Why Voice Over Artists Need Mentors in Business and Life
When you decide to become a voice over artist, regardless of how radio-ready your voice is, you don’t start already equipped with all the skills and knowledge to become successful. Even if you went to school for it, did all the training and workshops you can find, buy all the tools and equipment you need, and maybe even get an agent, we all start as a noob. And more likely, 80% (or more) of what you learn to be useful to grow your career and business, you learn on the job.
For a very competitive industry, continuous learning and growth is a must for voice over talents. However, people are not always wired to have a growth mindset. More often, as a solo worker, we can be easily wrapped up in our recording bubble, contented with whatever growth and success we achieve. Sadly, navigating through life and business without goal or growth in mind can put you on the back row especially against hardworking and hungry voice over actors.
So how do you stop yourself from being stuck in a rut? How do you help yourself learn? How do you continuously motivate yourself to grow?
In business and in life, you should always seek a mentor who will help you not just learn about the industry, but also continuously guide you in your growth and decision moments.
Here are some reasons why you need mentors at one point or more in your career and life:
Mentors share personal experience
Mentors are people who can say – been there, done that. Starting a career is hard enough, but what’s even harder is maintaining it, so wouldn’t you want someone who can share their experiences, not just the success stories but also the mistakes they have made? More importantly, how they were able to bounce back and move ahead despite those mistakes.
Mentors provide information and knowledge
There is always something new to learn, whether you are a noob or an experienced voice talent. Like we said earlier, you wouldn’t have all the necessary knowledge and information that you need in getting into the industry, or maybe diving into a new niche or category. With a mentor, you can tap their wealth of knowledge and help shorten your learning curve.
Mentors encourage growth
Mentors would nurture your growth – whether in expanding your artistry or building a financially viable voice over career. They can help you set your vision and goals, and work with you on how to achieve them.
Mentors can motivate and stop you from being complacent
As Oprah Winfrey once said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” In a great mentoring relationship, a mentor would see the superstar in you. They believe in your skills, your artistry, and challenge you on what more you can become. They won’t let you rest on your laurels, nor give up hope when things are not going your way.
Mentors are great reference and referrer
Mentors are your connection to the industry. They are willing to share their network, introduce you to the right people who can help you grow your skills and expertise, and even open opportunities for more work. At the same time, as your coach, they can be relied on to give you glowing reference as you expand your network and seek out clients.
Mentors can be both your biggest critic and fiercest ally
Mentors more often would see faults, and that’s good – that means they won’t coddle you. They can give you unfiltered opinion; critique you for your work; they can see things that you could not recognize. And this goes both ways. They can also see what you do best. You would need to someone who can recognize both your strength and weaknesses – guide you into discovering and appreciating what are capable of.
You can always seek people whom you look up to, or want to emulate and ask to be mentored, however the best or ideal mentoring relationship is born organically from the connections you make in the industry. These are mentors who have genuine desire to help other voice overs; someone who doesn’t ask for anything in return, but find satisfaction in seeing other talents grow and prosper.
As you steer your way through the ups and downs of the voice over industry, we hope you encounter someone who has a wealth of experience to share, has the passion to teach, and the power to move you out of your seat and play amongst the big fish.
Do you have a mentor or have worked with one? What is the most invaluable lesson you have learned from your mentor?