Tell us about you and your business!
ParadigmNEXT has evolved out of a very real and present need to connect sales strategies with a coherent and relevant online strategy. Often times, business owners have great ideas about growing their businesses digitally, but the ideas get “lost in translation” when trying to convey their message. Everyone in the business from developers to social media strategists to designers and many more have to understand the business, their customers, their products and their messaging. All of us at ParadigmNEXT are entrepreneurs, and our team is diverse in the industries they’ve worked in prior to joining ParadigmNEXT. We’re different in that we take the time to make sure that our solutions are truly integrated into a multi-faceted marketing approach, rather than just completing tasks as many consultants often do.
Are you boot-strapped, side-hustling or funded? Are you currently or planning to raise funding?
Being a service business we’ve been fortunate enough to have the ability to scale while still being bootstrapped. As we continue to grow and expand to other markets we are looking to bring on value-added partners that will not only provide funding, but more importantly subject-matter expertise in the geographies that we expand to as well as the industries we’ll be looking to serve.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy. What is one hurdle that you had to overcome or are still battling?
I would say that the biggest struggle I’ve faced with entrepreneurship is conforming into being a peg that will fit into any hole. I constantly have to learn and research and change the way I work to be able to fundamentally understand not just my work and what I am responsible for, but understanding the fundamentals behind all the other moving pieces that go into development, marketing, PR, social media, content creation, etc. While I’ve always been very analytical, these skills have always been applied to a relatively narrow scope. Now, in a day’s work I do code reviews with developers, content review with writers, design direction to designers and social strategy with the social media strategist. While it has been difficult at times to get a good grasp on certain aspects, it’s been a very rewarding adventure in being able to grow personally while watching my company blossom.
What are you looking to accomplish in the next few months and how can we help you get there?
We have decided to grow our development arm from purely front-end development to offering a full breadth of development services ranging from web, to Android and iOS as well as custom applications. However, this would be done in true ParadigmNEXT style. Clients would not only work with developers, but also a full team of entrepreneurs and marketing experts along with the development talent to build a product that is conducive to rapid growth. In working with Ms. Tech we are looking to achieve two things: One, to help grow our team from like-minded, creative members of the Ms. Tech community. Two, to get the word out about our unique approach in building products and methods of marketing those products. By working with the Ms. Tech community we are hoping to reach other entrepreneurs that are looking to build or grow their business and understand the role that digital marketing plays in building any business in this digital age.
We believe in honoring our mentors,role models, and those who have supported us along our way to success. Tell us about someone special to you and how they positively influenced you
I have the privilege and honor of having worked with Sherren Leigh of TCW Magazine. She has been an inspiration to me and has taken the time to guide me through my personal and professional growth over the course of the past decade. Sherren is the embodiment of a woman entrepreneur before it became popular. She has been at the helm of TCW Magazine since inception over 31 years ago. She has been an inspiration to many thousands of women throughout the years through her entrepreneurial spirit, her philanthropic work and her sense of style. Sherren was the inspiration for me to start my own magazine, Status Chicago, which was a great segway to other entrepreneurial feats including ParadigmNEXT.
What keeps you motivated?
Results: pure and simple. Seeing the satisfaction of our very creative team when we get great results for our clients is the best motivator there is. “If only we could do it again tomorrow,”
We’re an ambitious group. Share with us one of your biggest bucket list items.
The Harvard Business School Executive Program for Entrepreneurs has been on my bucket list for a few years now. Between launching new businesses, getting married and having a daughter it was hard to find the extra time, however, with ParadigmNEXT turning the corner I think 2015 might be the year!
What one bit of advice do you have for the women of Ms. Tech and our entrepreneurial communities?
Don’t shy away from a challenge. It is through these challenges that we challenge ourselves to become better and more skilled professionals and people. By taking the challenges head on, we force ourselves to find creative solutions, and the challenges instead become learning experiences from which we come out smarter, stronger and more apt at tackling the world around us.
Keep up with Yana and ParadigmNext!