When Did You Stop Doing Your Job?
(an open rant to those who view coaching as the apex of all careers)
Q: How is a Free VO Conference Call like a Free Vacation at a Time Share?
A: (c’mon, you already know the answer!)
I dunno about you, but one of my current pet peeves it the sheer volume of advertising I am deluged with by folks trying to sell me their coaching services. I mean, it used to be said that anyone with a $10 Radio Shack microphone could be a VO, but now they’re skipping that completely and going to where the real money is: Coaching!
It used to be that people took pride in their craft. For me, that is voice acting. But somewhere along the way it seems like some folks get lost. They achieve just enough success to claim that they are “experts” and go directly to coaching. So… When did they stop doing their job?
True story. I’d signed up for a Free VO Conference call recently. Yeah – you’d think I’d know better. But no… had to give a listen. Out of an hour call, the first 20+ minutes involved the interviewer and the guest telling folks how they could buy their book, sign up for classes, get a signed gold-plated copy of their 74 part lesson dvd set telling in excruciating detail how YOU (yes you) can make a tonne of money in VO! The call ended with another 10+ minutes reminding the listeners of the same info. So over 50% of the call was devoted to selling, selling, selling. Don’t get me wrong. I did learn how to make money in VO. Become a coach.
Now, to be absolutely fair, I have been privileged to work with some truly great coaches and trainers. They are mentors in every sense of the word. Each one has invaluable expertise in the industry. They gave feedback that advanced my skills and career. They enjoy teaching, and it was an honor to be their student. Which is precisely why it makes me see red when everyone and their idiot cousin is claiming that they are teachers worthy of taking your hard-earned money. How can we separate the wheat from the chaff?
How can you tell if a coach is truly a mentor worthy of investing in? And investing is what you are doing, make no bones about it. Unless you’re independently wealthy and this is a life-time hobby for you, then every dollar spent should be advancing your skills or your career in some way.
I’m not sure I have a definitive answer. But I can tell you this: good coaches and mentors are hard to find. Maybe because there are so many snake-oil salesman to weed through on the way.
So… What do you do?
Are you still doing your job?