E79: Running a Transparent, Open-Book Agency with Sarah Olivieri

Show Notes:

Sarah Olivieri is the owner and Nonprofit Digital Strategist at PivotGround. She brings a company’s mission to life with strategic nonprofit consulting.

The founder and heart behind PivotGround, Sarah leads her team of digital experts to help human-service nonprofits increase capacity, deliver better programming, attract more funding, and make the world a better place.

It can be lonely in the Executive Director seat. Sarah knows, because she’s been there. That’s why she brings over 15 years of nonprofit leadership and 14+ years of being a web professional together to make life simpler, clearer, and more exciting.

Episode highlights:

  • The big difference between partnering with businesses to outsource work and working with an individual contractor.
  • How clients respond to working with multiple businesses through Sarah’s company.
  • Why it’s okay to own a business without a partner.
  • Why a partnership may not be the solution for you, even if you feel lonely running your business.
  • Why it’s critically important to lean on that accountability chart.
  • How to encourage employees to give you their best.
  • Best advice: Follow the recipe first.
  • Personal habit that contributes to success: “No excuses” meditation
  • Internet resource or tool: Cloze and a stand-up/sit-down desk with a high-quality mat
  • Book recommendation: The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack





  • “We were our own team.”
  • “Some people are attracted to taking on a business partner because they feel lonely.”
  • “You don’t have to be lonely.”
  • “Having partners can dilute your ability to all go in one direction.”
  • “We’ve definitely had conflict.”
  • “That is your job: to get the work done.”
  • “They don’t have to be a partner to share profits.”




  • Do you feel lonely and wonder if taking on a partner would solve that problem? Try joining a community that connects you with other entrepreneurs, all without the major shift that comes with a partner.
  • Are you considering an alternative business model? Keep an eye on team members veering away from alignment.