How a former advertising exec built a $110 million business by catering to the way people really want to work

Stephanie Nadi Olsen was burned. She loves her advertising career, but 10 years later, the status quo is breaking her spirits. She works 60 hours a week, flying to New York and Silicon Valley to work while her young daughters are at home in Atlanta. One is still breastfeeding.

“It’s not sustainable! Especially when you’re taking care of your kids, your parents, or anyone else,” Olson told the company’s I Know It Podcast. “I feel like the way work happens is marginalized.”

She was honored to be able to quit her seven-figure job. But after doing so, she couldn’t shake the idea that the demands of the traditional workplace didn’t work for a large portion of the population — for a variety of reasons. Maybe they experienced discrimination or trauma. Maybe they have medical needs, or a caring role that makes commuting difficult. In 2018, Olsen had an idea: She would create a platform for remote marketing jobs and pair at-home marketing experts with jobs at large companies where advertising and marketing executives were already in her Rolodex.

She put $10,000 of her family’s savings into putting the idea into action for six months. She named it We Are Rosie, after her young daughter Margot Rosie, while keeping her own and her family’s legacy in mind.

“I long to honor those who came before me, but also want to leave a legacy for my children, because I don’t want my daughters to be stuck in a job where they are abusive, or they have to sacrifice themselves or their families to get involved workforce,” Olson said.

efficient. In the company’s less than five years of existence, We Are Rosie is valued at $110 million, and its three-year growth rate of 2,267% puts it at the top of the list. 232 About the company. List of the 5000 fastest growing companies in America.

The We Are Rosie platform and community includes approximately 17,000 marketing contractors who are placed by the company in project-based work for up to 40 hours per week. The company itself has 60 employees, all of whom are in remote areas and enjoy a range of family-friendly benefits, including mandatory holidays. It’s a benefit Olsen created to fight burnout during the pandemic, inspired by advice a mentor gave her: “People do what you pay them to do.”

“I thought: How can I pay people to not get burned?” She tied it to quarterly bonuses: To get the full bonus, employees must take at least five vacations every three months.

To listen to my full interview, click here, on the player above, or find what I know on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get the audio.

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