Risk! I think it’s safe to say that you’re not living a full life if you’ve never taken some risks and failed. Especially when it comes to your career! Hopefully the mistakes you make are something you eventually recover and learn from.
When it comes to my business I try to take “calculated risks”. Though I don’t really view myself as a risk taker. Of course, you could probably make the argument that anybody who chooses to make their living as an artist is some what of a risk taker. For sure being a performing artist in the entertainment industry isn’t for the faint of heart! But I guess that’s part of the thrill as well!
I would say I’m very much a “thinker” and a “researcher” when it comes to making big decisions in my career. Probably in my life as well. Very rarely do I make split second decisions on anything big. I would say that for the most part, my cautious risk taking has paid off. Every now and then I probably over think things but I truly believe that slow and steady wins the race! And it’s always extremely satisfying when you make a “big move” and it pays off. Maybe you buy a really expensive piece of equipment. Maybe you switch talent agencies. Maybe you ask a client to pay you up front vs after the job is done. Perhaps you try a new technique…for example…I used to always wear my headphones when I worked. These days I almost never wear them for auditions, and I wear them on and off during sessions. That was a move that had a huge effect on both my career and health. I started booking a lot more jobs and my ears aren’t experiencing as much pain or ringing!
But sometimes you take a risk and it doesn’t go the way you wanted it to. The tough thing about risks…even very calculated ones…is that things can always go wrong and that’s tough to stomach. The important thing is figuring out how to recover from a failed risk and hopefully salvaging any relationships or projects that may be affected. I’ve learned over the years that it’s extremely important to learn how to move on. You’re gonna make mistakes. Your gonna take risks that don’t come through. But no one ever got anywhere big in life by staying stagnant!
Risks are a part of doing business! Great businesses thrive because at one point they took some huge risks and it paid off. The thing we all have to tell ourselves is that these successful businesses probably had many failures along the road to success.
Think of some of the most successful athletes. I’m a huge tennis fan. My favorite tennis player is Roger Federer. But ya know what…as good as he is…he loses big matches. And sometimes he loses because of taking certain risks that didn’t pay off. Federer plays a much riskier game of tennis then say Novak Djokovic who plays more of a “wait for his opponent to make a mistake” type of game. I don’t know…I just don’t love that type of a game. Federer may lose some times…but he does so knowing he left it all out on the court! Meaning…he goes for his shots. He takes risks!
Bottom line, you gotta make moves! You gotta make decisions. Sometimes it all works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But to live in fear and regret…that’s no way for anyone to live! I’m certainly not saying to do something crazy like putting your house or life savings on the line, lol. But step up to the plate and swing the bat. Voice over is all about getting “at bats”. Every time you audition for something you take a swing. Every time you send a prospective client your demos you take a chance at being rejected. When you invest a lot of money in a new piece of equipment it may or may not have an affect on your work. But if you can learn to take calculated risks….knowing full well that you still may fail…I say go for it! Push the envelop a little bit. Sometimes we have to take a step back before taking three steps forward. But eventually those calculated risks will be worth it. So be Roger Federer…and swing for the fences!