115: Strategic Growth and the Commoditization Trap

PoP episode 115_Josh Greenbaum quote

Those numbers on your balance sheet - they have no meaning. We’ve been conditioned to believe that growing our revenue is the goal. But what today’s guest, Josh Greenbaum, wants you to think about is why you’re growing in the first place.

Josh has been an Advisory CFO for over a decade and what he’ll willingly tell you is that his work isn’t always easy to grasp. Like many of us who use our training and experience in multi-dimensional roles, Josh has had to explain why his services are different from those you can get with a low monthly fee. 

As we explore commoditization we talk about the human experience of what you sell. Once you can capture that in your messaging, it’s much easier to stand out.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Why numbers alone have no meaning, 
  • The reason “do what you love” messaging impacts what we charge,
  • Getting addicted to the process of growing, and
  • Why profit first isn’t always the goal.


Josh Greenbaum of CFO Minded is a seasoned financial consultant who helps small businesses achieve market impact while staying true to their mission. After working for a Big Four accounting firm, Josh founded his company with the belief that all businesses should benefit from the financial sophistication that large corporations do without shouldering the burden.

He isn’t driven by the goal of getting more CEOs into the billionaire’s club. Rather, he’s passionate about supporting real people—from celebrities to companies of one—with really promising ideas to become better leaders through business planning and oversight. 

Josh is a Certified Management Accountant and graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He recently published his first book, Numbers Scare Me & Other Excuses: A business owner’s guide to lead like a CFO.


Avoiding commoditization is intentionally focusing on how you’ll show up for your clients.

Growth doesn’t always look like profit. It looks like planning ahead and taking intentional losses to make huge gains in the future.

Growth isn’t just about numbers because numbers themselves have no meaning.

Commoditization itself isn’t bad. Sometimes we have a need for a simple fix.

When you can develop a framework for your work you can write a book, offer workshops, and deliver a speaking position.

Self-made is a myth.


“As I think about today and how I move forward, so much is about alignment—finding those moments that are drawing me in and following them.” - Josh Greenbaum

“Everyone has their own relationship with money.” - Josh Greenbaum

“It’s been great that entrepreneurship has been democratized, but we’re wildly unprepared to grow.” - Josh Greenbaum

“Profit first isn’t always the goal. Sometimes it’s okay to have more expenses than revenue.” - Josh Greenbaum

“Strategic growth is distinct from growth.” - Josh Greenbaum


Josh's Site: CFO Minded

Josh's Book: Numbers Scare Me & Other Excuses