Remember that book that came out in late 1980s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Well, it was a bestseller that showed people how to reach their goals by adopting and practicing 7 habits in their daily lives. I saw it referenced somewhere recently, and it got me thinking about finding success in the voice over industry. So I came up with my own list of what I believe are the 5 habits that successful voice over actors practice. They are:
#1 - Take care of your mind, body, and soul. You’ve heard the old adage - when you have your health, you have everything. This is so true in VO. The profession is much more demanding than many people realize, and it’s easy to get run down. Taking care of your body by eating right, exercising, and drinking plenty of water is important, but so is caring for your mind and spirit through breaks, time with family, meditation, etc.
#2 - Take care of your relationships. A person’s important relationships are what keep them grounded and connected, and without them, you can easily become lost. No matter how busy you get, don’t forget to nurture your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
#3 - Have the right perspective. Remember that your happiness and success is highly dependent on your perspective. Don’t get so focused on one project that you forget the bigger picture, and know when to push yourself and when to back off. Having balance is one of the keys to meeting your goals.
#4 - Set goals and look to the future. The most successful voice over actors have a clear plan of where they want to go with their career. They set milestones along the way, and work diligently towards them. Having goals spurs motivation and greatly increases your chances of finding success in the industry.
#5 - Treat VO as a career, not just a job. There’s a big difference between a career and a job, and if you treat your voice over work as simply a job, you probably won’t get very far with it. On the other hand, if you view it as a career, and you dedicate time and effort to developing it and building it into something great, you are much more likely to be successful.