A First-Time Female Founder’s First Year in Review
Wow. I did it. I actually did it. Amplify celebrated our first birthday on Feb 8th, the same month I turned 36. As a first-time female founder, I feel a strong desire and responsibility to share my feelings, experience, and learnings.
How it all started
The genesis of founding Amplify was equal parts push and pull. The push came from feeling dissatisfied with many of my former employers’ operations and cultures. The pull came from a combination of an acute observation of a market opportunity, my passion for all things GTM, and an innate desire to build.
My career has been filled with triumphs and tribulations – like most of us. I am a woman. I am outspoken, passionate, and courageous - I’ve got big dreams and big ideas…and a big mouth. I was a little too much for some of my former companies. I am not afraid to speak up or initiate challenging conversations, and I believe companies that encourage and embrace challenging conversations are the ones who will win in the long run. I’m a big Adam Grant fan, and he talks about this idea in his book The Originals through his analysis of Ray Dalio’s leadership style and success with Bridgewater. Too many companies want ‘yes’ people, but there is no growth without respectful debate and innovative new ideas. As much as I love to challenge people and ideas, I also love to be challenged. I love to learn from others' experiences and perspectives, and I continue to evolve as a person and professional every day. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a company that could offer me this, so I decided to create one.
I am so committed to being the leader I wish I had. I want to challenge my people, and I want them to challenge me. I want to empower my employees to strive for excellence, push boundaries, speak up, learn, and always keep growing. I demand that we walk the walk, that we do everything internally that we recommend to our clients. That we get better as an organization every day so that we can better serve our clients and community.
I was working at a seed-stage venture fund, most recently prior to starting Amplify. I led their business development efforts which meant I helped source deal flow, raise capital, and provide GTM support to the founders in our portfolio. I quickly realized that every founder in our portfolio had the same GTM challenges. These founders were amazing salespeople themselves, but they struggled to pass the baton. They got the company to $700k-1mm in ARR and needed to transition from producer to full-time CEO. They all needed support with hiring, building a sales process, sales enablement to support their reps, sales tech, sales leadership, etc. This was my ah-ha moment in realizing there was serious demand in the market for fractional sales leadership and RevOps support and relatively very little supply (for early-stage companies). We’ve all seen the rise of the acceptance and adoption of fractional CFOs over the last several years, so I had reason to believe the market would accept the concept of a fractional CRO.
I had the idea in Dec 2021, incorporated the same month. I launched in Feb 2022 with a homemade website and a LinkedIn announcement. I was confident, but I wasn’t totally sure it would work or how quickly I’d find success. I just decided I’ve got nothing to lose. Might as well go for it because the worst thing that happens is it doesn’t work, and then I knew I could always go back to working for someone else. I recently heard the quote, “Leap, and the net will appear.” by John Burroughs. Man, did it appear! I was amazed and flattered by the positive response from my network. I had two clients in the first month and eight by the end of my first year. All of my business came inbound from my existing network and referrals. I was feeling equal parts blessed and extremely humbled. Building a business at lightning speed, literally building the plane as you’re flying it, as a perfectionist and a first-timer, was exhilarating and exhausting. But I am proud to share that I survived! And now we’re really thriving.
"Leap, and the net will appear." - John Burroughs
What I’ve learned
Some of the many lessons I’ve learned in the last year –
- Give yourself Grace – You aren’t going to get it all right; the important thing is that you learn from your failures and mistakes, acknowledge them to yourself and your clients, and keep aiming to get better.
- Ask for help – I am so grateful to all of my friends, former colleagues, and family members who have helped me by listening, offering advice, and connecting me to resources. My sounding board, mirror, and cheerleaders.
- Trust your gut and act with conviction quickly – I’ve been proud of my ability to trust my instincts. When I’ve felt like something wasn’t quite right, I’ve made the often tough but swift decisions to cut ties or change directions.
- Invest in your team – To really scale a business and go for the gold, you’re going to need a rock-solid team behind you. I’ve also been proud of how I’ve invested in my people through competitive wages, training, coaching, and opportunity. My team is amazing and extremely loyal. They feel like family to me.
- Invest in yourself – Never stop reading, learning, asking questions, or seeking out resources. I’ve also learned to carve out time for myself and my personal life. Taking that time to recharge and disconnect is critical for my sanity and my ability to show up as my best self for my team and clients.
How it’s going
Freaking awesome. We learned so much from our clients and the market last year. We put in the work to build a solid foundation operationally and we are ready to blow it up this year. We started off solely focused on providing sales consulting, but we quickly realized all of our clients also needed support with marketing and customer success, so we do that too now. Marketing, sales, and customer success are so interdependent and truly better when they’re strategically aligned – the exact reason why RevOps is on the rise!
Amplify now proudly offers end-to-end GTM strategy and tactical execution. We help you build, optimize, and iterate on all things marketing, sales, and customer success to accelerate your growth.
How we can help
Some of the many ways we can help –
- Founders with no sales or marketing team – We got you. We can help you build the initial tech stack and processes to accelerate your solo artist efforts.
- Founder-led sales transitions - Early-stage founders looking to build their first GTM team and engine. We’ll help you pass the baton.
- Founders who have outgrown their current GTM solution – It happens. What got you where you are won’t always get you to the next milestone. We can help you level up wherever you are in your journey.
- Companies who need RevOps support – You’ve got great leadership and a great GTM team, but ops is painful. You handle the strategy; we’ll handle all the sales, marketing, and success ops (RevOps). We’re your back-office ninjas managing the data, systems, processes, and metrics to give you greater efficiency and visibility.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to every person who has been and continues to be part of our journey and story. I absolutely love what I am doing and what we are building. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be in life and business.
If you think we can help your company or someone you know, please reach out!
With love and gratitude,