The last few weeks have been filled with all things Steve Jobs – and as it should be really – his were amazing contributions to our way of life – he was a true maverick and a catalyst for change on a major scale. One of the pieces that came out recently was by Carmine Gallo titled “Steve Jobs and the 7 Rules of Success”. I was struck by number 4: Say No to 1,000 things….especially in light of some recent things I have said Yes to this week.
“Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned to Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the “A-team” on each product. What are you saying “no” to?”
Well… When 4 out of 6 ACX auditions for stipended book projects came through with offers – I did say “no” to 1 of them. And “yes” to the remaining 3. I’m going to be a busy bee for the next few months – and that’s just fine by me. In addition, I will get at least $100 per recorded hour along with whatever Royalties may come through.
There is a lot of controversy about taking on Royalty share projects. The narrator takes on the bulk of the work at sizable risk. There is also the larger picture: it seems as though “A-team” narrators won’t touch these projects, hoping to force the industry to start coughing up real money for real quality. And that’s completely understandable. These narrators are saying “no” to their 1,000 things.
Personally however, I don’t know whether I can really consider myself “A-list” and not because I am not good enough as a narrator. I’ve won an Audie Award, I’ve had fabulous reviews and done my share of narrating, and I’m proud of my skills – and if voice acting were all that is currently required, I could sit out this phase in the industry too I suppose. But I truly want to perfect my technical expertise in audio production, as Malcolm Gladwell says – I also need to put in my 10,000 hours toward mastering my skills. And without opportunity for refining those aspects of my work, all I feel I am doing by saying “no” is posturing. I’m speaking only for myself here, of course.
I really want to work as a narrator and a producer. Consistently. For Good Money. And so do you. We all need to start the ball rolling someplace, to build our 10,000 hours, and I have chosen to start by saying Yes to 3, and No to 1. A step towards my thousand, and 3 more towards my 10 thousand. How far along are you?