We had the good fortune of connecting with Paola Marquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paola, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand is that I have stayed true to myself even on the hardest days. I have come to believe that without a true sense of wholesome identity and self-honesty, it is entirely impossible to be truly happy and successful.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
*My backstory: I was born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela. I’m an only child but a member of a huge family. My father has always been a business owner and my mom was a lawyer who quit practicing her career in order to help my dad build their main business. As a kid, I used to dream about becoming an engineer, and several years later, I graduated from college in one of the toughest engineering fields, “Electronics Engineering with a Major in Automation and Process Control.” I used to work in the Oil and Gas field, and my job was very important to me even though I didn’t have time to take care of myself and felt burned out most of the time. However, quitting or doing something else never crossed my mind. It wasn’t until I moved to the US when my passion for fitness also became my calling. Helping others has always been very fulfilling but I took it to a whole new level about five years ago when I realized that I could truly make a difference in people’s lives. That’s how everything started, that’s how Pao’s Fit World started. *So what exactly does your company do? Pao’s Fit World helps women build their own beauty and regain confidence in themselves. I show them how to achieve their fitness goals while shifting their expectations about what fitness should be or look like. *What do you think makes your company stand out? That I have stayed true to myself and my roots over time and also, that I have built a deep connection with my followers and clients. It’s not about selling a product; it’s about going deep down and helping them change their lives for the better, build a new perspective, and guiding them to achieve long-lasting results. Something that thousands of women around the world have experienced already with my coaching and programs… *How do you push through your worst times? Discipline. It’s very easy to lose perspective and motivation and it’s at that moment when discipline is essential. When my goals are important to me and I’m determined to reach them, then I’ll find the discipline necessary to accomplish them. * What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way 1. Believe in yourself and in your idea. It’s very easy to ask yourself if what you’re doing is worth it and if you’re doing the right thing. I remember when I created my first workout guide I woke up one day criticizing all of my hard work; that it wasn’t good enough and nobody would ever give it a try. Fast forward to 2018, I’ve worked with thousands of women all over the world and with my guides and guidance, I was able to help them lead better, healthier, and more fulfilled lives. 2. You can’t do everything. When building a business, it’s essential to recognize when you need to ask for help – something that took me a long time to accept. If you want things to get done on time and professionally, you need to hire experts who will help you make it happen. They’re people who can help translate your vision into their field of expertise. Believe me; they’ll do it better than you and in less time. After all, you can’t learn in a couple of weeks what they’ve been doing pretty much their whole life. 3. It’s fine to take some “free time.” I used to feel guilty when I wasn’t working on building my brand, answering emails, or creating content. I used to think that I was letting down my business and clients. It took me a year or so (with the help of my loved ones) to realize that my people (clients) and my business are better off if I take care of myself. They deserve the best version of me, not a burned out, tired one. 4. Always look at the bright side of a situation. Focusing your energy and attention on the bad outcomes of a situation won’t bring anything positive to your life. Instead, focus on the bright side to regain perspective, reframe your ideas, and to learn and grow from your mistakes. I wish I could tell this to my younger self during these moments of struggle, for example when I was crying because I didn’t achieve a specific goal or wasn’t hired for my “dream job” … Then I’d tell myself “Girl, this needed to happen, so you can take advantage of the many other great opportunities you have on the table.” 5. Silence the noise. No matter what others are doing, focus on your work, your business, and your people. Do not compare your journey with somebody else’s. Each journey is unique, and it depends on you to make yours a good one.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is so fun!! An ideal day with friends would look something like this: Our day would start moving our bodies at Soulcycle or Barry’s Bootcamp. After getting our sweat on, I’d take them to fuel their bodies with a delicious breakfast at Common Bond Bakery. The evening will include a visit to The Museum Fine Arts, followed by drinks at Better Luck Tomorrow and dinner at State of Grace or our new fave restaurant Squabble. This is one of the things that I love about Houston, there are so many cool places where you can have fun and enjoy delicious food and drinks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband! He has been by my side since day one. He challenges me to try different things, to change my perspective and he’s always pushing me out of my comfort zone. Thanks to him, I’m a better person, coach, and entrepreneur. He taught me that trying is better than regretting and that barriers are there to be broken. So, Andres, if you’re reading this, I want to let you know that I’m grateful for you. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Photographer: Ana Perez (IG Handle @ana.perez.ph)