Tips For Becoming Self-Employed Part II

May 16, 2010  |  Articles

So a couple of weeks have passed since I posted part one of this article which is:

Tips for Becoming Self-Employed & Staying That Way. but the fact remains that this is a pretty big subject and allot of good can be distilled from the Internet-Collective of thinkers and those-who-have-taken-that-path before us.

I’ll start where we left off last time which is leaving the house at least once a day … and that was tip #6.

7. Put Some Pants On

This tip comes from award winning website Lifehacker which often has some great advice about improving your life / lifestyle. the Article is called “Dress for the Office to Increase Telecommuting productivity” … the writer says:

“When you’re dressed for work it sends a message that you’re ready to work. A message to who? To yourself, dressing like you’re about to go take a power nap or plan some racquetball doesn’t send a signal that you’re about to get some serious work done. At the financial blog Lazy Man and Money they write:

Wear Pants – I never thought I’d find myself writing about the basic need to wear pants… but I am. It’s very tempting to just roll out of bed and get working. For me that’s a recipe for failure. For some reason, I subconsciously associate pajamas with “Time to check out stats in my fantasy baseball league.”

When I first started working from home I’d just wear casual clothing. Right now I’m wearing the same business attire I used to wear when I went into an office every day. My principal reason for doing so is that the clothing, aside from flipping a psychological switch that it’s “work time” makes it hard to do non-work stuff. If I notice something that needs to be done around the house—a constant distraction for people who work from home—I’m less likely to go and do it if I’m wearing business attire than if I were just wearing jeans and a t-shirt.”

Some people have amazing self discipline. Personally I often have to strip down to record because of the stifling Cairo heat but whatever the case may be having some kind of uniform for work can be greatly beneficial.

8. Limit your Web Browsing

Yes I know many of you are web gurus and most of the time you spend online is for self promotion. But I’m directing this piece of advice to the normal folk like myself who can often get easily distracted by StumbleUpon or Digg or your choice of Social Bookmarking services.

In the above mentioned article by Lazy Man & Money the author suggests making several browsing profiles (in firefox) where one of the profiles doesn’t have the urls for your favorite webcomics and flash games and of course the biggest time waster of all … facebook.  (I said that not Lazy Man & Money).

Personally I am a sucker for my daily webcomics and since I live and work from cairo we follow different weekend schedules so the webcomics don’t end their week with me… so I get check out my webcomics even during my own weekend… which is a luxury I enjoy if I do say so myself.

9. Find a Mentor then Be One

Find someone who believes in the Pay It Forward Paradigm and then follow it yourself. In the article 59 tips for the Self Employed. A mentor can help you avoid several mistakes because they went through them and have the experience under their belt. What you should do is be wise enough to accept that their advice and apply it to your fledgling business. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a few risks. Risk taking is what separates the Pioneers from the thousands of companies that go by the slogan “For All Your …. Needs!”

You don’t have to invest hours of your life on every social media site and be constantly glued to Twitter… but you should at least know what you want your company to represent and to have the guts to broadcast that.

10. Under Promise, Over Deliver

That pretty much sums the article Kim Somers wrote for TVE a while back. Give yourself some buffer time to deliver work. Don’t over promise your client thinking that you have time to deliver. Give the client enough to fit his budget. But deliver work that is outstanding. This way you will always come out on top and a referral is worth its weight in marketing Gold.

I often do this because I am an Arabic VO artist and about 95% of my clients don’t understand the language. They request one long file with the number of a line and the spoken scripts afterwords. I find that it is actually less of a headache to separate the files into files where each paragraph is a separate file and there can be no confusion as to what line goes where since it’s in the file’s name. I do charge more if it goes beyond the complimentary 40 files though. I’ve had several clients who wanted me to separate a job into 1000 or 2000 files. That would take roughly 3 days not including the recording… and that is time you could be making money.

11. Don’t Feel Guilty

Some days you might have to invest time in your business by just taking it easy. Take some time for yourself. Go driving, or ride your Harley or go watch your children play sports and cheer them on. The whole point of being your own boss is that your time is yours… you can decide how it is spent and as long as you are being responsible about it you can take a few hours off every day or two to spend it with your children or helping your neighbors.

12. Always remember why you went independent in the first place

On those days where none of your clients want to pay you, your computer keeps malfunctioning, every time you set something down you lose it, you can’t find the file you were sure you saved to that folder, you hate Vista, you wish you had a 9-5 job that gave you a steady cheque… Revisit why you really do love what you do. No rush hour traffic or commute, no having to dress up if you don’t feel like it, being creative… If you take a moment and a deep breath you will realize how good you really do have it. Source

Updates & Stuff

Just wanted to tell everyone that the Newsletter for The Voiceover Pavilion was sent out last week and can be read here:

VOpavilion Newsletter

If you are canadian and would like to get your website listed on the Voiceover Pavilion I am not accepting payment through Interac but because Interac are not as smart as Paypal they don’t offer a payment gateway so we’ll have to set everything up using emails and coordination not machine automation.

I got an interesting question from a registered user at the Voiceover Pavilion asking if he can having multiple listings associated with the same registered account…. and the answer is yes… you can purchase multiple listings using different packages for each.

Trip to Turkey Cancelled

I was supposed to travel to Turkey middle of this month but unfortunately the trip was canceled so for my VO brethren who I was supposed to meet up with… my sincere apologies it wasn’t my fault or decision.

ok… I’ve passed the 1200 word mark for this article… comments anyone?


1 Comment


  1. Excellent post!!!! I shall share at my upcoming seminars and print it out to share, giving you the credit, as always. Thank you.
    Bettye Zoller