the mentality that we are just gig economy worker bees who should be happy that we get paid to talk.
The EURO VO Retreats are the opposite of that. They are lessons not just in growing one’s skill set and camaraderie but also in creating a mindset of abundance. They showcase that with hard work, extraordinary talent, and exceptional business acumen, this Wild West industry we have chosen to devote our lives to can be harnessed and channeled into a security-creating stream of reliable income that can render normal what once seemed extravagant. These retreats demonstrate what people in our industry can have when they take themselves seriously and embody a professional role in the classical sense, no different than the dedication exhibited by lawyers, architects, and hedge fund managers.
Those of us who have worked in this field for decades understand that there is, always has been, and most likely always will be more work than there is quality talent to do it. Regardless of the advances of AI, or the growth of newer, micro-budget parts of the marketplace, there will always be a strong and steady pool of buyers looking for exceptional talent and willing-to-pay rates that reflect their appreciation for quality. And we understand that voiceover doesn’t have to be a hand-to-mouth, hoping for the next job, hustle-and-grind lifestyle, but rather one where we can decide what work we do, how much we get paid for it, and when we want to be on call……or not.
What is the why of the EURO VO Retreats? The why is simply to show what can be…..and how what can be might be far more than you ever imagined.