“Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, when I was dead broke, man I couldn’t picture this.”
– Biggie Smalls
Hi, I’m a voice actor! That means I’m a solo entrepreneur- a solopreneur if you will. What that means is if I don’t work, I don’t eat!
I just ended a period where I was on an um…involuntary fast.
I’ve learned enough about this crazy world of voiceover to know that, despite my best efforts, sometimes the work well runs dry. Just like with any business, there’s an ebb & flow to the monies coming in. But even with all that scholarly knowledge, there’s no escaping how it feels- periods of not working suuuuuuuuuck.
True story: when you aren’t booking work, you find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands. In an attempt to make the most of mine, I did…things. Things to keep my mind right even while my wallet was so, so wrong. I titled this blog “Staying Rich When You’re Broke,” but a more accurate title is:
What I did while I wasn’t booking work to keep myself from going crazy and thinking my career was over and looking up if solopreneurs can go on unemployment and just how much trouble would i get into if I sold drugs on the side I mean its not like I would sell the hard stuff I’m just talking a little bit of weed and maybe some Adderall and what am I saying come on man get your mind right
Yup, that’s a lot more accurate.
Things I Did To Keep My Mind Right
- Jumped headfirst into a new experience by Joining Toastmasters International: My reason for becoming a Toastmaster was twofold; for one, it never hurts to join a club dedicated towards speaking when you’re in a profession that’s based on speaking. For another, I figured that if anything, this would be a fun way to meet new people, right? If the wallet’s going to be light, I can at least meet some new shoulders to cry on.
- Got my mindfulness game on point and began meditating and journaling: For the meditating, I use the Calm iOS app, and for journaling, I got the Five Minute Journal. I now start my day with a short meditation and some quick journaling, and end my day with even more journaling. For me, the morning meditation is like a quick shower for my soul before I dirty things up with all of the stresses and worries of the day. As for the journaling, I now force myself to write about the wins in my life on a daily basis, no matter how small. Yeah, it’s a bit “crunchy groove” and hippy-dippy, but what can I say? Hippies always have the biggest smiles on their faces.
- Kicked myself in the head and wondered why I didn’t budget better for this! For those of you who have been through it, you know how it is: When you’ve got a few disposable dollars around, you’re living the high life, dropping cash on those good steaks (you know the ones; where you have to go up to the guy at the deli counter to purchase and you end up paying just a wee bit more than planned, but who cares- it’s only money!). It’s when you don’t have the cash- trying to survive on mayonnaise sandwiches with a side of ice chips- that you wonder why you didn’t do a better job of budgeting. Please learn from my mistakes; how you don’t spend the money is just as important as how you do spend it.
As for me, my involuntary fast may have ended, but the good habits I started have not. I’m still attending Toastmasters sessions and working towards becoming a better speaker. I begin each day with a short meditation, and take time to journal both in the morning and late at night.
As for the budget…that last lesson is one I’m still working on. I’ll get it at some point, but not today- I’ve got a deli counter to visit. 😉