Plan For Success in 2015 (Part 2)

calendar_clip_art-270x228Last week we discussed the necessity of setting goals in order to maximize your potential in the new year. (See: Plan For Success in 2015, Part 1.) We talked about Annual goals being broken down into quarterly goals, into monthly, etc.  Hopefully you downloaded the goal planning sheet and brainstormed about how you can achieve what you’d like to, next year.

I’m going to walk you through a sample plan, explaining in detail as I go.  If you’d like to see how this plan looks on paper, simply download this sample planning spreadsheet. This might get a little complicated without the spreadsheet in front of you.

Let’s say you’re a voice-over talent who loves voicing audiobooks, and that your goal for 2014 is:   To make more money, voice more books, and become better known.  Not a bad goal. And all of the parts go hand-in-hand. (I’d suggest you stick to one annual goal or at least a few that can be accomplished with the same activities, like these.)

Now break this down into quarterly goals that will facilitate success by the end of the year.

For Q1, I suggest,  “Pick the low hanging fruit first.” This is a saying by my friend and brilliant career change strategist, Kristine Oller. (  This means: “Make the most of what you already have before you go for more.” This is the easiest way to ease into your new business lifestyle.

Month 1: Reinforce and maintain your existing client base and business relationships.
Month 2: Professional Development:  Continue to train in audiobook narration.
Month 3:  Continue doing revenue share books through ACX to build up your base of work, and continue to train and maintain relationships with the business contacts you have.

On your monthly planning page in your organizer (you should have an entire page for this)  determine what you want to do specifically to meet the monthly goal. Think of it like a recipe—and strategize in your To Do list to ensure it all finishes by the end of the month.  (If it doesn’t… no big deal. Modify the plan. You are not a slave to the plan—it works for you!)

That’s the key throughout implementation of the plan.  You are the author of it. If it stops serving you, change it at any time.

Some of these goals may not take a month to do. But remember that you will also be continuing your regular VO work and the job you’ve been doing all along.

So, in the first quarter you were pretty much getting your ducks in a row.  Now it’s time to move on to new stuff.   Q2 goals could be:  Prepare your marketing tools: Get a great audiobook demo and website.

Broken down, smaller goals would include hiring a professional demo producer and recording your demo. (If you’re serious about this business, don’t produce your own.  I didn’t produce mine!)  Then find audiobook talent sites you like and hire a web designer.  Finally, for the third month of the quarter, refine it all… the web site, the demo, etc.  To see more examples, refer to the sample goal planning sheet.  If this system doesn’t work for you, develop your own.

I want to reiterate, don’t be too strict with yourself. Modify that plan as desired. Change your goal in mid-stream if you want. They need to be flexible to meet your needs. They are there to serve you.

When you take the time to plan your business goals, and then come up with strategies to attain those goals, it’s tantamount to driving the direct course to your destination, rather than wandering around the neighborhood.  It may sound cliché, but, as the movie says,  “If you build it, they will come.”

About Julie Williams

Julie Williams has voiced thousands of commercials and narrations, and eLearning scripts, as well as many other voice-overs. She is an active audiobook narrator, and was a 2012 Audie Finalist. Julie has also taught at such notable events as VO2013, The VoiceLympics Cruise, and multiple VOICE Conferences. She is a nationally recognized voiceover coach, and has coached hundreds of talent worldwide to reach their full potential. Julie is available for private coaching via Skype for a limited number of students.


  1. Julie – This is great information. Thanks! However, I clicked on the link for your sample planning spreadsheet and it tells me it is a faulty link. Can you advise?
    Thanks! Dana

    • Editor’s Note: Sorry…no matter how many times you check these links, one of them is bound to bite you. I believe the link to the VO Goal Planning Sheet SAMPLE has been fixed. Thanks for the heads up. — Gary

  2. This is a fine article Julie, with a lot of good ideas . I somehow missed Part I. Do you have a link to it?
    Thanks, Don

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