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Showing posts from April, 2023

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

Fractional Leaders: Giving Small Businesses a Leg Up

Behind the scenes of small businesses all over the world, is a movement that is changing the face of executive leadership. Fractional C-Level management is here to stay and is growing at an accelerated pace.   What does this mean for small businesses? For the first time, small businesses can hire a C-Suite leader without the revenue to carry a full-time salary.  Let’s peek at the numbers.   I’m a Fractional Chief Operating Officer. A full-time Chief Operating Officer can cost a company around $350k per year or more depending on experience and industry. A Fractional Chief Operating Officer will cost roughly 1/4 of that (not to mention the cost savings of benefits). The benefit a small business, especially a startup, reaps from the rewards of having a Fractional Chief Operating Officer on staff is innumerable and vastly outweighs that cost. You’re bringing top-notch leadership and strategy into your business—the same leadership and strategy that a company with 10x your revenue has—with t

Diminishing Marginal Utility: Evaluating the Long-Term Value of Hiring Executives

As a small business owner or startup founder, you understand the importance of hiring the right people for your organization. It’s what enables you to grow, succeed, and ultimately achieve your goals. Yet, hiring can also be a challenging and costly process, particularly when it comes to hiring executives. Hiring your leadership team is a crucial decision that can catapult your organization's success, but can also burn through your runway. The impact provided by these executives can also start to diminish over time, making it difficult to determine whether hiring them long-term is worth the investment (salary, benefits, equity, bonus). In this post, we’ll explore what diminishing marginal utility is, how it applies to hiring executives, and alternative ways to consider executive hiring. What is Diminishing Marginal Utility? Understanding the concept of diminishing marginal utility is necessary to evaluate the long-term value of hiring new executives. At its most basic level, it'

Fractionals United 3 Months In

Last week, Fractionals United turned 3 months old and we hit 1000 members.  To say that I couldn't have expected this back in January when I went looking for my fractional tribe is an understatement. And since I'm an "accidental founder" and a first-time community builder, I've had to learn a lot...every day.  Here are some of my top lessons: Being a founder is hard. As a Fractional COO, I've run small to mid size businesses across many industries and therefore don't shirk from tough decisions and responsibility, but now that every decision and every mistake ultimately is mine, it's harder. I will say that having an ops background and having been a COO and Fractional COO has made some things a lot easier, but it is different in ways I could not have anticipated. It's about the people. It should be obvious that community is about its members, but that means that you constantly have to keep their good in mind and also listen to what they're sayi

Discipline and Action in Company Leadership

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward." - Amelia Earhart Taking action is often the hardest part of any endeavor, but it's an essential ingredient for success. However, it takes more than just making a decision to act. It requires personal discipline, which is the ability to control your thoughts, actions, and behaviors to achieve your goals. Jocko Willink, a retired Navy SEAL and best-selling author, emphasizes the importance of personal discipline in his work. His mantra is effectively, "Discipline equals freedom." This seemingly paradoxical statement suggests that by exercising discipline in our lives, we gain the freedom to achieve our goals and fulfill our potential. This idea applies to the decision to hire a fractional leader as well. Waiting for the perfec

The Future of Work is Here: Expertise as a Service (EaaS)

The future of work is here, and it's called Expertise as a Service (EaaS). EaaS is the latest form of digital collaboration that allows companies to outsource their expertise needs to an external service provider. This means that companies no longer need to hire full-time employees for every role; instead, they can access deep expertise when needed from an on-demand pool of experts. Let's take a look at what EaaS is, how it works, and how it can help companies. How Does EaaS Work? Expertise as a Service (EaaS) is a business model in which professionals sell their knowledge and skills by offering their services to clients on a project basis, interim, advisory, or fractional basis. In today's constantly evolving workplace, the concept of expertise as a service has become increasingly popular. So, who are the types of workers that offer their expertise in this way? Generally speaking, these professionals are individuals who possess specialized knowledge and skills that can be