How One Entrepreneur’s Persistence and Patience Led to Success



In a recent Authority Magazine Q&A article, Fractional Leadership Founder and CEO Ben Wolf shares his story about the challenges he encountered on his way to forming his own business and why he never gave up.

Q: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

A: I left the company where I “grew up” entrepreneurially — a healthcare startup called FreedomCare — because I realized that I like making massive change and building things and my ability to do that had plateaued. I accepted a role as COO at a smaller organization I hoped would be an even greater opportunity long-term to make a massive difference in their mission, growth, and organizational health.

While I knew about some of their major organizational challenges, I had already joined the company when I Iearned about some organizational dysfunction among the partners. This dynamic doomed me to presiding over a slow-motion train wreck I was powerless to avoid.  

I had just left a stable position and had to choose between the misery of feeling responsible to solve problems I was not permitted to even address and risking going out on my own with a wife and four children to support with no certain prospects. With my wife’s support and some savings, I had built up doing some consulting work on the side, I decided that the misery of staying where I was outweighed the risk of taking the entrepreneurial leap.  

I submitted my resignation two months after starting the new role and hung up my shingle as a Fractional Integrator, a term coined by Fractional COOs who work with companies running on the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®). I was very scared.

I began doing business development by having calls with business owners, various kinds of trusted advisors, other Fractional Leaders, and EOS Implementers®. I started a podcast called Win / Win — An Entrepreneurial Community, met with 12-18 people every week, and created measurables for myself to ensure I was doing the right kind of business development work for my new solopreneur business.

It was maddening at the beginning. Together with my beloved wife, before I was able to get any clients, it felt like that song from The Greatest Showman, “Never sure, never know how far we could fall. But it’s all an adventure. That comes with a breathtaking view. Walking a tightrope with you.”

Finally, after over three months, I got my first client. That was amazing! I helped drive massive change with that company and they grew their top-line revenue 25% the first quarter I worked with them. Things got a lot easier for me personally then, but we were still financially walking on a tightrope.

I continued hacking away at emailing, Zooming, calling, and meeting with people for another six months, always putting on a confident, non-desperate affect, when COVID-19 hit. All the business owners I was speaking with froze up, but I kept plugging away at the emails, calls, and Zoom meetings. I wondered whether I would ever feel successful. Would it ever get easier?

Then, in May 2020, the dam finally broke. As people’s paralysis broke and they realized they could no longer put their lives and businesses on hold, more and more started reaching out to me to be their Fractional Integrator. I got one client, and then another, and then another. Once I became fully booked, I began referring the leads I continued to get to other Fractional Integrators and getting invited as a speaker at various entrepreneurial groups. I began paying off my credit card and student loan debt. It was a huge relief I would never have experienced if I hadn’t kept up my weekly regimen of emails, calls, and meetings without regard to the self-doubt I felt.

Q: So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success? 

A: As John Astin used to say on Night Court, “I’m feeling much better now.” Because I kept going out there and helping whoever I could and connecting with more and more people, I started to develop a bit of a reputation as one of the most competent Fractional Integrators and one of the industry leaders in the Fractional Leadership community in general.

Because I continued getting so many referrals and leads for Fractional Integrator clients, I converted my “solo-preneurship” into a firm, Wolf’s Edge Consulting, with several other Fractional Integrators. I developed a proven process we took our clients through, identified what made us unique, and set up a meeting pulse through which we helped resolve each other’s challenges with clients. Now none of us are on an island, a challenge every solopreneur knows too well. 

And the people I met through my podcast, in the EOS community, and in the Fractional Leadership communities ended up making me realize that the whole Fractional Leadership world was completely fractured. There were thousands of websites by the various Fractional Leaders, both firms and solo practitioners, but there was absolutely no center of gravity in this relatively new industry. That ended up being my inspiration to write Fractional Leadership: Landing Executive Talent You Thought Was Out of Reach and creating as the first vetted Fractional Leader referral platform for business owners.

Read the full Authority Magazine piece, Ben Wolf of Fractional Leadership: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company.”

3 Character Traits of Successful Business Leaders



Perhaps there are a few people who can succeed in business quickly, but I’m not one of them. It took me three months to get my first client when I went out on my own and eleven months before things really started taking off. I had self-doubt and felt discouraged, though I never showed it outwardly. If I gave up and accepted a full-time job, which several people offered me, it would have guaranteed my failure at creating two businesses and taking on a formative role in the Fractional Leadership industry.

Boy, am I glad I didn’t give up. I learned that three character traits contributed most to my business success:

  1. Disciplined persistence
  2. A help-first approach to all interactions, and
  3. Authenticity

With disciplined persistence, I created measurables for myself and set minimum numbers of email and (custom-written) LinkedIn reach-outs, calls, and presentations each week, month, and quarter. I almost never went below these quotas. These efforts in the long run have a cumulative effect. I wish there was a shortcut, but I haven’t found one that works.

Next, I recognized that nobody wants to be sold to. You have to approach every email, call, and meeting with a help-first approach. Don’t wait for people to give you a lead or make an introduction before you help them. As the saying goes, people only care how much you know after they know how much you care. Here are a few simple ways to do this:

  • In every email, share an article or resource you know from a prior conversation the person can really use or needs.
  • Take notes about the people you speak with on your calls and refer to those notes before you send an email or have your next meeting with them. Ask about their spouse, kids, hobby, or cause the next time you interact with them.
  • Refer other people to them whenever it’s helpful, even if it has nothing to do with what you do. Send them a great florist, app recommendation, favorite movie, show, or connect them with a competitor of yours if they’re a better fit for the person.

Keep this approach up and you’ll build up social capital, your reputation, and people will become more likely to think of you when they or their friends actually do need someone with your experience.

Finally, being authentic can go a long way to developing business relationships. Some people feel they succeed by ensuring that every phrase they utter, every conversation they have, and every podcast interview they do is highly engineered to make them look maximally professional, successful, smooth, and polished. I’m sure that this is one approach, but to me, such people feel fake, slick, and untrustworthy.

I’m not great at posturing and creating highly calculated interactions with people anyway, so my approach is to speak honestly. I openly mention my areas of weakness or past mistakes when it comes up in conversation because it tells people that I am what they see. They don’t have to wonder what I’m concealing because they see I’m not trying to carefully maintain the perfect veneer.

By being authentic with people, they respect and trust me more because they’re not wondering who or what I really am and don’t feel like I’m trying to sell them something if it’s not right for them.

If you’re thinking of starting a business, knowing the positive impact these three traits ahead of time can help give you peace of mind and confidence from the start. (For other insights I believe help makes a successful business and leaders in my blog “The Most Underestimated Aspect of a Successful Company.”)

Perfection Can Hold You Back

As a business owner, insisting on perfection 100 percent of the time won’t get you results. In my experience as a Fractional Leader, the most common mistake I see an entrepreneur or organization’s leadership commit is waiting until everything is “perfect” before launching a new business, product, service, or system.

The Pareto Principle, also called the “80% Rule,” states that most of the time, you get 80 percent of your results from 20 percent of your effort. After your first main push toward creating your new business or product, you’ll find yourself 80 percent of the way toward completion. You then spend 80% of your effort on the remaining 20 percent of the results you need. And your efforts get less and less productive the further into the remaining 20 percent you get. Your efforts have an exponentially diminishing rate of return.

Get yourself most of the way there toward your minimum viable product (MVP), and then just launch it. You’d continue improving and iterating after release anyway, and your efforts at building “perfection” before testing your product or service against the reality of the real world are almost certainly not “perfect” anyway.

Most of the time, the right path is “launch and learn.”

If you can model your business approach around being persistent, helping first and being authentic while at the same time not letting a mindset that seeks perfection slow your progress down, you’re well on the road to success.

The blog is comprised of modified excerpts from Authority Magazine‘s December 2021 article, “Ben Wolf of Fractional Leadership: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company

The First 90 Days With a Fractional Integrator



Picture this: Business is humming. Future goals are clear. The team is working together. Ninety days ago, this wasn’t the case. Ninety days ago, the business was floundering. The Visionary was beyond frustrated, and the team wasn’t achieving traction.

Enter the Fractional Integrator (FI). The Fractional Integrator (a Fractional Leader experienced in EOS®, focusing on operations) might be engaged short-term, supporting an existing Integrator or a newly hired full-time Integrator as they transition into their second-in-command role. Other times, the Fractional Integrator is a long-term partner to leaders seeking an experienced operations executive as the business elevates to the next level.

Getting Into Alignment With Your Fractional Integrator

Vetting of a Fractional Integrator includes discussions about expectations, desired outcomes, vision alignment, and open and honest communication around the business’s current challenges. Once a match is made, the Fractional Integrator gets to work laying the foundation and building a cohesive team structure.

A Fractional Integrator brings a wealth of knowledge and the discipline and drive to lead, manage, and hold the team accountable, including the Visionary! If assistance in rolling out and supporting the EOS® structure and related tools and processes is needed, the Fractional Integrator can provide that support to ensure team-wide system adaptation.

The First 90 Days

The first 90 days include crystallizing the EOS® Vision Traction/Organizer (V/TO), developing a plan and dialing in the operating system company-wide. The Fractional Integrator is on board to help the wheels turn faster and more effectively, with the full effort of all team members. If team members whose skills would best be used elsewhere are identified, the Fractional Integrator supports the leadership team and Human Resources with smooth transitions and aligning the right people for the right seats.

During the initial 30 days, the business benefits from an experienced, third-party, unbiased viewpoint to grow and transform the business. The Fractional Integrator is laser-focused on bringing consistency, structure, process, and improved communication to the team. A regular meeting cadence and streamlined internal messaging are honed, and the structuring of an accountability chart that best serves the business’s goals is completed.

Days 30 to 90 are then used to support the team through modeling, mentoring, and leadership, ensuring everyone is rowing together in the same direction. Effective meetings, regular check-ins, and accountability are the goals during this time. Process development is introduced, and core processes are reviewed and aligned. The Fractional Integrator continually brings the Visionary and team members back to the focus areas of the V/TO as the guiding principles for all business actions and decisions.

What Happens Next: Living Your Ideal Life

Many clients continue working in tandem with a Fractional Integrator well beyond the 90-day mark. However, if budget or the hiring of a full-time Integrator dictates the conclusion of the working relationship with a Fractional Integrator, ensure that in those 90 days they have met all expectations and objectives.

For businesses with a full-time Integrator, the Fractional Integrators’ goal is to support, mentor, guide and model for the in-house Integrator. A typical Integrator mentoring program consists of a targeted set of milestones providing the Integrator with the skills, understanding, and tools to actively engage and succeed in the second-in-command role.

Ultimately, the success of a Fractional Integrator’s work is measured by a team who has acquired new skills, is open, brutally yet kindly honest, and manages their time and energy with a focus on the highest and best priorities. The successful team leads, manages, and holds their colleagues accountable. An abundance mindset is practiced, and the vision for the business is crystal clear and followed by all. The business’ future is bright and predictable, providing the Visionary and the team the freedom and confidence to live their ideal lives.

The referenced term “Integrator” comes from the book Traction, by Gino Wickman, based on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®).

About the Author

Jamie Munoz is the founder and Visionary of a team of Fractional Integrators at Catalyst Integrators, helping busy Visionaries and entrepreneurs maximize their potential by running companies on EOS. Jamie is also a certified John Maxwell Team coach, speaker and trainer. Contact Jamie here.

How to Win Complex B2B Sales



You might be of the belief that winning complex B2B sales is impossible for the average salesperson and that it’s all about having a great product and a stellar sales team. But you’d be wrong. It’s all about your process and the unique way you approach selling.

See, there’s this little-known thing called the Winning Complex Sales (WCS) process. Hardly anybody is talking about it. But when you learn it and use it, you’ll see a huge difference in your sales cycle and how quickly you can go from deals worth thousands to those worth millions in a short period of time.

I’m about to reveal the exact formula and step-by-step system for winning more complex B2B sales in less time.

Win More Complex B2B Sales in Less Time

While a multi-million-dollar contract can keep a firm flush with revenue for years, most salespeople lack the skill to pursue large prospective deals. They tend to think transactionally, so they need to be coached on the preparation, strategy and tactics — and this is best accomplished with a WCS process.

Step 1: Prep, which means:

  1. Map out the org chart of the target company.
  2. Understand your product inside and out.
  3. Know how to articulate your value proposition and explain why the customer needs your product.
  4. Select the top prospects that offer the biggest potential return on time and money spent.
  5. Research each target firm (annual statements, news articles, social posts, etc.) to uncover their mission, areas of growth, and challenges.
  6. Identify the players in each firm who contribute to the buying decision and how their buying process works. This is where the map in step a comes into play. You might need a “coach” or insider, as described further below, to help figure this out.

Now, that all seems like a lot of work before you even contact the prospect, and that’s the point! You want to focus on the best deals and do your homework rather than wing it on a bunch of long shots.

In truth, the WCS prep work process saves a lot of time in the long run. Few sales organizations do it thoroughly, despite it being one of two steps that lead to success in winning complex sales.

What’s the second step?

Step 2: Connect and engage properly.

Many salespeople are “professional visitors.” Not diggers, hustlers, closers. They stop by with donuts or whatever every once in a while. A sales team using the WCS framework does more focused work.

Once the target’s org board is mapped out, each important player is labeled per their role:

ENDORSER: The big kahuna decision-maker who MUST sign off on the deal. Usually, an exec but sometimes a team.

DECIDER: Most often, this is someone who directly manages the area where your product will be deployed. They buy to solve the problem for their area of responsibility and make the final call before presenting to the ENDORSER.

ASSESSOR: Someone with whom the buyer “checks in” to get their opinion on your proposal. This can be a finance person, someone with deep technical knowledge, or a lower-level manager.

USER: These employees benefit directly from your product. They are sometimes ASSESSORS since they will use the solution in their day-to-day work and provide valuable feedback on what is truly needed.

COACH: This role can be internal or external (such as a Fractional Leader), and can be considered your biggest supporter. They give you the inside scoop on who the decision-makers are, current needs and problems and might even grease the tracks for you to get the first meeting. The coach must be nurtured to help you dive deep into the other roles and understand the demographics and psychographics of the business.

The team then gets busy engaging with the key players in a focused way. The methodology is to hone in on the issues the prospect company cares about as uncovered in prep and with the coach’s help.

It’s here where a good CRM platform comes into play, as each contact needs to be recorded so the whole team stays informed, and the next steps are appropriately planned. Outreach methods include cold calls, emails, drip letter campaigns, networking, lunches, etc. And if you bring donuts, as I joked about earlier, make sure you engage with one of the key roles each time, as described above.

Communicating to these various roles without the research in Step 1 wastes an enormous amount of time as you have no idea what the buttons are. And most times, you only have ONE SHOT.

To Sum Up: Why a Winning Complex Sales Process Is Critical

To circle back to the beginning of this post — the average salesperson is NOT able to win complex B2B sales without a solid WCS process in place. Mapping and nurturing are the key to FOCUS and INFLUENCE. At Volohaus, we help firms set this all up and execute.

Would your firm benefit from a great WCS? How could it change your company and its revenue if you put one in place this month? If you’d like to discuss this further, please feel free to reach out to us at

About the Author

Shaun Alger is Practice Manager at revenue growth firm VoloHaus. To learn more about how VoloHaus can help you accelerate your company’s growth, contact Shaun at 760-815-4464 or

7 Self-Care Necessities for Fractional Leaders



Strategies around self-care are plentiful. The nature of Fractional Leadership work in juggling clients and necessary administrative duties, means you must make the most of your time in order to provide great value to your clients.

Ways FLs Can Stay True to Core Values

The following actions give you the permission to stay true to your core values and live your ideal life as a Fractional Leader (FL). The idea of implementing all seven of these suggestions may be overwhelming; begin with one or two that resonate with you and build from there.

  1. Create a routine. Great leaders who have come before us have shared their keys to success. From them, we know creating and following a daily routine provides the structure for your best work. Whether it’s setting the time you sit down at your desk each day, or consciously outlining the series of steps you take in the morning to get to your desk, tapping into the power of the routine will help you to be ready for the day, refreshed and focused when you take that first call or step into a meeting. This includes preparing for the next day the night before!
  1. Take Clarity BreaksTM: As a fractional leader, it is more than just your clients pulling you in all directions. Taking the time to mindfully pause, reflect, and ideate is so important. Clarity BreaksTM — a tool in the EOS® Toolbox — should happen somewhere other than your desk and be scheduled at regular intervals so your time is uninterrupted. Use the time to evaluate an issue, think through a challenge, or just brain dump all the ideas filling space in your mind. Use Clarity BreaksTM to provide you with the space to sift through and think about what is important.
  1. Connect with nature. The benefits of being out in nature are scientifically proven. Getting fresh air each day through a walk, a run, or other outdoor activities costs you nothing other than the time and effort. In chilly weather, setting aside time to look out the window and taking note of the moving leaves, the birds at the feeder, blowing grass or sweeping clouds can have measurable benefits.
  1. Find your groove-inducer. Does music inspire you? Is there a favorite beverage you enjoy as a treat? Use the resources you have around you and through consistency and habit-building practices, tap those resources to find what induces your groove – especially during that afternoon slump when sleepiness or distractions creep in.
  1. Know thyself. Would you describe yourself as an extrovert, ambivert or introvert? Knowing where you land on the spectrum can inform decisions around how you spend your refresh and recharge time. Extroverts may, for example, enjoy connecting in person or online with group discussions to generate new ideas. Alternatively, introverts may choose to carve out dedicated writing or solo reflection time. Once you identify your own tendencies and related cup-filling activities, select and practice those providing the most impact.
  1. Know when to say “No”. As entrepreneurs, we often say “yes” to every opportunity as a way to build business.  But burnout is real. By choosing to be good at what you’re all about and taking opportunities (and potential partners, colleagues, and clients) through your core values filter, great value will be found. Trying to be everything to everyone is so hard! With a laser focus on your passion, defined niche, and well-thought-out core values, you will give yourself — and your team — permission to set boundaries and the room to build and live your ideal life.
  1. Define your personal wellness practice. Wellness can take on many forms depending on individual preferences. Incremental experimentation can provide just as much — if not more — value, providing you with the time to figure out what works best for you. I turn to spending time with my dogs and disconnecting for my mental health and making sure I have plenty of water (or other healthy liquids) nearby at all times. You may also choose to try a new workout routine or to seek out a therapist.

Whichever strategies you choose to employ, start with what feels right to you. Use a Clarity BreakTM to periodically check in with yourself and recognize and acknowledge what’s working and what isn’t. Self-care is an ever-changing target impacted by many factors and requires constant adjustment. Seek those tools and activities providing the foundation for you to bring your best self to your clients, your team, your family, and your community. Be well.

About the Author

Jamie Munoz is the founder and visionary of a team of Fractional Integrators at Catalyst Integrators, helping busy visionaries and entrepreneurs maximize their potential by running companies on EOS. Jamie is also a certified John Maxwell Team coach, speaker and trainer. Contact Jamie here.