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Not so tech savvy? ParadigmNEXT has your online presence covered

In the midst of a booming tech startup scene in Chicago, it can be hard to remember that not all startups are necessarily tech savvy; many still need help building a web presence, leveraging social media, and understanding the ins and outs of SEO. ParadigmNEXT, a tech service company in the midst of the Chicago scene, is here to help companies take hold of technology to build an online presence for their business.

ParadigmNEXT provides a whole suite of tech services, including entire rebranding campaigns that can bring video content, animation, and savvy web design to help update your website. Offering consultation services, up-front pricing, and behind the scenes tracking of your project’s progress, ParadigmNEXT is a one-stop shop for any company looking to beef up its online efforts.

We sat down with ParadigmNEXT managing partner Anatoly Nirshberg, who talked with us about his entrepreneurial origins that stretch back to his nearly year-long immigration to the United States, the importance of finding the perfect work / life balance,  and how he learned to stop worrying and love the pivot.

What is the backstory behind ParadigmNEXT?

I come from a world of sales and marketing. In 2009 I launched my own tech startup and from day one started having problems with the tech. The problems ranged from not understanding the strengths of the developers, not defining proper scopes of the projects, going over deadlines and budgets to dealing with internal in-fighting between the web devs, the social media devs and the mobile devs.

The company ended up hitting every single road block along the way and they were great (but expensive) learning blocks for me. When I shared my experiences with other business owners, I realized that I was not alone; all the business owners I spoke to experienced the same problems. And here ParadigmNEXT was born.

When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

When I was 8 years old. My parents were emigrating from Moscow to Chicago and on the way we had a 9-month layover in Italy. It was there that I started working

A lot of the immigrants brought souvenirs with them to sell to pay for the journey, but when it came time to do the actual selling, many of the teachers, doctors, and engineers realized that they didn't have it in them. So at the age of eight, I took over much of their sales on consignment and was making more at the age of eight then most of the adults that were getting jobs.

From there it just snowballed. When we finally got to Chicago, my parents worked two jobs and were barely home for the first five years of us being in America. That gave me ample time to split between the library and different business ventures. Snowplowing (with a staff) at 12, mowing lawns (with my own small fleet of lawnmowers and staff) at the same age, and on it went. By the time I was 21 I had 28 employees in the real estate industry.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do as an entrepreneur?

Everything. No, probably the hardest thing was having to pivot businesses in 2009. I was very heavily vested in the real estate industry and the pivot to technology in 2009 was a difficult one. I had to make sure that I didn’t lose key employees that I felt would be beneficial while starting a completely new and different endeavor.

What are some changes you’d like to see in the entrepreneurial community today?

Really, just exactly what I am doing. More entrepreneurs need to understand that the tech world is one that is absolutely essential to doing business today and it is a completely different animal then the traditional method of sales and marketing that they are used to.

They need to hire consultants to make sure that the strategy they are putting together is one that will yield them an ROI and will be executed on time and within budgets. For the entrepreneurs that are purely tech, they need to understand that they are still dealing with humans as their customers and need marketing consultants to help bridge the divide.

This is a mistake that I made and it cost me dearly. I hope enough people will hear my message and avoid many of my past pitfalls.  

If you could have any super power, which would you choose?

Flight. I love to travel. Plus having that view of the world around you would be surreal -- literally a birds-eye view.

What is your idea of happiness?

Finding the perfect balance of work and play. The difficulty of finding that balance is when you tell yourself that you end work at five o’clock to spend time with the family, but by five you haven't achieved what you set out to do, then the time you spend with your family will never be as fulfilling.

On the flip-side if you don't spend enough time with your family, then when you are at work, you will never give it your all because you will always question if the sacrifice is worth it. Happiness is being able to achieve that perfect balance.  

What advice would you give to any beginning entrepreneurs out there?

Don't be afraid. There are a lot of resources out there that will help you achieve greatness. Tools such as allow you to get expert advice that was unheard of a decade ago. The wealth of tools at your disposal today makes getting into business that much more interesting and exciting.

With that being said, don't be gung-ho. Make sure to test your theories, make sure to check your assumptions and pivot early on. If YouTube was still trying to push itself off as a dating site, or if Groupon was still on collective bargaining they would most likely be companies we'd never heard of before. It's testing their theories and being nimble startups that allowed them to pivot to achieve greatness.

What’s on the horizon for ParadigmNEXT?

We are still pretty new, so at this stage everything is NEXT. We have established our footing, put together a great and talented staff, built out a portfolio we can be extremely proud of, and have a client base that is singing our praises.

Now its time to let the world know that we exist and make sure that as many entrepreneurs as possible are able to utilize our knowledge, experience, and skills in making their business the best it could possibly be.

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Advisors Related to the Post

Anatoly Nirshberg
Corey Cummings