As a filmmaker, your constantly grinding each and everyday to get yourself to a place of freedom and success financially as well as creatively.
But then what happens?
Paul Mills was working as a video expert, operating his own online marketing company when he and his family received unthinkable news…
His wife was diagnosed with cancer.
Just like that, he was forced to relocate from California to Utah and change the focus of life from growing his business to taking care of his wife.
Thankfully, after years of treatment, Paul’s wife is still with us!
But what Paul learned as he emerged from the dark cloud of such a seriously dire situation was that it can be difficult to regain your footing both mentally and financially.
He found himself struggling to shake the survival mode/ victim mentality and become confident again in pursuing his video production business.
So he decided to make an empowered decision to regain control of his video business, his finances, and his life.
Paul joined the Next Level Creators program because he knew he needed three essential things:
- A new system of time management to maximize his efficiency
- Structure to pivot from freelancer to business owner
- Confidence to offer something new to clients in the form of commercial campaigns
The Next Level Creators program has given Paul the ability to feel confident again in his work.
By offering a Win-Win system to clients through his videos, focused on providing value, he has been able to secure his first commercial campaign client with a few more in his sights.
He also praises the online community of NLC program members who actively provide constant feedback and support every step of the way.
Taking back control of your life isn’t always easy after dealing with difficult life altering scenarios, but having a system in place and a community of passionate supporters will empower you to get where you want to go.
No matter what you may be dealing with, if you want to take control of your life and your future as a filmmaker, check out Paul Mill’s inspiring interview and see if it resonates with you.
Enjoy the interview!
Seize the day,
– Paul Xavier
Paul Xavier: Hello, hello. Next level creator community. I Have Paul Mills with me today and he’s already gotten a return on investment for his first commercial campaign client, big win. We’re going to talk through that story and more importantly than just, you know, offering more value to his clients. More important than having some systems in his business is actually what’s happening for him in his life. You know, how he, why he joined next level creators, what his reasons why we’re and where he’s going now and what he’s going to be able to accomplish because of systemizing his video production and value at he’s able to offer. So Paul, thanks for being here and jumping on this interview with me.
Paul Mills: Yeah, thanks Paul. It’s great to be here.
Paul Xavier: Uh, well I just realized it’s Paul and Paul. I, it’s so funny now. So Paul, you, you’ve gotten your first commercial campaign client, but I, I really enjoy starting interviews by asking why this creative field in the first place, why video production, why telling stories? What got you into that?
Paul Mills: Um, I was, uh, I actually started out in sales and real estate and very early on realized I need to learn how to market myself online. And that got me into online marketing, which very quickly led to a, this is going back about 10, 12 years to video production and social media. That’s all my clients wanted to talk about even 10, 12 years ago and that, so I had a small marketing company and I’m kind of a tech Geek, so I like cameras and stuff. And so I kind of got into video through that. Um, and a few years later transitioned from California to Utah, had an opportunity to make some changes and started going after more like passion projects and creative projects and I’ve found some really great ones in there. Awesome. Um, but the finances aren’t always there with those projects, so, um, yeah, that’s what got me into video production in the first place.
Paul Xavier: And then, so that passion, your clients wanted it, you did some creative projects. Where were you when you first encountered next level creators and where were you at in your life and why did you pay attention?
Paul Mills: So, um, I found next level creators. I, I guess it was about, I’d been going through his process, kind of searching process for about a month, month and a half. I was looking back, I’m looking at what wasn’t working when I was frustrated about and like, well, I need to do something. We need to make a change. Um, and so, um, well let me back up a little bit. Um, uh, the reason we transitioned from California, Utah a few years, it goes, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years old and that rocked our world of course. Um, and that’s been a, a crazy challenge, but we’re seven years out. She’s still alive, so we’re happy about that. Um, but you know, uh, that’s a major life distraction and so many different ways. And so basically when I found you, Paul, I was in this place of, okay, we’ve been in kind of survival mode for years.
Paul Mills: It’s been about keep them on life alive. Right? And, um, there’s a reality to that, but there’s also kind of a, I don’t know, like a victim mentality you can kind of fall into. And I to some extent fell into that. And so I was just kind of in this place where I needed to take responsibility for that. Um, I needed to start winning again, getting success in sales, talking to clients in business. I’d Kinda gotten away from that. Um, and there’s a lot of extra expenses when you’re dealing with a major health problem like that and uh, it put a huge strap on our fan. And so I need to make a change for me, for my own mental health, for my family. Um, you know, when you have someone that’s sick and each month you have to look at your budget and say, can we afford that supplement or that medicine this month that that hits you hard, especially when it’s your family. So it was time for me to step up and make some changes and I was in a search mode. I didn’t know what I was looking forward, but I knew what I was doing and getting work. And your Facebook ads kept coming up and coming up and I’m like, who’s this next guru? Don’t I don’t want to do that, you know, but you are reading my mail. So here we are.
Paul Xavier: And so I mean that’s a powerful story. I have to just give you tremendous amounts of respect for the fact that not only where are you in this state of, um, you know, things weren’t going the right way, right? You hadn’t won in a while, like you said. And instead of doing what a lot of people do, which is continue that pattern of thinking, which has continued that pattern of existence, you made a committed decision that that was going to change, right? You stop looking around for things that could help you and you said, no, I can help myself and I’m going to look for the one thing that I can do now that’s going to make that change. And I mean incredible amounts of respect to you. And I’m so happy that of course your, your wife is still with us and you are making big changes in your business and in your life and getting wins again. Um, and so you jumped on the phone with us, you had a conversation and you join next level creators. What, what changed, you know, getting into the program and learning these business systems and how to provide this type of value to your clients. Um, what’s it been like and what, how is that, what were the biggest shifts for you so far?
Paul Mills: I think right off the bat, the biggest shift for me was having some kind of structure to shape my schedule, start planning my time intentionally. Um, and of course following through on that. Um, that’s always been my biggest challenge, especially as a freelancer, um, is, is the execution is not really a challenge. It’s the, the plan and everything that goes through my head when I’m trying to make that plan that gets them away, all that stuff that just thinking stuff and what have you, um, that can trip up a lot of us creatives. So having that structured was huge right off the bat. Um, you know, I think even in my, my sales call with you guys that, um, I think Shannon, she said something like after I talked for a minute, she kind of repeated it back to me. She’s like, so what I’m hearing is you can execute but you need structure.
Paul Mills: And I was like, that’s it for me, that was like the main thing. Um, and so, you know, I have a lot of history in internet marketing and all that stuff. So it was coming in with some, some good background as far as speaking a language and understanding what you guys were talking about. Obviously it was very impressed and I felt like, okay, here’s the structure. Um, I know I can execute, I’m ready to execute now. I don’t think anything’s missing. Let’s go. Um, yeah. So I think the structure was the biggest thing for me. And I’ll add to that as part of the structure of the community. Um, I’ve been in other programs before with communities. I’ve never experienced a community like this, this, this active, um, the, uh, the culture there is awesome and supportive. Um, I’ve gotten a ton of value out of that. And that was in a kind of icing on the cake for me because honestly coming into it, I didn’t think there was going to be a ton of value there, but there really has been.
Paul Xavier: Oh well I appreciate that. Um, I have, I’ve been in many, many programs as well, similar to you and I found that most of the time the, the worst thing about a program or the worst thing about any mentorship is where you, you can’t get the little nuances right. There’s that, oh yeah, here’s how to run some Facebook ads or here’s how to do some youtube stuff and awesome, let me make some money doing it. Here’s how to shoot videos. And then you’re gonna make a bunch of money creating these types of videos for people. And then you go to try to do it. And all you have is these videos that tell you how to do something and no support whatsoever. No communication with anyone. And, I mean, that’s just a recipe for failure, right? So when we created next level creators, I wanted to give people that support mechanism they needed.
Paul Xavier: So I’m glad that, glad to hear that you appreciate that as much as you do and that that’s been one of the biggest things to help you out here. And so it sounds like the devastating power of focus was really that module for you, wasn’t it? Yeah. Okay. Well of course in version 4.0 we go into things even deeper in that particular second. That too, where, I mean when we talk about how freedom through time management, it’s, it’s, it gets just so much deeper. You’re going to love it. Um, and so, uh, with that, Paul, uh, where are you today? You know, you got into the program, your business was very project to project, you were looking for something more stable, consistent, what’s happened so far with your co and of course you came to our live events, so that was great as well. And, um, what has happened for you since you,
Paul Mills: uh, so yeah, I went to the live event. Um, I had about two and a half weeks of consistent outreach effort, you know, trying to, uh, get sales calls. I’m at that point. Um, and I went to the live event and that, uh, that, uh, so that wrapped on a Sunday and then on Wednesday I’d had a sales call set up going into that. Um, and I closed, that was my first actual sales call and I closed it so that, so I have one client. That’s it. I’m very excited about that. Um, and uh, so now I’m about a month in with, with that client’s campaign actually being live. We’re getting good results. Um, and now I’m kind of at the place where I still have to manage my old work, old clients, a lot of freelance stuff to pay the bills, have this one client. My goal was to get to five clients. At that point I should be able to, uh, not need any other work. Um, so I’m just now at the point where I’m, I’m starting to look for my second customer. Um, so I’m excited about that. Um, you know, I’m still living in both worlds if you will, but I can see the target. It’s reachable. It’s there. And um, so now I just got to get back to work and go get number two, three, four and five.
Paul Xavier: That’s all right. Yeah. So that’s exciting because for one, you’re not just looking at this as some type of theory anymore either, right? You’ve been through next level creators. You actually went out, you shot videos for your client, you set up the distribution campaign, leveraging our, you know, our instructions on how to do it and you’ve launched and not only have you launched, you’ve waited 30 days and what, um, what has that experience been like for you? Cause a lot of people are very nervous about that, right? I’ve never really done this before. You had some Internet marketing experience. Uh, but for you doing this for your client, your first commercial campaign, what was it like making that offer and then actually delivering it?
Paul Mills: Who’s definitely nerve wracking. I was definitely nervous about it. Yeah. I mean just swipe my background. I was very nervous about it. Um, I think for me personally, you know, anytime you’ve taken a big chunk of money for someone from someone, especially someone you don’t have experience doing, I was definitely relying on your background in the community’s strength. That’s what gave me the confidence. Now sales call. And ultimately that’s what I kept going back to. When that fear would start creeping in, it was like, no, they’re going to be there for me. They’re going to answer my questions, we’re going to figure this out. And so I kept going back to that commitment of we’re going to figure this out. Um, I’m going to figure this out with your help. So that kept me going. But yeah, I was definitely nervous. I still am a little bit, you know, but I can see it, my belief has gone up. The fear has come down quite a bit. Um, so yeah, and you know, my client, my particular situation is the client’s already self managing Google ad words with success. So that added for me a level of kind of intimidation, almost competing with my client in a sense. So I felt a lot of pressure there. Um, but yeah, for, for as early as we are, that campaign is looking great.
Paul Xavier: Yeah. Which is awesome. And the beauty of that is, you know, again, you can be nervous and then make, you can look at information or you can look at your life and you can say, I nervous because I’ve never done this before so I won’t do it. Right. Disempowered nervous, fear based decision making. You can also look at that decision of this person’s already got an active campaign. It’s working. I’ve joined this program that shows me everything on how to run these campaigns at the top level in terms of how to get results for people leveraging video in distribution. It’s my responsibility to reach out to this person even though I’d never done it before because I’ve invested in this and he needs it. He wants it. He probably doesn’t want to be doing this. He wants to run his company. Right. So empowered decision making, empowered movement in action in your life and business as well.
Paul Xavier: And I think that that is one of the biggest thing that that gets in our way as entrepreneurs is not being able to make those empowered decisions because we’re operating from a place of, I mean in a sense like a lack of confidence in this lack of experience and it’s all about you instead of what you can bring to people. So I’m really, uh, again, very happy for you that you’ve, you’ve been able to make those switches and then start to move forward and get that, those wins. And now moving forward here, we need to get that second, third, fourth, and fifth client, right? That’s going to happen. And when it’s going to happen is as quickly as possible cause I know you and know you’re going to put in the work. Um, and so when are you looking, like where, where do you see yourself in the next six months? Really? Are we thinking we’re going to have all five clients within six months? I think that’s a good goal for us. What do you think?
Paul Mills: Um, I think that’s a great goal. Um, the, uh, realistic part of my brain is saying that’s a stretch goal, but, um, I guess part of my, my only real hesitation in saying is I can get those extra four clients in six months. I think that’s actually quite attainable. Um, I think my hesitation with that is I’m still, and I know a lot of new people wrestle with as I’m still in that place of, of the niche, right? So I have this one client wasn’t what I was looking for, but it’s a great client. And so now I’m kind of back in that stage of, okay, um, what’s going to be my next client? So I think, um, I dunno, you tell,
Paul Xavier: I thought, yeah, this is a great opportunity here because you’re, you’re struggling with who is the next client then? Yeah. Well, I mean, we’re thinking six months out for, for clients, how many clients you’re going to get in the next six months for freelance work? Probably quite a few. Right. Cause you’re gonna have to pay the bills, so there’s going to have to be something coming in there.
Paul Mills: Yeah. Yeah, I’ve got a couple of regular clients to generally bring me business. But yeah, I mean I’d probably have to fill in three or four projects a month.
Paul Xavier: So you’re looking at three or four projects a month on freelance work, project to project. Now we’re thinking about for more clients for commercial campaigns. That’s it. That’s, that’s one. One month’s worth of freelance work. Sounds a lot. Lot better. Yeah. Now the question is how do we achieve those clients? So for one, you’ve got a proof of concept because you’re already getting a two to one ROI on this campaign. You’ve launched it for only 30 days. We already know we’re going to make that better. Um, how we go about getting those clients instead of thinking, Hey, this client wasn’t exactly who I wanted. Look at your proof of concept here. You’ve already generated them a two to one ROI for leveraging video production on a lead generation sales funnel and or leveraging Google as we want to figure out where that formula will work again.
Paul Xavier: And that’s our market. Don’t try to figure out youtube ads or Facebook ads or Instagram ads yet. You’ve got something that works, you know, these types of videos going to this type of offer at this price point with Google ads and lead generation sales funnels. So I mean, I mean I can just come up with a dozen of them right now. We’ve got pretty much any company that generates phone calls. I’m getting any company where people are searching for their product or service online that sells something over a thousand dollars and they’re in the service industry where there’s a high profit margin. That’s your market. Now looking back at your past clients, Paul, do we have any that are, that fit that demographic?
Paul Mills: I do. Workplace we would go. So my next, my hunch, I think who I was going to pursue next. One of my ongoing freelance clients is a vinyl fence and deck company, very large successful one in Utah. Um, and they’ve actually got kind of the corner on a new product. I believe they’re the only distributed in the US right now. Um, that is amazing. And I just like, you guys have to get this out there. So my, my thinking was that it was going to, and I have a good relationship, was going to approach them and see if we could do some work together.
Paul Xavier: Okay. So client number two, we, we’ve got a good idea of who they are, what they’re going to look like. So we need to run around the deal sales model with them. Um, now that’s one opportunity, right? Whether it goes the right way or not, we’re not going to get emotional over it. We’re going to diagnose what happens and we’re going to move forward with them. If it’s the right fit, we’ll only make an offer if we could see that we can create value, right? Anyone else in the hot and warm market though? And you don’t have to worry about coming like this is just the process that I do. Yeah. So it’s just recognizing the process is the key to success with this. You don’t have to know every single client, but I want you, after we’re done this interview today, look through your phone.
Paul Xavier: Look through every past invoice, not just for this year, for the past 10 years who fits this demographic. And I’m talking about past clients. I’m talking about friends of family, I’m talking about acquaintances, every single human being you get in touch with, uh, I think I told you this story at the live event, right? I picked up my phone and I called every single human being that was in that phone. People that I played football with in middle school, it hadn’t talked to in four years. Hey Humphrey, how you doing? How Seattle? I didn’t know you moved there. And I said, do you know anyone who fits, like fits this that you could introduce me to? That level of tenacity and also not only that, but that level of belief in your own capability to create value for people who fit this mold needs to be there, right? Sally herself before he can sell anyone else, you know that you can get results. Now it’s time to start going out there and showing and letting people know that you can do that.
Paul Xavier: That’s the first, that’s the first place to go. Once we’re done with that, then we’re going to start defining different markets that fit that criteria as well, Paul. So then we’re going to be going to that cold market. People who are strangers don’t know who you are and we want to implement our, um, time methods to get in front of them still, right? So time methods we’re looking at, you want to set up our, our outreach in version 4.0 of course. Uh, once you get in there, you’re going to be looking at the ways to automate that. Um, we have different ways of doing that now where it takes you 10 minutes a day and then you’re, you’re building your platform, your crew, you’re sending messages to be, and you’re getting new sales meetings every single week, you know, a couple of week just from a couple of minutes of work a week.
Paul Xavier: And that’s the beauty of those methods as well. So we’ll need to get that going for you. And that’s the cold market approach. And now we’re going to start sending some really strong missile approaches to people as well. Creative video, identify a target shoot, right spirit. We’re, we’re, we’re shooting the spirit of the fish that we want to go after, but that, that video should be providing value to them, which is why they’re setting up the meeting with you. Right? So that’s it. And doing that alone will get you five clients in the next six. I mean, it’ll get you four clients in the next six months. That’s what, you only need one less than one client a month. That’s a no brainer. You can absolutely do it. The realistic side of your brain is thinking, I haven’t had this, I haven’t done it yet. So I think realistically I’ll give it, I’ll be, uh, you’re trying to look at what’s happening and say, you know, I’m going to be conservative with this cause this is my reality, right? You’re reality though, is dictated by the actions that you’re taking in your reality. And if you take those actions we just talked about, your reality will change massive, like massively. You’ll have a lot more opportunities than you’re currently getting because you’ll be taking different actions.
Paul Xavier: Okay, good. Six months or less, I think a lot of good. Um, and so, uh, that was fun. Next up, Paul, would you, I think that was a good little piece for the interview for anyone else who’s listening of course. Um, moving, moving beyond that. I mean we’ve got six months. We’ll have your five clients. You’ll be able to stop doing project to project work unless it’s a passion project. Of course you’ll have your consistent income coming in for yourself so you have that freedom, um, to of course spend more time with your family and take care of them and have those wins that you were looking for. So, you know, I normally ask people, what would you recommend others to join next level creators in our community? Um, what, say you, Paul Mills
Paul Mills: that yes, I absolutely would. Um, and again, if you’re hesitating based on, you know, the nuances like Paul mentioned, they’re going to be there, the support is there. Um, it really has been a good experience for me. Um, and if you suffer like a lot of creatives with confidence and things like, like it’s all here. Um, also real deal and the community’s awesome. So yeah, I highly recommend if you’re on the fence, go for it and invest in yourself. Um, and you can do this.
Paul Xavier: Anyone can if they do it right. That’s the secret. So, Paul, thank you so much for sharing your experience. That was a fun interview. I look forward to talking to you again in a year or two years when we’re talking about other big moves that we’re making.
Paul Mills: Yeah, sounds good.