Tag Archive for trigger

Pulling The Trigger: Wrapping it Up

triggerIn this series, we’ve covered a lot of ground and tackled what I feel is a pretty important issue in the life of a freelancer. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series, and I have two last thoughts for you as I wrap things up.

The first is to take action. Much of success in life doesn’t come from waiting, it comes from movement. Yes obviously you can make a poor decision, but even wrong movement can result in a lesson learned. It’s really easy to not do something. Inertia is a powerful force in life as well as physics, and you can use it to your advantage. Moving is easier to maintain once you do it for a while. It’s how those insanely busy people get it all done every day, how every mom manages to juggle 150 things at once. 🙂 Take a step, even half a step today, and tomorrow, take another. You won’t regret it.

The second is to remember the value of accountability. We work alone, mostly connecting online with our colleagues and friends. It’s incredibly useful to have someone out there saying to you, “Did you remember to write those marketing emails this week?” or whatever you need reminding on. Someone to nudge you from time to time, to encourage you when you falter, and help you suss out whatever it is that might be holding you back. Find someone, find a friend, ask your spouse, but strongly consider someone in the industry. It helps if you can share your struggles with someone who is in a similar space. If you were so moved, you could even hire me-or one of the many other fine VO-helping folks out there-to work with you on a schedule and touch base with you. There’s a million ways to make something happen, to help yourself stay on track.

I hope you take my words as encouragement, and perhaps a little inspiration. I love to see people succeed, to move higher and do better. The year is close to ending, and you have a fantastic opportunity not just to change in the new year, but to change right now. Change is possible every single day, don’t let it pass you by.

You can see the previous post in this series here!

Pulling The Trigger: 5 Ways to Find Momentum

triggerIn the past two entries of this series, I’ve discussed the problem I’ve seen with lots of voice talent–they have the idea to improve their career, and they know it’s a ‘should’, but they never actually get to it. They don’t pull the trigger. We’ve defined the issue, broken it down, and now comes the last major problem.

Momentum. Keeping it going. Everyone, at least once in their life has made a change. They’ve started something new, felt great, and moved forward. But three months down the road? Six months? The minutia of daily life and the ruts in the road have them squarely back in ‘the old way’. How do you overcome this? How do you stick to it? Remember the following things:

1. Everyone falls off the wagon.

Whatever that wagon might be, we all have a tired day, or a busy day, or any one of a number of things that prevents us from doing what we know we’re supposed to be. You’re not alone. Don’t beat yourself up-that’s a waste of time!

2. It’s never too late to get back on the horse.

So you stopped that one thing a week ago. A month ago. A year, or five or ten. Who cares? It’s never too late. Don’t say well, I’d really like to, but….just do it! (Yes, I’m visiting cliché land, but I think you know what I mean!)

3. Do whatever it takes.

To remind yourself! Post its, lists, an app, a friend, whatever. Build the structure you need to keep moving, give yourself something to hold on to. If something isn’t working, change it! Don’t get wedded to a system that won’t help, clear the slate and try something new. There’s always another organizational method out there.

4. Make like Nike.

And just do it. No excuses. Don’t say, but, don’t say I’ll do it tomorrow. Just do it!

5. Be all that you can be.

Remember that you’re always more capable than you think you are. You never know where you’d be if you stuck with it. You CAN do it. Don’t think of the reasons why something won’t work. Think of the reasons why it will!

Check out the next post in this series here, and the previous here!

Pulling The Trigger: Making The Time

triggerIn my trigger series so far, I’ve talked first the idea of pulling the trigger. Then, the idea of defining exactly what you need to do, breaking down big new-years-resolution-ideas into something that is easy to do, easy to understand, and is most of all specific. The smaller you can break it down, the more easy it will be to actually do something about it.

And today what I write about is one of the most persistent problems of the modern world. Time. Having enough time, allocating the time when you do having, and utilizing it to the best possible extent.

So, how do you do it? How do you have enough time? Again, the answer is in something we’ve already covered. Break things down. Make a (flexible) schedule. Write it, but in pencil, as we all have our last minute “oh crap!” situations regardless of our type or level of work.

For me, timers are a big help. I suffer from an ADD-like problem where I will worry about what other tasks I have to do than the one I’m doing, so I’m not mentally present enough to work efficiently. So, I do a 2 timer cycle, 45 minutes, then 15 minutes. This allows me to accomplish more than one set of things per day, and also means I can trick my brain into focusing on the amount of time I have to work, rather than the list. I’m able to do other things (like write this post!) and stay far more focused than I do otherwise. What works for you may be something totally different, but keep trying things until you find your ‘fix’ for a broken or ineffective schedule.

One important note though-whatever you do to make yourself use time better, forgive yourself. Everyone has off days, and it’s far better to say, well, I messed up here, and this is how I’m going to make it better, than to spend a lot of time kicking yourself for what you didn’t do.

So, specificity and schedule fixing are two big keys. Start on one of those small tasks during your day, chip away at it. Most of these things don’t need to be finished all in one go, and making progress leads to more progress as the mental kudos stack up. Sometimes getting things accomplished also can mean asking for help. Can you hire or train someone to do something you need? Remember, you really don’t have to get everything done yourself.

When it comes to your ‘should’ list, don’t let it lie, don’t forget about it, and don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in the daily minutia that you never get started. You never know where your career would be if you actually went for it.

Check out the next post here, and the previous here!

Pulling the Trigger: Defining The Need

triggerHow do you know what you want for your career? Well, most people start out with something along the lines of ‘I want to be more organized.’ That’s super broad, and it’s a recipe for failure for the majority of folks. Why? Because there’s no place to start, no handle to give you something to work towards, and is something that might make you feel good to say, but won’t really get you anywhere. The most important two things to improve any area of your life are:


  1. Action
  2. Break it down

I’m going to cover the second one first. Define your need. Think about specifics. Don’t think about organization, WHAT needs to be organized? Is your office a mess? Is your invoicing terrible? Do you market enough to have steady work? Do you need to learn how to cold call? What class do you keep meaning to take? Make it small. Reachable, doable, something that is easy to define. Basically, the more easily you can think of exactly what you need to do, the better the goal is.

It’s easy to think of what you want out of life in terms of great sweeping categories. If you ever want to get any of those things done, quit that right now. When you sit there with the thing you just can’t do-break it down. Change your perspective a little, figure out what small step you can do first. Then go on to the next, and the next, and so on. Maybe doing something in a different way will be easier for you. Don’t let your usual habits stop you from finding a better way.

And that brings me back to the first element of my short list. Action. Make your list of items that you can easily do, and then do them. I’ll cover this in more detail in the next blog, linked here. And the previous one is here!





Pulling The Trigger

trigger“Karen! I have got a project in mind for us. I’ll be in touch with you soon…”

If I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say this, I’d have a few buckets of nickels. 🙂 Voice talent always have an idea for something they need to do-any entry on their list of ‘should do’s’. Actually, I think it’s just a people thing, not only voice talent. But at any rate, they see me at a convention, they read a post of mine, and they say, Hey, I need to do this. Karen can help me with something. Sometimes they do call me, and the funny part is they need help figuring out exactly what they want to do. They know they can be better, more efficient, but they aren’t exactly sure of how to get there. Or they just don’t call at all.

In the next couple of posts I want to talk you through how to pull that trigger. How to figure those things out, take that next step, and move onward and upward with your career. Look for the trigger posts to get my ideas on how to define your needs, take action, and get something done that you can be proud of. I have distilled my experience with dozens of voice talent over the years I’ve been working and come up with some good thoughts for you. I’m excited for you to read the posts ahead! Come back on Monday!

Next post here!


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