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The 5 Stages of Value Maturity Podcast Series: Stage 1 – Identify Value

  In this five-part podcast series, we will be hosting exit planning expert Mike Trabert to discuss the five stages of a value maturity cycle that will help position your business for a successful transition. A partner at Skoda Minotti, Mike leads the firm’s...

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Evolution Bookshelf: Steve Jobs Says Be Willing to Fail & Ask for Advice (Interview Commentary)

Occasionally, I have the good fortune to speak to young people about entrepreneurship, opening the idea of self-employment as a career alternative. For the last few years, Denea Jackson (Evolution’s office manager) has facilitated the opportunity to present this message to the fourth-grade class...

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Evolution Bookshelf: Comments and discussion with Eyes Wide Open author Isaac Lidsky

  At Evolution Capital Partners our purpose is to serve and inspire small business owners that we identify as Evolutionary leaders: continuous learners trying to build something bigger than themselves, something having a sustainable impact on the employees and communities they serve. Recently, I...

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Evolution Bookshelf: Between the World and Me

I’ll start this post by mentioning my favorite read in 2016, J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy.  This book inspired me to believe that anything is possible and that the American Dream is still alive and well.  So, with this being said, during one of my...

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Evolution Bookshelf: The Power of Broke by Daymond John

  The Power of Broke was the selection for our 2016 third quarter book club discussion and honestly, it would not have been my first choice. But it has been fun to read the titles the team picks that are outside my long running...

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3 Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read

  Entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar hurdles throughout their careers – personnel conflicts, undefined business paths and financial woes. Industry leaders have analyzed these common issues and have come up with a variety of solutions – often filling the pages of books with...

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The Second Stage: Our Top Radio Episodes of 2016

Small Business Investing: 2016 Year in Review

As small business investors, we’re extremely passionate about inspiring entrepreneurs on their way to creating strong foundations for long-term success. It’s not only become our professional mission in our dealings with clients, but also served as a personal undertaking for each member of our...

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Evolution Bookshelf: “Hillbilly Elegy”

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

A timely deviation from my typical business focused titles, today’s book reflection is on Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance. Describing his life growing up in small towns in Kentucky and Ohio prior to joining the...

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Evolution Capital Partners’ 2016 Leadership Summit

Evolution Capital Partners Leadership Summit

Each year, Evolution Capital Partners hosts its Leadership Summit and Annual Meeting in support of our growing list of active partner companies and investors. This year’s summit, held at our headquarters in Cleveland, OH, brought together our largest group of partner companies to date,...

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Why Every Small Business Owner Needs a Mentor

Small Business Owner and Business Mentor

As every CEO, entrepreneur and small business owner knows: It’s lonely at the top. Even with all the inherent advantages of having the final word in decision-making and the status of being an executive, we as company leaders sometimes feel isolated from the rest...

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How to Find the Right Small Business Investor to Fuel Growth

Small Business Investor and Planning

Of the many challenges faced by small business owners, finding enough capital to invest in expanding your company is often viewed as the most difficult. But the difficulty doesn’t always stem from simply obtaining growth capital, but rather the processes you put in place...

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Evolution Bookshelf: “The Innovator’s Dilemma”

The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

Over the past six months we had a summer associate who inspired me with an innovative way to get more reading in than I ever thought possible, taking my appetite for continuous learning to a whole new level.  How, you may be asking?  I...

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Evolution Bookshelf: “The Dip”

The Dip, A Book That Teaches Your When to Quit

As I recently listened to an entrepreneur describe her vision and business plan, outlining that insufficient capital was a piece of the puzzle she was missing in order to reach her business goal, she said “I’m in The Dip.” “You know, the one described...

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A Hiring Process: Crucial for Successful Businesses

Job applicant having an interview with a group of business people .

Hiring a new employee is easy when your only goal is trying to fill a seat. Finding someone who’s a great fit for your company—and will participate in its success, however—requires a strategy that works for both your small business and every candidate who...

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Is Open-Book Management Right for Your Business?

Open-Book Management Leadership

During the height of Silicon Valley’s takeover of the tech industry during the early 1990s, a former senior writer for Inc. Magazine named John Case coined the phrase “open-book management” or OBM. Yet, it was Jack Stack, hailing from SRC Holdings that put the...

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Evolution Bookshelf: “Liar’s Poker”

Liars Poker by Michael Lewis

It’s been another quarter, which means for the Evolution team that it is time to discuss our most recent book club pick. For this past quarter, the team picked one of the first business books I ever read, Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis. Published...

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The Best Business Partner? Your Customer

Win-win partnership strategy concept.

As entrepreneurs, we typically know where our strengths and weaknesses lie—and we often figure them out before, or soon after, beginning our journeys as leaders and small business owners. The path of entrepreneurship is a crucible of sorts. It challenges us in ways that...

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To Overcome Organizational Complexity, First Simplify, Then Scale

Simplify Your Business To Scale

When I first read about the Hedgehog Concept, it seemed like an easy idea to grasp. But the truth, as I’ve learned after years of working with small businesses, is when a company begins to grow—at times exponentially in its early stages—even the simplest...

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Evolution Bookshelf: “How Google Works”

How Google Works, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

During a Conscious Capitalism event this Spring in Chicago I had the pleasure of hearing Joe Mansueto, founder of Morningstar, owner of Inc. Magazine and Fast Company, and longtime conscious capital innovator, speak.  During his presentation, he answered this question (or something close to...

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The Hedgehog Concept and Focusing on Your Company’s Core Purpose

Hedgehog Concept in Business

Whenever someone you know is experiencing back pain, you often hear about their doctor or physical therapist telling them to start building up their core muscles. The reason for doing this, as you know, is not only to improve a person’s chances of eliminating...

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