028: 7 BIG CFO Takeaways from 2022

January 6, 2023
Read time: 4:07 minutes

I spent 200 hours coaching CFO firm owners in 2022.

Today, I want to share with you the top 7 takeaways I had from that experience. My hope is that you can leverage it to scale your firm.

Will each of these hold true for you? I don't know. But I know they were true for my firm and for the firm owners that I've coached.

Let's do this.

Takeaway #1: Identify one BOLD baby step.

I saw a lot of people sit on the sidelines for far too long in 2022.

They were too slow to get in the game (or worse, they didn't get in the game at all).

There were 2 primary reasons why: 

1️⃣ They tried to plan everything out to perfection ahead of time (more on that later). 
2️⃣ They became overwhelmed with all the things that needed to happen to hit their goal (more on that later as well).

What works if you find yourself here? 

Most people will tell you to break down the big things into small things and focus on the first baby step.

While that's true, I have found that there's a component missing: 
For some reason, we tend to be REALLY good at doing baby steps that don't actually move the needle.

I've found that it's best to identify the next BOLD baby step. In other words, what is that next step that will move you forward.. But is also mildly out of your comfort zone?

That's when you know you're on the right track.

Takeaway #2: Perfection is great for accountants and horrible for CFO firm owners.

Most fractional CFOs have an affinity for perfection.

👉 And that's a VERY important trait for the line of work we are in.
👉 But it's also a VERY bad trait for the line of work we are in. 

Say huh? 

Yes, perfection is important in the pursuit of financial reporting, GAAP, and taxes.

But when it comes to being a firm owner (aka CEO/entrepreneurship), perfection will kill you. Because there is never anything perfect about entrepreneurship.

In some ways, being the CEO of a fractional CFO firm is the ultimate dichotomy. 

A good rule of thumb: 
If you're doing CEO stuff, 70% is good enough.
If you're doing CFO stuff, 95% is good enough.

Takeaway #3: You've got to be loyal to something if you want it to pay off.

If you want REAL results from something (or someone for that matter!), you have to be loyal it. 

You can't casually dabble for a hot minute and expect it to deliver major results.

Here are 3 best practices I've found:

• Ask others who have done it successfully how long it took before they saw results.
• Commit to a timeline for how long you're going to try it before you cut the anchor and sail off.
• Identify success metrics ahead of time.

Takeaway #4: Action is the ultimate momentum builder

The firm owners that I coached that had a propensity to action saw far better results than those that didn't.

Stop talking about it and start being about it.

Start.
Today.
Seriously.
Right now.

I'm 100% sure that someone reading this right now needs to hear it.

It's probably you.

Let's go.

Takeaway #5: If you want to build a firm, you have to market yourself.

There are so many complete trash service providers in the world that deliver ZERO value. But they're amazing at marketing so they make a ton of money.

Fractional CFOs have so much to offer the world and our services are extremely needed. Yet most of us suck at marketing so our impact is minimized.

You have to market.

And marketing doesn't have to mean running ads or posting TikTok videos (those don't work anyway). 

Marketing is just getting your name out there so others know who you are and what you do.

Marketing can include: 

• Speaking at conferences
• Going to networking events
• Guest appearance on podcasts
• Writing articles for industry publications
• Joining groups that might end up becoming clients

Pick one and do it (but also see Takeaway 3 above).

Takeaway #6: Being a fractional CFO and being a CEO are 2 different skills.

You wear both hats and each one requires different skills.

I see a lot of fractional CFOs continuing to hone their skills as a CFO - which is good.

But you've also got to invest in honing your skills as a CEO.

You've got to think about things like: 

Sales
Firing
Hiring
Pricing
Leading
Managing
Marketing
Boundaries
Firm strategy

Pick one of those to level up on each month.

Your P&L will thank you by December of 2023.

Takeaway #7: Want the BEST ROI? Invest in yourself. (but also do this👇).

The people that I coach who have had the most success invest in themselves regularly. 

But there's a catch here: 
Investing in yourself doesn't mean ONLY investing money.
🔥  It also means investing the time to IMPLEMENT what you learn!

Because reading the book, taking the course, or getting coaching has an ROI of exactly 0️⃣.

It's the implementation the yields results.

These are the 7️⃣ takeaways that I found after spending a LOT of time coaching last year. 

Apply them in 2023 and I promise you'll see massive results.

You coach,
Michael


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