- Amanda Whittaker
Grateful what it was, is not what is.
As I began writing this first post, it became clear there’s no way I could share what Paradox is or talk about a cool marketing topic without first introducing who is behind the company.
If you know me, you’re well aware this past year has been a journey of growth and transformation both personally and professionally. If you don’t, and you’re reading this out of sheer curiosity, then that’s an important place to start. My name is Amanda, and I hope we can meet soon. Also worth noting, from the beginning of my career, I’ve known the retail industry has been faced with paradox. And, I suspect it will continue longer than I’ll be alive. We all walk some semblance of balance between genius and crazy; therefore, the products and experiences we create include a little of both. Am I right?
However, after (many) years of learning, finding success, and watching so many friends and colleagues go out on their own, I experienced an unraveling of sorts. Faced with a choice, I could stay on a relatively comfortable corporate path with great brands and talented people who would continue to provide financial security but cost me my authentic voice, or I could face my fears, focus on my strengths, ignore the inner voices, and take a leap of faith.
Thankfully, I unapologetically chose the latter. I unlearned conventional beliefs about shopper marketing. I unpacked things that were holding me back and freed myself from the masks I had worn way too long. Forming Paradox was a dream of mine that at one point seemed like a concept that may or may not happen. But omg if it did…all the things I would do. I would daydream on my drive home about “one day” and “if it was my company.”
Or more often, I would find myself helping others’ dreams become a reality because I didn’t think it was for me.
Now four months into this journey, I sit in awe of the opportunities that presented themselves when I finally allowed them to. I have an incredibly smart and talented business partner who was on her own growth journey and has an incredible story of resilience. I have a client base that is challenging me to enable growth in new and exciting ways. And, I have a circle of family, friends, and experts cheering me on to make a positive difference in this industry and the community. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
I’m not one to look back, but I feel like there are some clear lessons that I’ve learned this past year from incredible leaders. They’re worth reflection, and I’m sharing them below. My intention is to provide you with the same level of hope and inspiration that they’ve given me.
1. The most powerful stories may be the ones we tell ourselves. But beware – they’re usually fiction.
— Brené Brown
2. Never get so comfortable in your pain that you forget your happiness is still an option.
— Trent Shelton
3. Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business
— Rachel Hollis
4. Creating a sense of true belonging, where everyone is able to be fully themselves with no requirement to fit in or change who they are, is how we will change the world.
— Brené Brown
5. If you look at the people in your circle and don’t get inspired, then you don’t have a circle. You have a cage.
— Mel Robbins
I hope you’ll join me in the belief that doing great work likely isn’t as hard as it has been made to be. It takes guts (and a decent bullshit radar), but it also takes vulnerability and humility. The expectations for better service with lower costs, broader scale with local reach, and disruptive ideas with proven outcomes remain. At Paradox, we believe in order to meet these demands, you have to accept the necessity of both sides and embrace it. And I’m confident that you may surprise yourself when you see how much can change with one decision, and how much strength you had all along.
Learn more about us at ParadoxRetail.com.