The Definition of Insanity

May 08, 2024 09:00 AM By Paul Boucher

Yesterday, I was reminded how much I enjoy working on the

 business of the business.

I started at about 9:30 a.m. writing emails, tending to some due diligence, following up with some happy customers, etc., when I realized that, except for a couple of hours recording some smaller projects, it was 5:30 p.m.!

The long, and enjoyable dialogue with my clients has fuelled my passion to ensure great service while providing bilingual narration for everything from eLearning to TV and radio commercial campaigns. Clients mention things they've historically enjoyed from our collaborations, like how easy I was to work with, how professionally everything was handled, how audio was delivered faster than expected, the quality, and making what might otherwise be dry come alive in ways they hadn't expected.

THAT last note, in particular, spurred me to explore continuously evolving and improving the craft I bring to the microphone then and now.

So, with that in mind, here are three thoughts and their offshoots that might help you genuinely enjoy working on your business and shine a light on the attitude you should look for in your voice actors or other suppliers. 

1. Analyze and Adapt:

   One of the first things I instinctively do when I suddenly have more time on my hands than I'm used to is working to understand why. And then take a breath. 😏 I dive into the business's makeup over the past 90 days to 6 months. Are there changes in customer behavior? Who's the new competition? Have there been any internal inefficiencies or bottlenecks? Once I've pinpointed the issues, I pivot & adapt immediately. This doesn't mean reinventing the wheel. Almost everything is working well. Can it work better?

2. Focus on Customer Experience:

   During slow periods, doubling down on customer satisfaction can set you apart from everyone else. Reach out to existing customers for feedback on their experiences with you. I remember one client conversation about a real pain point for them: revisions, or what's often needless "rework." Together, we devised a policy that both of our businesses still use. It helped to move the needle on the problem from two directions. It rewarded the clients who had their ducks in a row when providing scripts and applied a "corrective incentive" to those who didn't. Haha. It dropped the dreaded rework by at least 50%. No mean feat.

3. Invest in Innovation:

   As a small business, that phrase may seem like "big-company-think." And that sort of thinking will keep you exactly where you are, applying the definition of insanity to your work processes: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." 

AI is the obvious shiny new toy out there. How can YOU use it to increase your productivity? Is it a new software plug-in? Is it generative AI to help you with the never-ending development of "content?" 

By the way, here's a quick aside on "content." It's perceived as a huge time-suck and a "negative" by a lot of solopreneurs. Try this reframe: if you've never kept a journal, think of content development as that. It's amazing what you can discover about your philosophy and attitudes toward "your every-day," and your worldview for that matter, simply by writing it down. 

The same business coach I quoted above once refreshed advice I'd received in grade school: if you don't write goals down, they're just wishful thinking. That applies to many other parts of running your business.

You'll discover whole new parts of yourself writing things out. That will lead you to explore and genuinely enjoy the discovery of new ways of doing things (innovation) that complement your existing offerings or tap into emerging trends.

So what started on a reflection of a day well spent on the business has led me to one of my favourite things: sharing the valuable insights I've been taught in the hope that one of those nuggets can make your day better. I hope that's the case.