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Summit Insights
May, 24

From Numbers-Driven to People-Focused: Area President Mike Derringer Shares His Career Journey on the Inspired Stories Podcast



Building a Team, Building a Community: The Focus of an Area President

How do you build a team-based approach when it comes to finances? In this candid episode of the Inspired Stories Podcast FocusCFO Area President Mike Derringer, shares his journey from being an introverted, numbers-focused CFO to becoming an extroverted fractional business owner who loves business development.

After reaching a career crossroads at age 40, Mike took the entrepreneurial leap by joining FocusCFO, a pioneer in providing fractional CFO services to small and medium businesses. However, he had to radically shift his mindset and personality to thrive in this new role. Mike discusses how he learned to embrace curiosity over arrogance by asking more questions to truly understand clients' pain points before proposing solutions.

The Sandler sales methodology became pivotal in training him to peel back layers through purposeful questioning. He openly shares the challenges of mentally transitioning between diverse client settings each week as a fractional CFO. Practices like diligent note-taking, committing to being fully present, and tapping into a network of peers became essential. Mike also talks about overcoming the discomfort of business development as an introvert. From dismissing networking as a corporate exec to becoming someone who genuinely connects to understand how he can provide value.

I had what I thought was a brilliant idea to work with small businesses, because one thing I noticed was a lot of companies needed help. They usually needed some better accounting. They needed some better forecasting. Well, I thought if big companies struggle with this, what do small companies do?

We’d bring in Consultant and pay him 250,000 to give us a nice little binder to tell us what we needed to do. Smaller businesses really can’t do that so as I was thinking through that and networking a friend of mine said you need to meet Brad Martyn, the founder of FocusCFO: That’s what his company does. So I met Brad and he had developed a really solid model. It wasn’t exactly what I was thinking, but it was pretty darn close. And we tell everybody this, 'hey, we have a process that we’ve developed over the years, or you can go do it on your own.' And as I thought through that, I thought, how much more power is there in a group than me as an individual?

If you're interested in making the shift to a meaningful, people-focused role, FocusCFO's Area President role may be the right fit for you. Reach out today to learn more.