The air smelled fresh on this cool, fall day.
The sky looked clear as the sun tip-toed its way behind the trees.
The quick movements of squirrels in the trees sounded frantic as they packed away food for the winter.
Then I felt it.
In the middle of my run, I got a stitch in my abdomen.
I tried to keep the same pace, but I kept getting bent over. I tried slowing down to more of a speed walk, but I still felt the pain. I did my best to push through the pain when I ran by anyone so I didn’t look like a wimp who can’t do a medium-paced jog. I have to look totally normal and cool even though I’m in pain, right?
The pain was still there and it was terrible.
I slowed down my run to a normal walking speed. The pain slowly subsided. I tried to pick up the speed a few different times, but the pain came back almost immediately. The stitch in my side won the battle.
As I walked back, I tried to figure out why I would feel this intense pain. I’ve had abdomen pain before when I ran but not for a long time.
According to Runner’s World, an online publication all about the world of running, it was a simple side stitch or pain that can happen to people when running. (Don’t worry, it was nothing major.)
Some of the best ways to prevent side stitches are to avoid eating one to two hours before running, increase your water intake throughout the day, and warm up well before running fast.
I looked back on my day and realized that I had failed to do all three. I ate lunch no more than an hour before running. I drank far too little water leading up to that point. And I definitely didn’t warm up because I needed to get the run done so I could get back to work as quickly as possible.
The 1 Clear, Important Rule Of My Small Business
This pain was avoidable. It’s frustrating how avoidable it was.
There are “pains” in my voice over business that are avoidable, too. How can I avoid those pains?
I’m not going to let you in on some groundbreaking piece of advice. In reality, this is super easy. It’s straightforward. But it’s uber important for your to do, both professionally and personally. I’m going to put on my drill sergeant voice as you read this 1 rule that became so clear to me. Imagine me yelling this at you:
YOU MUST PREPARE FOR EVERY ACTION! AND IF YOU AREN’T PREPARED, YOU BETTER DAMN WELL LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES!
Jogging is a straightforward task. I have to stand up, balance, and start churning my legs at a pretty accelerated rate. As straightforward as it is, if I don’t prepare for it, I am going to suffer some (painful) consequences.
Without full preparation, I will suffer major consequences in my own professional voice over business. This is true in your business, job, and life, too.
(photo by ExpertInfantry)
Here is a list of 4 things that I do every day that I have to fully prepare for every day. If I don’t prepare for them, there are many possible bad consequences which are listed as well:
Speaking all day long
-Minor or major injury
Keeping track of invoices and expenses
-Major tax issues
-Not getting paid on time
-Looking unprofessional to clients
-Losing out on some write-offs on the tax return
(Lego in jail photo by Brad Montgomery)
Recording an audition
-Inappropriate stylistic choices and script interpretation
-Failure to send the right file format to a client
-Failure to send the audition on time
-And a helluva lot more consequences…
Calling and e-mailing prospective clients
-Sounding hurried, unconfident, or tentative on the phone call or e-mail
-Getting turned away because I didn’t study the client and his or her company, making me look spammy
-Getting disorganized, overwhelmed and mistakenly contacting a company multiple times because I don’t have a system of keeping track of these interactions
-Feeling defeated because none of these marketing attempts are working
Sometimes, you don’t always know that you’re under prepared until you feel the pain like I did on that crisp fall day. But after you suffer the consequences, you have to learn from those mistakes to better prepare for next time.
You also can’t control all outcomes or avoid all pain (that would be unhealthy and boring anyway), but you can prepare to the best of your ability, knowledge and experience to avoid some unnecessary and avoidable poor outcomes.
So my challenge for you today and everyday: Prepare.
What are some tasks in your business, job, or life that carry some bad consequences if you don’t fully prepare for them? What are those consequences? Please share them in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading, and never try to run through a side stitch.
P.S. To avoid the scary consequences of not reading my upcoming blog posts, prepare by subscribing in the upper right hand corner of this page.
After making tentative stabs at a VO career, I was fortunate enough to find my way into my lifelong dream–narrating audiobooks. Every day I work, I learn a little bit more about preparation–dry eyes can be a real risk when you’re recording a long book–who knew? But I have learned quickly to think things through before a new assignment, to prepare mentally and physically and to stay open to new experiences, new thoughts and new opportunities. It amazes me that one can be completely free and well prepared at the same time–and how well the combination works!
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