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The Second Stage

Unlocking Growth: Management Series

WARNING! IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS, DO NOT READ THIS! I figured a disclaimer would save folks the time and effort of reading something that may create that uncomfortable “I need to skip lunch” feeling. Truth be known, my good...

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Cars & Capital: It Takes a Team

Continuing the NASCAR theme, today’s blog touches on the subjects of control (keeping drivers in the driver’s seat) and teamwork (a sponsor vs. a team). Any experienced driver will tell you that the secret to successful racing is “power under control” – determining that delicate balance...

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Similarities of Small Business Private Equity and the Big Business of NASCAR

With the presidential race in our rear view mirror, the attention of the nation is now free to join NASCAR Nation in riveted anticipation, as the Chase for the Sprint Cup comes down to the wire. While perennial favorite Jimmie Johnson remains in the...

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The Fifth, but possibly most Important “M” … MOMENTUM

Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion is often stated as: “An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion – with the same speed and in the same direction – unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”...

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Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder Have a Swing Coach – Shouldn’t You?

The 2012 World Series has once again proven to be a riveting display of ambition and athleticism, as the Tigers and Giants have combined for several heart-stopping moments in what is shaping up to be a contest for the ages. Powering the Detroit squad...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Your MONEY” (Part 5 of 5)

In Part 1 of this of this series, we leveraged the cliché “It’s Not You, It’s Me” as a metaphor, drawing a direct parallel between the dynamics of evolving human relationships and the strikingly similar and inevitable changes in the relationship between entrepreneurs and...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Your MODEL” (Part 4 of 5)

In Part 1 of this of this series, we leveraged the cliché “It’s Not You, It’s Me” as a metaphor, drawing a direct parallel between the dynamics of evolving human relationships and the strikingly similar and inevitable changes in the relationship between entrepreneurs and...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Your MANAGEMENT” (Part 3 of 5)

In Part 1 of this of this series, we leveraged the cliché “It’s Not You, It’s Me” as a metaphor, drawing a direct parallel between the dynamics of evolving human relationships and the strikingly similar and inevitable changes in the relationship between entrepreneurs and...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Your MARKET” (Part 2 of 5)

In Part 1 of this of this series, we leveraged the cliché “It’s Not You, It’s Me” as a metaphor, drawing a direct parallel between the dynamics of evolving human relationships and the strikingly similar and inevitable changes in the relationship between entrepreneurs and...

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Organization to Owner: “It’s Not You, It’s Me” (Part 1 of 5)

Rather than enduring another bland Ohio State football game, at least one Evolution Capital Partner spent the first Saturday of autumn enjoying Rob Reiner’s seasonal classic When Harry Met Sally, a “coming of middle-age” movie, set amidst a backdrop of beautiful fall foliage, and...

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To Reach Mars or the Marketplace – Second Stage is Key

Last Friday, the sun over California was blocked out for a moment, as an enormous Boeing 747 jetliner took a leisurely, low-altitude victory lap up and down the west coast.  Affixed to the roof of this behemoth was the Endeavour, NASA’s sixth and final...

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Fractions & Factions: Here’s the % That REALLY Matters to Entrepreneurs

According to historians, this week marks the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. To celebrate the occasion, New York City police arrested 185 people. While the exact agenda of the protestors remains ambiguous, what is certain is that these demonstrators have succeeded...

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How To Fall in Love With Your Business Again and Grow it

Just like interpersonal relationships, an entrepreneurs’ relationship with his company can grow stale, bland, and boring over the years. Rather than look for a new “fling” however, Inc. contributor  Michael E. Gerber challenges business owners to instead commit to reconnecting with the feelings and...

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In Bearish Market, Goldilocks Opportunities Abound in Second Stage Companies

With the American economy scarcely 100 days away from performing a swan dive off the fiscal cliff, investors everywhere are scrambling to get their financial house in order, bracing for a protracted market swoon, and anticipating the likelihood of another recession.  Amidst this backdrop...

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Why Quantitative Easing is Bad for Small Business

It seems you can’t watch the news or read a financial journal these days without running into a commentary featuring an impassioned opinion regarding the Federal Reserve’s strategy of flooding the market with cash in a move called Quantitative Easing (The Trilogy).  While there...

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The Paradox of Risk Management in Football and Funding Growth

The September kickoff of the NFL season provides a panoramic backdrop for exploring the ironic and counterintuitive nuances of corporate risk management as it relates to leading and scaling emerging high-growth companies in an era defined by economic uncertainty. Gridlock on the Gridiron How...

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No Man’s Land is No Day at the Beach

According to AAA, over 33 million Americans used the long Labor Day weekend to travel at least 50 miles from home, representing a 2.9% increase from 2011.  Like Leatherback turtles returning to their nesting grounds, the misty call of the salty sea-air  – combined...

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National Election = Natural Selection: How Private Citizens and Private Equity Pick Winners

Last night, the 2012 Republican National Convention came to a climatic (albeit predictable) close, with Mitt Romney accepting the party’s nomination to run against the Democratic incumbent in the upcoming presidential election.  Unlike Obama’s meteoric rise to power, Romney’s political journey has taken a...

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What Tennis Pros Can Teach CEOs About Corporate Strategy

With summer camps and swimming pools all poised to close down for the summer, it’s nice to know that at least one popular pastime will soon be open for business. On Monday August 27th the US Open kicked off their annual competition featuring the...

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Are You Ready to Shift Your Business Growth Into High Gear?

To keep in shape, I train regularly and have participated in a number of triathlons here in the Midwest. While I am ‘serviceable’ in the swimming and running portions of the race, it is in cycling that I truly excel. My Trek racing bike...

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