Dark before the Dawn

“I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights.” – Oprah Winfrey, Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement
You can’t have a story without conflict. Why? Because without conflict, there is nothing to push against. There can be no growth. There can be no transformation.
But conflict is ugly and uncomfortable. And human beings tend to gravitate towards that which is comfortable. We pick staying to a safe path over venturing into the unknown. Sticking with the status quo, because “that’s just the way it is.” Quietly endure because “why rock the boat?”
The thing is, if anything that is beneath our ability to be the amazing creatures we are meant to be has any chance of changing, there has to be some conflict. Messy, uncomfortable conflict.
What bridges that gap, though? If we prefer to be comfortable but know we will need to go through so much agony, what keeps us moving forward?
Hope.
That intangible thing we possess that motivates us to keep holding on through the pain and conflict to get to a much better place. A place that we KNOW in our heart of hearts that we deserve.
If you’ve not yet watched Oprah’s AMAZING speech, I encourage you to listen to it. No matter what you are going through, transformation is possible.

Wrestling Through Transformation

I work with many creative clients. Lately there seems to be an overwhelming theme amongst our conversations It’s all about “When’s it gonna HAPPEN already?!”
Money’s getting tight. You are having to decide between food or electricity. You figure ramen noodles are cheap and you need electricity for your laptop so you can get gigs and get paid and pay your bills.
You’ve sent out what feels like a million marketing emails with only a sprinkling of responses back.
You’ve spent on equipment, on workshops, on business cards, on headshots, on comp cards, on ads…your account is shrinking with no end in sight.
Image result for empty wallet cartoon
You are starting to doubt your work, your life, your existence and all you want right now is some RELIEF!
I get it. I really do. The truth is, this part SUUUUUUUUCKS.
This is also the part where you are developing the key factor that will determine your ultimate success. Grit.
The thing about grit is that you can’t just develop it in a comfortable, temperature controlled room, wrapped in a fluffy blanket. Things have to be hard so you have the opportunity to choose to persevere through it.
What good would a superhero story be without a huge battle that needed to be won?
Have you ever seen a butterfly emerge from a cocoon? That little thing has to WORK! Or a chick peck it’s way out of an egg? It’s not like it was say “Ugh, this is too freaking hard and all I have is this weird tooth beak thing to bust out with? Forget this noise…” That bird is like “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” pecking at the shell bit by bit.
Lately I’ve been think of the story from the Old Testament of the Bible of Jacob wrestling with the Angel. To sum it up, Jacob did some jerk moves including stealing his brother Esau’s blessing from their father. When Jacob was returning home and about to face his brother again, he comes face to face with a messenger of God (it may have been actual God but, either way, it was someone pretty high up the ladder.) The two start wrestling, and the Messenger tries to tap out because it is almost morning but Jacob refuses to quit until he receives God’s blessing. Which he does receive in the end.
There are plenty of days where I am frustrated and I just want to catch a break and maybe I just need to go back to hiding out in a safe cubicle and…and…and…That’s when I have to dig deep, quiet my mind, and affirm to myself “I’m NOT going to stop until I get my blessing. Even if I have to wrestle all night long.”
There will come a point in your creative business where you start to doubt yourself. Your choices are getting slim and you are getting frustrated. Those are the moments to hunker down and KNOW only those with true grit will succeed.
You were given the spirit of a creator…and it was not given to you in vain. Push, pull, jump, claw, do what you need to do to move yourself forward.

Planting Seeds and Setting Intentions

We only have a few more days until we say Goodbye, 2017 and Hello, 2018!
Which means, only a few more days to do what it takes to put things in place to make January an amazing month.
The chances of new clients seeing my intro emails are pretty low, since many company employees that might be interested in my voice-over services are still out on vacation.
But, as an entrepreneur, I don’t want to take too many days off!
I am using this time to do a few things:
  • Update contact info in my CRM
  • Add job information to my database to see how I did for the year
  • Add names of agents to reach out to in the new year
  • Send invites to potential clients in LinkedIn
  • Set intentions behind my goals for the upcoming months
The journey of becoming a business owner is always challenging, but knowing that the work I put in today will bring my little family wonderful things tomorrow pushes me to do what it takes!

Christmas Overload!

Tra la Tra la! It’s Christmas Traditions week!
Christmas Traditions week is a newish holiday (i.e I made it up) that is only applicable to “special” families. This is my last week with the kiddos before I see them Christmas Day, so any pre-Christmas Day traditions need to be done in hyper speed.
WOO HOO!! A visit with Santa! Touring neighborhoods with lights! Baking cookies! Decking the halls! Going to movies! Singing carols loudly!
It isn’t so bad. We get holiday overloaded, I’m mildly overwhelmed for a week, and then done. I can go off and do adult things or nothing at all.
I promised myself I would actually go out and be social this year. And also a lot of focus on planning for next year.
But first…WE DO ALL THE THINGS!!!

Here come holidays!

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

Ok, more like, ’tis the season to be anxious.

Besides my regular amounts of entrepreneur hustle, I realized I need to hurry up and get to bustling, too, and put Christmas up in our house. I used to be the “Hostess with the Mostess” from Halloween throughout the New Year back in the day, but it’s be very different these past few years. For starters, it really has been just me to make the magic happen. No extra hands helping with cookies or picking up gifts or assembling toys.
Plus, our residence is much smaller than in years past (and we have more pets to contend with) so the size and location of tree is a big topic right now. (Not to mention WHERE to hang decorations when you have a cat!)
Add to that, everything needs to fit within my new entrepreneur budget…which feels pretty daunting.
But my biggest challenge is one I am still holding on to. You see, my two little ones still believe in Santa. Like, BELIEVE believe.
They are ten and almost ten so this might be our last year for Santa, I fear. Not that I am hinting or encouraging anything different. As long as they believe, then he’ll be here.
I’m trying to figure out what to get them from their list. So far, they each only have two things…and one is a ping pong table.
Ummmm, yeah, Santa’s gonna need more choices.
And they notice that Santa only gives me presents in my stocking. I told them since mine were smaller, it was easier to keep them all together in there. (I wonder if there are any things that I need for my studio that I can wrap up and put under the tree for myself?)
How about you? How are you holding up with your business and the holidays?

 

VO Workshop This Saturday!

It’s Black Friday! And the day after my birthday!

To kick off the gift giving season, I really want to spend some time teaching others about Voice-Over! This Saturday (which is also Small Business Saturday) November 25, I will be doing two voice-over workshops in Charlotte.

Join me for one of two workshops where I answer your VO questions and get you behind the mic reading copy! Details on Eventbrite:
9 AM
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/voice-over-workshop-with-iesha-nyree-tickets-40310631183
2:00 PM
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/voice-over-workshop-with-iesha-nyree-tickets-40310632186