Alexander Kluge

March 13, 2023

🔱 are you single-minded? {Sunday Truth 114}

“I know this sounds crazy, but once I find something I want to do, nobody’s stopping me. If I don’t know how to sew, and I really had that passion for sewing, that’s it, I’m going to sew. That’s also with acting. So here I am.” (Millie Bobby Brown, {Sunday Truth 113})

And yes, it appears to be the “Millie Bobby Brown Weeks”, because she’s being featured in the {Sunday Truth} for the second time in a row

But I have a good reason.

So, let’s talk about being single-minded:

Are you…

Living in Focus Town?

Driving the mono-rail?

Combatting shiny object syndrome and split-focus?

Having a sharp narrow focus on the ONE thing that matters here and now and (that still holds true) in the long run?

Because that’s what it takes to be successful in your field.

And my chosen field of acting is no exception.

I remember how voiceover veteran Tanya Rich from Bath, UK explained to me that you need to be single-minded to have a glimpse of a chance to succeed as a voice actor. She gave that nugget of an advice to me years ago, it must have been 2018, when my voiceover path was still not quite clear to me.

Given my clear lack of success…

You will, therefore, understand that Millie’s words arrived in my life in the right moment.

Which bears the question:

Why are we not successful in what we’re doing?

  1. we lack mono-rail focus
  2. we procrastinate due to mood swings

Poor mood management is a key success factor that I just learned about in this article, Procrastinating is linked to health and career problems – but there are things you can do to stop, where they say:

Procrastination is not a result of laziness or poor time management. Scientific studies suggest procrastination is due to poor mood management.

Procrastination is a common and pervasive problem associated with a range of negative outcomes across a variety of life domains that often occurs when people are faced with tasks that are seen as aversive.

In this paper, we argue that as a form of self-regulation failure, procrastination has a great deal to do with short-term mood repair and emotion regulation.

Moreover, we contend that a temporal understanding of self and the mood-regulating processes involved in goal pursuit is particularly important in understanding procrastination, because the consequences of procrastination are typically borne by the future self. After summarizing the research on the priority of short-term mood regulation in procrastination, we then draw the connection between the focus on short-term mood repair and the temporal disjunction between present and future selves.

Huh?

Let me say that again:

Procrastination has a great deal to do with short-term mood repair and emotion regulation.

When I think of procrastination I think of three sources that usually distract me:

  1. Sex:porn
  2. Soccer (the other kind of porn)
  3. New things to learn as a way to escape the hard work in front of me (the creative kind of porn)

Lots of “porn” in my world.

If pornography is…

the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures, books, photographs, or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement, or displaying acts in a sensational manner to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.

And…

the etymological root of “pornography” is the Greek pornographos: from pornē prostitute + graphein to write; akin to Greek pernanai to sell, poros journey.

Then…

you and I should not be surprised that advertising attracts me so much!

➡️ Advertising can arouse quick intense emotional reactions.

➡️ Advertising does display and play with erotic behavior, e.g. “Sex sells,” especially tits.

➡️ Advertising is meant to sell, and the one avenue that always works is a journey aka story to tell.

Which leads me to today’s topic…

(that I’m going to tell you about in a sec)

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.

(quick announcement)

🫁

It was 10:56AM here in Berlin’s former Russian sector when I started writing the {Sunday Truth 114} to you.

On March 13, 2023 with 9 degrees Celsius (+9 centigrade warmer compared to last {Sunday Truth 113}).

With suse.la we are producing Original Stories and Edits of third-party footage and RAW snippets from great source material, like Joan Didion’s words on the role of the screen-writer in film-making.

Then I publish them on my YouTube channel.

That’s my way of saying, “I’m building my dream company.”

A company is a gathering of people with a common direction and companionship. A company is not a for-profit machine, at least in my version of a dream company.

Therefore, realizing stories, so people can consume them, is the end goal. Monetary bottom line or profit is not.

Producing stories is my goal, making money is not my goal.

Therefore, suse will need money, ideally from my Freelance Voiceover Income because if I can choose, which I can, I really don’t want to get a day job and finance suse through Day Job Income.

Because…

Here’s the thing:

I will lose all my freedom
if I take a day job.

And through a friend of mine, we defined June 2023 as the deadline 😵 until I’m going to want to have made a significant financial jump with my freelance income.Making €100,000 annually would be my dream (and €100k/yr are doable, mathetically). But that’s not what I’m aiming for right now. If I could make €1,000/mo regularly, that would justify my continued pursuit of the voiceover path.

However.

Along the way, I’m trying to be a Stoic fortress without turning into a cold, heartless stone but rather trying to have 🥥 coconut fun uga uga 🐒 and slowly making my way to Singapore* 🇸🇬 and Peaceful Pacifica ⛵️, which is my way of saying the region that is east of Madagascar and roughly around the Pacific Ocean.

*though i have to consider that Singapore is a totalitarian state and being an artist there can be tricky…

💛

(announcement over)

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The major accomplishment of the past 7 days was…

The analysis of a B&H Photo Video voiceover ad:

Producing the article took longer than I anticipated.

And this is the first iteration of my new…

Voiceover Ad of the Week

…series

so I forgive myself.

But I put a lot of effort into the piece, and I’m thinking about pimping the experience even more. You’ll hear about it in the {Sunday Truth} of course.

One thing is funny, though.

I heard it from a guy some time ago.

He’s a motion designer.

And he said something like..

You know you’re working all these weeks (sometimes years) on an animated piece.

And at the end, the end result is a video file.

Connecting it to my work, I would say…

I spent 20–30 hours on an article.

And at the end, the end result is a hyperlink. lol

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.

.

However.

The voiceover ad article Why B&H’s Customer Story Ad Is a Joke doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

I wrote this piece as part of series that is meant to show you that I’m here for you, as a creator helping creators with Voiceover Ads because…

I help to MAKE YOU FAMOUS.

Because the goal of advertising is to make you famous.

I like it.

I like the simplicity.

I like how straightforward the objective is.

The next creative brief you receive from a client should read:

MAKE US FAMOUS.

I learned that from Bob Hoffman’s Three-Word Brief article and his revised THE FAME GAME email, where he said:

A while back I published something called “The Three Word Brief.” In it I asserted that the primary objective of advertising should be to create fame. I also said that some of the shibboleths of the marketing industry, specifically differentiation and positioning, may be of value, but their value is secondary. The first job of advertising is to make a brand famous.

Fame is an unequaled advantage for brands (and for people, for that matter.) While the importance of fame seems perfectly obvious to me, and has been stated over the years by many advertising people smarter than me, it is not widely recognized or discussed within the marketing and branding industries. Marketers, of course, can complicate the shit out of a salami sandwich. Consequently the idea that advertising should be focused on creating fame is often seen as too glib and simplistic.

I was not surprised to hear from marketing people who disagreed with me. The people I heard from generally made this case: Fame without “a reason” is empty and worthless. They said that positioning and differentiation are the first job of advertising because they give substance to fame. In other words, positioning and differentiation are the factors that make fame productive.

I think this is wrong. In fact, I think it’s exactly the opposite. I think that fame inherently creates the strongest type of positioning and differentiation.

Fame has many positive but not necessarily logical associations. These include trust, social acceptance, and credibility. Any brand can try to differentiate or position itself by saying these words. But only fame has the unique ability to communicate these attributes without having to say them.


I think that the most powerful differentiator for any brand is to be the most famous in its category. I think the most powerful position for any brand is to be the most famous in its category.

[…]

Try this. Stop some people on the street today and ask them what the difference is between BMW and Mercedes-Benz? Ask them for the difference between Coke and Pepsi? Ask them how McDonald’s is different from Burger King? I will bet you very large sums of money that their responses will have little to no correlation to the strategic documents floating around those brands’ marketing departments.

I believe consumers are largely annoyingly indifferent to the subtleties of differentiation and positioning. Consumers see products and brands in most categories as pretty similar. The claims we concoct for differentiation and positioning are often lost on them.

It’s not that marketers are completely wrong about differentiation and positioning, it’s that they underestimate the critical role that non-logical attributes, like fame, play in driving differentiation and positioning.

I don’t believe that consumers react very well to the logic of the conference room or the language of the creative brief. I believe consumers react to brand associations — symbols, icons, images, aesthetics, slogans, melodies and other distinguishing but non-logical artifacts. I guess what I’m saying is that positioning and differentiation are perceived more on impressionistic attributes rather than tangible ones. And fame is the most powerful impressionistic attribute of all.

I am assiduously not using the terms “rational” and “emotional” in this argument. So many advertising crimes have been committed in the name of “emotion” that I cringe when I hear it. Instead I am using the terms “logical” and “non-logical” or “tangible” and “non-tangible” which are not synonymous with “rational” and “emotional.”

In conclusion, your honor, there is nothing about marketing that is black and white, true or false. All we have are likelihoods and probabilities. Famous brands have failures all the time. Fame is no guarantee of brand success. But when it comes to advertising, it’s our most powerful lever.

Best time to die.

Because the words resonated with me A LOT!

Which is why I’m considering to update my tagline from…

I help creators grow their revenue with clever voiceover ads…

…to…

I make creators niche-famous with clever voiceover ads… (or: i help creators become famous…; or: i help to make creators famous)

Not sure yet.

But before that can happen, I need to be niche-famous first.

To become niche-famous I need the right attitude.

I need the right mindset.

I need to burn.

I need light.

I need to be lit.

Set on 🔥fire!

Which explains why I uploaded a 12-hour 🔥 lit video on my YouTube channel. I still you owe an explanation (as I announced in {Sunday Truth 113}).

So…

“Alex, why is the video 🔥 lit 12 hours long and a loop of a 15-second video clip?”

Glad you asked.

Well.

What better way to show that we are on fire by equipping a video with a powerful message that is easy to digest and memorize and then execute the video to its full capacity in terms of length, which is a metaphor for going to your limits, so you actually know what your limits are.

And YouTube’s current max. video lengh is 12 hours; that’s the limit!

In short:
  • a short powerful 15-second message repeated over and over again is likely to stick in your mind
  • and the overall 12-hour length of the video shows that you can reach your limit (and even go beyond if you want)

Does that make sense?

I need to win again.

I’ve lost too much, too frequently, and I’m lacking successes.

That’s why it’s life or DEATH!

I can’t think of a better mindset that kicks our asses as firm as a live-or-die mentality.

And the two weeks prior to the {Sunday Truth 113} were a distraction from a live-or-die POV, but they were a productive distraction, because I got shit done:

  • ✅ great voiceover client feedback
  • ✅ new logo
  • ✅ new tagline
  • ✅ new key message
  • ✅ updated brand identity: I offer boutique voice-acting (small, premium, highly specialized on voiceover for ads for creators)
  • ✅ massive copywriting blog post about a business-shaping book on Client Acquisition
  • ✅ prep work for a “Voiceover for Ads” blog series as an effort to niche-dominate the voiceover for ads for creators field

And as a result of it, a massive boost of confidence down to my bones and the initiation of my winner’s mindset:

Winners win. Losers lose.

I’m a winner.

So…

What other wins did I celebrate this past week?

Small wins like:


I invested a lot of time creating these 12-hour videos.

Especially rendering them.

Because my 2016 MacBook Pro and 2018 Mac mini are not the fastest computers.

But I really wanted to make a statement with the 12-hour limit.

So that’s what I did.

On the weekend,

I also…
  • 🇲🇽 caught up with Mexico
  • 🇪🇬 caught up with Egypt
  • 🐻 caught up with Berlin (f2f)

The Berlin face-to-face catch-up was a nice Sunday meet with a fried of mine. We hadn’t seen each other for 8 months, and catching up was overdue. She’s been going through some stressful months and I had my fair share of stress, too. Therefore walkie-talking-ing outside was the right thing to do. We usually take a walk outside when we meet.

The two catch-ups with friends from Egypt and Mexico were nice, too. I’m glad to be connected to them. Makes me feel special.

I went all coco this week.

Smashed some coconut oil onto my perfect body haha and into my hair. Body-wise coco oil is great, but for the hair I’m not so sure. Oil in the hair just feels like oily hair and that doesn’t feel like you’re actually clean, and who wants to be dirty. A dirty mind is enough, isn’t it?

And that’s why…

I also didn’t deliver the {Sunday Truth} on Sunday.

No, not because I’m dirty-minded.

I mean, I was too exhausted and actually fell asleep early, so that I only got up around 4am this morning to do the necessary work before I wanted to send you the next {Sunday Truth}.

Quite a lively week I must say.

Enriched also by some fantastic music!

One song really hit home for me.

It’s my song and music video of the week:



Plus, the music video’s thumbnail has become the cover for this {Sunday Truth 114}:

This is why I’m doing suse.

Seeing videos like these and their storytelling reminds me of why I’m doing suse.la Original Stories - stories with meaning (where, in this case, music conveys deeper meaning).

I’m also feeling reminded of the strong Monophonics - Sage Motel song from “{Sunday Truth 75} for the very first time in years do i seem to enjoy springtime” from June 6, 2022, which was a non-public {Sunday Truth} at that point. Check your email inbox to read the whole piece again, if you so desire.

I’m outta juice.

Nuff said.

Hope you’re great.

Let’s kick asses.

And as always…

Have a good one, and lots of love to you and her 🌸.

Bye bye,

- Alex (all i care about here and now is stuffing my digestive system and luxurious body with plentiful amounts of food so i can audition for voiceover gigs with oomph (!), build up my muscles, and work on my lil naii.io|suse.la empire with vigor!)

p.s. adventure ⛰️ + i’m winning
p.p.s. wrute drink, oct saber

*Dickensian is word I learned when I looked up “single-minded” at Merriam-Webster. The example sentence went like: 

The candidate must be dedicated to a single-minded goal: Make life slightly less Dickensian for us in every way possible. - Jessica Geltstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2023

Then I looked up the meaning of Dickensian and found out that…

Dickensian is related living or working conditions that are below an acceptable standard, according to the Cambridge Dictionary.

About Alexander Kluge

I run a voiceover studio (naii.io), document how I produce original stories, while building my dream company (suse.la), and try to survive in a pendulum of existential angst and lust for adventure!