Noah Mittman on Clarity Power & Follow Through
All right! So today, I have Noah Mittman with me, and he is going to share with us on the EntireTask podcast what he did and why he started his business. Noah, why don't you at the very beginning here give us an understanding of where you started out from, where you're from and what gave you and what gave you the idea to start a business?
Get to know Noah
Let's see, so I was born in 1989. No, I'm kidding.
Where were you born?
I was born in Menlo Park, California, actually. But I'm now in gorgeous, beautiful, mountainy, evergreen, Colorado. Nice. And I'm not moving. Like I'm done. I'm happy. No, but yeah, for my business, man, what a crazy story.
So, let's see. I've been, I mean, it really, it does stand back a long time, though. I've been a filmmaker for 15 years now. I started in high school and really did it for fun for the first, however many years. I probably, let's see. So, 2006 to like 20, yeah. First, like six years. I just did it for fun.
And I had a good friend of mine, at some point say, Hey, you know, like I've been doing it for a while. I was like, you know you're good enough to do this professionally, right? And I like- That was just this huge light bulb moment for me. I'm like, Oh my God, I could actually make a living of this.
And like, that would be amazing. That would be like the coolest job ever. So
You get paid to play, right?
Exactly. I know, getting paid to press record is still mind-blowing to me. It's- I get to be creative professional, creatively, or creatively professional, which is really cool. So I launched in 2012. I got my LLC for like 50 bucks, and it was super easy. And, yeah, I did a few years of freelance, just kind of getting whatever job, cause I'll say this. I went to film school. I almost graduated from school. I haven't graduated, but it's also not necessary to graduate from film school, to work. So I had all this experience, and I just kind of took it out there.
The one thing, though, that film school does not teach you is how to run a business. It doesn't teach you rates. It doesn't teach you how to make money. And that is, so all these kids are coming out of film school with just, Oh, cool. Like you can make a cool shot. You can record sound well, but you have no idea how to work.
And so I had to give myself a crash course in that. And, it really got turned up in 2018, beginning of 2018, like the end of 2017, when I realized I was like, okay. I've been kind of, jumping from job to job here, taking whatever comes—doing Uber to fill the gaps occasionally. And, I had a baby boy on the way, and I was like, Oh my God, okay, I'm starting a family.
I need to get serious about this. Yeah, I need to start; I need to start adulting. Exactly. Like somebody is going to be counting on me. I have a family that I need to support, so I switched from just finding whatever I could to really focusing on video marketing for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Colorado.
And that was actually crazy. It was really successful. We did; I kind of built a subscription program for businesses that you can get Mo- I still have a couple of subscription clients right now. Thank God a couple has hung on through COVID. And that was really a turning point because from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2019, went from doing, yeah, 50, 60 K a year, did, over 180,000 in revenue in two years. And I really, it was like, okay, like I've figured something out here and, then COVID hit and most of that business, in fact, unfortunately, what happened, the reality for me is that people didn't view marketing as like,
virtual money for them. They really like, okay, we got to keep the lights on, but like, hey, marketing is what gets you more business. And a lot of them-
I would think that would be the last thing I would cut.
Me too. We're, we're a little bit low on funds right now, but like I'm still putting marketing money in.
Yeah. I'm putting ten bucks a day in Facebook ads cause it brings- getting eyes on us; it's still important. That's where I'm spending. I'm not really spending anything else. So, I had to kind of pivot on that because there wasn't as much video marketing work and realized that online courses are probably a better way to go and a safer way to go for COVID and economy, and everything's moving online anyway.
And there's really, the online course market is absolutely exploding, and we'll continue to explode. Huge. Right?
This is an opportunity.
And, I think education as a whole is changing because people don't...
You know, people don't want to learn from a teacher who's been taught something. They want to learn from somebody who's actually done it.
Professional. That's doing their thing. I agree. No, I could not agree more. That's another problem I have with film school is that a lot of the professors quote, unquote, were people that were just professional teachers. And it was like, you're teaching me about broadcast television when you've never made broadcast television. Why would I listen to you?
You know, it's funny. I didn't even know this about you when we started to talk here, but my son's actually been in a film since great six.
And he's now in his first year of university, and I'm like, Hey, are you ready to come and help me out in the business? And he is like, well, I don't know. I don't know enough to do that yet. And I'm like,
You need to push them to do it. Cause that's, tell him for me, who is a, I've been a professional filmmaker for almost ten years.
I'll make him watch this.
Yeah. There you go. You learn from so. Hello, your son. You learn from experience. You learn from, the most valuable part of school for me was getting on set, getting into action. Not sitting in a classroom and like learning theory and learning, whatever. No, it was like, let's go mixed up. Let's go do, and you learn through the process—the only difference between school and.
The only process, the only difference between school and working, you're always learning. It's just whether you're not, you're getting paid to learn, right? Like everybody's always. You're constantly learning. You're constantly here, and you're probably good enough to at least start. For sure for you, like, for your setup.
Yeah, absolutely get them in there. It's massive. And yeah, I agree that online- education is fundamentally changing now. It's going to be online. I think systems and processes in schools are changing to where probably virtual learning is gonna be a thing, a part of it for a long time. If not forever.
And again, this online course, boom, is happening. So, man, it's just, what a time to get into it. So what I really found with my niche on this is taking my filmmaking background and teaching my courses on, teaching course creators, especially first-time course creators, how to make their courses look, sound, feel, and sell more professionally through video.
Yeah, I'm all in.
So let's talk about that. So how do you- let's answer two questions for me. The first question being, how do you get clarity? And do you use the same process with your people who go on to your courses? Or do you use a different process with them to get clarity or the same process?
Noah on Clarity
That's an interesting question because there was a difference in mindset between just doing my thing and creating and explaining and teaching how I do it. So I had to really dive into like, okay, what do I think is a cool way to teach this? And now, with a response from students, it really works for them, and it breaks it down into a simple way, and I have fun with it. There are jokes in it. You're laughing, and you're smiling. Like it's a good time. It's not like we're going to learn film and now we're filming. It's trying to be good. So hopefully, my light bulb moments of like, how to teach, how to do things in the simplest way, provides people, my students, with light bulb moments of, Oh this is how you do it in an easy way.
And from the feedback that I've heard is it really works for them. But yeah, you're saying in terms of the mindset of how I get clarity. I really try to reverse engineer stuff. I know where my strengths are. Like my superpower is video and really seeing what, I think it's based on my taste.
What do I find cool? What do I find helpful? What are people doing out there that I agree with, and how can I make those ideas into my own thing? Cause it's not starting from scratch, right? Like there's no need to reinvent the wheel at this point. There's so much content out there. So it's like studying who's doing it well and seeing what your version of that wave would be. Right. So I'm just like, Hey, who's succeeding? What can I do that is my version of that? And it works because it already worked for them because you're not, I'm not like- I think the idea, especially with trying to like make a product or making a course or whatever is, I wouldn't say start from absolute scratch because there's so much working out there.
If you can take your element of what's already working that you're, that excites you and incorporate that, you're going to have a faster path to success by yourself. Got it. And just like starting from zero and not having any input, which doesn't make any sense to me.
Right. Right. Exactly. And so, you were mentioning some of the people that you look up to. Who are some of your heroes?
Oh, man. Let's see. Especially in the core space, Parker Walback. He does a full-time filmmaker and course creator pro. Absolute genius. You need, if you haven't seen, you need to go, just if you've ever thought about doing a webinar, go watch the full-time filmmaker or the course creator pro webinar. It will blow your mind.
It's the best webinar I've ever seen in my life. It's automated, so it's not like live, but he incorporates visuals and titles, and animation. And like, it's so engaging to watch that, yeah, it literally, I have a rule that I'll share for my course. Actually, it's for promotion for your course, for whatever. Only stay on your face if you're talking head, like delivering information. Only have your face on screen 10 seconds or less at a time. Other than titles, visual-aids videos, pictures, whatever you can do to make it interesting, make it watchable. It really has an impact on watchability. So like with that more people are going to make it all the way through your content and more people are going to get the message that you're trying to put out there.
He's great. In terms of, cause there's the course creation side and then there's the marketing side, right? Like there's the, you have to make your course and then sell your course. One of the best salespeople on this planet, in my opinion, is Russell Brunson from ClickFunnels. 'Expert Secrets' his book was an absolute textbook for me, for my marketing and my building an audience and building content ideas and doing all that stuff. He's a legend. And then the person that really got me into the thinking about course creation in a different way, and you know how to price it, and what to put all that. Putting all the elements in and putting my podcast together, all that stuff is Amy Porterfield. Changed my life.
Really, really incredible and just gave me the permission to be like, cause it was interesting actually. Russell's all about stack a bunch of stuff together. Make it the best possible offer ever. I was like, okay, cool. This is overwhelming a little bit, which is great. The sales are there.
I get it. You need a really good offer. Amy goes, okay, hold up. You have all your ideas. That's great. Let's start with something simple. So like, okay, what's worked the best for me so far. And it's this film, your online course at home course that I had. I was like, I'm gonna start just pushing this and then I'll grow as I grow; but I can at least get this out and get it working for people and getting it into the world.
And then I can kind of build and on top of that. So I'm making, there's like a mixture of everything here, but those, yeah, just in terms of like, who really inspiring me and showing me kind of how to do it right. I would say those, go check out those people.
And just out of curiosity, where do you host your course materials?
Great question. So the course itself is on Thinkific, and the funnel to get to the course to sell it is through click funnels. So when you buy it through Click Funnels-
I would have expected when you said Russell Brunson.
Of course, of course. That being said, though, I was a fan for years before I actually bought it. I've been following his content for five years or more. But yeah, you go through Click Funnels for the webinar to get you to actually purchase it, and then it shoots you over to where it's hosted on Thinkific, and you actually get to go. Cause it's just, I will say this. Click Funnels is great at selling courses, great at selling stuff. Less strong at hosting. Which is fine. Can you just put a button on your thank you page and it takes you over to the Thinkific course, and it's solid from there. So it's super smooth. Yeah, absolutely.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, that's great. So let's talk about power or you could also say, will power. So, what was it that inspired you about deciding first of all, that you wanted to be in film and then what is it that keeps you coming back every day when you have those hard days, when things get really tough and you're like, what the hell?
Noah on Power
Yeah, 2020 has been like, the 'what the hell' year.
I think I saw the best I saw design yesterday for socks with the number 2020, but it was in like the shape of a middle finger. I was like, that's exactly what this year needs. No. Yeah. So man, great story for what I like started me in filmmaking. I was 16, 15? And I what I used to do back in the day, cause I just was a movie geek and I was too ADHD for school was, I would rent five movies from blockbuster and ride home, get a sandwich and literally watch all five back to back. And that was like a great Saturday for me. I had darkroom movies.
It was amazing. No wonder I became a filmmaker. But one day I saw, I'm a freak for behind-the-scenes documentaries on movies. Like featurettes. And I saw the behind the scenes for the matrix and
Oh, I bet that would have been interesting.
Really it's actually on YouTube. It's fantastic. But I, what I saw was, Oh my God, like there's a whole crew of people making this movie.
Meaning there's a bunch of jobs and stuff to do on set. I could actually do this. So that was like, okay, this is like viable. I can like actually become this. And that kind of set me on the path to, if that cool of a movie has a whole crew behind it, I can make stuff like that eventually. And that got me kind of started.
And then what was the, Oh yeah. What gets me out of bed in the morning?
Yeah. Or what keeps you going when things are tough?
Yeah. I think the fact that I've tried to have quote-unquote, like adult jobs before, and they just never worked out. And I just, whether I wasn't happy or it just, wasn't a good fit.
This, I have to do this because it is one I'm excited about. It is what's working. It's still following my passion. I got this tattoo on my arm; it's a shutter.
Yeah, I can tell. Yeah.
Yeah, it's a film shutter, so that's my commitment I made years ago to make the majority of my income off of video and film and whatever, something in the creative field.
So. For me, I think the no matter how hard the day is, I still get to choose my own hours. I work crazy hours, but I still get to choose them. And I have that time for either
And you can, especially, having children, I think, owning your own business or being in charge, you can say, Hey, I have to go drop my kid off at school. Pick my kid up, go to soccer, whatever.
Right. You can take that little break.
Yeah, exactly. And that's
You can work a half-hour later during the night; you're not clocked in. The clocking-in thing doesn't work for me. The asking for time off and it not being granted doesn't work for me. And the, I think the creative freedom and really like the ability to do stuff like this. This is awesome, we're at almost 12 o'clock on a Monday.
Like the only way you can do this is if you're a full-on entrepreneur, and that level of freedom, I love.
You know, it's interesting. I think that a lot of the people who are employees now, who are working from home, are starting to get some of the benefits that we saw, that we see. And I
I won't be surprised if there's another wave like people that see that. Oh, I could like do this at home. And then, Oh, I wonder if like that side project or passion that I was, I've been brushing off for years could actually work in the same scenario. Yep, it can.
There's a big movement towards that. There's a big movement. So it'll be really interesting in the next few years how things kind of rollout. So,
I'm so interested; I'm excited and interested to see.
Me too. Me too. So let's talk about your moonshot. We talked about that at the beginning. What was your moonshot? What is your moonshot? Where are you going?
I think it's just pretty simple. It's just to follow the passion and then follow the, it kind of changes over time. It's just like, what am I excited about? And what am I, what, where's the energy for me to keep going after the stuff I'm going after? And if it, if that energy like slows down or like I'm forced to pivot, what can I get excited about for, you know, this next day. So that's kind of the mood. And I think the real moonshot, though, is just, is to run my own thing.
And is legacy is leaving an impact is helping people is feeling creatively fulfilled. All that stuff. Just being a creator and being able to impact the world in a positive way and provide for my family.
So what it sounds like to me, is really like , when people say living your purpose. It sounds like you're really living your purpose.
Yeah. And that's really like the, you know, when there's a hard day and I just know I need to get back after tomorrow and just like
You go back to that.
Exactly. It's this is my purpose. I know this is my purpose. This is what I've been chasing for, and doing, for 15 years, and I'm 31. So like half of my life already. And I just got to keep going cause I know it's going to pay off. Because I keep having good things happen and things work out because I'm on the right path.
If it's hard, there are yes' when there need to be yes' .
Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Do you know?
Absolutely. So let's talk about our last kind of area that we like to talk about. Although I'm kind of changing it a little bit, adding new things into it. Just like I added the moonshot into it. So, how do you create your goals right now? And how do you kind of keep yourself on track to those goals? And then how do you follow through on- once you've made those goals, how do you follow through on those? What set of processes do you put in place, or how do you deal with that?
Noah on Follow-Through
Lists, a lot of lists. Lists & notes. My notes app is insane. I have different categories of stuff, and I have the general to-do of the day. And then yeah, that whole act of marking things off or knowing that I took care of that, I took care of that.
Like, my Google calendar absolutely runs my life. Yeah. So knowing that, say I have eight or ten things to do today that are scheduled; when I get all of those done, I'm like, Oh my God. I'm exhausted, as you are at the end of any good day, but Holy crap, was I productive.
You feel good?
I feel great! I posted a status recently that was like: 'Exhaustion from doing a lot or like being an action is so much better than the exhaustion from the frustration of procrastination.
Right! Oh God yes It's always
exhaustion, but it feels so much better to have done stuff.
Do you ever have a challenge with procrastination?
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's some days I'm here, I'm human. And it's really, I find it honestly more when I don't have a full schedule of stuff to do. If it's just an open day and I can just kind of jump around. So like even if I block schedule. Like, okay, from this hour to this hour, I'm working on stock video clips. From this out of this hour, I'm posting and Facebook groups. You know, all that different,
if I can just keep myself , on task oriented, oriented to tasks, I'll have a good day.
You know , that reminds me. So, inside of EntireTask, we have like these four areas of the business, right? We have promotion, production, provision, and pedestrian. And promotion is that posting and Facebook groups doing your marketing, stuff like that.
And production is like creating your courses, right? That's. Yeah, the production part. And I find that that is one of the nicest things inside of EntireTask is that I can block, I can just say filter for all of my promotion stuff.
I love that.
Yeah. That to me is, is beautiful.
Really cool. Yeah.
And you know what else I do as well, like today, this is Monday, right?
I do all of my interviews on certain days. Right? There are certain days and certain times when I chunk that out because on the other side of my business is the development of the application. Right. Right? And so that's production for me, is developing the application and I get ideas from interviewing people like yourself. Like what could I add to the app to make sure it works for these business people? And but production is such a different mindset.
Absolutely. From promotion. It's like, I have to keep them on different. Totally different minds. Yeah.
Schedules. And then of course, the administration of the business, that's a whole other kettle of fish.
So that's the planning piece of it, and it's interesting. And so with your notes, how do you keep them organized? Do you like tag them? What do you do?
Yeah, essentially. So I have Bear, which is a notes app and it gives me hashtags with categories, and that's how I kind of follow. And I hate to shut this off, I actually got another call that I got to jump onto.
We were right on half an hour, which is what we like to do. So let's go. What is your free gift today for our listeners?
Yeah, absolutely. So I actually have an absolutely free 10-minute webinar that you can kind of learn the three secrets to film your online course at home to start that kind of process.
And it's super simple. You go to filmmyonlinecourse.com/3secretswebinar. So it's 10 minutes, which is, it's not a 60 or 90-minute crazy webinar, like all that normal stuff. 10 minute webinar.
And it gives you info, no fluff awesomeness, and we'll teach you a bunch.
Awesome. Thanks so much, Noah, for coming on today.
Thank you for having me. This has been awesome.
Yeah, absolutely. Love getting to know you.
Most definitely. We'll have to do it again sometime. Yeah, sounds good for sure. By the rest of your day, right. 📍