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Simplify to Scale

Mary Grothe November 3 2021


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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My son likes to go to the library every three weeks, and he picks out 15 or so books. This last time I went with him, and he usually goes with grandma. This time, I picked out a book, and I have been loving it. If you followed me earlier this year, you know, I really enjoyed Candace Cameron's 100 Days of Joy and Strength. She's a very outspoken Christian woman, and she's clearly had an amazing career in Hollywood in the entertainment industry. But for some reason, she and I just share the same wavelength when it comes to being a Christian woman without shoving Christianity down people's throats. It's really just by setting the best example possible. Making it known we're Christians, but just leading by example.

People can see how we act, respond, deal with adversity, and change in tough situations. At the core of it, when you see the true character, that's where people say, "okay, that's pretty impressive," or "there's a lot of love and light there." Things that I could really be attracted to. It's really walking the walk and not just talking about it, and I love her style. At the beginning of this year, in 2021, I did 100 days of joy and strength. I did a daily devotional. I posted a lot of the pages to Instagram had a lot of comments in my DMs from people really loving what she had written.

I was at the library with my son last week, and I wanted to get a book. I had no idea what I wanted. The library was closing in 15 minutes; I helped my son get situated with what he needed. Then I had maybe four minutes to pick out a book. I ran over to the front desk. I had never been to this library. I asked, “Where do you have Christianity?” and he's like, “Religion. Okay, yeah.”, point me to religion. He walked me over to the area. As I'm sure, you could imagine, like straight textbooks on religions of the world. Things I was not looking for. I was looking for Christian authors. I'm looking for something that can feel me and put me on a great track.

Well, I'm scanning through these books. I keep hearing on the overhead, "We're closing in three minutes. We’re closing in two minutes." Of course, the pressure inside of me. I got to pick a book. I see that Candace Cameron has a book on the shelf, one I've never heard of. It's called “Kind Is the New Classy.” I thought, What the heck, I'm just grabbing it. I have zero idea what this book is. Well, I've been reading it for the last week, and I love it. It has centered me. It has brought me back to that core foundation of who am I?

Last week on Revenue Radio®, I told you that I had completely lost sight of that. I was drowning in the business carrying the weight of the world. I had lost sight of what makes me. I had lost a lot of magic. I had lost great components of my leadership style. My whole ability to serve as a wife and a mom had just fallen to the wayside. I was in a bad, bad place. But upon getting myself recenter and here, I have been reading this book, I want to give you a glimpse. I'm going to read a little section for you. She put into words just how I feel. I've never been able to find a way to articulate this. I want to share this with you.

So this is Candace Cameron, and it's out of "Kind is the New Classy.” She says we must first contend with our own fear if we want to head towards a kindness culture. She says I'm an optimist. I don't think we can hold on to something good by being anxious and fearful about it. That one hit me. We had so many good things happening at House of Revenue®. We were scaling and truly at a peak. Every client engagement, we were just crushing it. This summer, our growth started to catch up with us. It just entered an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ season as we got into August and September. I remember those feelings of anxiousness and fear. I was just holding on to it, wrapping my arms around it like, “No, I'm not going to let anything happen to my baby.”

So this sentence says, I don't think we can hold on to something good by being anxious and fearful about it. That's one lesson my faith has taught me - fear keeps us spinning our wheels stuck in the lie that we can't do anything to make a difference. We can create a better world by choosing to be better people, consciously becoming more and more like Jesus; who is love and kindness in the flesh? We can impact others by being conduits of God's tremendous grace. When we do, his grace can fill up this space between us created by disagreements on cultural issues and relational tension. I'm going to pause there. This is my conviction. This is my heart. I care so deeply about everyone who experiences me having a better day because of it. I have an opportunity to further people's lives in a good way. Why would I waste that? Amazingly, Candice and I are so instep on this thought, which she's talking about fear keeps us spinning our wheels stuck in a lie.

For the last 60 to 90 days, that has been me spinning my wheels and just stuck in this lie. It was so hard for me. Now that I'm on the other end of the storm, I'm looking back thinking, Geez, that was a train coming off the track, and I had no idea. She says we can create a better world by each choosing to be better people, consciously becoming more and more like Jesus, who is loving-kindness in the flesh. We can impact others by being conduits of God's tremendous grace. That is who I am at the core. If you asked me one thing about what I care about, who I am, and who I want to be to others? That's it. God has allowed me to run this company and put me in a position to influence the lives of the 25 people that work for us, in addition to the 20 clients that we have, not to mention my own son and my husband.

People deserve to experience nothing but love, kindness, and grace when they interact with me. I can't give that to them. If I'm in a state of fear, anxiousness, frustration, feeling without being overwhelmed, that sense of drowning. Nothing good comes from that. I was a fool to believe that I could try to sustain any level of goodness, the way that I was on the inside. You can't give what you don't have. I didn't have that inside of me. I was fearful. I was upset with myself. I was angry. I was feeling down. Well, what do you think I'm giving if that's how I'm feeling on the inside? Anything other than how I was feeling on the inside, it was just a performance. Then, I was lying to myself. I was lying to others.

This is such a realization. I've said the words I mean, just a month ago, I had it in our all-hands meeting with our company. The same topic of wellness starts with you, plant good seeds, and you can't give what you don't have. Boy, did I need to look in the mirror? Maybe that was a message that just came out because I was screaming from the inside to wake myself up that the path I was going down wasn't good. Welcome to being a CEO, ton of responsibility. We work hard. We put it all on the line. We assume a significant amount of risk. We keep it going at any cost. There is no plan B. There is no other option. At least that's what I was telling myself. I think there’s always another option.

We’re going to get into today's topic. So Candace Cameron continued reading in her book, “Kind is the New Classy.” Can you imagine what the world would look like if more of us resolved to live as kind of classy, confident women instead of women empowered by the idea that the world owes us something? Gosh, I have so much to say on this topic. Read that again. Could you imagine what the world would look like if more of us resolved to live as kind of classy, confident women instead of women empowered by the idea that the world owes us something? Newsflash, the world doesn't owe you anything. There's a way of female empowerment movement, being equal, and getting the same opportunities as our male counterparts. There's feminism. There have been revolutions to getting a seat at the table and having a voice and all that I'm for.

But when you look at walking around with a chip on your shoulder because you believe that the world owes you something. The world doesn't owe you anything at all. In fact, I firmly believe that women were remarkably created to bring something to the world that men don't often have in their DNA. Women bring a motherly, emotional, brilliant, thoughtful way of thinking into running their companies and teams. They are hyper-aware. I believe women are so self-aware. Women are so loving, caring, and nurturing. That is how we were created. Imagine a company at the woman's helm, who shows up first with kindness, grace, empathy, and pure love. Nurturing a passion for the people who have said yes to working for her, that at the core, that is what she is made of in her DNA and how she leads. The world doesn't owe her anything. God already created her with so much power and righteousness to do something so remarkable.

If we play with a chip on our shoulder, like we're owed anything, that's when we actually lose our power because we start playing for the world. Trust me, that is not where we win. I absolutely love being a female CEO. I love the feeling that our 25 people are an extension of my own family. I feel like a spiritual mother. This is the best journey I've ever had. And I'm so thankful my head is back on straight to truly understand the power in my hands. So let me read on going back to the book, it says we need God's help to flip a switch in our hearts. What we want to be is powered, not empowered, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Because there are no mountains, God cannot move. An empowered woman believes she can do anything because her strength, courage, boldness, and drive are enough. An empowered woman believes she can do anything because God is enough.

God holds all those attributes and more and supplies them to everyone even when we don't think we're capable of carrying them. Candice is taking us straight to church right here. Whether you're Christian or not. I have a feeling that you love, kindness, and grace when it's extended to you, that you love an environment where you can feel empowered, taken care of, valued, heard. My mission in life, my purpose on this planet, God has given me an opportunity to pour it out through being a CEO; whether you agree with my faith or unhide, that's fine. I totally support what you believe it what I know is my truth. When I'm centered in my truth, I know that I can be the best leader that I was created to be.

I realized that I had taken this sense of empowerment by the idea that the world owed me something because of being an empowered woman. I believed that I could do anything because my own strength, courage, boldness, and drive were enough. Do you know what happened? I was relying on my own strength, my own courage, my own boldness, and my own drive. I was in the driver's seat over the last 90 days, trying to fix salvage, save, run in a million miles per minute, be all things to all people, and you know what? I failed. I failed because my own strength, courage, boldness, and drive were not enough. As it turns out, if I rely only on myself and I'm fueled by what the world is giving me, I will run out. I will run dry. I will fail. I will let people down, and I did that I serve a good God.

He welcomed me back while I was in Disneyland, working through a nervous breakdown and through my repentance in praying and apologizing. He opened his arms, and he welcomed me back. I am an empowered woman. I believe that I can do anything because God is enough, not me. God holds all those attributes and more, and he supplies them to me, even when I don't think I'm capable of carrying them. As an empowered woman, in this new stage of refreshment that I'm in, I am now making decisions as the leader of our company that will lead us to a triumphant next phase in our business. Not something I came up with, not my own design, but because I decided to let God get back in the driver's seat, let me take a breath and find some rest. God doesn't say, be busy, and know that I am God. He says, be still and know I am God. Be still, not be busy.

We are simplifying to scale. It only took me 16 minutes to get to the topic of this radio show. We're simplifying to scale. I got to walk you through this journey. I have to explain to you where I was. I love my executive team so much. I love everybody that works for this company. I'm enamored by how brilliant, smart and loving, and capable than they are. I used to be my way or the highway CEO, and everything was my idea. Over the last couple of years, I learned that when you employ brilliant, talented people, they actually have brilliant ideas. I only have one brain. I only have one vision. If I can build that trust with my team, that it could actually be a great idea when they bring ideas forth. Many of them have been fantastic. We have turned into 10 times, 100 times the company that we were. But one thing is that all I care about is making them happy. I just want them to be happy. I want them to have an incredible opportunity while they're here.

Over the last nine to 10 months, I have implemented several ideas that have surfaced through great collaboration and conversations. Ideas that I should have had, better discernment to say, good idea. Instead, we were on such a roll, and market demand was so good. I was saying yes to everything, and we just went for it. We went for it. We went for the scale. We developed a second company. Then, behind the scenes, we're developing a third company. All of a sudden, life became very complicated. People were burning out, and people were getting frustrated. Things just weren't running as efficiently as they used to. Yet still, this team was doing excellent work. They were pouring their hearts and their souls into this; their commitment level is unbelievable. One of the things that caused so much stress and strain over the last 90 days was that we just tried to do a lot all at once. For us, it just determined that it wasn't worth it. It was a very good learning lesson and good data.

Then we're going to simplify to scale. Simplifying to scale means we're going to trim some of the ancillary offerings that we had. We are going to focus on what we do brilliantly - that second stage scale. We tried working with a bunch of startups this year, we had so much encouragement for the community to work with them. We love all of their ideas. We've worked with a handful of startups to help them launch a new product, help them go into a new go-to-market strategy, enter a new industry. We've helped them get through the product-market-fit stage and into a go-to-market fit. A lot of great work was done this year. Working with startups is just a completely different ball of wax. There's a ton of pressure to perform quickly. They usually don't have the temperament and patience to wait for what needs to happen to build their revenue engine.

Burn is a real thing. They have limited resources; their investors and board are breathing down their neck and dictating what has to happen, even if it's in opposition to what our firm believes is the right plan to scale. So we just noticed that it was causing a lot of headaches for our team, headaches for the client. Whereas we could pull out a win for two of our startup's unbelievable results like it has been tremendous. But the other few, it's just but a strenuous situation stressful situation, maybe mean strenuous. I don't know what word I was looking for. Ultimately, we're going to simplify to scale. We know what we do brilliantly. That's when a CEO has hit a revenue plateau after achieving their initial few million in revenue could be one could be five, but they've plateaued. They've noticed that plateau, they had steady year-over-year growth, or potentially they went through a period of scale.

Then suddenly, they're like, wait, what we've done to get to this point isn't working anymore. So they try attacking small investments like maybe they build a new website, maybe they go hire a marketing agency, maybe they bring in a new VP of sales, whatever it is, but none of those things work. Well, we know how to break through that plateau, we know how to scale, our team is 2x MRR for our clients within 10 to 12 months. They stick with us for the full 18-month program. We're seeing 3x and 4x results. It's truly remarkable. It is tremendous. We have such a high win rate. Unbelievable. So that's what we're doing. So we're simplifying to scale. So we are simplifying, we're going back to House of Revenue®, with that focus on who we are and what we do.

My encouragement to tell you this is that if you're the CEO who's recently tried exploring new lines of business and new product offerings attempting to enter a new market, you need to fail fast. It is maddening to start bleeding money on a line of business or an idea or a new product launch. If you don't have it, you need to go back to the drawing board within a short period of time. I recently read an article one of our team members forwarded to me. I felt so much peace reading the article because I was uncertain if this was the right step. We embraced so many innovative and collaborative ideas in our company over the last six months and really launched some exciting projects. But at the end of the day, they were causing inefficiency. They were draining our resources. We weren't seeing the results that we are known for and what we wanted to see. That is something we have to pay attention to.

This article talks about eliminating those products or services. You should know your numbers. You should know every line of business or every product. You need to know profitability by product profitability by line of business. You need to monitor that because if you have a line of business that is far outperforming another, maybe the one that makes a lot of money is funding the other while you're trying to get it off the ground. You need to fail fast; you need to have a timeline on that to determine how long you're willing to go. Before you say, this is maddening. And it's causing stress in the business stress on systems stress on people stress on results stress on the client. If that's the case, then you need to be having a different conversation. So I'm excited to have this article. It gave me great validation, like, “okay, we are on to something here.” We need to just truly rely on the product we've created. That's a product of saying it's really a service. It's our second stage scale, our full scale ahead model.

Time and time again, the results are unreal. I just returned from Las Vegas. I was sitting there with one of the clients that we scaled this year. Bless their hearts. We love them. They are a Dallas-based company. Then one of the manufacturers they represent, as part of their business, had their 50th-anniversary conference. I got to be the keynote speaker, for I had 200 CEOs in the room, tremendous experience. Our client was there, and I got to spend two, maybe three hours with our client the night before the keynote and listen to them. Gosh, we've literally changed their lives. We didn't just scale their business. We changed their lives. The CEO, the head of sales, their team members. We have unlocked the potential in this business that got them through a plateau that has been present for years. The numbers are unbelievable.

Holistically, we rebranded them, built a new website, and redid their entire marketing engine where they didn't have one. So we built an inbound marketing engine that follows all the way through the customer lifecycle. We completely revamped the sales team. We ripped out the old CRM, which I believe was Pipedrive. We put in HubSpot for CMS marketing. Actually, we built their website on Shopify, so Shopify marketing, HubSpot marketing, HubSpot sales, connected to service. We have this beautiful 360 Holistic scale that we've brought forth tremendous results in the last 10 months being with them. We're securing the renewal to work with them through this new year. It's been life-changing what we have done for this CEO, unlocked dreams that he didn't know how to achieve on his own, that he has spent 1000s of dollars trying to get in the past. We've done the impossible for him.

This story is not an anomaly. This is what we live for. This is what we do for our clients. This same story is currently present with our other clients. This is what I was created for. This is what our company was created for. Thank God, literally. Thank you, God, for giving this company to 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 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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