I recently saw a picture of a sign taped on a wall that said “Stress Reduction Kit.” Below that was a big circle containing the words “Bang Head Here”. Ha ha! I had quite the guffaw, I can tell you, as I wiped the blood from my forehead.

Do you ever feel like you are banging your head against a wall? That no matter how hard or how long you try, you don’t seem to gain any ground? Well, it probably isn’t a wall giving you those nasty forehead bruises making you look like a cross between a watermelon and an eggplant. It is probably you. Or me. At least whenever I am getting stymied, it usually turns out to be I am getting in my own way so it wouldn’t surprise me if I were getting in your way also. I like to share.

It’s probably you

My current roadblock relates to marketing. To begin my endeavor, I took a ridiculous amount of time to come up with a plan. First, I brainstormed a memorable name for my overall plan: The Marvelous Masterful Marathon of Marketing. Pretty cool, huh? Then to keep track of my multitudinous efforts, I created the Searchable Spreadsheet of Stupendous Success. Because I am not great with Google Sheets, I watched approximately 45 dozen YouTube videos about making graphs, 97 funny cat videos, 18 auditions for America’s Got Talent and the latest from Rick Beato, all of which came together in my spreadsheet-fed automatically updated graph to illustrate my growing success which I named the Tactical Trajectory of Total Takeover. All of this was followed by a hearty congratulatory pat on my own back. Wow, I accomplished a lot! I deserve to relax with a nice drink and another episode of The Kominsky Method where I can glean tiny nuggets about acting while learning all the details about the problems older men have with urination.

Bathroom issues aside, I do need to begin marketing myself directly to clients and I can’t accept any excuses. Take yesterday for instance. As I started to do some searching for leads on LinkedIn, with extreme focus on the task at hand I thought of an idea for this blog post and didn’t want to lose it so I started writing… oh, wow, what happened? That happened yesterday and I still haven’t got back to it?

Where did the time go?

I am sure you have begun to see a pattern here. Good intentions, a firm decision to take the steps necessary to make it happen, then get distracted by something. Anything. Real or imagined. Things like making plans. Making spreadsheets. Creating stupid names for things. Writing a blog post. A squirrel. A spot on my shirt. A spot on my shirt? Where did that come from? I had better go pre-treat the stain and throw it in the wash…

I’m back, but dang! How did that take 45 minutes? Do I have peanut butter on my face?

Excuse me as I ashamedly cast my eyes downward, clasp my hands behind my back and timidly kick non-existent rocks while I admit that I have even paid for two different training resources on how to do marketing. You see, I knew that the money I spent would be an unavoidable motivation to actually do it. Oh, how little did I want to admit to myself just how solid my mental walls can be no matter how hard I bang my head against them. The truth? I watched the videos. I took notes. I haven’t done a damn thing beyond that.

I need another distraction

Having now worked my way through writing seven paragraphs, let me take a quick look at my Tactical Trajectory of Total Takeover. Hey – not too bad! It is still maintaining its momentum! I mean, if it stays flat, at least it isn’t going down, right?

There is something in my way. Surprise reveal: It’s me.

There are a lot of obstacles to becoming successful in voice-over, or in life for that matter. If you are feeling like you are banging your head against a wall and not making progress, I would encourage you to take a gentle look inward. If there is something in the way of your becoming a success, it may well be you.

Sound familiar? Don’t beat yourself up and please stop banging your head, I’m trying to watch TV. Plus, the blood stains and drywall repair will only make things worse. Find a way to get past it. If you don’t know how, reach out to someone you can trust for help. Don’t let embarrassment stop you. We all have things we have to deal with. Me, for instance. I obviously need to make a doable plan and stick to it, not letting myself get distrac… squirrel!

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15 Responses

    • Thanks Michael! This is my latest tactic. Expose my weaknesses publicly so I will have to take the next step knowing that somewhere, someday, someone will ask me about how my marketing is going and I will have to answer. Or change the subject. We’ll see.

        • And thank you for reading. I am afraid my efforts at writing a blog are a bit haphazard. I try to be consistent, but… so I just figure if I keep writing whenever creativity strikes, then that will have to be good enough as long as I keep plugging away. It is good enough, right? RIGHT??

  1. SQUIRREL!!! Boy am I ever proud to be mentioned in the same article as a Sciurus Linnaeus. It warms my heart. I encourage you to stop banging, Jon, and give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack. Keep that peanut butter on your face. Allow that stain to set. Keep developing Incredible Items of Indestructible Indomitability in your VO pursuits. Know that you are appreciated, even if you ARE having trouble peeing. It’s OK, Jon. It’s OK.

    • I appreciate your kind encouragement. I also appreciate your concern, but I am not as of yet having difficulty in the renal bladder evacuation arena. I was watching that show because a. it is funny, and b. researching for a friend.

  2. Jon. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Banging your head against the wall can’t be that bad. Banging your head against the wall can’t be that bad. Is there an echo in here? Oh look! Left over Peanut Butter!!
    Great encouraging words friend! Well done!

  3. Banging one’s head on the wall is HIGHLY overrated. So my psychiatrist says. He made me promise not to do it anymore. But, box breathing is SO much less satisfying, you know?


    I write so many plans and to-do lists, but my problem is that I really hate being told what to do! SO I don’t want to do what the plan tells me to do! Aaaghhh!

    • Thank you for reading my blog post Sumara. So, if I understand this correctly, you write to-do lists, which is just another form of telling yourself what to do, but since you don’t like being told what to do, you don’t do them, even though you are the one telling yourself what to do. Just a thought, but maybe you should consider going back to your doctor?

  4. Great read Jon and I think most people will relate. Maybe you need to sit down and tell yourself that you are not allowed peanut butter or anything else until you do at least 5 direct marketing reach outs. Either that or tie a pillow around your head….now where’s that string?

    • My logic may be weak, but it would seem to me that tying a pillow around my head might be counterproductive in the long run. But thanks for the suggestion!

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