Meet Host, Mary Grothe
Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B Sales Rep who after selling millions and breaking multiple records, formed House of Revenue®, a Denver-based firm of fractional Revenue Leaders who currently lead the marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps departments for 10 companies nationwide. In the past year, they've helped multiple 2nd stage growth companies between $5M - $20M, on average, double their MRR within 10 months, resulting in an average ROI of 1,454% and an average annual revenue growth eclipsing $3.2 million.
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Mary Grothe: Hey everyone, this is Mary Grothe - Founder and CEO - and you're listening to the Revenue Radio® podcast brought to you by House of Revenue®. Each week, we'll talk about common revenue challenges and how to get past them, share real-world experiences, and get a glimpse into my life as a CEO scaling my own business. If you're a struggling entrepreneur, or just an entrepreneur looking to be inspired, this podcast is for you. I'll give you honest, unfiltered, and practical insights into growing your business and getting past your revenue plateau.
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Welcome to my life update. I am thrilled to finally be in a position to share with you all what I've been working on. So buckle up. Storytime. Gather round. Here we go. Man, many of you know my story, so please forgive me for anything you've heard here. Some of you don't. I have been on the best journey I could have ever asked for with House of Revenue® over the last four and a half years. Being a CEO of a company that actually “made it a company” that actually succeeded, scaled, and does remarkable work. That was always a dream of mine.
My first company didn't go so well. I started it when I was in my late 20s. I ran it for three years. I finally shut it down when I hit my breaking point, just utter exhaustion. For reference, this company was called Butterfly Creative. I couldn't get the business model off the ground. I had a lot of challenges. I started as a business strategist and wanted to scale companies. I didn't know that at the time. I didn't even really understand the concept of scaling companies like I do today.
Back then, I knew that I had the ability to understand the Go-To-Market Strategy and rebuild companies into being a product or services that the market actually wanted. Then, help those startups and entrepreneurs tell their stories and figure out a game plan to get them launched. That's what's been my go-to since I was 28 years old or 27. I was about to turn 28 when I started my first company.
It's incredible how faithful God is and taking me on this path. Back then, I had a lot of learning to do. I didn't know how to structure my services. I didn't know how to price my services. I didn't know how to build a scalable model because I was doing everything myself. I didn't know how to say no. I didn't know how to turn away clients I shouldn't have brought on. I didn't know how to manage my time. I was single back then. No family, no kids, no husband. Several nights, I fell asleep with my laptop, only to sleep for a few hours to wake up and start hammering the keys.
After three years of doing that and pouring my blood, sweat, and tears, I could feel God telling me the timing wasn't right. I wasn't ready. I went back into the workforce and worked for three years for Paychex. I'm forever grateful for that company. I loved every minute of it. I'm so thankful for the time and career that I had there.
After selling for three more years, I started House of Revenue® under a different name. It was called Sales BQ® four and a half years ago, BQ, the behavioral quotient. When I started, I thought I would help small business owners build up their sales departments because that's where I really shine. I'm a great salesperson. I'm going to help them, but 18 months in, the entrepreneur in me knew it wasn't enough.
My specialty, my God-given talent, is in creating Go-To-Market Strategies. It's in rebuilding a company as a product or service offering to be something that people actually want. It's digging into what the market has, what it doesn't have, how that company can find that one degree of separation from the competition, drive a wedge, do something different, and market themselves in a way to get in front of the right person at the right time. Then, build the right revenue engine to scale them appropriately, not past their ability to deliver well. 18 months into the journey with Sales BQ®, we knew we had to become experts in branding, marketing, revenue operations, client success, and the whole kit caboodle if we were going to be scaling companies.
We had to be proficient in all areas of the revenue engine, and that's what we did. By 2020, we went to market with what we do now, our full-scale ahead model. We successfully scaled nine companies handling their branding, marketing, sales, CS, and RevOps. In 2021, I knew I wanted to scale House of Revenue®, so at the end of 2020, that was the last time I worked with clients. Hear me out. When I started the company at the end of 2017, I had three clients. Three brave CEOs said yes to me, acting as their fractional VP of Sales. I was hands-on, sleeves rolled up in the hot seat, representing their company in the market and building out a sales department.
It caught on because it was successful, so it caught on. That's where I made a decision in May of 2018. I was actually at the Surf and Sales Conference in Costa Rica. I went with one issue that needed to be solved to determine if I would make a lifestyle business or grow a company. I came back encouraged and ready to grow a company. So as of May 2018, I started to grow. Word of mouth helped the business scale to our first 10 to 50 customers. I loved that I always had a handful of clients working with, managing a team, and scaling a company. I knew that I couldn't do both at the pace that I wanted to scale House of Revenue®. At the end of 2020, God laid it on my heart that it was time to focus fully on House of Revenue®, so I took off my CRO hat. I didn't have any clients to scale. I focused internally.
With my team's tremendous efforts, vision, and execution, we doubled in size. We doubled in size from 12 employees to 28 employees at our peak and doubled our monthly recurring revenue from 190,000 to 420,000. All of this in nine months. So by October, I was exhausted. I had a near mental breakdown. Well, it was a mental breakdown, if we're just being honest. I never really recovered from that until January. October, November, and December were tough months for me. I had a leadership team that had been there to die for. They run everything. They're amazing. They are so talented and passionate to find a group of people who can care about this company the way I do, potentially even more. What a gift.
I worked myself out of a job. I have created a role for myself as a CEO of a 20-employee company, about 4 million or so in revenue. I do business development for House of Revenue®, but we only serve 12 and 16 companies a year. There's good word of mouth for our services. There's not a prospecting effort, just a lot of excellent inbound leads and referrals. I'm working maybe five to eight hours a week. Then, I just started creating chaos. I started sticking my nose in things, getting in other people's swim lanes, causing chaos because I was bored.
Finally, in January, well, let me back up. I knew this was starting to happen. Towards the end of November, I was looking and saying, "Wait for a second, I worked my way out of a job. I have a lot to give. I'm really young. I'm not ready to retire." I decided to start exploring what it would look like to become an investor and sit in the CRO seat or even like a co-CEO/CRO seat with another founder and help scale their company.
At the end of last year, I found a potential investment and absolutely fell in love with the founder and the brand. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. That's okay. I trust the Lord in all things. God had a different plan. I have so much respect for her, her brand, and her company. It would have been an honor to work with her to scale it, but it wasn't the right time for us. I was a little upset because I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to invest. I wanted to scale someone else's company.
Well, come January, we had something presented to me. We got a client who is a startup, and we don't work with startups anymore. But I love startups, just so we're clear. We had a company that was in our pipeline for like a year. I had previously told them back when we did work with startups that they'd be an excellent fit for House of Revenue®. We could do wonders for them. I was developing a relationship with the founder. He's actually quite exceptional. I mean, that he's, he's actually really, really exceptional. His heart is full of straight goodness. He's so smart. He's got a clear vision. He's assembled a startup team of people just as passionate and smart as he is.
I looked around at Brad and Charlie, our CRO and COO, and said, "I think I need to take this client." They're like, "Is that a good idea?" I think I need to take this client. I can't say no to them. We were at the point of going back to this prospect at the time and saying, "I'm sorry, but we've changed our services. We don't work with startups anymore. We actually can't work with you." But as somebody was just laid on my heart, you have to work with them, so I did. I took on the client. The company is called Spotz S-P-O-T-Z. You can find them at findspotz.com.
On January 18, I think it was, I don't know, maybe January 20. I can't remember the date, but we kicked them off in Denver. James and Jesse, the CEO and CTO, flew to Denver. We were joined by the rest of their team remotely via Zoom. We had an amazing kickoff. It was not even an hour maybe into the kickoff when the full Go-To-Market strategy and vision were just present for me. Normally, we go through a four-hour kickoff. Then, we go through a week of deep dives, audits, and everything else to develop the Go-To-Market.
Within one hour of us sitting together, I already had the vision. This is something that I just feel like is a gift that is part of just how God created me. This is where I get so much passion and fire. I paused the whole meeting and asked for forgiveness like I had this idea. I want to put it on the whiteboard. If you hate it, we will go through the rest of the process and organically figure out what Go-To-Market. If you love it, we're seriously just going to stop and just start building on this. We're going to speed things up. I poured everything onto that whiteboard. The whole team just said, "Yes, we're doing it."
Before we kicked off that day, I had a vision. Let me kick off this client and get it into a good spot. I'll hand it over to a different team member at House of Revenue®. Let me just get it kick-started. Get some stuff in motion, and then someone else on my team can take it over. What I felt when I built that Go-To-Market strategy. I felt my imprint on it. It came not just from my brain but also from my heart. It came from my passion. "Dang, this is real." I knew at that moment that I might have a hard time letting this go. I picked a handful of team members inside House of Revenue® to work alongside me.
It was a little clunky in the beginning. I do work a little bit differently than other people in my company. Bless their hearts. They were just troopers and champions figuring out how to work with me. I had not worked on a client since 2020. Here we are in 2022. The way we do work processes, everything has matured. Brad and Charlie took this to the next level, which I could not do.
I went back into the hot seat to do execution to do work. I was like, "I don't even know what we're doing here." I don't know what processes we've built. I've been so far removed. I came in like a bull in a China shop, turned some things upside down, and it wasn't intentional. My heart was in the right place, but it took a couple of months to get on track with my team. I'm so thankful that they just stuck it out with me. Just realize that it was a big transition for all of us. We're able to get the Spotz to Go-To-Market. I've watched my team build one of the best revenue engines I've seen made to date. We have a beautiful new website. You can find it again at findspotz.com.
Today, I am recording this on a Saturday. I'm sure you will listen to it when it gets released on Wednesday. Still, I got to share with everybody on LinkedIn that I've officially stepped into the CRO seat for Spotz. I'm doing this in conjunction with my role at House of Revenue®. Brad, Charlie, and the rest of our team are in a group. They're cranking. They're doing remarkable work. We are a very stable, healthy, happy, profitable consulting, slash, revenue growth execution company. I love everyone at House of Revenue® so much.
One thing that I always talk about to the team is you have to care for your whole self. I don't want just the part of you that comes to work. Our core values that have revenue are to serve first, scale second, and succeed always. The serve verse is divided into three areas. The first is to serve ourselves. We have to be right. We have to be whole mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We have to be well. We have one life. If we're not focusing on being well, just showing up and doing work, we're miserable and disconnected. If our relationships aren't healthy, we’re not taking care of ourselves. We're just destroying God's plan for our life.
He gave us the greatest opportunity to serve Him, steward the gifts He gave us, and do great things in this world. If we're not taking care of ourselves, we can't go do those great things. You can't give what you don't have. If you're not well, you can't execute. You can't be well for other people. You can be good for other people. Part of me honoring our core values was getting right with myself. I was not in a role that was fulfilling me. I need this to be said and heard, please.
It does not mean that I don't love How to Revenue®, that I don't love my team, that I don't love our clients, or I don't love what we do. I love it. I love, love, love, love, love it, but me in the CEO seat, driving the ship, being involved in the day-to-day, and managing a few team members, that wasn't the right seat for me anymore. I am not fulfilled by that work. I am fulfilled by being hands-on and scaling companies. Does it mean that I can't do both? Absolutely not. I get to stay in my seat in a reduced capacity while Brad and Charlie run the show. Sabrina, our Marketing Director, is absolutely brilliant. She manages our brand.
I get to do what I was created to do, now, to scale companies. I get to do it with a really interesting twist. Praise the Lord for His provision. I'm at a point in my career, at 38 years old, where I am now in a position to be an investor. We've got money sitting waiting to be invested. What better gift than while I'm still young and have all this energy and don't need to be hoarding things away for retirement like I can do that with some of my money. But part of my portfolio for investment is going to be investing in companies. I love entrepreneurs. I love startups. I love this community in ways you may not be able to comprehend.
As an entrepreneur myself, my love for other founders is intense. I believe that I have gifts and talents to give. Now, I have the financial means to back what my heart has wanted and what my brain allows me to do. I get the money, the brains, and the heart to go find these incredible companies that are important to me. I believe that I can truly serve. I got to share with everybody today that I'm now the acting CRO for Spotz, and we have an incredible launch coming up on June 1. We're launching in five communities.
Spotz is like an Airbnb for public spaces. If you have a birthday party and want to rent some space at the park, maybe you coach a little baseball team, you need to rent a field, or perhaps you have a book club and want to rent a coffee shop or space at a church. Think about every event or milestone celebration in your life, sports, activities, or celebrations, and how you might want to rent space from anywhere in your community that has space. It could be a banquet hall or a small event center. It could be a sports facility, park, and recreation. It could be a restaurant, office space, coffee shop, or brewery, in your community roller rink, or bowling alleys.
If you want to rent space, Spotz will allow every business in every community to set up their profile for free. Poster space. Renters can rent it for whatever price the renter believes it's worth. We will have a launch style in every community, getting renters and hosts on the platform for free. This is an amazing opportunity for someone who wants to venture into a hybrid sales and marketing role or take their sales and marketing role to the next level.
I'm hiring a community manager who will work with me here in Denver. This person will work with me to do the marketing campaigns in each community, hop on the phone, and get every business owner to sign up for free. Get every Mayor's office, city government, and Convention Visitor Bureau Office and Chamber. You name it, on board with getting their community launched. It will be a great role to be a brand evangelist and support us on our mission. Being in this sea is so life-giving. I'm so honored that the Spotz team just welcomed me the way that they did. I'm a lot to handle. There's a lot to Mary Grothe.
I'm so thankful for what God created me for. I'm so grateful that he allowed Charlie and Brad to help me navigate this chapter in my life to get me in a seat that was so life-giving and fulfilling. I'm just so thankful. I'm so thankful that they've stepped up. You should hear them in every executive meeting and on our executive Slack channel. Just telling you, these guys are awesome. All they say is, "How can we support you? What can we do? How can we help you take this to the next level?" So thankful for those two guys and everyone else at House of Revenue®. I love you. Thanks for allowing this to become a reality for me.
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Thanks for listening to today's episode. If you're interested in being on our show or want to learn more about how we can help you scale your company, connect with us at houseofrevenue.com or with me Mary Grothe spelled G-R-O-T-H-E on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
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