Not your responsibility? Trust me, it is.

Responsibility is unavoidable. In fact, the level to which a society succeeds is a direct reflection of how responsible its members are. The same thing is true at home and in business.

You’ve probably heard that a successful business is based on relationships. Sure, you can do a one-off commercial for Sam Sanders’s Sudo-Sushi and Sanctified Surgical Supply and never know a thing about them. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I want to know much more about that particular business, but I digress. The point is, those jobs won’t sustain a successful ongoing business by themselves. It takes a relationship on some level to obtain and maintain repeat clients and that is where your bread and butter is.

Brace yourself

Well, here is a shocker for you. Great relationships of every kind are based on commitment and responsibility. What, you thought relationships were all about the touchy-feely stuff? You silly bunny! This is where I think a lot of people have a misconception, and no I’m not talking about a failed attempt at procreation. Those “feels”, or at least the best feels, are a product of a healthy relationship. They’re not the relationship itself. If you want to be in a sustainable relationship, you need to be willing to shoulder the responsibilities that come with it. This principle is true across the board; in business, in driving, pet ownership, and love. 

So, I am sure you are excitedly perched on the edge of your seat wondering what responsibilities I am referring to and hoping this doesn’t devolve into some sort of a boring lecture you can’t relate to. Never fear, I have a few examples. How about being responsible to not tailgate at 70 MPH while live streaming your latest tutorial on applying makeup while driving (this happened to me recently). As a neighbor, being responsible to gently remind your precious little puppy SHARKBITE THUNDERFACE to not bark constantly for 30 minutes at 160dB whenever a bird flies by within a mile radius (this happens to me every day). Or being committed at home to being honest at all times with your significant other except when asked if those pants make their butt look fat, and being responsible enough to not leave the toilet seat up. Again. (This happe… ahhhh… never mind.)

Trust me

The entire voice-over industry is based on relationships, and the same principles apply. The reason? Trust. In society, I trust you not to tailgate me, even if you are capturing compelling video which could fund the college education you won’t get because you made obscene amounts of money on your InstaTube or TikFace channel. I trust you to protect my hearing and my sanity by training, or at least quieting, that SUV-sized steroid-amped demon spawn of a creature you seem to think is a dog. In my marriage, my wife trusts me not to leave the toilet seat up. Again. *sigh*

Do you see the correlation? Responsibility should be our natural response to trust. Make no mistake. When a client hires us, they are trusting us. It isn’t merely a financial transaction, or at least it shouldn’t be. It is a relationship, no matter how brief, founded on trust. Their reputation is in our hands. The profitability of their product is in our hands. The proper training of their employees is in our hands… errrr… voices. You know what I mean.

Embrace the responsibility

No matter what your opinions on romantic or familial relationships are, in voice-over, responsibility isn’t a thing to be avoided. When my clients trust me, I embrace it joyfully and treat it as the honor it is. No matter how big or small the job, I am committed to open communication, prompt responses, giving them the best performance I can muster, and making the entire experience as easy and fun as possible. I believe it is my responsibility to live up to their trust by delivering my very best, every time.

I trust you do too.

Thank you for reading! I appreciate it more than I can say. I would love to hear your thoughts (good or bad) in the comments below. Also, please subscribe so I can send you a quick email the next time I post.

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11 Responses

  1. The saying goes, “screw me once, shame on you; screw me twice, shame on ME!” I never would want a client to feel any pang of guilt for hiring me. No twinge of regret. It’s my responsibility to not screw people: to treat them honorably, to be honest, to take care of them, and of course to make sure to feed SHARKBITE THUNDERFACE on time and always spell his name in ALL CAPS. By the way Jon your butt looks big in those Capri’s.

  2. Some people like big butts…just sayin’! But I digress. Our VO clients trust us to responsibly bolster their reputation, and when we honor that trust, we ALSO benefit by gaining a great reputation for ourself as a trustworthy, reliable VO talent—so everybody wins…yay!

  3. I like big …….Nope. Not going to go there.
    You are absolutely correct John. I recently posted a survey for my clients asking “what is the biggest hurdle when hiring new freelancers?”
    The most popular answer was trusting someone, confirming what you wrote.
    Great blog as always!

  4. I trust that YOU are going to continue writing great blog posts, Jon. I really enjoy reading your mind! I mean your thoughts. Ah, hell.
    …oh hey did I just hear somebody think something about big butts??

    • Thanks Michael, I intend to. Don’t feel self conscious about reading my mind, I’m used to it. I’m married, after all. Oh, and the big butt thing? That was Josh, and possibly Terrell.

  5. InstaTube and TikFace – love those names!!

    I agree. Just like Josh said, the last thing I’d want is for someone to regret picking me for a part. For example, I just sent in an audition for a jingle, thankfully not in the jungle. I LOVED how it turned out and I’d love to get it, but secretly, I’m terrified I won’t be able to do as well if chosen. That is always present like imposter syndrome and causes me to push for better than ever and THANK THE LORD I deliver consistently! hahaha. Trust is truly earned based on coupons, so if we wanna keep it, we have to redeem that first one! 😀

    Great post! Now go tackle that toilet seat! hehe

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