Some people scoff at New Years resolutions, because they are so easily broken. But I'm going to be bold and say that New Years resolutions are potentially powerful! At least, they can be, when they're buoyed by a single word.
At the start of 2020, I made a serious New Years resolution to put more effort into my business. Simple as that. Let me tell you why, what came of it, and the conclusions I've drawn from it.
As 2019 was wrapping up, it had been a reasonably good year for me, but several of my older sources of income were coming to an end. After years of remotely voice tracking DJ shows for radio stations, those jobs were over, and I wasn't inclined to whip up more of that kind of work because of the unremitting daily obligation it involves. Losing that work meant a substantial amount of monthly income I wouldn't have anymore. Earlier in 2019, a company I had been doing voiceovers for, for over a decade, was sold in a merger, and they brought in all their own talent. Another big part of my monthly income gone. At the same time, I could see that my other long-term venture, having to do with an invention of mine, was winding down to to technical difficulties. None of these things led to despondency. I've lived long enough to know that a person can always develop new sources of income with some thought and effort. Let me add, for the older among us, that age has nothing to do with it. The "old dog, new tricks" thing is nonsense unless you've allowed your thought, ambition, and flexibility to calcify along with your bones.
So, I moved on that resolution of mine, and allowed it to take several diversified forms, since varied income sources provide more stability. I applied myself even more actively to my work on Fiverr. I got a start on Upwork. I created the Gig Doctor service, with accompanying website and Facebook group. I "officially" started offering voiceover coaching. I created a series of HeadSlapper videos that represent some pretty amazingly effective ways to succeed on Fiverr. I created the Fit Gig blog (which you're reading now). I created the Fiver and Upwork Voiceover Lounge where people of similar mind to myself can congregate and learn from each other. I added a new Facebook page called Fiver Tips, Tricks, and Techniques, and have contributed some money-making/time saving tips there.
Not all of those things are income sources in themselves, but they have all added credibility to what I can offer people, have met their needs in tangible ways, and in turn, have demonstrated my goodwill...which I think encourages people to trust me and to have confidence in what I can offer them as paid services.
I also educated myself, picking up new stuff that would help me in my business.
My simple resolution for 2020 led to learning, brainstorming, and some long hours, especially in the first couple months of the year, but tangible things have come of it: I earned, for the first time, six figures on Fiverr, with total sales (before Fiverr took its cut) of $104,000, and began to grow income from other sources that supplemented that significantly.
As a result, I was able to completely revamp my voiceover studio with a wraparound console like I have wished for for decades. I added homemade acoustic panels to the walls and put down new carpeting. I added a webcam for doing training. I was able to put some money aside for retirement. And as the year ended, I'm enduring the good natured teasing of my Facebook compadres for buying a torturously-expensive Mac production computer, because I needed it for a tax write-off.
More Than Remunerative
The work I did as I strived toward my simple 2020 resolution also put me in contact with fascinating people all over the world, who I quickly came to truly like and admire. There have been people from all backgrounds and cultures, some bold, some shy, and ranging in age from teenagers to octogenarians (people in their 80s)! What they have in common are dreams, real talent, and a genuine ambition to improve their lives and conditions by developing their craft in ways that make their services worth paying for..
As I think about it, one of the most satisfying things about 2020 has indeed been the ability to help others. I've been able to personally guide dozens of people to greater success as freelancers, and to improve what they offer the world (especially in the area of voiceovers), all without bringing anyone into financial hardship because of my rates (in fact, much of what I've given people has been free inspiration through videos, Facebook groups, and personal messages). So hopefully it's been a win for others at least as much as for myself.
Now, let's get to "the word."
What started out in January 2020 as a simple resolution to devote myself to developing and growing my business has turned into a year of advancement and new horizons that has been profitable, not only to me, but to others as well. The result has been a great year, all around. And that takes me back around to my original premise: New Years resolutions CAN work, if you back them with energy and commitment. But it takes one word to make it happen, and that word lives right inside your "resolution." The word is, "resolve."
"Resolve" exists as two verbs and a noun, all of which relate beautifully to a New Years resolution.
Resolve as a verb can mean to find and apply a solution to a problem. As in "solving." That's an intelligent first step. First you need to identify the problem you need to solve...and to find a resolution of the problem.
Resolve as a verb can also be a decision, where you actually "resolve" to do something. People resolve to do things all the time, but too often they're more like "intentions" than true resolutions.
Resolve as an noun means commitment. When you work at something with "resolve," you are determined. That kind of resolve is a firmness that will make you stick with something and see it through.
It's the noun "resolve" that's the powerful one, because it outlives a momentary whim. It's one thing to feel the desire to accomplish something, and another to have the resolve to do carry it through. It's like the difference between feeling love for your husband or your wife, and demonstrating love to them by your treatment. The first is nice, but can vary with your emotional state. The other is something you commit to for good and for all.
A resolution without resolve isn't worth the paper it was printed on (which these days is probably no paper at all, but I digress). Resolve IS the magic word. It's what turns an idea into a cause, and drives it to succeed. You can't just wish for something to happen, which is all people usually do with a resolution. You've gotta want it, which happens naturally when you see a real need for it. Then, you've gotta fight toward it by thinking about it and learning about it and working to get there. All three "resolves" come into play. Resolve what the issue is by identifying it. Resolve to solve it. And then, most importantly, use stubborn resolve to stick with it and make it happen.
So go ahead, MAKE those New Years resolutions. But make them for real, and follow them through with resolve. You can make 2021 a year that will bless not only your own life, but the lives of others around you. And in the end, that's what it's all about!
There's so much you and I can do together to improve your gig's performance. Schedule your Gig Doctor appointment by hitting the Gig Checkup link at the top of this page for an inexpensive personalized checkup and consultation!
For those of you who do voiceovers, or who are interested in entering that fun profession, I can help there too. Check out my voiceover coaching services.