Guest Blog: BILLIE JO KONZE – Are You Chasing the Wrong Goals?

Guest Blog: BILLIE JO KONZE – Are You Chasing the Wrong Goals?

Are You Chasing The Wrong Goals?

By: Billie Jo Konze

From: Billie Jo Konze

Years of running weekly accountability groups have taught me many things.

One of them is that a lot of people THINK they want something. They think they want to get an agent, or think they want to go to grad school, or they think they want to be a voice actor.

Oftentimes, they only see these goals through the benefits they’ve brought others.

  • An agent means audition opportunities.

  • Grad school means a degree which means greater work opportunities and connections.

  • Being a voice actor means making a lot of money working from home in your pajamas.

Most of the time, they’re not seeing the full picture.

Don’t base your decisions on an incomplete picture

Don’t base your decisions on an incomplete picture

Having an agent means:

  • Knowing your type (Young mom, hipster, grandma, blue collar, upscale, etc)

  • Making yourself as marketable as possible (meaning you can’t just dye your hair green on a whim)

  • Investing in the right tools—headshots, demo reels, etc. so that your agent can market you (No whining about having to spend money on new headshots because you decided you felt like getting a pixie cut)

  • Communicating well with others so that you remind them you exist without being needy

  • Still working all of the time to be competitive (taking classes), book your own work, and show your agents that you are proactive

  • Doing work you may not want to do…this ain’t the thea-tuh! You’re here to bring your amazing skills to even the most silly of commercial scripts or inane of TV shows

  • Being a professional even in the face of work that you feel is beneath you. Have you seen the supercut of Bryan Cranston’s decades of commercials? The man didn’t start with Breaking Bad…

Going to grad school means:

  • Knowing WHY you are going to grad school (is it for the connections? for the degree? do you want to teach? increase your skills?)

  • Potentially moving across the country

  • Spending a LOT of money

  • Giving up 2-4 years of your life (or more if you’re getting a PhD)

Being a voice actor means:

  • Spending a lot of time learning the craft (it’s NOT just talking, no matter what those internet ads say).

  • Investing a lot of money on equipment and coaching (don’t quit your day job…you’re going to need it for a while).

  • Learning to run your own business and do the uncomfortable work of marketing yourself.

  • Motivating yourself to keep going when you haven’t booked anything in a long time

  • Being a self-starter…when you don’t have a boss, it’s your responsibility to make yourself do the grunt work that leads to the fun voice work

  • Doing the NOT FUN voice work. Personally, I think it’s all pretty fun, but some people only want to do animation, or video games, or high-paid commercials, when there is a great need for people who can inject life into explainer videos, corporate training, e-learning, and medical narration.

No, no, no, no, NO! Definitely ask WHY!

No, no, no, no, NO! Definitely ask WHY!

Maybe your dream is none of these things, but whatever your dream or goal is, ask yourself WHY?

Why do I want this thing?

In fact, I would say that none of the above examples are really the ultimate goal or dream of that person.

The underlying “why” of any of these three things could be:

  • “I want to make a living from my acting”

  • “I want to be rich” (misguided, but some people think this way)

  • “I want to be a super talented TV/Stage/Voice actor” or

  • “I want to be a famous TV/Stage/Voice actor”

There are so many ways to have the bard in your life

There are so many ways to have the bard in your life

A friend of mine wanted to go to grad school for theatre, and I asked why.

“So I can do Shakespeare.”

I asked “Aren’t you doing Shakespeare right now?”

“Yes, but I want to get paid to do it.”

“Okay, so if you were to go to grad school in another state, would you want to stay out there? Or use the connections you make at school to go do Shakespeare elsewhere?”

My friend replied, “No, I’d like to come back here.”  (Here meaning Minneapolis, where there are two companies who could pay a reasonable wage to do Shakespeare)

“So, you want to take four years, and spend a lot of money to go to school so you can come right back here for the same opportunities you already have access to, and maybe STILL not have any greater access to them than before?”

There were other FASTER, MORE DIRECT, and CHEAPER paths to my friend’s goal.

The direct path isn’t always better, but if you know where you want to go, why waste time?

The direct path isn’t always better, but if you know where you want to go, why waste time?

Whatever your goal or dream is, make sure you’re REALLY clear on it.

I read somewhere (don’t recall where) about a guy who figured out what he wanted his life to look like down to the smallest detail and THEN figured out what job would get him that. Where he wanted to live, what he wanted his days to look like, family, pets, material belongings, etc.

The job he ultimately chose wasn’t glamorous, but it got him the life he wanted.

I think more of us would do well to consider what we want our life to look like, and then do some informational interviewing of people already doing that thing. Ask them questions about their life…their schedule…what they love and hate about their job, and see if that’s what we really want.

Here are the six questions you should ask yourself to figure out if you’re chasing the wrong dream:

  1. What is my dream/goal?

  2. WHY do I want that thing? (this is how you find out if there is a bigger underlying goal)

  3. Is my dream/goal just one path to a bigger underlying dream?

  4. Is that the ONLY path to that dream? Or are there other routes that I’m missing?

  5. What does the life of a person who has that thing really look like? Is there someone I can ask or some way I can dip my toes in the water before committing to something time-consuming or expensive?

  6. Do I want that life?

Now…where do you want to go?

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