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Know When to Walk Away: A Guide for Fractional Leaders

I've caught myself saying the following more times than I can count: "Fractional work allows me to have all the fun associated with working at a startup without the bullsh*t associated with a startup." For most of my career, that has been true. But based on a recent experience, I have started thinking about the times when the bullsh*t of a startup does rear its ugly head and how I could advise new fractionals on how I've approached it. Here’s my list for how to know when to walk away. Reasons to Walk One of the most powerful concepts that I learned in that time is the concept of "firing a customer." There are many reasons why you might need to let a customer go: Nonpayment or chronic late payment; Violation of terms and conditions—for example, work outside scope; Unreasonable demands or expectations—3 AM replies; Abusive behavior; Lack of engagement—they forget they hired you; Misalignment of a target market; Merger and acquisitions; Legal reasons; Strategic

A Birthday, a Milestone, and a Launch

Fractionals United turned a month old this past week, and broke 200 members that day. 

And tomorrow we launch on Product Hunt, so please check us out and share.

We also had our first meetup this past week and it was really great connecting with some of the members beyond slack. We realized collectively that we're actually pioneers revolutionizing the future of work since we strongly believe that fractional work is the future.

And here's why (or at least one of the many reasons why).

I started reading Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman. If you haven't read it and you're a leader, I highly recommend it. 

The premise of the book is that there are "leaders" who need to be the smartest in the room and diminish those around them, and there are others—the "multipliers"—who bring out the best in everyone they work with. (There's a lot more to it, but I'm summarizing and keeping it high level.) Multipliers are essential when resources are constrained since by motivating the team, they inspire them to give their best.

In a world where businesses are struggling, hiring fractional leaders makes sense because to be fractional, you either figure out how to multiply your resources and team, or you don't get to be fractional for long.

And speaking of fractionals, I promised last week to introduce the generous fractionals who've volunteered to help me keep building this community. The volunteer leadership committee has actually grown in size, so I'll introduce you to a few at a time.

Name: Jenn Smyth-Whelly
Fractional Focus: B2B SaaS
What you enjoy most about being fractional: Flexibility while still being embedded in a team

Name: Will Simpson
Fractional Focus: COO/Change Leadership
What you enjoy most about being fractional: The diversity of clients and people keep it fresh and exciting!

Name: Chris Seidensticker
Fractional Focus: CFO/COO roles with pre-seed  to series C+ consumer tech, creator economy, and web3 startups
What you enjoy most about being fractional: It gives you superpowers! Solving a problem or executing on an opportunity at a company that you can then immediately apply those learnings and lessons at one of your other companies.

Name: Sam Wehbe
Fractional Focus: CRO/COO/CMO/CCO/CSO
Getting to work with many startups wearing different hats and solving different problems


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