Monday, November 30, 2009

Rogue CFO Seminars is up and live!

Just launched a project of mine I've worked on for awhile: Rogue CFO Entrepreneur Educational Seminars.

Learn about specific topics of interest to entrepreneurs. Up first: Fund Your Startup, learn all the in's and out's of financing and capitalization for a new startup venture.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Redfin named one of The Times 50 Best Websites of 2009.

Original Controller for Redfin? Chris Benjamin, Rogue CFO. *bows*

Not that I had anything to do with the website design, BUT just an example of a very, very successful startup I was part of.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I don't update this blog enough. Here's what's new with the Rogue CFO -

I'm focusing in August & September on launching Finance 4 Startups. It's a podcast course designed for entrepreneurs to give them guidance on all things finance related in starting a company. Business plans, financial forecasts, investor presentations, talking with angel investors and venture capitalists... and much more. Not just hours of me talking, oh no.

Here's a taste of what people will receive:

  • 12 – 15/20 min companion podcasts - for for EVERYONE!!!
  • 12 – 1 hour premium podcasts
  • ½ hour 1 on 1 consultation at course end to discuss your startup, the course, etc.
  • 8 weeks of Office Hours - an open discussion once weekly
  • 12 templates/checklists - business plans, financials, investor presentations, etc
  • Expert interviews - Marketer for startups, Lawyer for startups, an actual Angel Investor and more!!
  • Discounted hourly service rate for ongoing CFO services from Chris Benjamin, your Rogue CFO
  • Gain Control of Your Life podcast courtesy of Fred Castaneda
  • Finances for Startups - Overview in Laymens Terms podcast
  • White Paper “The Key Challenges & Problems For Startups in Capitalization and how to Address and Overcome Them”

What can I say, that's a lot of value for $150, the introductory pricing. Lots more to come on Finance 4 Startups.

In the mean time, August & September will be spent finalizing all of the above content.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I'm off and traveling for 2 weeks, sorry for any delays in replying.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Startup:

Everyone should check out - awesome new startup that was voted the #1 mashup site of 2009!!! Social networking, with a green twist!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Posted on LinkedIn re: Podcasting -

This is a post I just made all over LinkedIn to learn more about what others are listening to, and spread the good word on the outstanding chaps below -


Who listens to podcasts as a way to learn? Recommendation of my favorites all related to start-ups/entrepreneurship/marketing.

I've been an avid podcast listener for a few years now, with a growing interest in them. I started with some general business podcasts (along with a few news ones), and have found some quality ones really geared towards specific topics. In particular, I'm a big fan of ones entrepreneurship related, along with a bit of marketing. While there are a lot of junk ones out there put together by people who have more time on their hands than they do value to disseminate, if you can weed through them and find the great ones it is a great way to get a free education on various topics.

Ones that I recommend myself that I listen to often via Itunes:

The Struggling Entrepreneur with Fred Castaneda - interviews with CEO's of startups primarily with other entrepreneur related interviews sprinkled in (shameless plug, I was actually interviewed in December 2008 by Fred the host. Check out Episode 74!!)

Power to the Small Business with Jay Ehret - new age marketing from a marketing pro like no other. This guy is on his game and has his finger on the pulse of not only social media marketing, but all forms of marketing.

Startup Story Radio with Rob McNealy - great interviews as well with startup companies, venture capitalists, marketers, etc. He's been around a long time, check out the early ones as well as new ones.

Freelance Switch - hosted by 4 regulars. Is geared more towards freelance web/design people, but it is interesting

Small Biz Pod - interviews out of the UK

And for some fun in, The Onion is hilarious if you ask me. They have both a video and audio podcast.

Anyone else a listener to these or others? Always looking for recommendations on new content to consume!

Chris Benjamin
Rogue CFO

Busy year.

This year is shaping up to be busy and it's only half over. Only 1 month do I have no trips planned yet, I'm sure that'll change.

July - San Diego, LA, Seattle, Ottawa, Toronto
August - TBD
Sept - Possibly Austin, San Diego, Vegas & parents visit
Oct - Vegas for Blogworld conference
Nov- not leaving town, but have 2 conferences: Podcast Camp and AZ Entrepreneurship conference
Dec - I'm sure some Xmas travel, and also hoping to go to a Anthony Robbins seminar here in town

With a potential trip to India in there somewhere, an invitation to visit Costa Rica (could be my August adventure), and a wishful trip to Japan.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I've been talking more and more with companies based out of India, seems to be quite the hotbed of startup activity actually. I rather enjoy the conversations so far. They take starting a company very seriously... not to say people in America don't, BUT out of every 10 companies I've talked with in the U.S., only 1-2 seem to have well thought out business models and revenue streams. So far all of the companies in India have impressed me, and I've been pursuing working more and more with companies over seas.

As my first big commitment, I registered the following domains:

I kid that it's a big commitment, but I do plan to further transition into working globally and not so much domestically. Stay tuned for any other big developments!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Freeloaders have bad karma.

Lately I've gotten burned by a few freeloaders. Let me explain.

Company A emails me:

"Hi Chris, we found you (Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook/Other). We really liked what you had to say, looked at your site and think you'd be perfect to help us get to the next level. We have a business plan/financial model, and think it needs a final review and input, and then we want to go on with having a CFO as we really ramp this up. Would you start with taking a look at the plan and letting us know what you think of us, if it'd be a good fit, any feedback?"
So I'm nice enough to skim read a business plan and give feedback. Usually I can't help myself but to point out all the things wrong with it, small or big. I do hold back, mainly because I don't want people to think I'm a total jerk and out to rip them apart, and because I want to hang onto some leverage of what I could actually do for them. In an effort to build good will and a connection, I do give honest feedback, good and bad, and indicate all the ways I could add value.

None the less, about 3 times now in the last month I had people who were very clearly indicating they wanted to work with me, only to take my feedback and go "thanks! we'll work that in and let you know down the road if we could use your help". After saying how excited they were to work with me, how much they want a CFO now, how they want me to take their work and put my polish on it.

Not to say everyone is that way. Often it does go as it should, the company sees that I have a lot to add, things they didn't even think about, and we go down the appropriate road, usually a project for now to fix up what they have, with the potential for an ongoing CFO role if it makes sense.

Just wanted to get that off my chest, and let the freeloaders know that there was plenty more wrong than what I told you. Should have hired me like you promised.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

True entrepreneurs vs. "get rich quick" vs. cool sites with no revenue.

After reading through several posts both in this group and plenty others geared towards startups/entrepreneurs/web 2.0,3.0 etc. I had some thoughts...

Having worked with a lot of startups and talked to 100X more than that, there's some very clear distinctions between the true entrepreneurial startup, and someone who just has a cool idea for a site but no business behind it.

First off, building a cool site, lets say a new Twitter application, with absolutely no revenue possibilities doesn't make you an entrepreneur. It makes you good at building sites that are "neat". Sure people might come to your site. Throw up a few Google ads, maybe make a few dollars. Really though, sustainable business? Have a growth strategy? It's easy to put on paper "our site will continue to grow at an exponential rate" and associate higher and higher ad revenues with this, but in reality, if it's that great, someone will copy it. And chances are, it's just not that great, sorry.

The get rich quick companies almost aren't worth discussion. Their blatent posts in attempts to lure anyone willing to throw money at them are laughable. It's sad to think people still get drawn into pyramid schemes and ideas of grandeur that really wouldn't take long to think about in terms of a business, and realize there's nothing there. I've often found anyone who contacts me with the more passion and enthusiasm than actual information and conceptual facts about their business, doesn't have one. It usually goes hand in hand with them talking extensively about how much money everyone involved is going to make, and that alone should be why I should or anyone should be involved. Sorry guys, I've been around the block enough times to spot you a mile away.

True entrepreneurs, these are the guys and girls that keep me going. Passion, spirit, dynamic, an actual business model, experience in the industry they are entering are just a few traits. They know how to command a team, have realistic ideas about what it takes to start a company, how long it takes to really ramp up revenues, and what expenses they'll incur.

Any thoughts? Agree, disagree, think I'm a startup snob? I'm the first one to admit I am, but when you are amongst a sea of fools, you have to have some qualifiers to find those rare few.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The latest latest

Latest update on whats happening with the Rogue CFO:

Going to Vegas mid June to finally meet my longest time client, Paradise Publishers ( - check out the Company tab to see the Best Dressed CFO on The Web once again.

Going to Seattle/Vancouver mid July for a week total

One entrepreneur I've worked with about a year now just merged with a $30M revenue company... $30M in 6 months mind you. Might be going on board as Rogue CFO for the new conglomerate.

Inking a deal to work as the Rogue CFO for a startup in India, travel related.

Working with 1 company in the UK currently, talking to a 2nd.

Needless to say, lots of cool things going on.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Article on Site: Exit Strategies

Just published a new article on Exit Strategies on my site. Feel free to surf around other articles I've written as well.

Coming soon: Video Blog about me, my iPhone, and how it's making my life as a CFO much more fun and productive.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rogue CFO Voted "Best Dressed Guy On The Web"

I had a business associate of a client of mine, who I had never talked to before, today tell me he loved my site (excellent!), and that I am the best dressed guy on the web. That was pretty hilarious, since I usually don't dress anywhere near this level. I get a lot of milage out of this picture of me. And who am I to argue with him.

Rogue CFO: Best Dressed Guy On The Web

Friday, May 15, 2009

I was looking through some old files I had from my MBA days (4 years ago) when I was working full time, commuting about 1.5 hours each way, and going to school 4 nights a week. No online 1 class at a time for me.... I went physically to school, a top 20 business school (UW) and went 4 nights a week some semesters.

None the less, back then for one class we filled in a form. I won't repost the whole thing, but in general it was a Life Plan.

Where am I now
Where do I want to be
What do I have going for me that will get me there
What else do I have to do to get there

It was fun to find this form several years later, and basically everything back then summarized where I want to be right now, where I am.

My goals were to leave corporate life, work with smart people, work for myself from home, travel some, use my past freelancing & consulting skills to get me where I wanted to go. My vision wasn't completely clear, as in I thought I'd spend my days only doing project type work (business plans, financials, accounting software implementations, etc), I more or less had the idea and am so happy to see I've made it all come true.

So I just filled in the same form again, as of now. Looking forward to opening it 3-4 years from now and seeing it has all come true again... not by magic, just hard work and making it happen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Whats new with the Rogue CFO?

Business and Personal -

I'm moving in a month 5 miles down the road to a new place, can't wait to pack my stuff and move in 100+ degree weather!!!

I got an Iphone and love it. I had a Blackberry Curve for 1.5 years, thought it was great, but time for an upgrade to quicker technology with faster internet. Amazing toy so far. Compared it extensively to a Blackberry Storm touch screen before deciding to go with an Iphone.

I'm still kicking around the idea of going to Toronto in June, and possibly Ottawa & Montreal on top of that.

My refined Craigslist ads have been good. I get less calls, less site traffic, but what is coming is quality, not quantity.

I spent more money on Google ads, didn't get many clicks, and also listened to the advice of someone who said the only people making money from having Google ads is the people who teach others how to make money placing them. Fair enough, the Google ad campaign is suspended for now.

I've been looking at leather couches for my new place on Craigslist, great deals to be had out there especially in these "tough economic times" as the kids are saying.

I've been quickly learning a lot about podcasting and am taking a Podcasting Secrets course over the next month to prep for Entrepreneur Tools Online launch.

I'm setting up telephone wire capability so I no longer have to go to the bank and spend 2 hours to send 1 wire, granted I have to go back to the bank 1 more time to turn in the paperwork and be set up for telephone wire capability.

There's a taste of the Rogue CFO's life right now. I have on my extensive to do list to create a listing of video blog entry topics and get some more content up soon. Look for that before the end of May.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Successful meeting with some fellows (on Twitter @fgcast @themarketinguy @davejackson), exploring and planning for Entrepreneur Tools Online. Look for an August launch. Will post more and more about it as the date comes. Going to be a GREAT resource for entrepreneurs.

You can also find me on Twitter as @roguecfo.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rogue CFO Presentation

I made a short little presentation about what I do, how I help companies, the value I add, and more. Take a gander if you have a few mins to spare. Might have to pause it inbetween slides, it moves faster than I recorded it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Going to Seattle again for 8 days mid April, 16th to 23rd.

Come home to Phoenix, turn around the next day and go to Austin, TX for 1.5 days, 24th/25th to work with some other Rogues in their own right in other lines of work.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Video Blog 06 - The Economy & Startups

I've been interviewed on a few podcasts about the economy and how its impacted startups/small businesses. Honestly, I'm bored talking about it. Get over it, make the most of the situation, and think ahead to the future about what you want to be and how you'll get there.

None the less, I talk a bit about it in this post. As well you can visit my Media Page ( to hear the podcasts.

Video Blog 05 - How Would You Market Me?

In this heartfelt video post, I ask you, the entrepreneur, the startup, the small business owner... the visionary - how would you market if you were me? I do a lot of the traditional, and a lot of non traditional marketing, although I feel like there's plenty more I could be doing. How would you reach out to growing, dynamic small businesses in the 2.0 realm (my main target market)? Any ideas appreciated, and if I really love them maybe I'll even throw a out some kudos to you on my blog. If I drop dead love them you get your own video blog appreciation from me. What more could someone want!

Video Blog 04 - You Get What You Pay For

In this video blog, I talk about why you may want to reconsider that $250 business plan/financial forecast/investor presentation/etc. instead of ponying up for one prepared by a professional.

Hint: There's a reason it's only $250 compared to a couple grand.

Video Blog 03 - 2009 Project Plans

In this video blog, I talks about what I have in store for 2009 and beyond. Mainly projections I'm working on to benefit you, the entrepreneur. Podcast course, entrepreneur tools consortium, ebook, and ultimately a full length, no bs book about starting a company.

Video Blog 02 - VC's Aren't So Bad Afterall

Once in awhile I'm taken by surprise when a new company I'm talking with starts badmouthing venture capitalists. I personally feel they add value (beyond their $$$) to your firm. Take a listen as to why.

Video Blog 01 - Introduction

I've FINALLY gotten around to coming up with some ideas for video blogs. People always say how they like the video on my site, interviews and all. It helps people connect, see that I'm a real person, I look like I belong in a startup, and I know what I'm talking about. I have a few blogs planned, if anyone has any suggestions of topics to talk about just let me know,

Until then, enjoy my introductory blog.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Further business model revamp

I think I've used the word startup too loosely the last few years. I've always said I want to help startups launch. Very true. But what stage startups? Idea stage? Seed? 2 Years in? While I love being a team member from the start, for the most part early stage companies just don't need a CFO. And while I may be able to help raise capital, write a business plan, give feedback, my TRUE passion is actually helping companies grow. Real, tangible growth.

I've worked on clearly defining what traits a prospective client of mine would have. They can easily be summed up as the 2 cliche terms often heard in the startup world: "Execution" and "Traction".

1. Companies have to have executed. Site has to be up, some staff hired, product ready to ship.

2. Companies have to have traction. Read: Revenue. I want companies with proven business models, someone is willing to pay for your service or product. Everyone THINKS people will flock to them, but proof is in the traction in this case.

Overall I've realized the companies I enjoy working with the most are where there is a long term, ongoing Outsourced CFO role.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I've been in Seattle the last week, part personal part business. Great city, too bad its a touch cool and rainy. Looking forward to spending more time here this summer though.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Focused business model

I've switched to a narrower business model - Ongoing CFO for startups, with possible project work. No longer though do I help exclusively with helping companies find funding.

Reason why - very bluntly, I'm a professional, my time is valuable, and I'm not going to work for free to help you find capital, my compensation completely tied to the success. Not everyone gets funded, regardless of how attractive your company is, and it's hard to give 100% effort when there's less than a 50% chance of being paid for my efforts.

There's a very easy distinction - companies who call me and say "Chris we need help raising money" typically 1. don't have any and 2. if they do, are not willing to pay me for my time, since they believe $1M is right around the corner. I've also heard "well if you are able to do what you say you can, then you shouldn't be worried about us getting funding and you getting paid". Problem is it's not an automatic process. Just because you look for funding doesn't mean you automatically receive it. While I may have connections and a history of doing so, it still is no guarantee.

On the other hand, companies who call and say "Chris we need a CFO", then my ears perk up. Typically these people recognize the value in everything that I do, and their need for a financial executive on the team.

The VC model is invest in 10 companies, get paid off by 1. I'm not a VC though, and my model is work hard for people who are willing to pay for my time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Next Podcast

My interview on Startup BizCast is now live.

Rogue CFO on Startup BizCast

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Interview on Build Your Business Radio posted

If you want to listen in to me discuss the economy and raising capital, listen in with Barbara Weltman and her Build Your Business Radio webshow.

It's in 2 sections, "Raising Capital In Tough Economic Times"

Raising Capital In Tough Econmic Times - Build Your Business Radio

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Need ideas for International Advertising

I've worked with companies in Canada, India and Africa so far, and would love to continue my global presence. Ideally, London & Tokyo would be 2 cities it'd be great to have clients in, and not just so I have a reason to go visit them.

What is the craigslist equivalent for London & Tokyo? Sure CL is there as well, but there must be other more dominant classifieds or sites. Currently most of my advertising in the U.S. is on Craigslist, Elance, Guru, placed Google & Facebook ads, and some direct email.

Any thoughts appreciated, feel free to comment or email:

Interview 3 coming soon

Will be interviewed for Build Your Business web radio this Monday, will post a link once it's up. Still waiting on Startup BizCast to post our interview as well, link to come.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New interview

I was just interviewed for Startup BizCast. Will post a link once it airs. For now, anyone wanting to catch up on old episodes, take a listen. Great podcast.

Startup BizCast

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Monthly Rogue CFO Newsletter

I've created a monthly newsletter for those wanting to stay on top of all that is new in the world of entrepreneurism. I'll be sending out my first newsletter April 1st.

And of course, your info would never, ever be sold.

Sign up for the newsletter:

Rogue CFO Media Page

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I'll be doing a bit of a podcast interview circuit in March. I have 2 interviews lined up so far with a potential 3rd one. Will post more as the interviews happen.

Lots of talk about the economy and how it impacts the work of entrepreneur ism.

Press Release

Another press release is out!

Rogue CFO Predicts an Active Year for Angel & Venture Capital Investors

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Press Release

I did my first Press release Friday. I'm now offering Board of Director Advisory Services as well, since I've worked with several larger, public companies in the past as well as be on the board for startups.

Rogue CFO Launches Board of Director Advisory Services

Friday, February 13, 2009


I always thought about outsourcing some tasks that seem to be perpetually on my "to do" list in outlook, constantly reschedule for a month later so I don't have to look at them. After enjoying the audio book version of "The 4 Hour Work Week" which basically boils down to automate your business, hire virtual assistants, and batch process your email, I was inspired enough to give up one task.

The task: Find all entrepreneurial/startup/venture capital/etc. related podcasts and contact them to see if I'd be a good fit for me to be interviewed. After being interviewed on The Struggling Entpreneneur ( I've had a taste for blood, and want to get some interviews out there.

I'm paying my VA $50 to go create a list of at least 70 and up to 100 podcasts who I may be a good fit to work with. Exciting times.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I've been doing a lot of reading on Sales & Marketing lately. Sales was never my thing, but I've learned that by effectively letting people what I do and how I can help isn't being a pushy car salesperson, it's just letting them know how we can work together.

On the marketing front, to this point my marketing efforts have been all free with the exception of an ad in a magazine, which generated zero leads. Time to kick it up a notch, and I've placed Google Adwords ads, as well as a Facebook ad. With my Google Analytics account also set up now so I can see where all this traffic is coming from, I'm looking forward to seeing how my advertising experiement works.

Monday, February 9, 2009

More and more exciting things coming

Like a true entrepreneur, I'm great at coming up with more fun ideas, and yet to still implement the last round. Currently on the docket (and there WILL be progress this week on several):

  • Video blog - connect with myself, the Rogue CFO face to face
  • Blog in general - I'll be integrating this blog into my site.
  • Articles - it's confusing, I know. Currently on my site ( the "Blog" link is really Articles I've written. I'll be retitling that section as such, and making this blog the true blog.
  • Email List - opt in to receive my blog and articles delivered to your inbox
  • Contest - my first ever Rogue CFO Startup Finder Contest. The details are being ironed out, but basically one lucky startup will win $5,000 worth of my services for FREE.
  • Podcast Course - what originally started as an Audio Book will now instead be a podcast course.
  • Rogue CFO's Guide to Startups book. Will take awhile, plan on continuing to write my book, giving you all the practical, real world advice those other shiney books at the store won't tell you.
  • Finally, a joint venture Entrepreneur Tools site - working with 3 other professionals in the startup realm of differing capacities, we'll be giving you, the entrepreneur, all kinds of tools to really launch your company well.
Look for several of the above to come really, really soon. As in this week.

Monday, January 26, 2009

2 new articles for startups

What I have labeled as a "blog" on my site are really white papers on various topics of interest to startup entrepreneurs... I'll get around to renaming it to Articles eventually, and even working this blog directly into my site. How about that!

But alas, for now, here are links to my last 2 articles:

Why First Mover Advantage isn't an advantage

Top 10 Mistakes When Dealing with VC FIrms

Enjoy, and don't be shy about clicking the Digg button at the bottom of them!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Video comeback blog

Hey everyone,

I know I'm not keeping up my blog too well... busy working as a CFO to several dot.coms keeps a man busy.

That said, one of my goals for 09 was to start video blogging. It'll take more time to get dressed decently , record a video blog, upload it, etc. but I like to connect with the entrepreneurs out there, and show I'm a real person just like everyone else (not a 3 piece suit CFO).

Look for a series of video blogs coming soon and regularly, discussing all things startup, entrepreneur, and CFO.

Your Rogue CFO,
Chris Benjamin