According to the Eighth Annual State of Women-Owned Business Report by American Express, only 1.7% of all female-founded businesses will break $1M in annual revenue. If we have the pleasure to meet in person then you’ve heard this statistic because I repeat it to nearly everyone I meet.
I am proud to officially announce that my company, SmithBrown Marketing, has reached the $1M ARR (annual run rate) mark in less than two years with an all-female team.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Bernie Dixon and the Launchpad2X (LP2X) community. One year ago I went through the three-day boot camp and grew more than 200% in the following 10 months.
I like to think about 23 female CEOs I went through the 2017 boot camp with like a sorority graduating class, and there is power in this. The leadership development and shared experiences that come from having two dozen intentional women in a room is a powerful force. I met women who are starting incredible companies like Moozi (Keurig for baby bottles) and BOOP (corrugated cardboard furniture), and tech company startups like Toss (fashion tech) and The Skylar Firm (on-demand security).
Each of these women approached Launchpad2X with a different filter and took away something new every day from the incredible speakers Bernie introduced. We learned everything from the basics to how a term sheet is really negotiated—all with a level of respect and dignity for us as female CEOs that is rare.
Bernie treats LP2X participants like CEOs. And not even female CEOs, but gender-agnostic executives. Too often the bar is set low for women leaders—but not with Bernie. When you walk in the door you are treated with the respect you deserve as a CEO, and she commands the same in return.
SmithBrown is an all-female company. Being the CEO of an all-female company and a leader of women was not my intent. Atlanta is the mecca for all things martech and there is a talent pool of incredible female marketers here. I’m thrilled that the team I’ve been able to crack the $1M glass ceiling with is all women. Women role models and mentors can be hard to come by—in Launchpad2X I’ve found my people, women who are intentional about breaking the $1M glass ceiling and asking: What’s next?
Kara Brown is CEO of SmithBrown Marketing in Atlanta, a full-service marketing firm specializing in B2B lead conversion, empowering business leaders to scale with proven marketing strategies and measured results through demand generation, strategy, social conversion, and execution. Brown had a robust corporate career before becoming an entrepreneur including startups, enterprise and being part of an IPO.