For Paola Marquez, It’s Okay to Run From a 9-to-5 Corporate Job, But Make Sure You’re Running Towards ‘Healthy’ Living 

Source: Paola Marquez | Instagram: @paosfitworld

Meet Paola Marquez, a Venezuelan native and a certified personal trainer and fitness style blogger. But what you probably didn’t know about her is that she holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a certified personal trainer. You’re probably wondering how one goes from the corporate engineering world to the online world of fitness and daily lifestyle coaching.

Back in 2012, Marquez and her husband, Andy, had just gotten married, with very demanding careers. Health and fitness were the last thing on their minds. Seven years ago, they moved to the United States from Venezuela, leaving the corporate world behind them. 

Why? To pursue Paola’s passion for fitness and healthy living. While this was a tough discussion to have in the beginning, both agreed to take a chance and take Paola’s love for fitness and transform it from a hobby into a business. And that’s what she did—three years ago, taking it to the next level and exposing herself to the fitness world under the business moniker, Paos Fit World

How to Survive in a Saturated ‘Influencer’ Market

Source: Paola Marquez | Instagram: @paosfitworld

If you use the word “influencer,” we guarantee you that you’re already coming off less credible than you intend to. It’s an over-saturated word in what is an over-saturated market of “thought-leadership.”

Now, you’re probably thinking what sets Paola and her business apart from every other fitness personality and lifestyle coach out there? Well that’s just it—it’s a saturated market, and Paola and Andy understood that. The difference here is that they weren’t just ‘talking the talk,’—they were walking the walk, for miles and miles. 

Three years ago, if you were to ask any millennial about Instagram, you would have a very different answer than you would today. That’s because Instagram was just beginning to set itself out as a market leader for what we are now seeing to be a platform for expression and entrepreneurship on an entirely new playing field. It’s a one-stop shop resource for distributing, reading, watching, and picking up new information within a 60-120 second time-frame.

With little business reputation and little financial backing to get her dream off the ground, in less than six months, Paola and her brand have scaled the business to six-figures, now mentoring other fitness coaches and a range of over 6,000 clients across the world—all online. 

It started as a hobby,” Paola shared with us. “When I realized how I felt when helping others and how happy it made me, I knew that I had to switch careers and devote my life to this amazing career. Nothing makes me feel better than helping others achieve their goals and feel better about themselves.”

Should You Give Up the “9 to 5?” 

Having a degree is great, but it is only half the battle. If you’re expecting for the degree you’ve received or earned to guide you into your dream job or career prospect, you’re unfortunately living a false sense of reality.

Getting the degree is the first step—it’s what you do with it and how you use it that determines your success (or failure).

For Marquez, she took her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in combination with her certification as a personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist, where she consults with clients on how they should be eating to achieve their tailored-goals. 

Getting started wasn’t an easy transition. In my conversation with Paola, she and her husband shared that the relationship was rough at the time Paola decided to pursue fitness full-time. Why? The idea of quitting the corporate world, or working a 9-5 job, to go to what seemed like an entirely flexible schedule based off social media, seemed too risky. 

It was rough at the beginning,” Andy interjected, “but then she realized it was time to execute.” How? Well, Paola soon enrolled in the National Academy for Sports Medicine (NASM) and started her certification program to become a personal trainer.

Today’s digital age has completely transformed the ways in which people are able to make a living, and comfortably. At the time Paola and Andy started the company, Instagram was just beginning to explode in the millennial world. 

We began following accounts where the individual was making an actual living out of fitness and lifestyle coaching,” Andy explained. “For me at that time, as her husband, I started to recognize that there may very well be another path for people who don’t need a 9-to-5 job to live comfortably. So, I started to support her in her ambitions of becoming a fitness trainer and consultant. She came to me with the idea of starting an online company based on the knowledge she then had. I thought it was worth giving a shot.” 

To Create Value, You Need to Understand Your Value 

Source: Paola Marquez | Instagram: @paosfitworld

Before registering the company and launching the actual business, we educated ourselves on online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), to help us as we were preparing to register and launch our company and website.  

As of last year, the SEO industry was approaching $80 billion, according to Forbes. Andy shared that one of the first major investments they put into the company, was consulting with Backlinko founder, Brian Dean, an SEO expert in digital marketing. Dean, has been dubbed an SEO guru, that even Neil Patel recommends him. It was for this reason that Dean became one of the major key players for Paola and Andy in their journey to developing their business.

Back in the day, hiring someone like Dean was around a $2,500 product, and we weren’t making any money,” Andy confessed. “But we were ready to commit ourselves to this idea and execute. We were fortunate that part of Dean’s program was that he offered a private Facebook group. At that time, Facebook groups or communities weren’t heavily utilized or emphasized as they are today.”

Recognizing their inexperience with copyrighting and sales marketing, they reached out to the private Facebook accelerator group that Dean had put together as part of his program, hoping to seek answers to their questions. 

At that time, we weren’t very good at copyrighting and sales marketing, or more eloquently put, we didn’t understand terms such as ‘copyrighting’ or ‘SEO’,” Andy expressed. “So, at the time, when we reached out to members of Dean’s Facebook group, it was difficult to share our concern in a more compelling way. However, the value of Dean’s program came to light, as one of the members in the Facebook group was able to help us identify that we needed a copywriter to help us create a sales page.”

And that’s what brought Paola and Andy to Elyse Devaki, a copywriter based in New York, who helps females in this space develop their brand. 

She has since become a friend, having guided us from the beginning to where we are today,” Paola added.

Once past that stage, Marquez and her husband then began exploring the depths of Instagram’s platform, podcasts, and reading other material to continue building upon their knowledge base. 

We don’t mind spending money on and in the business, because education is definitely an investment,” Andy concluded.

Advice to Fellow Fitness Entrepreneurs

Source: Paola Marquez | Instagram: @paosfitworld

#1 –Don’t Neglect Your Competition. Use Them.

One of the biggest challenges right now, according to Paola is market saturation.

There are many people promising and offering so many results, and unfortunately, they just haven’t walked the walk,” he explained. “Right now, we have very good copyrighting program and a great utilization of Facebook Ads. You can do some damage here. But, for us, people come back to Paola, because she takes care of her clients. She doesn’t just provide information and send them on their way—it’s a personalized approach and a very in-depth relationship that works for both parties. It’s not something many people do these days unless you’re connected to the right people.”

They referenced to me that in the past, business competitors would be willing to help one another. No longer is that the case. 

Now, everyone wants to be their own star—refusing to share or collaborate. It’s the wrong way to do business. If we help each other, we all grow together, which is a win-win for everyone. It’s very competitive in an unhealthy way.”

#2 –Believe In Yourself. Self-Confidence Is Key to Client Retention.

Teaching your clients what you know so they can be successful is the ultimate reward in any business relationship. 

For Paola, the most valuable lesson she has learned has been to believe in herself, no matter what. 

This entire project has taught me, that no matter how big your dreams may be, you will conquer them if you continue to work hard and set your mind to achieving them. It’s so important to stay true to yourself and do what you really love to do. Helping others is my passion and I’m now super happy that I listened to my heart and followed my dreams.”

As for her clients, Paola’s main goal is to help them regain confidence in themselves, which will allow them to feel great in their own skin. 

I want people to know that they have what they need to be happy and shine brightly. They only have to believe in themselves!

For more information on Paola and her fitness program, please visit her website.