At Faffcon, I’ve talked about what it means to me to “Invite the Avalance.” In other words, to be so buried in work you’re not sure how to deal with it all. I’ve thought about this subject quite a bit in the last 9 months or so. I like working and I love telling stories for people so having more voiceover work is something I am always ready to welcome.
You may or may not agree with me about the ideas I’m going to present over the next few blog posts and that’s OK. These are simply my ideas. If you’re able to take something from them, good. And if not, then I hope you’ll find your own path to an avalanche of work.
The first thing to mention is that when you’re standing at the bottom of a mountain and an avalanche falls on you, it’s not fun. In fact, it’s a very long way from fun. If you survive the experience, it’s going to take a lot of energy, effort and time to dig your way out. The same can be said about an avalanche of work. If you take on more and more work, to the point that you’re buried in it, you’re going to have to work very hard to get it all done on time.
And may I insert here that one of my cardinal rules is that I don’t miss deadlines, no matter how hard I have to work. And if it appears that there’s a risk of missing a deadline, I keep the lines of communication wide open with my client so they know exactly where we are and how things are going. Being cavalier about deadlines is one of the quickest ways to ensure you will never be buried in an avalanche of work. Or never have a second such experience if you do get there once.
So, invite the work. Welcome the work. But make sure you’re going to be able to deliver the goods or the work will go away a lot faster than it came.
You might also want to start making plans now for how you’re going to be able to deal with the avalanche. Do you know some people who can help you with digging out? In my case, I hired my oldest son Eric to work with me on audio editing for the many long-form projects I narrate. Audiobooks. eLearning. Corporate narrations. That kind of thing. Eric has been working for me since before he graduated and continues to work with me all the time.
Then, when things got even more busy, I added my daughter Karen into the mix. She does a fair amount of content direction which has saved both me and my son Eric a ton of time on editing because we catch nearly all of the mistakes on the first pass. We end up with very few fixes. Which saves us all a lot of time and unnecessary work. And I’ve added a few more members to the team over time to make sure we meet our deadlines and deliver excellent quality work, consistently.
So, invite the avalance; but understand it’s not going to be fun. Not at first and maybe not for a very long time. And prepare some help before you need that help, otherwise you’re going to have to scramble to deal with both an avalanche and not enough help at the same time.