Taking the Leap (Yes, in the midst of a pandemic)!

announcement Sep 01, 2020

Big news over here. I resigned from my corporate job, and am taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Yes, I realize that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and I can assure you that now is the perfect time. 

Did you know that one of the most common regrets of the dying is not having had the courage to live a life true to their own desires? According to Bronnie Ware, a former nurse and author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, at the time of death, most people had not honored even half of their dreams. Over quarantine, I made a preemptive list of things I’d regret if my life came to a screeching halt tomorrow, and entrepreneurship was on the top of that list. So, I figure, why delay these dreams for another minute when the future is unknown? On a less morbid note, here’s a bit of background and context as to what I’ll be up to, and how I could possibly be of help to you!  

In 2015 I founded the social media consultancy Paragon Social LLC to be able to help smaller businesses and individuals with social media marketing, to entertain my entrepreneurial side, and to fill an extracurricular void that became apparent after finishing grad school. Back then, I held two firm beliefs about this business: 

1. I needed to make it look like I owned a big company that employed multiple individuals to bring me clout, credibility, and clients

2. I’d be able to scale my company while working full-time until I reached the tipping point where I’d be financially comfortable enough to quit my day job and become a full-time entrepreneur 

Five years later, I now believe neither of these things to be true, and here’s why… 

Debunking belief #1: You need a company to bring you clout 

If the explosion of social media influencer marketing has taught us just one thing, it is that it’s possible to get paid for being you. 

Sure, working for big-name companies, going to a prestigious college, and partnering with cool clients can be of value, but it’s not by mere association that these things give a person credibility. Rather, it’s the experiences, learnings, knowledge, and skills acquired as a result of those associations that create your value, and your value (you) is all you need in order to turn right around and provide value to others. 

Nobody has helped me understand this concept better than my life coach. I now understand that my business is me. In the same way, your business is you. How incredible is it to know that simply showing up each day as your best-self is enough?

Debunking belief #2: Scaling while working full-time is possible 

Simply put: I tried and I failed. I failed to scale my business while working full time due to a lack of time and personal buy-in. Working anywhere from 40 to 60 hours a week in Corporate America meant that I’d consult for clients on nights and weekends. And this was fine, it’s what I signed up for by adopting a ‘side hustle’. The only problem was, I needed those precious hours each week to scale my side hustle into a legitimate business. 

But why turn a side hustle into a full-time business when there’s no monetary need to do so? If we’re getting really real, a steady salary has been acting as my flotation device for years. Keeping me safe while actively blocking my commitment to my own business. Due to living a salary lifestyle, I lacked buy-in on my own dreams. 

So, what’s a girl to do? R&R! Nope, not rest and relax- rebrand and resign. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. And yes, I realize that I’m taking these big steps amidst a global pandemic. Please trust me on this one (Mom and Dad)! 

I’m happy to share that I’ll now be doing business as me, Ava Beilke, instead of Paragon Social. My corporate employment concludes at the end of August.

Moving forward, I’ll be offering one-on-one social media and personal brand consulting, along with online workshops and courses, teaching people how to leverage a heart-centered approach to social media marketing. The goal? To help you to turn your hobby into a business by building an authentic personal brand online.

I’m so excited to share that my signature Heart-Centered Social Media Workshop is now available online. This workshop focuses on two key topics: self-love, social media marketing, and the connection between the two. If you’re interested in giving yourself a healthy dose of self-love, while exploring social media concepts, exercises, and framework to help you build your personal brand and stand out online, I invite you to enroll in this workshop. The best part? It is available on-demand from the comfort of your own home, no mask required. 

Cheers to taking a leap into the unknown, to pursuing dreams, and to using social media marketing to turn side hustles into full-time businesses.

With Love, Ava

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