Week 4+5: Sick Survival Artist // DREAM vs REALITY - Building Studiolist

  
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Studiolist is the largest search-engine of voiceover recording studios for voiceover artists, audiobook narrators, YouTube creators, and podcasters.

2020 is my last shot to make my 2017-born startup Studiolist.org profitable* with a „labor budget” of 32h a week and a money budget of 12k EUR (which are all my savings).

*profitable means € 767 / mo, because these are my current fix costs: naii.io/2020/costs in an average month.

I’m documenting everything on YouTube (naii.io/youtube) and on my blog naii.io/studiolist with included newsletter.


This is what happened in week 4+5 of building Studiolist.org in 2020:

  • Context 02:49

  • Most important things (MITs) 04:28

  • Conclusion 10:15

Context

  • Sick

  • 2 weeks to catch up incl. sabbatical

  • Dream meets Reality

  • Quite a lot of theater group work despite being in sabbatical

  • Also a lot of theater group work after the sabbatical (feels like a full-time job or east least a 20-hour part-time job, but pro-bono)

Most important things (MITs)

It was 2 weeks with 7 days of close to no obligations and a week with full obligations that made me sick eventually. This is what happened…

Studiolist:

  • Worked on the design of a new „Hello” page for Studiolist (I shared a super early draft last week behind the scenes at only one place: GFTB)

  • Lots of organizational work on paper, computer, phone, and so much noise inside my head

Copywriting Examples:

  • New website: copywritingexamples.com

  • New tagline: Where voiceover professionals improve their sales copy. You learn from real-world case studies. Published every week.

I’m super proud that I kicked this thing off. It works in tandem with Studiolist, and I made a short intro video.

Theater group:

  • Session 22 + 23 theater group

    • both very productive sessions also thanks in parts to the absence of our „troublemaker” - as harsh as it may sound

  • Searching for more actors - a lot of time with email and social media

  • First 5 confirmed guests (we only have seats for 80 people)

    • After our 1st paid guest - she’s a RAMMSTEIN fan - received her a personalized ticket (with name and photo) she said: „I am gonna PRINT this ticket. Never had a nicer one in my life. :D (Not even the Rammstein ones.)“ - WOW!

Our play now has a name: At the Hour Of Annihilation - A-H-A“) and it’s about that coronavirus. Five months ago when we started working on the play, we never expected that this kind of virus would make it into the news!

Location and date are also confirmed: April 18th at 8pm inside of the GARAGE cultural center (Berlin-Pankow).

Since session 23 we also came up with a cool name for our ensemble: Last Thespians (so sophisticated). It only took us 3.5 minutes. The session was great with plenty of fun!

Stoic Serenity podcast:

About voiceover:

  • Partly attended the „Sound Engineering 101” session with Toby Ricketts (last 20 minutes) but I think I will watch the whole thing - looked cool the way he explained it! :)

  • I learned from Brent Allen Hagel about „Voice Building.“ There are 2 schools of thought in branding your voice/skills:

  1. Use your regular voice + acting for each project

  2. Create a unique voice to match each project

Other work:

  • I sent the last email of the „December” campaign for my anime/webcomic friend Mar Exposito. She is such a cool person with so much energy - unbelievable! And she also wants to help with Studiolist.

Obstacles:

  • Too little food

  • Too little movement outside

  • Too much computer time

Solutions:

  • Get out of the house every day

I want to continue the habit of taking a walk after getting up (when I did I felt good), followed by 3 minutes of Headspace meditation and 4 minutes of Tabata workout.

I understand my obstacles intellectually but creating new habits to overcome them is hard.

Also, with so much social media exposition through the theater group promotion work, I got addicted again. Horrible! It means, I started to keep checking emails and social media compulsively. I’m happy when the marketing time will be over.

I thought about not publishing Stoic Serenity anymore but it’s too valuable for me and others to miss it.

Conclusion

I enjoyed my first sabbatical week in 2020. I lived from day to day (pretty much how I was living in my 20s as a student). Allowing myself to be free of obligations is great. Before the sabbatical (on Friday week 3), I joined my grandma to listen to the New Year’s Concert at Konzerthaus Gendarmenmarkt where the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg were playing. Here are photos and a video.

Few more words about the sabbatical

Even though it feels challenging for me to just take time off, I also know I need it. It’s crucial for my long-term well-being and it’s an investment into my health sustainability (if that’s a word). My goal is to establish a habit where 180 business days per year becomes normal (for me and hopefully others)

The only obligation I fulfilled during the sabbatical was joining our theater group Tuesday session. We meet once a week and we will perform on April 18th. So time is not on our side.

I was trying the sabbatical to eat healthy food (especially raw food) and make movement a priority. I wanted to explore rather traditional (or boring) ingredients like lentils or potatoes. Gijs Heerkens’ approach inspired me to take more care of health, food, fitness. And I learned from Rob W. James:

You probably know what you need to do. Stop searching for THE small thing you might have overlooked.

During the sabbatical, I fell in love with these songs and things…

RAYOWA’s Better Man which is a very CHIC-esque / Nile Rogers / 70s disco-inspired piece.

Then Rejoicer’s Heavy Smoke Feat. Iogi to chill and Katy J Pearson with Tonight, such an ear-worm.

These are strong candidates to make it into the soundtrack of our theater play.

Also, Tropic Thunder (2008) caught my attention and I probably didn’t get most of the joke. I watched it in 3 stages because I didn’t exactly enjoy it (some parts I enjoyed). But I watched it for educational purposes and because Robert Downey Jr. (RDJ) talked about it so much in his conversation with Joe Rogan.

Robert Downey Jr. about Ben Stiller

From RDJ, I also learned that Ben Stiller is probably the closest thing to a Charlie Chaplin - quote (talking about the movie Tropic Thunder):

Ben (Stiller) who is a masterful artist and director probably the closest thing to a Charlie Chaplin that I’ve experienced in my time… he writes he directs, he acts, he…

if you had seen him when he was directing this movie he would have been like I’m watching David Lean, I’m watching Chaplin, I’m watching Coppola, he knew exactly what the vision for this was.

he executed it and it was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie and 90% of my black friends were like… dude that was great!

I DID IT, I DID IT, I DID IT

I started watching THE SIMPSONS from season 1 on. I never watched the English original but now I did and I even found a version where Matt Groening and his co-creators explain the behind the scenes of episode 1 - super insightful!

I also played Uncharted 1 (PlayStation) with my brother (though I’m really bad at it ^^). We played in his newly built house just north of Berlin. It was about 6–7 hours of playing - a full-time job. It’s great that a sabbatical allows me to do stuff that „Non-sabbatical Alex“ would never do!

Other things

I read „How to feel like you have enough“ and I watched how an ENGLISH FAN EXPERIENCES BORUSSIA DORTMUND ATMOSPHERE vs RB Leipzig - Dortmund is my club!

We had a really good time celebrating the bday of the life partner whose partner is the brother of my brother’s wife’s mother (I have no idea what that means). Thank you, Bianca, Calle/Kalle, Theo, Helma, Susanne, Dirty Harry, Dense, broane, and mum.

During the sabbatical, I was feeling already recharged to a degree on Thursday but I was looking forward to the next 3 days of my sabbatical.

After the sabbatical (this week)

I continued watching The Handmaid’s Tale (season 2).

The six factors of psychological well-being was a cool finding. Thanks Matt! He also emphasized that I should read 12 Rules for Life. I will soon.

About my health

On Tuesday, I probably worked so much (for the theater group) that I felt sick. So, I spent much time in bed on Wednesday and worked using my phone (making notes). That sick feeling continued on Thursday and found its climax on Friday morning. The cold-and-flu from last night didn’t work.

Normally, when I’m feeling sick I’ taking took a relaxing bath and sleep longer than usual. Sleep, water, and tranquillity work wonders. Maybe also against the new coronavirus?

The most important note of the past weeks was…

the one note I got most clarity from because it also resulted from clarity.

I defined two main areas that require my attention:

  1. WCAs (case studies) #copywritingexamples

  2. Studio profile pages #studiolist

These are the two big things to handle.

There’s so much clarity in seeing this small sheet every that it makes me happy. But it was also the result of one month having a relatively cluttered mind. So that makes it extremely valuable.

Review of January 2020

I’m feeling great that our group is in the process of realizing a new exciting creative project. In terms of excitement, it feels similar to my 2013-released short film „Single*“ about the value of friendship, a stupid bet among two friends, and the power of an individual to shape his destiny

Our theater group is also being organized pretty professionally. Call and I are doing our best as the project manager to keep it that way yeah.

January 2020 is over and my interim conclusion is…

My idea of having a dream year is still valid but I made adjustments (and will continue doing so) along the way. For example, I felt two strong ideas were clashing this week: 

  1. Wanting to spend my dream year

  2. Making Studiolist profitable.

What do I want? That’s the question.

My answer for now:

When I’m living my dream year it makes my life richer but makes the progress for Studiolist slower. That’s the price I’m currently paying. But if I want profitability for Studiolist, I (probably) need to pay a higher price and make sacrifices towards my rich life/dream year. Still pondering

Anyway…

You can see all my pending todos publicly on WIP.chat: wip.chat/@alexanderkluge/pending.

Take care, and see you next week!

Cheers,
- Alex


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