Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Extreme Ownership for CFOs with Adam Ante of Paycor

Extreme Ownership for CFOs with Adam Ante of Paycor

Adam Ante is the CFO of Paycor, a publicly traded payroll provider. Not only did he scale the ranks of leadership quickly, but he took Paycor public in the first two years of his first role as a CFO. Today he joins CJ to discuss his career journey and share the wisdom he’s gained along the way. Inspired by the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, Adam explains how aggressively stepping into your fear can help you succeed in the world of finance. He talks about overcoming imposter syndrome, training your capacity for stress, and why the small things are really the big things. He gives advice on not pigeonholing oneself but pressing into other parts of the company and earning your seat at the table. He also sheds light on how Paycor makes money, its North Star metric, its competitive moat, how its IPO share price was determined, the evolution of the Human Capital Management (HCM) market, and how payroll companies have unique insights into the economy's health. 


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@cjgustafson222 (CJ)


(00:00) Preview and Intro

(02:13) Sponsor - Maxio | Leapfin

(04:58) Scaling the Ranks of Leadership Quickly 

(10:02) Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a New CFO

(12:25) Pricing Paycor's IPO Share Price

(14:58) How Paycor Makes Money

(17:16) Sponsor - Mercury | Netsuite

(19:25) Paycor’s Atomic Unit and North Star Metric

(20:36) The Evolution of the HCM Market

(22:47) Navigating Finance and HR in Payroll 

(24:07) Paycor’s Competitive Moat

(25:10) The Unique Insights of Payroll Companies Into the Economy 

(27:30) Advice for Asking for Advice

(28:52) Valuable Advice Adam’s Received

(35:34) Not Pigeonholing Oneself in Finance

(38:55) Extreme Ownership in Finance 

(42:01) Strategy Vs Execution

(44:35) Training Your Capacity for Stress

(46:48) The Return of the Culture of Grinding

(48:57) Long-ass Lightning Round: One of Adam’s Biggest Failures

(50:39) Finance Software Stack

(51:06) Craziest Expense Story

Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Run the Numbers is a twice-weekly podcast about financial metrics and business models, designed for ambitious people operating tech startups. It's a collection of things host CJ Gustafson (CFO at Partstech and writer of Mostly Metrics) has learned and thought about in the trenches as a tech CFO.
This show is meant to serve as a playbook of sorts for the stuff CJ wishes he knew earlier in his career, both from experience and from copying people smarter than himself.
Topics frequently touch upon Startup SaaS Metrics, Annual Budgeting, Financial Forecasting, Headcount, Equity, Dilution, and Fundraising – and how all of these drive business performance and growth.