Ep146: [CASE STUDY] From “Out of Ideas” to Becoming an Idea Machine | with Paul Del Vecchio

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When filmmaker Paul Del Vecchio reached out to me six months ago, he had a successful career as a high-end commercial editor, director of photography, and colorist. He had climbed to the top of the ladder in his corner of the world - the trouble was that he was at the top of the wrong ladder and didn’t want to be there anymore. How did he end up there like so many others do? Simple - Paul said yes to practically every opportunity that came his way his entire career, an answer driven largely out of fear. He found that every time he tried to pursue his true calling of writing and directing, he had nothing left to give his own projects because he gave all his mental, physical, and creative energy to other people’s projects. In fact, Paul struggled so much to get into the rhythm of writing again that he convinced himself he had run out of ideas.

Here’s a Slack message that Paul sent me recently after working through his many fears and obstacles in my Optimizer coaching & mentorship program:

Not bad for a guy who was burned out and “out of ideas.”

So how did Paul become an absolute productivity ninja? We talk all about the strategies he implemented in todays episode including:

  • Alleviating his financial fears of not being able to afford saying no to the wrong jobs (which was total BS he was making up in his head)
  • Implementing a system of external accountability and financial management to have confidence he could turn down the wrong projects and focus on the right ones
  • Building in new daily habits to help reignite his creativity that would inspire him to go back to writing again (a habit he had all but given up on).

Paul’s ideas are now abundant and he's no longer "busy" doing everyone else's work, but rather he's productive and focused on his own work. Paul is here today to candidly and honestly share his story and tell you in his own words the steps he took to turn his career around and rediscover his own creative flow so if you’re stuck in a similar place you too can get back on track.

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Here's What You'll Learn:
  • How Paul's obliger tendency led to him climbing to the top of the wrong ladder.
  • The key mindsets Paul implemented to begin making changes in his life.
  • The film contest that Paul won but didn't bring the opportunities he hoped for.
  • How Paul began to create his own opportunities.
  • Paul’s reaction to his own words played back to him about how stuck he was 6 months ago.
  • Paul admits to skepticism in the beginning of the program but decided to trust the process and see what happens.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: The smallest of steps lead to big changes.
  • How Paul uses accountability to keep himself writing and working towards his goals.
  • The finance system that allowed him to let go of his fear and feel confident about saying no to jobs he didn't want to do.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Saying yes to something means saying no to many other things such as time, freedom and creativity.
  • Paul was terrified of beginning the outreach process in the Advanced Networking program.
  • Paul shares the secret to not feeling like you are bothering people when you reach out to them.
  • Paul describes his experience of writing, sending, and getting a response to his first outreach email.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Make your outreach emails easy to respond to by asking if you can ask a question.
  • What Paul learned from a connecting with a director via cold outreach.
  • Why asking for advice is not the best way to get the most valuable information from people.
  • Paul reflects on the changes and progress he's made over the last 6 months of being in the Optimizer community.
  • Paul's advice for anyone wanting to make a change in their life.
Useful Resources Mentioned:

Myspace - Wikipedia


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Guest Bio:

Paul Del Vecchio is a Promo & Commercial Editor, Colorist, and DP in NYC who has done work for companies like NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, USA Networks, TNT, Conde Nast, and Viacom on brands such as Furious 7, The Hunger Games, Mr. Robot, Crimson Peak, Hennessy, Michael Kors, Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Bon Appetit, and more.

As a Director, his film, "The Final Day," was hand picked by legendary filmmaker George Romero and The Weinstein Company as the Grand Prize Winner in the "Diary of the Dead" contest. The film is in the special features of the "Diary of the Dead" Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Release.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

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