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Quit Wasting Your Life, A Mental Health Reminder

Mary Grothe April 20 2022

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.


Don't Have Time to Listen, Read The Full Transcription.

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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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The topic today is life or lifestyle. Oh, let's dig in. Think about your life as everything you embody - who you are, how you act, and how you show up to everything. Is that who you are in life, or have you created a lifestyle through roles and identities, where you show up to that role and that identity with a specific way of being? Then the way you're living your life is disconnected from your lifestyle.

Here's how this topic came to be. Last week, I announced a significant life change. I'm stepping back from the day-to-day duties at House of Revenue® as CEO and taking on more duties as a Fractional CRO. It really is where I thrive and flourish. It's more about who I am and how I live my life than showing up for a role or identity throughout the four and a half years I have spent running this company.

When I started as a Fractional VP of Sales, I quickly morphed into a Fractional CRO where I was flourishing. It's where I was able to show up without much effort and seemingly endless energy. It stems from the core DNA and who I am. The knowledge and the heart combination allow me to flourish in that seat. The company grew and needed a CEO to lead the charge. Well, that was a role, an identity that I took on. Unfortunately, that role and identity were not connected to my inner being or how I lived my life. I spent all of 2021 heavily in that seat, head down, focused on growing the company, and worked alongside our CFO to build systems and train up a team that could do my Fractional CRO work.

My role shifted. I went from a Fractional CRO to training up a team of Fractional CROs. While that's very different, trading up a team to do the work, I love doing presented many challenges. First, they're not me. Yet, I was treating them with the same expectation that they could do it the way I did. That was a problem. Also, I'm not an experienced manager. I haven't read the books and sat in the seat multiple times, but how I live my life and show up as a human is not conducive to being in management.

I'm a maverick, very independent. I'm a little bit of a lone wolf. I like being in charge of my own timelines, deadlines, and quality of work. Having merely on other people is very difficult, which stems back to when I was in college. I remember being assigned to a team. Together we had to execute a project. I didn't have time to teach or train this team of students everything that I knew my grade was dependent on it. I did college while I worked full time. I didn't have an opportunity to spend a lot of time training, teaching, and working with someone else. It was just easier for me to do it myself.

That's how I got through college. In every team project, I took it on pretty much just did everybody's part. We all got an "A," unfortunately. That is how I showed up, and I got great results. I've created a belief system that was a good way to get things done.

Now fast forward to this story. Well, here I am. I started a company, and I briefly take on all things. I truly was the Chief Everything Officer. I ran the company doing all the admin, back-end, front-end, business development, speaking engagements, and networking. Then, I delivered on the client's work. It was exhausting. I decided to step out of the client work, build the company on the back end, lead courageously from the CEO seat through inspiration and motivation, and oversee people's work. Well, of course, hindsight is 2020. That was not the right seat for me.

I'm telling you this story because this is for CEOs. This is for entrepreneurs to hear this story. If anyone is listening who is not a CEO or entrepreneur but works for one, please have grace and mercy on them. They don't know any better. I didn't know any better. I thought I was supposed to be in that seat because it was my company. Turns out, I wasn't great in that seat. Thank goodness I had Brad and Charlie, our COO and CRO, to build the systems and processes and manage and lead by the end of 2021. The two of them were ferociously undoing many of the "not good" that I had built.

Who I am in life is different from my lifestyle, who I am as a human - Mary is an executor. I'm a visionary who happens to do execution, which is very rare. I am a Chief Revenue Officer. I understand the holistic revenue scale from beginning to end. I thrive on building new Go-To-Market strategies. I love scaling companies. I tried to take that as who I am as a person, take little pieces of myself and my heart and my passion, and give them away to our team. I thought while sitting in this CEO seat, the best way that I could grow a team was by giving the tiny little pieces of myself to them.

Who you are and how you live your life has to align with what you say you're doing for work. It has to line up with what you do for a living because you're showing up to a role if it doesn't. You're showing up to an identity that you've created for yourself. That probably matches a lot of the job description for the role. If at the core of who you are as a person isn't aligned with how you live your life, I'm not talking about what time you wake up in the morning and what you eat, or if you exercise like not that stuff. How you live your life, what fuels you, what fires you up, where you get to execute and deliver upon your best talents, where you get to share your gift. I promise you, that's what will make you feel whole.

No wonder I had so many mental health challenges in 2021. My anxiety came back so bad. I was on medication. I couldn't figure out how to get myself under control. I was constantly working to manage my emotions and the volcano inside me. I put a lot of stress on my marriage because I was so unhappy. I had to spend so much extra effort and energy showing up to a role and identity that I am not truly at the core. I exhausted myself trying to perform and be all things to everyone that I had responsibility for exhausting. That robbed me of my happiness, my joy.

It became such a difficult way of living life. I was so unfulfilled, but I was committed, and come hell or high water, I would succeed because that's my DNA. I just started running myself into the ground and exhausting myself. I tried little things to give myself energy. I quit drinking, and I'm still sober, which I love, by the way. I noticed that I was medicating at night because my days were so hard and frustrating that I couldn't wait to come home. I like champagne and a glass of bubbles. I like wine. I like a lot of things.

I also noticed that I was forcing myself to do things that weren't normal for me to get my head centered. I was working with a trainer. I'm not somebody that likes working out. FYI, I'm decently active. I have a healthy, active lifestyle, going on walks, playing with my son, and playing at the park. I needed an outlet. I needed to exercise because I had so much pent-up frustration and stress. I had to get massages every month or every few weeks. I had to medicate and address all the symptoms, but I wasn't addressing the disease. I wasn't in a role that aligned with who I am. Well, that's a problem.

I would bet to say that many people live in a role with an identity that actually doesn't match who they are. It's exhausting. I had to do 10 other things to try to fix. Okay, let me just break this down for you in a simple form. I love food. I'm a foodie. I also have significant digestion problems, so I've adopted a gluten-free, vegan lifestyle. I also fast until 1 or 2pm, sometimes 3 o'clock, which finally solved all my digestive issues: inability to process food, healing, sluggish, swollen abdomen, major inflammation being weighted down, unnecessary weight gain, and I could not get off.

I love food, so I would just eat, eat, eat in a former life. Then, I would have the repercussion of having to work out. I do not like working out. I had to work out three days a week, dragging myself to the gym, doing cardio, and trying to burn off all the fat. I hate sweating. I had self-shame every day looking in the mirror. I was disgusted, not enjoying how I looked. I was putting stress and pressure. I hated going shopping, like going up a size, squeezing myself into a size of jeans that I thought I should fit in, looking in the mirror every day hating what I saw. I was being so hard on myself, calorie counting, and managing the problem.

I will just go to the root cause and quit eating so much. Get to a healthy place where you're not dependent and giving in to all the temptation and overeating. Guess what? I adopted a gluten-free, vegan lifestyle. I learned to love the food that I put in my body. I've also learned to love the fasting lifestyle. I'm not sick anymore.

I have SIBO, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. I was overeating and eating unhealthy foods that triggered the harmful gut bacteria to take over my body. Every six months, I would get so sick that I would have to get on these massive horse pills. God only knows how bad these antibiotics were for my body. But it was the only thing that would kill the bacteria. Like clockwork, I was getting super sick every four to six months. I would be on these pills for 14 days. Well, guess what? Over a year, I have adopted the vegan, gluten-free lifestyle with fasting. I have not taken the pills once. I have not had a flare-up with inflammation. I've not had a flare-up with a swollen abdomen. I'm not lethargic. I'm not sick.

I went to the root cause of the problem and fixed it. My body can't handle that much food. I don't have to work out aggressively. I don't need a trainer. I don't need to put myself in a place where I don't want to be with grueling workouts. I can just maintain a healthy physical activity lifestyle and maintain my muscle and physique. Guess what? For a year, every time I look in the mirror, I'm so happy every time I go shopping.

I just went to Anthropology yesterday or the day before. They have size 26 jeans out there. I'm like, "Oh, too big. Can you find me at 25? Thank you." That's rewarding and feels great. I feel like a million bucks when I go out. It's because I finally solved who I am as a human. I wasn't trying to fit in and live a certain lifestyle. I just said who I am, who is Mary. I'm a person that has an unhealthy gut. With that, I can either fall into temptation, live all these roles, identities, and lifestyles, do all the things the world tells me to do, or listen to myself and say, "I can't eat that way."

Well, I fixed it; now I'm healthy. I did the same thing with what I do for a living at the core, Mary, me. I am a Fractional CRO. I can't work for a single company. I don't like working for people. I like to be autonomous, have full authority, and work on my own. I can work with people. I can't work for people. That's a difference.

I need to be in my seat and be fully empowered to flourish and succeed. I come forth with data-driven sound recommendations. I don't mess around, not pulling things out of thin air. I need people to trust me and just let me run with it. I will succeed. Getting the keys handed over to the kingdom for these companies that I get to scale and am scaling right now. It is incredible to be in this seat. But I can't do it underneath someone's thumb. I can't have my light dimmed. I can't be in a role dimming my light. I have to be where my light shines.

As it turns out, I'm a pretty powerful, remarkable person, just as you are. Just as each one of you is who's listening to this. Are you in a position that's allowing your light to shine? Do you have a lot of things bringing oppression to you, weighing you down, stripping out where you are creative, talented, and where your real gifts are? Do you have to execute in a role or do a role that doesn't fit who you are? Is it a life, or is it a lifestyle? I was living a lifestyle, a role, and an identity.

I was living as a CEO because I thought that was cool. I actually thought it would be really cool. People would look up to me and say, "Wow! You're a CEO. Wow! You've scaled this company. Wow! You do over 4 million in revenue. Wow! You have more than 20 employees. I wanted to say that I could, and I did. So yay, patting myself on the back. At what expense, though?

You don't have to do anything if you can hear anything today. There are ways to make changes, even when it impacts many people. There are ways to make changes. You have to believe that there's a different outcome, another door. You are not trapped in your business. You are not trapped as a CEO because you've built something amazing or halfway amazing with much potential. You're not a prisoner. Get out. Use this as encouragement.

Just because many other people do it a certain way, or the world puts pressure on you to hit a certain accolade, revenue size, award or tells you something. That's BS. You get to write your own story - the way that you live your life, who you are, how you were built, how are you are created, what you were created for, what your gifts and talents are, what brings you energy, what steals your energy, what you're naturally gifted at, and what you're not.

I spent a year and a half trying to be a better manager. I'm not a manager. I'm an encourager or a motivator. I'm a team player. I can work well on a team. But I'm not going to manage somebody. I can work with only self-managed people. I know how to do it, so hear me out. I know how to manage people. I know how to do it, but it takes my energy and doesn't give me energy. I don't proactively make time for it. Typically, reactive. I can do little bits of management within my role, especially as a Fractional CRO and leading a team. My goal is to build systems and infrastructure to see and have visibility into performance data because I can't solve what I can't see. That's probably the biggest challenge as a manager.

Don't expect me to be a mind reader. Don't expect me to babysit. You don't expect me to proactively put meetings on the calendar so that you can ask me questions and speak up. Come on in. My doors are always open. Just funny because I don't even have a door in my office. I sit out in the main area. As a manager, I have limitations. Who I am isn't built to be a full-time manager. It's not me now.

There are some brilliant full-time managers out there, and I love them. They were created to be managers. I am not made to be a manager. I can't do roles with full-time management as part of my responsibility.
I can build systems so I have visibility to solve what I can see. I can't solve what I can't see. I also can't simplify what I don't understand. I create meetings where we have open conversations with a tight agenda in my management style. I'm able to ask questions and look at data, reports, and dashboards and create a culture where people don't have any fear. They can just report up and tell me what's going on.

In a 90-minute session, we can solve and simplify, but I can't simplify what I can understand. I can't solve what I can't see. If I haven't created the systems and built the visibility, I can't simplify. That's how I've hacked my way into being effective as a manager without having to be a full-time manager. If people need full-time management, which some people do, that is okay. They need structure, daily communication, encouragement, roll up the sleeves, get in the field, hands-on deck. It's not me, so I surround myself with people who don't need that management. Then, we're able to succeed and flourish together.

I'm going to put a bow on today. I challenge you. Life is too short. I'm 38 years old, and I'm seeing that now. Life is too short. I'm also seeing what my bravery has yielded. My bravery has given me a life again that I love. What a fool I was the last year to be taking on a role in identity because I thought others would give me praise and recognition for doing it. It was so against who I was, and I didn't do so great. I am in a position today where I'm fully stepping back into a role built on who I am.

I get to show up as my whole self, with no issues. I have endless energy. I am executing at a level I haven't seen myself perform at this level since 2020. What a waste. What a waste of 2021 to put me in a role where I couldn't perform. I have so much to give, and I know you have a lot to give. Are you in a role with what you have to give is being shown that there's a route or pathway for it to flow, talents and gifts flowing through your eight to five? Is the job description built for you, or are you being limited? Are you in the wrong role?

I want to give you permission to have a conversation with yourself, write it out, map it out, and figure out where you're being oppressed or held back, where you're having to do something that you weren't created to do. I want you to plan how you're going to change that. It can take time, okay, it can take six months, it can take a year. Shoot, it could take one day. Some of you are in a different position than others, and my encouragement to you is you have one life. Get right with yourself. God created you so uniquely and powerfully in a specific. Being that. Do that.

Are you trying to take on all these other roles and identities that aren't you for what for recognition, title, or a car? Come on. That stuff is all temporary. It's immediate gratification. It gives you happiness for a minute, and then it will fade. The pure joy that never ceases gives you that calmness and satisfaction. It satisfies your hunger, and your thirst only comes from doing what you were created to do, being who you were created to be. Address your mental health issues. Get right with your whole self, with your body, and take care of yourself. Align yourself with a role, team, company, or job or whatever. We're when you're plugged in and executing its life.

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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 or with me Mary Grothe spelled G-R-O-T-H-E on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.

Connect with House of Revenue® on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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