It's easy for speakers, voice artists, studio owners, and really, any entrepreneur who has fun in their work doing creative projects, to start getting a little too lax in how we treat our time and our mindset.

Many of us in the speaking or audio fields have left a 'first career' in a less creative industry or a string of unsatisfying day jobs for the freedom of studio or speaking life, which makes it seem like a vacation.

But, ultimately, to quote personal development and business growth expert John Assaraf, "If you treat it like a hobby, it will cost you like a hobby. If you treat it like a business, it will pay you like a business."

I've found this to be true, on both sides of the coin, and I've made a few changes in my routine in order to facilitate my "business":

#1: My workday has set hours. Your clients do. And everyone in your life will thank you for this (including yourself, once you see how much more you can work in!

This was actually the hardest one for me, because I hate to say no to my clients. I want to be available on the weekends or holidays, or 2am if I happen to catch an email. But my life suffers, my work suffers (always remember that--especially with voicing, if you're not in peak shape, it will show up in your recordings), my health suffers (especially the ears).

#2: My workday hours are organized and scheduled. This is amazingly effective. I spend half of my workday on office time (paperwork, filling orders, talking to clients and prospects, email, blogs, updating the website...all the good stuff), break for lunch, the spend the last half on studio time. You find that when you limit the time you're working, you only perform your highest income and highest impact generating tasks. If you're loosey-goosey about your schedule all day and float in and out of work and play modes, you'll find yourself blurring the lines. Too much time on Facebook. Too much time cleaning out your inbox. Before you know it, nothing has really been accomplished, but you've not noticed because you stayed "busy".

#3: I say "No thank you". Remember those "highest income/impact" activities I mentioned above? Guess what? That's all you need to do. To the rest, say "No thank you," like the polite but stern owner of your own destiny.

I know, I know, they HAVE to get done too, right? I mean, your desk HAS to be clear, your inbox HAS to be sorted, your magazine racks HAS to be organized by year/month/and paper type.

Does it? I mean, does it really matter if you have too many emails (here's a quick hint: If you haven't read it yet, you don't need it. "Delete" is your friend.)? Will the world end or your business fall apart if you don't have every file folder labeled in the same font?

I'm not saying being a perfectionist is bad. Just be choosy about what you're a perfectionist about. Want to have a perfect office? You'll be a great decorator (unless you're actually trying to be a voice over artist or producer). But want to have a perfect business? Be perfect with your time. Practice perfectly. Hold yourself to the perfect standards of focusing in on the critical things that will make the difference, instead of the time sucking details that will rob you of your dreams like a thief in the night.

Author's Bio: 

Dana Detrick is an entrepreneur, musician, composer, producer, award-nominated voice artist, writer, and all around Zen gal. Her mission? Make music interactive, emotional, and most importantly, FUN again! Learn how she's doing it and get more information, products, and music at

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