Why Jill Button and Corette Miller, Co-Founders of ThryvX, started a new venture during a pandemic
What started as a chance meeting and a simple thought to share office space, referrals and expenses quickly blossomed into ‘ThryvX’, launched in February 2020 just as the pandemic was quickly spreading around the world. Leading her own consultancy ‘ProcurePro’ since 2013, Jill Button, is an IT Procurement expert, and certified supply chain management professional. Corette Miller, Founder and CEO of her own small business ‘newINITIATIVES HR’ since 2007, is a certified HR expert. Together they found themselves embarking on a journey to found a new startup.
As they were building their businesses independently, they realized that many organizations, like them, also struggled to find the essential services that help a business grow and stay relevant. What was being offered in the marketplace was mostly reserved for large enterprises which for most small and medium businesses is not financially sustainable. Together, Jill and Corette saw this as an opportunity to show growing companies an effective and forward-looking way to continue doing business. Their underlying objective was to enable the businesses to operate and grow their revenue successfully even on a virtual platform. They decided to start by combining their complimenting service as HR and Procurement experts respectively to create a ‘one-stop-shop' for small and medium businesses.
Jill shares, “After years of experience in the industry, our established knowledge tells us that most entrepreneurs are experts in their core field but struggle when they realize they need help to set up their business for success and growth. Often our own personal experiences are what drive us to find solutions for our clients. At ThryvX, we are fanatic about helping businesses create a solid foundation by investing in people, processes, and systems upon which to grow and Thryv Xponentially. We prepare them to do this with our virtual support team at ThyrvX.”
Supporting business growth “Small and medium-sized businesses often lack the capital or awareness which leads them to unknowingly put themselves at risk,” Corette explains. “Human resource is also usually an afterthought. Obsessing over sales and reacting to resource demands, companies consequently hire without fully understanding the necessity of effective human resource management and in the aftermath would find themselves in a lawsuit or human rights review.” “On top of this,” Jill adds, “it is crucial to invest in the right technology to help streamline and automate one’s business operation to allow uninterrupted growth. Before making any big tech investments, business owners must identify what their business truly needs and not be lured by a shiny tech object or exciting new app.”
“As a 100% virtually enabled platform serving clients in North America, ThryvX is on a mission to assist companies by providing a one-stop solution,” Jill explains, “ThryvX is your Virtual Executive Team. We are experts from across diverse fields of business, including Marketing, Information Technology, Procurement, Project Management, Human Resources, and Recruiting. We want to build a relationship with our clients where we can really get to know their culture, vision, hopes, and dreams. Our purpose is ‘To enable businesses to grow from start-up to enterprise, by providing them access to tools, resources, and executive leadership all in one place.’ Our HR services help companies understand the importance of their most important investment, People! And Our IT procurement services will help you select the right solution you require to run your business today and to propel your growth for the future.”
Jill shares, “I’ve learned a great CEO must put their team out front. You need to inspire your team to achieve their greatest potential in turn fostering a committed and engaged team that goes above and beyond for your customers. Without a great team, a CEO is just a person sitting alone in a board room with his or her ego for the company.”
Leaping off the corporate ladder
Before taking on their entrepreneurial journeys, both Jill and Corette were at a point in their lives where they had been struggling to make headway on the corporate ladder for too long and were anxious to take back control of their destinies. Fortuitously, they both decided to go for it, and here they are today leading one of the most intriguing ventures of their lives. As a leader, Jill believes it is important to not be led by your fear and instead focus on persistence, teamwork, and one’s passion. Corette believes in honest and respectful communication while demonstrating a true commitment to the best interests of the organization. However, one attribute that they both deeply share as the cofounders of ThryvX is the regard for their team and an intent to help each team member reach their full potential.
Jill shares, “I’ve learned a great CEO must put their team out front. You need to inspire your team to achieve their greatest potential in turn fostering a committed and engaged team that goes above and beyond for your customers. Without a great team, a CEO is just a person sitting alone in a board room with his or her ego for the company.” Sharing the sentiment Corette asserts, “By supporting your team to use the wings they already have to fly, gives them opportunities to grow and learn. Teamwork – your team is your success. Believe in them, inspire them and they will believe in you. To do that, you have to hire smart, right from the beginning!”
For the women behind them who are aspiring to fulfill their own entrepreneurial dreams, there will be several challenges lying ahead. Corette tells them, “Ignore the negative, surround yourself with only positive people. Look for the good, even in the worst of times to learn and grow from the experience. Everything happens for a reason.” To which Jill adds by saying, “I think it’s the same as when I was a young woman and to this day. Fear and self-doubt. We are often our own biggest obstacle. Women need role models who look like them, to inspire them to reach beyond cultural and societal norms and dream bigger. So, go for it! Whatever it is, just go for it. When you think it’s too bold, do it anyway. When you are afraid you will fail, jump in with both feet, fail forward. When you don’t get that promotion, forge your own path and control your own destiny.” Corette further adds, “I agree with Jill – go for it. Plan it, have your support team, learn from mistakes and failures and continue to Thryv!”
“Corette shares, “Like everyone, I want to retire, but that retirement must include my own continuous learning & development or give back in any way I can. To achieve these goals and establish a legacy I can be proud of; I believe in being open to feedback from my team with challenges and thoughtful questions that guide will me to build my life story. I love public speaking and sharing ‘stories. Full retirement isn’t what I strive for, I strive to tell my stories.”
Here’s to a Crack Team
Self-described #GenXFempreneur Jill was named one of the “100 Influential Women in Canadian Supply Chain TM” by Supply Chain Canada and was nominated for the “RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award” featured as one of the “Top 100 Canadian Professionals” in Top 100 magazine. Recently, Jill was humbled to be recognized as one of the “10 Most Innovative CEO’s Revamping the Future” by CIO Look Magazine. An avid speaker, Corette enjoys networking with entrepreneurs, women’s, and youth groups on various topics that relate to her deep expertise in human resources, career planning, corporate culture, team building, and leadership development and and is active on a number of business and not-for-profit boards within her community.
Together, as the perfect team, Corette and Jill have enjoyed guest hosting the podcast “We As, Start Talking”, and pretty they will be launching their own ThryvX podcast in spring 2021. Apart from this, Jill and Corette are striving to build ThryvX into a $100 million company and a revolutionary leader in the industry facilitating small and medium businesses to meet unprecedented growth. Speaking of their legacy, Corette shares, “Like everyone, I want to retire, but that retirement must include my own continuous learning & development or give back in any way I can. To achieve these goals and establish a legacy I can be proud of; I believe in being open to feedback from my team with challenges and thoughtful questions that guide will me to build my life story. I love public speaking and sharing ‘stories. Full retirement isn’t what I strive for, I strive to tell my stories.” Adding more to this thought, Jill exclaims, “I want to give back to the next generation, to inspire them to achieve their greatest potential. Yes, I will say the word “retire”, but I don’t ever see myself as fully retired. I still feel like there are other ideas I want to pursue and frankly I just love the business of business.”