Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Relationships and Isolation

…are basic human adversaries.

When I decided to start winding down toward retirement from my full-time employment as a media relations practitioner, I never really considered how important relationships are to the human being. I often counseled others on the merits of relationship building in the public and media relations worlds. I have conducted workshops on the most important factor when doing PR – relations. Students have often come to me for advice on how to do media relations and I have always focused their attention on relationship building.

Now that I have retired from the outside employment, I am focusing my attention on my voiceover business. It's a business I have conducted for more than thirty years. Building relations has always been a very important of the business matrix. I always took it for granted and it was something I just did. The various on-camera and voiceover jobs always came from those relationships. I can't think of any time that I got a job directly from a cold call. It's just not part of the environment.

So the cold water that was just poured over my head is the realization that isolation is my biggest enemy. If I stay at home where my business is located and spend my entire day in the studio, I create a very unhealthy situation for me, a people person, and my business which is based on relationships. The comment recently said to me in jest, “you need to get out more often,” really hit home.

I recently watched a webcast on the East West Audio Body Shop with guest J.S. Gilbert. He talked about the same issue. Isolation is the enemy to a healthy voiceover business. He lamented that some health issues have kept him somewhat isolated and have changed the dynamics of his voiceover business. He discussed the importance of relationships. Sometimes isolation is unavoidable for various reasons, health being one of them. So, I can't personally give that as a reason for my isolation. It was self induced.

I know I can't be all things to all people and I can't join every organization. But, while I have my health I need to get out more. I have recently started getting involved in organizations where I can build relationships again. Being selective is important so that I have a healthy balance of external exposure to foster new relationships and the settings to build on existing ones, while still being able to do the voiceover work.

So, imagine the movie scene where Mrs. Robinson (Ann Bancroft) tells Ben (Dustin Hoffman) that the key word is plastics. Picture this. New scene. We are face to face and I simple say to you - “relationships.”

We need them for business and for our own personal health. Relationships and isolation are not compatible roommates.  

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