by Bill DeWees on January 18, 2011

I am not what I do….I am not what I do….I am not…uuuhm, er…uh, excuse me.  You caught me repeating my new mantra.  Well, we aren’t what we do…right?  I’ve heard it said that “we do what we are.”  I buy that!  The tough part is not allowing what I do to define my personhood.  Easier said than done…especially as it relates to a career as a voice over artist.

At lunch yesterday my wife told me, in so many words, that I needed to “get a life.”  Funny, I had been thinking exactly the same thing!  What follows is a self-imposed “intervention” of sorts.  I write this, not as an expert on home/life balance, but rather as a highly motivated, self-employed individual that has brief moments of life-balance success, followed by longer periods of a frenzied work schedule.

Okay…let me review what I already know:

Make a physical work space separate from my living space to minimize work “encroachment.”  Check…except for this darn iPhone that I carry with me that is a constant reminder of urgent client requests and looming deadlines.  Perhaps turning the e-mail notification sound off after 5pm will be a good start.

Create client boundaries.  I’m working on this one.  I pride myself on great customer service and fast turn-around (hey, it’s a market differentiator after all!) so it’s really difficult for me to say that I’ll “get to it tomorrow” (rather than in the next 60 minutes).

Stop working at a designated time and don’t obsessively check e-mail through the evening (see 1st point above).

The truth is I really love to work.  And I feel very fortunate to have a full-plate of voice over projects most every day.  As part of this online therapy I think I need to be honest and say that I get a rush every time my e-mail notifier let’s out it’s oh so familiar sound.  I know that there’s a good chance that’s it’s a new job or a new client to affirm my choice of voice over talent as a career!

While I’m being honest, I guess I should also admit that I also have control issues.  Yep…there, I said it!  If I’m not staying near my studio at all times, ready to record at the sound of my next e-mail…maybe the work will stop coming it.  As if I could actually, through my incredible mental powers, will it into existence.  I think making more cold calls and sending out more auditions is probably the best remedy for that!

Having identified my problem (notice I didn’t say “problems” as neither you or I have the time to go there!) I hereby resolve the following:

To get out of the house for lunch at least once or twice a week.  My guess is that the work that slips into my inbox between 12p and 1p will most likely keep a few minutes until I return.

Start scheduling some quality time with friends outside of my house.  I’m beginning to see a trend with the need to get out of the house.

Refuse to check e-mail during family times like meals, movies, or misc. gatherings.

OK…that’s enough for now.  I’m exhausted just thinking about relaxing from work a little bit.  I think this is enough to get me started and perhaps a few months from now I’ll report on my progress.   Hopefully, I will have found a life 🙂

How do you find work/life balance?

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Who Is Bill DeWees and

Bill DeWees is a professional voice over talent and voice over coach. Bill's voice over credits inlude Warner Bros, Microsoft, Dell, National Geographic, AstraZeneca, Whirlpool, Quicken and many more household names both globally and across the US.

Bill's website provides valuable voice over training including techniques to record better voice overs, strategies to close more voice over jobs and step by step methods to build a voice over career and business.

Bill DeWees delivers his own style of voice over training through a range of engaging online courses, live workshops, events and personal one on one coaching sharing all his secrets from his own 6-figure voice over business to help you build yours. To connect with Bill or get additional information visit

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