You are your business. No you, no business. So it makes perfect sense that taking care of you must be a top priority. Yet amidst the to do lists, the daily challenges of running a business, putting out fires, auditioning, recording spots, and a sundry of life’s little curve balls thrown our way, it’s easy to get lost in the mix and slip out of the running. It’s easy to become last on our priority list.

Last place. Nobody likes last place! We dread it. It’s what we strive to avoid. Yet if we are last place on the priority list in our own lives, how can we be anything else in our professional lives? As a voice talent, last place is not an option! You either get the gig or you don’t. Getting the gig requires bringing your A-Game! You can’t bring your A-Game if you don’t have it to bring! Bringing your A-Game requires taking care of you, getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, exercising, and taking time for yourself.

A tired voice is not a hired voice! Lack of sleep will show up in your vocal delivery and will affect your performance. It will also affect your mental clarity. Aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night.

You are what you eat! Eating clean and staying hydrated will provide your body with the proper nutrients, boost your immune system, boost your metabolism, and give you energy. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, lean protein sources, and healthy fats. Drink water, lots and lots of water and green tea to stay hydrated. Sodas, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages will tighten the vocal chords and dehydrate you.

Exercise. If the sight of the word makes you want to run away, go for it! Getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity 5 to 6 days a week will severely boost your attitude, mental clarity, energy, and metabolism!

All work and no play makes for a dreaded life day by day. Taking time for you is necessary, not selfish! You are only one person but you are still just that, a person! You are a person with interests, friends, and family. Take some time to enjoy these and you will be much easier to relate to and a lot less stressed!

When you make taking care of you a priority, the ironic thing is that others will too! They will treat you with more respect because you treat yourself with more respect. You will become a priority in their minds because you are a priority in your own mind. You will bring your A-Game because it’s the only game you have to bring!

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Comment by cathi parrish on November 9, 2009 at 1:16am
Wow... great tips/reminders! Sometimes that good old common sense needs to be echoed. And as far as sehydration goes, I've cut waaaaay back on caffeinated coffee & try to NEVER have it before work. I find a little freshly squeezed lemon in ice water is THE BEST! Thanks Terry.

Comment by Terry Daniel on November 7, 2009 at 6:01pm
Thank you for the nice feedback, everyone!
Comment by Colin Day on November 7, 2009 at 4:59am
Oh terry I nearly forgot; I heard somewhere that green tea can dehydrate you too. I'm not a doctor, and I could be 100% wrong! Happy to be corrected on that.
Comment by Colin Day on November 7, 2009 at 4:57am
Terry, I couldn't agree more. For years I'd suffered with a tight, throaty tone in the afternoon. Tried all kinds of things to put it right, all to no avail. Then I quit caffeine. Problem gone.

It's amazing how caffeine dries your throat, and if you've been an avid tea drinker for a lifetime like me - well, I am British - then you're probably so used to a dry throat that you think it's normal. Now I drink Red Bush tea, no milk, no sugar. The flavour is wonderful and it's naturally caffeine free. Within 24 hours there was a massive difference and it's just got better ever since. No more afternmoon cloudiness, I can perform with the same level of confidence at any time of day. And if you want to go further maybe take a look at a low GL or low GI diet and see if it suits you.

All the best

Comment by Marilee Williams on November 6, 2009 at 7:41pm
Thanks for the timely reminder. It is so easy to get caught up in the importance of doing rather than being.
Comment by Denise Gieser on November 6, 2009 at 6:12pm
I agree with your advice. I definitely work best after a good nights rest! Eating healthy is a must... it's the exercise that is the big effort! Thanks for the reminder Terry... I am off to the gym!!
Comment by Juliette Gray on November 6, 2009 at 5:29pm
Hi Everyone, this is my first time posting on the site. This is all good advice. However, I wonder how many people out there know there are big differences in the type of water they drink. What I am referring to specifically is the difference between alkaline water and the rest - a lot of which is extremely acidic and not really hydrating. Did you know that disease cannot grow in an alkaline environment? I have lots of info on it if anyone is interested (and no I am not selling it) I just worked in the wellness industry for a few years so have done my research. Juliette
Comment by Efrain Gonzalez on November 6, 2009 at 5:13pm
Very true advice Terry, but there are always the contradictions LOL I have clients like my voice better when I only sleep 2 hours and grab a smoke and a glass of water before I hit the Mic. Other times I've had the flu and had to wing it and get responses like "wow, you sounded really nice and dark, you should get sick more often" lol
Comment by steve hammill on November 6, 2009 at 3:24pm
That's surely good advice, Terry. However, the most successful people I've met in this business were drunken, drug using, no account bums who couldn't be trusted to button their shoes or tie their shirt - NFK! ...and then there was everyone else who built careers on solid business practices, mostly clean living and continuous effort.
Comment by Frank James Bailey on November 6, 2009 at 2:05pm
Terry - this is great advice! I don't have the time to exercise because I'm always searching for the next voice gig, recording, doing a session, producing, or editing. I'm at my computer at least 10 - 12 hours a day sometimes more, as I'm sure most of us VO talents are. But I do try to eat right.

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