For 31 years, I had steady employment, having only been out of work twice and only for a total of about 8 months. Then came the end of a 24 year run with one company. This was a family business, in its second generation that was not going make it to the third. We were in the commercial real estate business and in 2006 we were at the top of the current valuation cycle, so we sold off assets and I began the process of looking for a new position.
I was fortunate to have been offered outplacement, which taught me to network and gave me a support system, very much like FENG offers its members. I tried to move out of real estate but with 24 years experience and over the age of 50 I knew this would be a tough challenge. After eight months of searching I found a position as CFO with a real estate development company. This was October 2008. The job lasted exactly one year. I had just spent eight months finding a job that lasted twelve. Something needed to change.
I had always wanted my own business but being in accounting and finance I was not sure what this would look like. In 1991 I had read an article in CFO Magazine which spoke about being a part time CFO and building a client base. This appealed to me and led me on a search as to how to make this happened. I knew that I could go off on my own and hang out a shingle but what support would I have or more importantly, would I need? I looked at some regional players, which to me were marginally better. Finally I landed on the largest firm in the nation supplying senior financial leadership to private companies, B2B CFO®.
I joined B2B CFO® in October 2008 and have never looked back. The firm, of which I am a partner, allows me to go anywhere in the country and perform the work I love to do without any of the politics of joining a company as the CFO. B2B CFO® has taught me how to sell and has supplied me with the tools I need to plan out an assignment. My 171 partners provide technical support that allows me to work in many different industries. I can get an answer to any question within 24 to 48 hours. Since joining the firm I have had 15 different clients of which 6 are currently active with an additional 9 firms in various stages of discussion as to the services I can provide. My first client is still a client where I provide ongoing CFO level services to him, helping him grow his business in a cost effective way. For me, the goal of helping business owners be successful with their business and with their goals is very rewarding.
Besides providing support, training and mentoring, B2B CFO® provides a strong national brand. This past month we were named to the prestigious Inc Magazine list of the 5000 fastest growing companies in the country coming in 84th in our category and 1,560th overall. Our firm has been written up in the Wall Street Journal as well as numerous local and regional publications. Our founding partner is a regular on Fox Business News. All this provides enormous validation to our firm and the work we do.
If you are looking to take control of your own future and never again to be subjected to an outright job search the concept of providing senior financial leadership to organizations on an as needed basis could be right for you.