How To Motivate Your “CEO” Identity

The root of what motivates us.


Dan Pink, the author of five best-selling books about the changing world of work, presented 3 factors that greatly motivate us in the workplace. This motivation is especially prevalent when dealing with more complex tasks. In your case, it is your identity as  “CEO” in your business. This is my favorite identity (even ahead of Voice Over Talent), because it directs all other identities and creates the focus and bigger goals of your business. It also has more freedom than most of the other identities and works to solve the complex issues of your business that can involve many or all of your other identities. So, how do you motivate this identity in your business?

According to Dan and the researchers he cites, the 3 factors that motivate workers above all else are:


Autonomy. Mastery. Purpose.


I will explain what each of these are, but you can also listen to Dan Pink explain them in this awesome whiteboard animation video of his speech on motivation:



What motivates this “Guy” to get over 20 voice over jobs a day?

Guy Harris - Professional Voice Over Talent

Guy Harris – Professional Voice Over Talent

Guy Harris, a professional British voice over talent, was kind enough to tell me what motivates him in his very successful voice over business that can land him over 20 voice over jobs a day (the how of booking 20 voice over jobs is addressed farther down). After hearing what he had to say, I realized that his overall motivation in his voice over business is rooted in the 3 factors Dan Pink highlights. And in order to be as successful as Guy, you need to fulfill these motivational needs in your own business. So let’s take a look at what Guy had to say and analyze it based on the 3 three motivational factors.


Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives

How to stay motivated? For me, it’s pretty easy. I’ve had lots of jobs working hard for other people. Lining THEIR pockets… and that’s how most of the motivation begins. The beauty of Voiceover is you are your own boss. You decide how much or little you want to earn. If you want to earn $100 a day, that’s cool. Set yourself the goal and if you work 5 days a week, a $25,000 a year salary is pretty good. But if you want to earn $500, $1000, $2000 or more a day, then why not? There is the motivation. Why save 4 months for a Florida Vacation when you could pay for it in a week or less? Our market place is not restricted to our immediate surroundings. We have a global marketplace to work in. – Guy Harris

Let’s unpack Guy’s words above to see how he has fulfilled his desire to direct his life and career.

Lined his own pockets – Instead of lining the pockets of others, he was able to work for himself and make however much money he wants every day which then goes right into his pockets.

Works for whomever he wants – As a professional voice over talent, he is able to spread his services throughout the world within the global marketplace however he wants and with whomever he wants.


Mastery – the urge to get better and better at something that matters

I would say that going back to my school days, I was bullied and it forced me to quit school as soon as I could so I never got to stay on to get extra qualifications. It knocked my confidence massively, on top of that my school teachers and school reports used to always say ‘Guy talks too much’ Thank God I did! If only they knew now what I do for a living. Maybe they should think that it’s not always a bad thing? – Guy

This second factor is just as important as the first. Let’s unpack Guy’s words to see how he has fulfilled his urge to get better and better at something that matters to him.

Practiced at a young age – Despite being knocked down by his teachers and classmates at a young age, Guy still pushed himself to keep practicing using his voice when he was given the chance.

Still practices – He now gets to use his voice every single day for a living, continually improving and mastering the skill he has had since he was very young.


Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

I guess what drives me is the love of the industry and how on a daily basis it never ceases to amaze me what jobs I get offered. It’s an industry full of talented voice and producers, and there’s a lot of work out there. Know your worth too and don’t be afraid to turn work down if the fee doesn’t match your worth.

Making a good living is a bonus and it’s allowed me to do things I might not have had the chance to do working for someone else. But really… getting up in the morning and falling downstairs and into my studio and reading words and playing characters for clients around the world, ain’t all that bad for a job really is it? – Guy

This is the final factor in what motivates us at work. Let’s unpack this final section of words from Guy to see how he is fulfilling his yearning to do what he does in the service of something larger than himself.

Loves the industry – Guy gets to work every day for and in an industry he loves.

Contributes globally – Guy is amazed by how many different things he gets to do within voice over and by how many different characters  he can contribute to clients all over the world.


Guy is just like you.


So really, Guy is motivated by the same things that motivate you: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

If you can fulfill these needs in your identity as “CEO” in your voice over business, you too can be as motivated as Guy to succeed in this difficult and competitive business.


How Guy books over 20 voice over jobs per day


I discovered Guy after listening to an awesome interview he had with pro voice over talent and coach Bill DeWees. The interview below  gives you some actual insight as to what specific steps Guy has taken to land over 20 voice over jobs a day.



Final advice from Guy:

Guy Harris Advice







For you: Name one way your job has fulfilled your motivational need for autonomy, mastery or purpose.


My answer first: My autonomy in creating my own business plan as the CEO of my voice over business really motivates me. I have complete control which holds me accountable for the success and failure of it.


I’d also like to thank Guy for sharing his valuable insights about what motivates him in his voice over business and by also allowing me to play “psychologist” with his insights. And I hope Guy’s words and the motivational tips in this blog help you thrive in your own role as CEO of your business.

Thank you for reading this final installment of my 8 part series on “How To Motivate Your 8 Voice Over Identities.” In case you’ve missed any of the previous installments, just click the link in the last sentence, and you’ll be able to click through to each post.


p.s. Before you go… If you have found this post helpful in your own business, please make sure to Subscribe in the upper right corner so you don’t miss any future insights and tips.

5 Comments on “How To Motivate Your “CEO” Identity”

  1. Thanks for this great article and inspirational interview! Adding the motivation video from RSA Animate was exemplary and spot on, thank you!

    I believe marketing and networking endeavors attribute to at least half of business success… The other half is from enhancing the product, in this case: voice, delivery and technology…

    Whatever you can do to make producers, clients and google happy (within reason of course) is worth every minute invested! This is what I like the most about the voiceover business: the nice guys win and it’s fun!

    Happy voicing!

    1. Thanks for the wonderful feedback, Jessica!

      You are so dang right when you say “…marketing and networking endeavors attribute to at least half of business success…” I couldn’t agree more.

      The autonomy and control we have over our business is what makes it so scary, exhilarating and fun. 🙂

      Happy voicing to you as well, Jessica.

  2. I love your article – it’s brilliant! I agree that as a voiceover artist, you are your own boss and motivation plays such a big part in the level of money you make! Really enjoyed reading this – thank you.

    1. Thank you, Samantha! That was very kind of you to say. 🙂

      Yea, it is amazing how important motivation is. When you can tap into that extra boost in motivation, the sky’s the limit in voice over.

      Keep at it, and I hope you stay motivated in your own VO endeavors.


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