Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Laroche, Founder and CEO of Paradox, located in Paris, France.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Paradox, we are convinced that people don’t want a job anymore! They are thirsty for a project with meaning, either through entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship. But making it happen is quite hard without finding what truly inspires you and acquiring the Power Skills you need to get there: productivity, leadership, public speaking, coaching, and stress management... So our aim with Paradox is to empower people to live their true ambition by helping them develop their Power Skills and leveraging cutting-edge technology like AI, captivating storytelling, and science.
To do so, we offer different solutions :
- We have created a coaching school that trains coaches as well as helping executives and managers take their leadership to the next level with coaching tools.
- We offer training programs to deconstruct outdated pseudo-scientific theories and revamp e-learning with high-quality production.
- We also provide mentoring programs and events for entrepreneurs who want to change their mindset and scale their businesses.
- We have a strong online media presence, where we share impactful videos with our audience of two million subscribers.
Tell us about yourself
When I was a kid, I was very shy, incapable of raising my hand in class or my voice on the bus to ask the driver to stop when I needed to get down. I would end up walking all the way back, hating myself. At some point, I even started to think about suicide. Then, one day, I got so tired of being miserable that I decided things needed to change. I started reading as many books as I could about how to change and tried everything that I could possibly imagine. It took a few years, but eventually, it started to work. I realized not only that it was possible to change but also that very few resources about this subject were fun and accessible. So I started posting videos on Youtube about things I learnt and how it was impacting my life. People who were watching my videos also started to change their lives.
Over the years, I grew a passion for neuroscience and psychology, which led me to read many books and studies about self-development. I had a strong desire to understand how small changes in beliefs and habits could transform people's lives. But rapidly, I became frustrated with the lack of reliable information in the industry, as well as the prevalence of unfounded theories and manipulative practices. I wanted to change that but quickly realized I couldn’t do it alone. To have a real impact, I needed to surround myself with passionate people, a dream team filled with people smarter or more experienced than me. That’s why I created Paradox.
Today, our big “why” is the desire to help people live the life they truly want and to make a positive impact in the world. We are really driven by the belief that everyone has the potential to achieve great things. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to provide great tools and support people to reach their full potential. We’re providing people with all the tools I wish I had when I was younger.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would say that, first and foremost, my biggest accomplishment is the feedback we receive daily from people transforming their lives thanks to our programs. In our Paris office, we have built the “Wall of 100 000 Dreams”, a wall where we put up messages of people who changed their lives thanks to Paradox: they traveled around the world, started their own business, and managed to finally say “I love you” to someone they care about, etc.
Also, if we look at the numbers, Paradox is growing rapidly. We achieved nearly $9 million in revenue in 2022 and have supported thousands of people on their path to transformation. I’ve also had the chance to meet and interview people who inspire me, like Richard Branson, Mike Horn, Gad Elmaleh, etc.
But perhaps what I am most proud of is the team that we are building around this mission. Today, Paradox has more than 70 talented, dedicated, and committed individuals working together on a subject that we all care deeply about. That's maybe what I'm most proud of.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
When Covid abruptly halted a large part of our in-person activities, which represented 60% of our income at that time, it was a difficult moment. We had no visibility on the future, no certainty, and our cash flow was disappearing quickly. Clearly, facing the unexpected, and knowing how to pivot and change paradigms, is one of the greatest challenges I have experienced as a business owner.
Hiring and managing a team is also one of the most common challenges business owners face. Ensuring that a group of individual talents is transformed into a collective that performs in the long term and is aligned in the same direction is hard. We are dealing with humans, each with their own model of the world, sensitivities, and expectations. Knowing how to create and maintain a collective dynamic based on performance and commitment is a great challenge.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't look for a solution. Look for a problem to solve.
- Don't spend six months perfecting your product, branding, or logo. Focus on three things: improve your product, find customers, and sell. Everything else will come later.
- Invest a lot of energy in hiring talented people who match your culture.
Where can people find you and your business?
Paradox's Website: https://www.paradox.io/
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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