White flashing light bulb drawn on a green chalkboardIs your business all about hype or is it about the simple joy of doing what you love best and getting paid for it?

Guest blogger Tim Lundeen shares his perspective on how to perceive success while keeping yourself grounded.
How do you keep it simple? Hear more in today’s VOX Daily.

Keep It Simple

By Tim Lundeen
Sometimes I browse through other narrators’ websites, read through the blogs and perspectives of Golden Voice professionals, or listen to interviews with legends within the industry … and it seems so daunting. Like, do I have to do all that, or be all that, just to get noticed in the industry? I mean, they label professionals in this industry with names like “Voice of God,” and it’s really hard to match somebody like “God” let alone compete with him…

However, whenever I step back and look at the big picture of anyone’s success in this industry, I find a few simple truths. And usually not much else. It’s not complicated; it’s not about how aggressively intricate or detailed I can orchestrate my way into a voice over career; it’s not about how many classes I take, or how-to books I read or directors I’m trained by.

I heard the suggestion once that in the ’80s and ’90s there were better basketball players than Michael Jordan. To have said so at the time was blasphemy, of course. But in retrospect there was something about MJ that made mere skill and talent seem overrated. I don’t discredit skill or talent, or the long-term cultivation thereof, I just know there is something else that cannot be taught in a seminar or learned in a handbook. (It’s not so much ‘learned’ as it is ‘discovered’ by one’s self…)

Back to the voice over industry … From what I can tell, it’s a bunch of people who love story-telling, whether fiction or non-fiction; who let that passion for story-telling mold their imagination and vocal characteristics; who humble their egos to listen and learn from other story-tellers; and who decided to pursue a business of story-telling, rather than wait for the business to pursue them.
Anything more than that, and I think I start to over-complicate the whole deal. And those who have kept it simple, tend to be the ones with the most success.

What Do You Think?

Add your thoughts and join the conversation.

Tim Lundeen


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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. You probably know that business trainer’s saying: KISS. Or, Keep it Simple, Stupid! Well, I agree with you Tim – in this kind of business, it’s what we carry in our hearts that leads to success. That’s what feeds passion and authenticity to a performance, whether it’s for the Bard or a bottle of bleach. Fine performances lead to further bookings, and I sometimes feel there’s a mysterious dimension to this. I wonder if others have found that when they are intensely engaged in something, suddenly other connected stuff comes in, or a friend turns up with just the right advice? Synchronicity, maybe. A kind of love.
    A fascination of narration is its variety, and opportunities to exercise both halves of the brain – creative right (the passion), logical left (invoices, file names, software!). You are dead right about ego – pride in skill and craft is one thing, but the other kind just gets in the way.

  2. Great perspective, Tim!
    I can think of two references to back up your points.
    The first is in response to “…people who love storytelling…who humble their egos to listen and learn…”
    It’s found in Proverbs 11:2 – “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
    The voiceover business isn’t all about us it’s about using our God-given talent to meet the needs of our customers and earning a living in the process.
    The second alludes to “…who decided to pursue a business of story-telling, rather than wait for the business to pursue them.”
    Proverbs 14: 23 tells us that “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
    Waiting for business to pursue us will always be fruitless. Auditioning and seeking collaborators needing our services are where the bulk of our effort goes.
    None of this comes easy. That’s why it’s called voice WORK!

  3. Great Insight! You laid it out very well. Those, indeed, are some of the most important attributes for a productive voice talent. I can also see a good comparison of these principles as they relate to some of the best and longest-lasting bands. The Beatles, for instance, or the Who, the Rolling Stones. and for all it’s varied-media presentation, Pink Floyd. There are a lot of bands that know how to keep it simple, without appearing to do so. I’ve often wondered if the root popularity of the blues is because of its simplicity in structure. Just to continue that thought, the very simplicity of blues provides a perfect platform for people like Eric Clapton, B.B. King, and so many others the freedom to explore their real talents and excel in their respective directions.
    What did he say?
    He said… keep it simple, stupid!
    Great post. Thanks a lot, Tim, for taking the time to write it.

  4. I can sum it up in two words. “Heart” and “Passion” You have to have talent that comes from within. Your heart has to be in it and you have to have a passion that is second to none. If you don’t eat, breathe and sleep your passion, then it just becomes a job.

  5. Thanks Tim.
    I really appreciate your thoughts about doing it for the love.
    I can’t explain how excited I get when I have time free to audition. The actor/storyteller in me is kicking like a horse in the gates to get out there.
    Your words are encouraging to one who can’t devote full-time focus yet on the business end, but keeps her hand in for the joy of it all.
    Jeany Van Meltebeke Snider

  6. What a truthful and PRACTICAL approach to voice over success. We go through all kinds of hoops, but the SIMPLE approach always seems to work in life! Great article, Tim.
    Kathy Poelker

  7. You can’t apply the “Keep it simple” philosophy to any and every situation/gig. The fact that some gigs will actually suffer due to too simple an approach; cannot be ignored.


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