Discussing business & entrepreneurial skills may best be explained by discussing an entrepreneur’s attitude towards business. Working at a voice over casting website, I have had the opportunity to witness many entrepreneurial voice talent “think big”. Some may read the way I describe this attitude as insulting, some may find it ‘kinda cool to be that way’, and others may just think, ‘Nope, that is not me’. No matter what, remember that working online as a voice talent means being ‘your own business’, and if your decision to work online ever appears unsettling to others, they may just be showing their own competitive nature. This is one of the most common occurrences: Competing business agendas. With that said, those who “think big” possess the following traits and attitudes:
1. They learn the basic rules first of any business, and then make their own rules. There is a famous quote: “If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’”. Entrepreneurs never cheat, but to the regular rule-follower, they may assume so only because ‘rule followers’ and ‘rule makers’ are two very different types of people; one leads and the other follows.
2. They are not afraid of what other people think, and trust that the decisions they make are for the better, despite what others may ‘feel’ is happening.
3. They love, and are almost obsessed, with being their own boss. In fact, they can never work ‘for someone’. They must work either with someone, or lead a team.
4. They are the true originators behind lemonade stands. They knew where to get lemons, they made lemonade, and now they are selling it for profit.
5. They know how to offer people ‘buyer options’, and know that the way to increase budget-size is to know ‘why you want to work with someone’.
6. They know change is the only constant in life, so they constantly pay attention to business trends, if not just to stay one step ahead.
7. They think outside the box always, and are always thinking, ‘I have this now, and how do I make it bigger’.
8. They enjoy taking risks, and would prefer to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
9. They tend to ‘think international’. They have made their lives country-less, or border-less.
10. They enjoy culture, and view people as ‘people’. As such, they are very creative, which can lead to them often being misunderstood, but they like it that way.
To give you an example of ‘thinking big’, I give you a story heard through my job: One slow auditioning day, a voice talent happened across an IVR phone message job online. Yes, it paid $50 USD, and it was kind of low-paying, but there was one thing special about it that the talent recognized…It was a phone tree for an advertising agency. Advertising agencies need voice talent always, and she knew this. She auditioned for the job, and booked it. Upon submitting the final audio, she addressed the client with a friendly, ‘You know, I also do voice over work for other types of jobs; not just IVR’. Fast forward, this $50 job turned into an $11,000 gig for herself, and a great talent/client relationship. What did she do that was seemingly so special? The skills involved here:
1. She was brave enough to ask.
2. She had her business plan down.
3. She was easy to work with because if she was not, it never would have gone as far as it did.
4. She understood what an ad agency did, and thought, ‘Why not more than just this job?’.
When it comes to the business skills behind this, she knew how to invoice, how to operate as her own boss of her own company, and certainly knew how to be a negotiator for herself. In short, she played it smart. She did not wait for someone to ask her what she wanted. All that said, it is true that not everyone is naturally independent, and it may take some getting used to, but when you can proudly call yourself your own boss, there is no better feeling.