Fruits vs. Laurels:The Balanced VO Life

resting on our laurels?

resting on our laurels?

Running a small business is not for sissies. Nor is it for dreamers who don’t take steps toward the dream.

Yeah, yeah. We know that.

We know we can’t just rest on our laurels…but at times, we do need to enjoy the fruits of our labors.

Most of my voice-over pals get that first part; we don’t let ourselves rest on past success. Yes, we know…”you’re only as successful as your next booking.” In fact, we’re constantly sharing progress on our never-ending to-do lists (finish the project, register for Faffcon or Voice-Over Virtual, send the audition your agent wants) as well as ongoing projects

fruits of our labors...

fruits of our labors…

(organize clients and prospects clients into a database, write that next blog post, revamp the website and demos) – and, often, we feel we come up short when we look at what we still want to accomplish.

Nope, no resting on laurels here. What we forget to do – or sometimes don’t let ourselves do – is to enjoy some of the fruits of those labors.

Voice-Over Talents: Can a Small Business Owner Take a Break?

Example #1:

Last week, on our weekly Google hangout, our Voice-Over “Stand-Up” group reported in. Most of us sounded like this: “Well, I finished____ (insert paying VO jobs here), and also did____ (insert VO to-do here, e.g. updating a demo), but I didn’t do____ (insert another VO wanna-do, e.g. sending an e-mail blast), because I was____ (insert a LIFE event/priority, e.g. daughter’s graduation, taking care of grandma, spending time playing with kids, date night with spouse). And we started sounding rather sheepish… Sigh. Another Action Step postponed…
But – hey! Wait a minute, I thought (and then said) – Isn’t that exactly why many of us chose to go into this business (besides loving what we do)? So that we could be free when we wanted to be, schedule time? to be with our families, go to the gym in mid-afternoon, be our own bosses and have a lifestyle that enables us to see our kids’ soccer games? Isn’t this what we wanted? This flexibility, this opportunity to pay our bills doing what we love, on a timetable that allows us to enjoy our lives?

Does guilt always come with owning a small business?

Example #2: My beautiful backyard.
The small business day consists of pleasing current clients, of course. That part is a no-brainer. After that, though, there is so much more we could/”should” be doing: courting new clients, organizing finances, tweeting, updating, practicing, posting videos, visiting SoundCloud, sending thank-you notes….

Why? Because we want to:

  • Pay our bills and support our families doing what we love
  • Build Our business future with excellent service, and then excellent outreach.
  • We’d love to, someday, earn enough so that we can do other stuff beyond the basics – such as, say…(here begins the dreaming) spending more time with our friends and family…maybe afford a vacation…sit by a pool at a resort somewhere drinking pina coladas…

Yes. Someday. But – wait a minute here…

Out in my backyard there is a beautiful swimming pool. And a chaise lounge… and I guess I could learn to make a pina colada….

And I have not yet been out there to swim this summer. Or sit there. Not once. Yet.

Why? Because, by the time I cross off the stuff on my to-do-list, I tend to look at what I didn’t get done, not what I did get done. And I’m tired.

Sound familiar?

Listen, sure there must be a sense of reality here – but also a sense of balance. Take some time here and there to do -now – some of the things you wanted in your life when you decided to join the world of entrepreneurs.

As my husband says, “Don’t be your own bad boss.” Sure, we love our work – so,? it doesn’t always feel like work in the booth. But later, at our desks,? it sure can.

So work a few mini-breaks in there. And feel good about eating some of that fruit right now. It’s one of the reasons we do this!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend an hour in the sun -out by the pool that is paid for with good old Voice-Over dollars.

And I won’t feel guilty about it.

I hope you’ll do the same. The to-do list is not going anywhere. Some things can be postponed – but some things (like your kid’s dance recital) cannot.

And some of those not-high-priority things? Just hit delete. They’ll send you another newsletter next week.

Happy balancing!

Reader Interactions


  1. Thanks for the enlightenment, Randye! I’m taking your message to heart. Next week while our daughter is away at summer camp, my wife and I will take a “staycation” here in Chicago. I’ll take paying gigs, but rather than audition or do other business-building tasks, I’ll take it easy. See a matinee with a buddy. Take a long walk to a great breakfast place with my wife. Read a book – IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! 🙂
    I often joke to my friends that, “I’m self-employed, and boy is my boss an a-hole!” I’m harder on myself than most bosses I’ve ever had. Time to take a break and recharge my batteries. And NOT feel guilty about it.


Pin It on Pinterest