May 19, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Sarah Hawley, Founder/CEO of Growmotely tells us how it all started

Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m the CEO & Founder of Growmotely, the world’s first platform connecting conscious companies with skilled and experienced remote professionals (inc. recruitment, culture tools, payroll and benefits!).

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I turned all my companies remote in 2014 and fell in love with remote work and the freedom it gave my team, not to mention how I grew as a leader as I learned to truly trust and empower my team. In 2019, after selling my previous businesses and soul-searching on what was next for me, I came up with the idea to build a huge global marketplace of conscious companies, and conscious professionals and helping them find each other. Even before the pandemic, I knew the reality that we can work anywhere and for anyone and with that thinking in mind we’re changing the world of work for the better as we help people find their dream roles (and companies find their dream team) now the talent pool isn’t restricted to a physical location!

Describe the process of launching the business.

We raised a small pre-seed round in order to build our MVP that closed (oversubscribed) on March 13th, 2020. That was the Friday before the pandemic saw us in a global lockdown. It was crazy, while I knew remote work was the future, I thought it would be a 5-10 year process, and overnight the entire world experienced it. I knew there was no going back, so we started building our company and our technology as fast as we could. We officially launched in April this year and are going from strength to strength since. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had as an entrepreneur!

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

We put community first, and that seems to resonate. We have a commitment that ‘all stakeholders matter’ and as we continue to grow and evolve the company we weigh all decisions ensuring that everyone involved benefits (our remote professionals, the companies using our platform, our internal team, partners and investors). This is a true co-creation and our community knows it.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We’ve just recently closed another oversubscribed round of funding, and more than doubled our last month’s revenue this month. We are shaping the future of work, and plan to IPO our company. I’ll be the 23rd woman in the history of the USA to do that.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Life as an entrepreneur is one of continued learnings. Every single day! The list is endless, but prior to this I always bootstrapped my company and this is the first opportunity I felt seeking outside funding made sense for, in order to propel growth and achieve the best possible outcomes. Learning about capital raising has been my biggest area of growth after 12 years as a bootstrapped founder!

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We’re big fans of Basecamp for most of our communications, work flow and generally keeping everything moving and everyone across what’s going on. This is especially useful as we’re a fully global team of 20 working completely in sync from countries all around the world. We use our own platform, Growmotely, for hiring and building our team of course! We also use Circle to manage our closed community of hired remote professionals.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

My fave podcasts right now are How I Built This, and Masters of Scale.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Life is an infinite game, an experience… play it. Don’t sit on the sidelines trying to get it right and wondering ‘what if?’. Take a chance and go after you wildest dreams, chances are you’ll reach them all and more.

Where can we go to learn more?