Am I a failure?

  • 5Minutes

Hi fam,

I’ve learned something along the way about vulnerability and its power. Firstly, we can share something that topically, by its very nature, is vulnerable. As in, others will likely agree it’s a vulnerable thing to speak about. But in truth, if we’re sharing after we’ve processed it and made peace with it, it’s not altogether that vulnerable for us to be sharing it. What’s truly vulnerable, and in turn truly powerful, is when we share mid-process in the moments when we don’t have it all figured out. So here goes…

I woke up a few nights ago and immediately started thinking about our crowdfunding campaign. You see, it’s not going very well (I’ll explain the journey in a moment) and I started feeling like a failure. As I visited the late-night rabbit holes of my not-so-friendly mind, I was questioning myself and feeling as though I was failing. Failing my team, failing our community, and failing society at large as Growmotely is special. It’s changing the world of work, and it’s a change that’s very needed.

These late-night tunnels of darkness and doom are not unfamiliar to me. These rabbit holes are places I’ve visited regularly for as long as I can remember. At certain times in my life, they’ve felt all-consuming and like I’d never get out. I do have more tools now, and I usually venture through the underworld knowing – at least at some level – that the sun will rise again and things won’t seem so bad in the morning!

Once I’d completed the ‘Failure’ journey, I went down the path marked ‘Victims… right this way’ and felt anger, frustration, and resentment toward the world of capital raising, and heck, toward being a female founder in what’s been a man’s world (because yes, I was fully immersed in the energy of victimhood).

And then…

I caught myself. I remembered the truth.

I am not a failure. I am not a victim. I am on a journey. The only way out is through, and it’s not anyone else’s responsibility but my own to figure this out.

So…where have we been?

  • Our campaign was approved in January, and due to the administrative process, we were not able to turn the campaign live until late May. 🤯
  • We launched our reserve campaign with a bang, and very quickly had over $55K in investment committed. 🎉
  • Instead of being in reserve for 2 weeks, it turned into 6 and when the campaign went live, 63% of the committed investments did not convert into actual investments. 🎢 
  • We felt deflated, lost our enthusiasm for the campaign, and slowed our own communication efforts. 😮‍💨
  • Time has progressed and when we finally were announced publicly last week… nothing happened. In fact, one investor canceled their investment. 🥵

So this is all that I was pondering at 3 am the other night. As I let go of the failure story and the victim story, I became empowered and started to think about where to from here, should we just write this whole experience off as a learning exercise and focus our efforts elsewhere? Or should we dig in and see what’s possible? The second option feels a lot more like me (gritty, determined, tell me I can’t do something and I’ll DEFINITELY find a way to do it), however spamming everyone with positive updates and well-curated marketing messages about investing in Growmotely just didn’t feel right.

Intuitively, I knew it wouldn’t hit and would result in more wasted energy.

I felt stuck. And then I felt sick.

I felt sick because I realized I needed to tell you all the truth. This crowdfunding journey has been really hard, we dropped the ball, lost energy and momentum and as a result, our incredible company is (so far) struggling to receive the funding it needs.

As I thought about that, I found a fire in me and a courage to share. Fundraising has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my career, the amount of emotional blocks I’ve encountered along the way has required me to do deep, multi-layered inner work. And so I do it because if I don’t, I’m only making Growmotely’s journey harder and harder.

And what else is true?

Growmotely is doing awesome…

  • We’ve placed just shy of 100 conscious professionals into long-term work with culture-first companies.
  • We’ve grown a 30K+ strong community of awakened individuals and companies who’re also invested in creating a more expansive world of work.
  • We grew 79% last quarter alone!
  • We’re less than 10 months away from break-even. It’ll be 2 years since launching when we go into profit. That alone is exceptional in my experience, even for a regular, humble business, let alone a fast-growing tech startup operating in a trillion-dollar market.

It would be remiss of me not to dig in, show up and tell you and the world what we’re all about and ask for you to back us. To be a part of our journey. My goal as a founder is to IPO this company, AND transform the world of work into something that’s expansive and empowered for all. The time is now, and we are here doing it.

If you’ve considered investing in Growmotely, we’d LOVE to welcome you into our tribe in this way. Thank you for reading this far, and for being a part of what we’re building. It’s not easy to lead in this way, sharing all the ugliness along with the beauty, but I also know this is what heals the world.

Shine bright,

Sarah Hawley

CEO & Founder

PS. I read and reply to all your comments, they mean so much and especially in times like these.

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Conscious Leadership: A Journey from Ego to Heart

In her latest book CEO and Founder Sarah Hawley takes you through her personal journey of stepping into a more conscious way of leading, by living a life of integrity, bringing more compassion and love into our lives and our businesses, and empowering those we lead to reach for their highest potential. Sarah’s story will inspire you toward discovering your unique heart-centered existence as an entrepreneur, leader, and human.

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