I Don’t Want Your Desk Job

“I MADE IT BIG TIME”

I started Denice Sakakeeny & Associates in 2011, quite by accident.

My first desk job started the day after I graduated from Brandeis University. I thought I had made it. I had a cube. And a desk. And my phone extension. Of course, the first call I made was to my mother. “Hey, mom, guess what. I made it big time.”

Fast forward to 2011—a child in elementary school. A then-husband is starting law school—a CEO who drove me crazy. (I know he felt the same. If you are reading this, you know who you are.) So I quit. And I had no plan.

As I sit here in my home office with my son in his bedroom playing some ridiculous video game, sweating buckets in this heat because I am too lazy to reach over and turn on the air conditioner, I reflect now that getting rid of the desk job was one of the top risks I ever took in my whole life.

I do not identify as an entrepreneur or a risk taker. Yet taking risks and becoming an entrepreneur have made all the difference in my job satisfaction and happiness.

WHY I DO NOT WANT YOUR DESK JOB

Well over a decade has passed since I quit my job with no plan. And still,  am still in the business of being in business. The hardest job I will ever love! In hindsight, this work was tailor-made for my professional interests. 

I love to solve difficult problems, all the time.

I love a good challenge. One thing that attracted me to the startup CFO role back in early 90s was the fact that the CFOs I worked with back then could move mountains. They were magical in their ability to just kick the pants off a complicated problem. As an outsourced CFO, I do just that all the freakin’ time. I carry a portfolio of clients and, as such, have a portfolio of problems. I don’t want to go back to TPS reports and growth charts and “I’m the CFO that will IPO you and keep you all fat and happy.” No, thank you. I am the outsourced CFO who removes impediments others are not interested in removing because they are really, really difficult. I’m the fixer. Then I leave and go do it again for another client. I build companies; I don’t run them. It’s way more fun.

I love working with lots and lots of really interesting people.

In business, the hardest problems are usually people problems. People matter. And in my experience, at privately held corporations, people matter more. Over the years, I’ve become part of a community shared with my clients, which has become the basis of many long-term relationships based on mutual respect and admiration. Imagine all the good news shared in the day in one office. The babies, the birthdays, the weddings, the graduations. The support received from others during times of loss. The normality of life. As an outsourced CFO, I have this ten-fold. My work is difficult, at best. I am not paid to come in because everything is happy-happy. But on the worst days, I share my life and my experiences with the coolest people. A never-ending stream of cool.

I love to mentor, speak & share. 

What I do is specialized and focused. I am not a CFO who does all things. I work with companies mostly in transition. I work in places where I am not the first, second, or third CFO who has served. Many time I am not even the CFO. I work with investor’s children, Founder’s wives, and brothers-in-law of Directors. I work with PE guys, farmers, angel investors, VC firms, coders, and people like me who just want to make a living and solve problems before dinner is served. I’ve spoken at conferences on the topics of building finance teams, the dynamics of subscription revenue, how to choose a private-company CFO, and if your company even needs a CFO. I’ve trained global sales teams on the role of a CFO, how to approach a CFO during the sales cycle, and how to build various CFO personas.  

I’ve learned a few things in my life as an outsourced CFO. Most of all, I like to learn through my interactions with others.

Sometimes I sit with CEOs who tell me that their names will be on the sides of the buildings and some day and that I will change y mind and will want to be their CFO.

No, thank you. I don’t want your desk job.