The statistics around new business startups are astounding. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 business fail in the first 18 months. Over 20,000 new businesses began in Australia in the past year. In the US… wait for it… it’s over 500,000 A MONTH!
There are many more stats out there and they vary but it’s clear that people keep trying and failing at this.
Experts can list dozens of reasons why this occurs.
Welcome to New York City
When I moved to New York I won a scholarship to a post grad acting program. Coming from Australia and being in one of the meccas of the industry, this was a big deal to me. I was blown away by the talent of the people at my school. But after examining the industry over a couple years I came to a big realisation when comparing the actors in New York to those back home. I felt that although the industry was 100 times bigger than where I had come from, the percentage of really good talent in any group was around the same. Where I noticed the huge difference was that the Americans were treating their career much more like a business. They understood that, although they were artists, they existed within the economy and they were part of an industry that thrived on the same economic values as any other industry.
With this understanding I brought my new business focus with me when I returned to Sydney and it largely contributed to my journey to becoming one of the country’s leading voiceover artists.
At the same time I became fascinated by what makes businesses succeed and have spent over $100,000 on business education since.
The Numbers for Actors aren’t Pretty
You think 8 of 10 small businesses failing is bad? Well actors don’t even share that success rate. Nowhere near it in fact. Most statistics show a 90+% unemployment rate. ABS stats have shown as high as 97%.Bureau of Labor stats out of the US say 96%. In the UK 90% is regularly quoted.
One thing’s for sure. If you wanna succeed as an actor, you need to understand that you are running a small business and the product you are selling… is you.
I can take my 30 years since my first acting job and every lesson since and combine it with 15 years of business training and deliver one sentence that could change your life. It’s the key to success in any business but especially yours.
The Secret to Success
A good quality product that feeds a hungry crowd, that stands out amongst competitors… that is marketed well… backed by required finances (nothing more) and good management will almost always succeed.
Let’s break that down.
* A good quality product: That is you. Are you good quality? Are you as trained, capable and presented as well as you can possibly be?
* That feeds a hungry crowd: Is your product desirable? Do you look, sound, feel and smell like similar products that people actually want?
* That stands out: What is unique about you? What makes people notice you amongst the others? What makes you special?
* That is marketed well: How is your pack? Headshot, showreel, voice demo, website, networking, client development.
* Backed by finances: Do you have the money or more importantly… cashflow to fund your living and the costs of acquiring all the things mentioned above?
* Good management: How well do you run your life? Do you take care of yourself? Are you healthy? Are you continually growing through education and training? Do you have a team to support you? (even if it is family). Do you have representation? Management? Publicity?… and all other levels of professional and personal support?
It doesn’t matter if your opening a hair salon or moving to Hollywood. The rules are the same. If you want to succeed you need to be as involved in the product and process as you are in your art form if you are to have any chance of succeeding.
Start researching business education. There is a ton of free training online. Be careful, business education is one of the most sophisticated internet marketing areas. No need to spend much money. If you apply what you learn from their free content you’ll be better than 95% of your competitors. Which… statistically has you in the game of success in show business.