If you were to ask me, 'What am I most proud of?'
I would have to say - starting and running my own business...
And before you freak out and say, 'Damn! Now this bitch is going to get all 'work from home opportunity' on my arse'... relax! No chance!
For those of you not in the know... I'm a Voice Over Artist. And for those not in the know of what it is a Voice Over actually does, I don't do voice porn and I don't answer sex line phone calls, but anything else you could use your voice for... I have done, or will do. I have a little studio set up in my backyard (in a studio, not out in the elements) and there I toil day in day out to make a living and have fun doing it.
It all started while working in radio (if you haven't read that entry yet... I recommend you do before continuing)...
Welcome back, now that you're well versed in the joke that is regional radio, lets continue! So, I was poor and being treated poorly. I needed an out! It was a matter of get off the ship, or go down with it and I'd lost too much of myself already in that abuseful relationship I called a job. My options were:
a. Start my own business and be homeless until it built up (hmmmmmm)
b. Go back to my old profession (photography) while I built up my business
Obviously, I chose .b.
Initially, it was going to be a writing based business... copywriting (hence, the name). I'd planned to contact regional and major radio stations offering them freelance copywriting for their creative dept (or to replace their creative detp - if, indeed, they had one). On the side, I would do voice overs, to supplement the writing.
My first gig writing was for this a-hole doing resumes for military dudes. He said, it would be easy money... only take a couple of hours and you'd make $100 (or something like that). Sweeeeet! I'd give it a go! So I did... The first one took me about 14 hours... then he sent it back and said it was nothing like what he would have written and to start again. The hardest part of the gig was that they were all military terms and positions and I had no idea what they entailed... and none of the info he'd provided help me out in the least. I wrote it down to experience... but I was working full time and I couldn't work for less than $10 an hour on of my measly earnings so I gave it the can. At the end of the day, this dude was a bit like me... trying to branch out, but wanting the job done exactly how you would do it. Sometimes you need to learn to be less precious (I should write that down).
I continued to work full time and after hours trying to drum up some work. Surprisingly, the voice over stuff started to trickle in, while the copywriting stuff was fairly stagnant - although I did pick up a gig writing on hold messages for brothels... niiiice!
After about 2 years of this half arsed attempt - well it wasn't so much half arsed, but I had commitments from 9-6 so I didn't have the time to devote - I decided to throw in the towel and turn my focus to making this work. At the time, Micko was earning great money and we had planned to move to Vic. The deal was, when we arrived, Micko would find work and I would give the business the attention it deserved. Give it a crack for 12 months and see if I could make a real go of it.
I did... Business was slow at first, but I managed to secure a few ongoing clients. This continued to build and build... Every few clients starting giving me return work. Then, as time went on I expanded to work with other talent. And right now, it's booming. So much so, I've not a lot of time for anything else. I've just put on an editor to help lighten my load and I'm hoping like hell it works out!
I really enjoy what I do... and I put my sucess down to a few key things:
a. knowing what I want and taking the steps towards getting there
b. working hard, being focused and commited plus a self confessed perfectionist
c. having the faith and confidence in myself (thank you Mum and Dad for constantly ramming down my throat 'You can be whatever you want to be' and 'We'll be proud as long as your following your dreams')
d. positive affirmation - wanky I know but even though it doesn't hand to you on a platter the things you want (or perhaps it's my own perception that has created the hard work?), it does help you focus on what you want and therefore, help you to create an outline of how to get it
e. always meeting, and mostly exceeding, customers expectations and deadlines.
f. anal, super anal, organisation - which I've had to learn (I wasn't at all organised throughout most of my 20s)
You see... My theory is that you can be, do and have what you want in life... It comes down to you - 100%! If you have the focus and commitment, the sky is your limit!
Man, I sound like I'm writing a self help book - one of the those dreadful things I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole - I have in the past though and some of it must have rubbed off. Hey, whatever works for you, do!
So, as you can see... I'm cool, have a wicked job that I love and life all round is pretty kickarse!
I can hear some of you thinking "Gee! Up yourself much?'
Well... You know what! I am! I'm great at what I do and I've worked super hard to get where I am in life. And if I want to take the glory, I fucken well will! (PS that note was mostly for Aussies - we have trouble accepting that people might actually like or be proud of themselves - it's called having a big head or suffering from 'head up your own arse syndrome'. We also have a penchant for shitting on those who experience any kind of personal success).
Before you say 'cocky, arrogant bastard' and vow never to return... By no means, think that I don't have insecurities or dark days... I do, we all do! ( Ummmm... like anyone suffer from body issues? ) You have to know darkness to recognise the light. And you have to work hard to learn to love yourself. But like I've said before, I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses.. and if you know yourself, that's half the battle won.
But, I digress (yet again)... I'm truly blessed to get joy from what I do. I get a certain satisifaction from doing a job well and knowing I've done my very best. And it's a pleasure to be able to have a beer on Friday night and contemplate how great my job, and my life, really is.
Now, ask yourself this... If you could do, or be, whatever you wanted to be... What would be do (or be)? Is it worth taking the steps towards it? Or do you put it down to a pipe dream?
You can do it! You can be it! Only thing that stands in your way is you... and before you say, "yeah, well it's bills and debt and the cost of living that stands in my way?"... You think I didn't have those obsticles? Balls in your court!
See, I'd do this gig, even if I was set up for life by a major lotto win... And that's loving what you do! And I'm one awesome, super lucky (well hard working) mofo!
So, on that note... back to work!