064: At 19yo worked in her dad’s financial planning firm, started her own in 2008 then another to focus on advising millennials. $250k to $2m recurring revenue, sold to ex-husband. 5 FTE to 18. Has sold 3 companies for $2m+ each (Sarah Riegelhuth)

Presented by Troy Trewin

Troy has worked intimately with 26 businesses in 20 years. He knows their numbers, understands their growing pains and people issues and has helped with most financial aspects, as well as having coached on leadership and management.

December 21, 2020

In this episode, I interview Sarah Riegelhuth, the Founder and CEO of Growmotely, the first all-in-one platform for sourcing, growing and managing remote teams. Sarah is also a serial entrepreneur, professional speaker, published author and investor in startups, having founded 8 companies since 2009. She’s personally fueled by a passion for changing the status quo of how we work, conscious culture and leadership, community, gender equality and living life on one’s own terms.

Aged 19, she started a financial planning firm with her father. In 2008, she started her own private wealth management firm and sold it in 2015. In 2012, inspired from advising millennials, she started a firm focusing on that niche, the first in Australia. She did $250,000 in the first year then $1 Million a year for the next four years before two pivots saw them reach $2 Million annual recurring revenue. She then sold the business to her business partner and ex-husband in 2018. 

She had 5 full-time employees to 18 with all the non-financial planners offshore in the lower cost countries. Sarah is the co-founder of the league of extraordinary women which has 200,000 members globally and has bootstrapped every one of her businesses except the current one, raising investment to grow into a billion dollar company. She closed the fundraise at 32% over and has sold three companies for over $2 Million.

Sarah felt she had succeeded when she sold the first company and her personal wealth tipped over $1 Million when she was aged 32. She feels the hardest thing about growing a small business is, managing your own energy and building resilience. Sarah says the one thing she would tell herself on day one of starting out in business is, “Keep going” Sarah has had a phenomenal business ownership journey that will surely inspire you. Stay tuned.

This Cast Covers:

  • From working in financial planning to becoming a high-flying entrepreneur.
  • How she started Wealth Enhancers and grew it from zero to $250,000 in first year revenue.
  • Successfully starting a service-based business and how that is reasonable validation that one has got a viable business.
  • The difference in customer retention rates when they used a commission-based model and how the lessons from that helped her pivot and grow the business.
  • One of the hindrances that keep service-based businesses from growing as expected.
  • Moving to a global employment model which allowed them to access many more resources affordably.
  • Why she had to sell her stake of the company when she was in a great position to scale and grow it.
  • Selling three companies for over $2 Million and the joy of having her personal wealth reach over $1 Million.
  • Building her personal brand so she can leverage it to market her businesses.
  • The pros and cons of bootstrapping based on her entrepreneurial experience.
  • The importance of small business owners/entrepreneurs keeping track of their energy levels to ensure they don’t get burned out.
  • Facilitating better performance from her team by ensuring that everyone is aligned and engaged.
  • Building the necessary resilience to deal with the pace of fast growth and the overwhelm that can come with it.
  • Looking for alignment in potential hires to determine who is a fit and running things based on transparency and honesty.
  • The A player versus the B player: Who’s the best?
  • Being intentional about culture and communicating it clearly.
  • Re-centering and grounding by switching off her phone regularly and taking retreats several times a year.
  • The difficulty in a small business owner managing their own energy. 

Additional Resources:

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“We often do get stuck when we’re trying to grow our businesses“ – Sarah Riegelhuth

“There’s a lot of ways you can waste money in business on things you don’t need“ – Sarah Riegelhuth

“As you go to market and you learn what your actually market wants, your business changes” – Sarah Riegelhuth

“Fast growth comes with fast challenge“ – Sarah Riegelhuth

“Growth doesn’t always mean revenue or profit“ – Sarah Riegelhuth

“If people are engaged in what we’re doing and they love it, they show up“ – Sarah Riegelhuth

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Music from https://filmmusic.io “Cold Funk” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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