Peter Thiel, the well known entrepreneur best know for starting PayPal and being an early investor in Facebook, wrote a book entitled Zero to One: Notes on Startups, Or How to Build the Future. The concept of the book is that the true game changers in business are the individuals who look at how things should be done and not how they are done today. And when you think about the true innovators of recent memory – Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk – the reason why we remember them is that they challenged the status quo. When they heard answers like “We have always done it this way” or “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, they asked a simple question: “Why not?”
It was this spirit of innovation that inspired us to create AcceleratingCFO (yes, it is true that CPAs can be innovative!). When we worked as senior finance executives we worked with a lot of entrepreneurs who sold their businesses to the companies that we were working for. We had a lot of respect for these entrepreneurs, but we felt that in many cases they did not have the right team of advisors working for them. Their advisors were well respected within their organization and they felt comfortable with them, but often these individuals didn’t have the experience that we had in making deals and therefore left money on the table. When we had a moment to reflect on the many deals that we negotiated over the years with these small businesses we wondered why owners didn’t have a CFO or similar finance partner in their organization. We concluded that either they were not aware of their need to have someone w ha negotiated deals like their sale of their business or they felt that they could not afford to have someone with that level of expertise. As we began to question why there were no fractional CFO firms out there to assist this important market, we started to say out loud, “Why not us? Why not now?” It was then that AcceleratingCFO was formed, and we have not looked back since.
So what can you do to bring out your inner “Jobs”? Here are some tips that have helped me become inspired to do something different:
The path of innovation is never easy. There are lots of brilliant people like Walt Disney and Elon Musk who experienced severe financial and personal distress before they were able to achieve the successes that we know them for today. If you have a good idea, stick to it! Have the faith and determination to know that you will emerge on the other side smarter and more successful than you ever could imagine.
Prophets of Profit