Sunday, November 16, 2014

Climbing the Ladder of Success




The young and energetic are always eager to climb the ladder of life. Yet little do they realize that each step along the way might be met with a rung that's a bit shaky and they might risk a fall. That risk shouldn't discourage but often it does. Even those that have been in the business a while find that the tree house isn't as easy to reach as we once thought. We have to be cautious of each step. One wrong move and we're back at the base of the tree. If you take it slow, it's an amazing journey.

Ladder photo - copyright 2014 Jerry E Reed
The voiceover business is a system “in flux” as some say. The dictionary usually defines that as meaning it's in a state of constant change. Well, that's certainly true. Last time I talked about adjusting a voiceover delivery to different age groups and demographics. This week it's about needs and wants. The treehouse I alluded to previously is that “prize' or “big job” or “ultimate gig” that everyone so desires. But once you reach the top, is the prize the same as you had believed or did it change along the way?

What was it you were seeking anyway? Was it a great job, perfect voiceover gig, to be famous? Or, was it to be comfortable in life, to be a good provider, to be financially stable or just be a good mom or dad? We all make choices based upon what our needs are, emotionally and physically.

I am fortunate to have had two very successful careers prior to jumping into voiceover on a full time basis. I spent 22 years in broadcasting, a career culminating with development and ownership of a regional farm news network serving 43 radio stations in the Northeast. Then it was 24 years in a new career of public relations and promotion. I worked with the beef industry, an agricultural lobbying organization and an American Indian nation with a casino. Voiceover has always been a sideline. With each of the full time careers I didn't reach the top but I found a limb of the tree that allowed me to be comfortable, rewarded financially and to enjoy many of life's comforts.

I'm a lot older and somewhat wiser for those experiences. Now, I focus on being a successful voiceover talent. It's an inner drive that keeps me reaching for that big treehouse. But, I am enjoying each branch of the tree as I head for the top. So, my point is to always reach for the next rung in the ladder of success, but realize there are some nice comfortable limbs where you can “sit a spell.” There are things to experience, places to see, and great people to get to know along the way. Don't be in such a hurry to get to the top. You'll miss life's amazing journey.