Each year, time seems to fly directly into the New Year almost overnight after Thanksgiving has passed. Before long, Christmas will be here and gone and then we will all have to flip our calendars over to the next month. You may have already begun reflecting on the amazing year that you had both personally and professionally throughout 2012.

Maybe it was your first year embarking on your journey as a voice professional or maybe it was just another notch on your career’s belt that was added along with the many other notches that you have been collecting over the years. Regardless of how you will finish 2012, it is important to make sure that you plan now in order to start 2013 off with a bang!

One of the biggest mistakes that people make in this industry is that they wait for the New Year to begin before they start making plans. Waiting that long to plan how to start means that they are also forcing themselves to wait to actually start working towards the goals and expectations that they have set for themselves and for their business. This simple mistake of waiting can actually kill your business. How so?

As is the case with many other industries that are based on specific talents, the voice talent industry thrives off of momentum. You have to be able to catch the wave right when is it about to rise up in order to enjoy the ride of your life. Otherwise, that wave is going to pass right over you, leaving you stranded in still water or possibly even drowning in the ripples created by your competition. The best race car drivers know that you have to spend the least amount of time at the pit stop in order to win the race, because staying there too long will cause them to get left behind and lose out on the race all together.

Enough with the sports analogies – I think you get the point. Right now, we need to focus on the steps that need to be taken now in order to put ourselves at the front of the line and in a prime position for success immediately after the New Year begins.

One of the best things that you can do for yourself and for your business is use 2013 to start over. What do I mean by that? Treat your business as if you are approaching it for the first time with a fresh approach; work with it as if you are just opening your doors and about to work for your very first client. Why is that so important? You have to leave 2012 completely behind you, because holding on to it too long will mean failure for your business in 2013. Even if you had the very best year of your career in 2012, that will mean absolutely nothing in 2013.

You have to have a fresh approach to your business each and every year as if you are starting at Day One, because that is where you are starting. Update your business plan or better yet, create an entirely new business plan. Try new ways to advertise your services to the world; do not get too attached to sticking with the methods that may have been successful for you in the past. You have to be willing to change what you do today in order to change what you make tomorrow!

Use this time to focus on reflection. Pay attention to the areas that you succeeded in 2012 and were able to grow as a professional and expand your business to new heights. Use those areas as building blocks to create a foundation that will allow you to build even further next year. More importantly, you definitely want to reflect and analyze the areas in which you failed in 2012 and possibly almost ruined yourself professionally, jeopardizing your current image within this growing industry. Those are the areas that you need to truly come up with an action plan as to how avoid those pitfalls and steer in the direction of success in the New Year.

Enjoy the holidays! 2012 is coming to a close real soon. Spend time with your family and friends and make sure that you take the time to truly understand your reasons for being in this business in the first place, otherwise known as your “Why?” If your vision for your professional voiceover career has gotten a little foggy over the past several months or even several years, now is the time to clear things up and get a better look. Just remember, if you wait too long, it may be too late.