9 min 21 sec

Learning Designer Presses Play on Voiceover Gig

A working mom finds an unconventional side hustle that allows her to make money, have fun, and spend more time with her kids.
High Profit Low Startup Potential Service Transition Story Voiceover

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What It's About

A working mom presses play on a voiceover gig and creates more freedom for herself.

Business Model
Skills Required
Voiceover & Communication
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Carrie says that having an excellent demo is a great way to start finding commercial work. A good one typically costs anywhere from $1,000-$2,000, but she says that it’s important to get some experience under your belt before investing money into one.

Fun Fact

Carrie and her family traveled around the United States for 9 months in a travel trailer. While this was an awesome adventure, it became difficult for Carrie to find a place quiet enough to record her voiceovers. Once, she even drove to a cemetery to record. She says that, "you may have heard a commercial on the TV or radio that was recorded from the back seat of a Durango in a cemetery in New Mexico."

Notes from Chris

Episode 923
On the way to work one morning, Carrie Olsen decided that she was going to start listening to a new podcast. Already a lover of side hustles, Carrie was drawn to one about people who did unusual jobs—and it wasn’t ours! She pressed play on the latest episode and started listening to an interview with professional voiceover actress Alyson Steel.

Alyson was a mom, just like Carrie. But, unlike Carrie, she got to start her day by doing yoga and seeing her kids before they went to school. After that, she settled into her home recording studio for her day of work. With a newborn at home, the idea of being able to work from her house was music to Carrie’s ears.

Not only that, but Carrie also had a background in freelance podcast hosting and had narrated several courses for her day job as an eLearning Designer. Suddenly, it seemed like voiceover work wasn’t just something that she could pursue, it was something that she should.

She scored her first job about a month later. It was a 2-minute long narration for a Danish company, and she was paid $450. With extra cash in her bank account and pep in her step, Carrie kept her ear to the ground in the pursuit of more jobs.

After another small job, her third client brought Carrie a fat paycheck and a newfound sense of confidence. She was hired to record a national radio campaign for the outdoor gear store REI. This gig brought in $2,000. Not only that, but REI wanted to keep doing projects with her in the future. With the promise of more money, Carrie began to wonder how much she could make if she pursued her hustle full-time.

She began to pursue voice acting full-time only four months after she started her hustle, Carrie Olsen Voiceover. In her first year, she made almost exactly the same amount of money that she made in her old, corporate job, which was right around $45,000.

Since then, Carrie has been steadily increasing her salary. In the meantime, she designed her own course for voiceover coaching, combining both of her strengths in eLearning and in voice acting. In 2017, she broke six figures.

While Carrie has made serious (sound) waves in the voiceover industry, she already has new ideas for her business growth. She just did a few promos for Netflix and hopes to get into more promo work in the future. Carrie will also be releasing a new online course, all about marketing for voiceovers.

With the help of a side hustle, Carrie used her voice to hit all the right notes in her search for a better life.



Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"As a side hustle, the best part of the experience was the joy I got from it. Everyday, I was discovering more about the industry, and when I started bringing in an income from it, it didn't even seem real. Now, the best part of the experience is feeling like I've been able to design my lifestyle. I don't feel trapped at a job that keeps me from the things I love most.​"
—Carrie Olsen #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau