I’m a Voice Talent. I’ve been earning my income from my voice over and production skills for more than 20 years. It’s been very good to me and I love it.John_and_MIKE_2-13-14

A few years ago I was making more money than I ever had in my life. On top of my income from working at the radio station, I was earning more than six figures in my freelance voice over and production business. The two revenue streams together were very, very good.

And then… one day in July I drove up to Maine to meet my wife Ann at her father’s house. I pulled into my father-in-law’s driveway and I started to feel uncomfortable in my lower back.

They had just ordered a pizza so Ann and I got back in the car and drove down to the pizza shop to go pick it up. As I was driving down the road, the discomfort got progressively worse.

The sharp pain started in my lower back on the right hand side and radiated down to the front and then down the front of my right leg. It became more and more painful. After we got back with the pizza I went upstairs to lie down. Once I got up there I just couldn’t get comfortable.

I went back downstairs and I looked at her and said, “You know what? I think I need to go to the hospital.”

I’m not the sort of person that sees the doctor for every ache and pain. I do get check-ups and see the dentist twice a year. But this was something I had never experienced before.

We got in the car and drove. About 10 miles away from the house we were in front of a fire station in Wells, Maine. I said to her, “You need to pull in to the fire station over here. I need to get into an ambulance.”



I was in agony. So we pulled in to the parking lot.

Ann ran into the fire station and she said, “My husband is in pain and you need to come and look at him. He wants to take an ambulance to the hospital.”

The ambulance pulls up and they take me to the Hospital. They gave me some stuff for the pain which was nice, but they had to keep switching the type of pain medication so I wouldn’t get hooked on any particular type.

That drug switch made me nauseous causing me to vomit in a nice yellow pail with my wife sitting by me watching all of this. The ER nurse gave me another drug to help with the nausea.

Doesn’t this sound like fun? But hey, I had made a bunch of money that year, right?

To add to the fun they wheel me down the hallway in nothing but my underwear and a Johnny for all the world to see to put me in an MRI or a PET scan CAT scan or a dog scan or whatever you want to call it. After scanning my groin and lower back they determined that I had not one, but two kidney stones.

Lucky me.

The size of these kidney stones was miniscule. They looked like they were slightly larger than a poppy seed. In this case size didn’t matter. The amount of pain they created was huge. I had never experienced such pain.

The doctor also came in after reading the scan and said, “Yeah, you’ve got a couple of kidney stones and by the way, you’ve got some gallstones too.”

I said to the doctor, “Well, what should I do about those?”

“Stop eating fatty foods.”

Fortunately I did not have to have any kind of surgery. The kidney stones passed on their own.

Between puking in buckets in front of my wife, being paraded around the hospital half naked, having my privates scanned in multiple layers with the digital images displayed in high res black and white on computer monitors and being told “Dude, your diet sucks” by the doctor, I had very little dignity left.

But I did get a wake-up call. I thought “OK, I’m making all kinds of money. But I’m not healthy and I’m burning myself out. What’s more important? I’m spending $700 for the ambulance and who knows how much on co-pays and if I don’t make changes I’m headed for all kinds of prescriptions and more. I’m making all kinds of money, but I’m not going to be healthy enough to enjoy it.”

I remember thinking “This isn’t right. This is not going in a good direction. I need to make a change, a big one, or else I’m going to have to go on all kinds of medications. I might need to have my gallbladder removed surgically,” something I didn’t want to have happen.

Whatever level of success you’re trying to achieve, whether we’re talking $2 million a year in the company or not, we all need to ask ourselves: “How much am I compromising my health to have what I am so driven to get and that I’ve wanted for so long?”

We all hit that place where we have to reconcile that our goal, whatever it may be is not worth compromising our health for.

I have learned I don’t have to give up on my passion. I don’t have to give up on my dreams. But I will find a way to sustain my health, play some catch-up and get my health to where I need to be.

I started to make those changes about 4 years ago and I have been on a fantastic journey of self discovery. My new diet and exercises help me feel better but it gave me much better vocal control, depth, power, resonance, clarity and more.

I want to share that with you and that’s what this blog is all about. Want to join me?