On Your Side of the Table: My journey from writing songs to creating structure and clarity in e-commerce businesses
My first role in the business world was that of the scrappy entrepreneur. I landed a publishing deal as a songwriter in Nashville in 2008 and began a career that had all the makings of a creative dream and yet enough cash flow uncertainty to make even the most free-spirited creative uneasy. As I continued to eke out a living, I struggled to reconcile my artistic desires with my seemingly more practical and growing desire to buy diapers and groceries.
This uncertainty pushed me toward a more formal entrepreneurial education at the Acton School of Business in Austin. With Acton’s 100-hour weeks of intense case prep, I learned how to dive into incredibly complex business scenarios and emerge with simple and clear answers. I learned to build a mean spreadsheet and make decisions backed by numbers and evidence rather than whims and guesses.
When our family returned home to Nashville after graduation, I stepped into a role as the Director of Operations for a small private equity startup. I spent most of my time sitting across the table from business owners who were struggling to decide whether or not to raise outside capital to grow their businesses.
It didn’t take long to see a pattern: While these business owners knew the results they wanted (sustainable growth that allowed them to enjoy freedom and flexibility), they weren’t sure how to accelerate the process. Many were even embarrassed to admit they didn’t fully understand the numbers and variables at play in their own businesses. I remembered the feeling all too well and was eager to help.
In a culture steeped in Shark Tank, many entrepreneurs assume investors hold the silver bullets to success. But guidance from investors comes at a cost and has strings attached. I’ve found that, in most cases, a business is full of “hidden” cash and has several options for growth before ever looking for outside capital.
Recognizing this incredible need and demand, I decided to position myself on the same side of the table as the business owners I wanted to help. I began creating growth plans for businesses, offering an unbiased, numbers-backed perspective on the best growth path possible. I came alongside my clients to look at their ventures together and ask, What is the true potential of this business? Turns out, a lot of entrepreneurs would rather pay a fee for guidance than unnecessarily give up a chunk of ownership.
As the founder of Amplify, I care deeply about advocating for entrepreneurs and setting them up to scale in the most strategic and efficient way possible. Every business has its origins in a specific “why,” and our goal is to help make that why a reality.
With our growing team of outsourced COOs and experience working with over 50 thriving businesses, we are energized by giving business owners the opportunity to dream and then helping to see those dreams to fruition.
Founder, Amplify COO