The cold virus that’s been going around in my area this year has been an unforgiving, relentless terror. I’ve spoke with friends who have suffered, and nurses and doctors who have treated. We’re all in agreement. It’s one of the worst ones we’ve had in memory.
I’ve had five… yes, you read that correctly, FIVE major head colds since Christmas.
That’s FIVE major head colds in just a little over three months.
The virus this year has affected many in my area the same. You get it for a week or two. Then you get over it… for about four or five days… before it sets right back for another week or two.
In the 12 or so weeks since Christmas, I’ve had some level of cold symptoms for nine of them. NINE weeks!!
When you’re a voice actor, few things are worse than that.
There are no paid sick days when you’re self-employed.
Unlike other professions, where a cold may not keep you from working, when you speak for a living and you’re fully congested… you’re not doing much of anything.
It’s been a VERY frustrating start to 2017 for me, to say the least.
Are You Prepared For An Extended Illness?
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in the midst of dealing with this, it’s about the importance of having a back-up plan of some form or fashion for when an extended illness hits.
Since January, I’ve literally lost out on thousands of dollars worth of booked VO’s that I had to pass on due to my illness and who knows how much more from auditions I was never able to submit.
Saying no to work is the worst feeling in the world. Especially when I have to say no to existing clients who rely on me. Sometimes, though, it can’t be helped.
Save A Little Every Time
I’m not a financial planner, but I’m wise enough to know you’ve got to have a rainy day fund. Or, in my case, a nine out of twelve weeks sick with a head cold fund.
My plan is simple. I take an extra 10% from every single booked job and toss it into a savings account. The hope, of course, is that I never have to touch these funds. The reality is, sometimes it may be necessary.
In the past couple months, I’ve been thankful it’s been there. I’ve needed it!
My hope is you’re always healthy. That said, I also want you to be prepared if there’s a season when you’re not.
One of the smartest financial decisions you can make for your voice over business is to prepare for a period when you may not be able to work.