S1E14: Leveraging Private Equity for SMB Growth w/ Jeff Kadlic

S1E14: Leveraging Private Equity for SMB Growth w/ Jeff Kadlic

Into The Storm Leaders Podcast | Episode 14

In Episode 14 of Into The Storm Leaders, we’re joined by Miami University’s Chairman of the Entrepreneurship School Advisory Board and Founding Partner of Evolution Capital Partners, Jeff Kadlic.

This episode offers a different perspective than we’ve seen in others, informing some of the advantages of exploring private equity to scale a business, while directly addressing those of which it may not be best for. Kadlic explains that when he started Evolution almost 20 years ago, he noticed that smaller companies were often overlooked by the professional investment community. Larger private equity funds focused on companies with revenue over $35 million, leaving a gap in the market for smaller businesses. This realization led Kadlec to establish Evolution with a mission to invest in what he referred to as the “capital gap.”

Links & Resources

  1. Jeff’s Bio
  2. Evolution Capital Partners
  3. Jeff’s LinkedIn Bio
  4. CultureShoc
  5. EOS Worldwide

Quoteworthy Moments

– 00:08:19 – “I realized that I love to learn, and I think that’s something that all entrepreneurs they have a craving or an addiction or they just want stimulation and learning and discovery.”
– 00:11:10 – “You don’t know shit about tree pruning.”
– 00:21:23 – “Seeking out opportunities to increase our self-awareness to better understand ourselves and our emotions to better communicate with others and as leaders.”
– 00:24:08 – “That’s literally what I do on a daily basis is I get in conflict with my employee and then I just seek to understand and hear them, learn more.”
– 00:26:33 – “Somebody once said that to me about business, like business is less strategy and more street fight.”
– 00:29:19 – “Everyone’s got a good plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
– 00:31:53 – “I’ve noticed that the more happy I am with myself, that tends to be the better I show up in conflicts because I don’t show up insecure and I don’t show up with a lot of ego.”
– 00:35:33 – “And it’s probably the only reason that my business is still in operation, because it’s my go-to every time, just like you’re saying, Joe, you know, it’s like a SWAT team or SEALs team, like they just go back to their training.”
– 00:36:35 – “And at the heart of it for us, I think it’s human to human connection, right?”
– 00:43:52 – “My business changed when I hired or fired and rewarded based on core values.”
– 00:45:48 – “because we believe courageous leadership is at the center of a healthy culture and that leaders who do the uncomfortable things, the things that are seemingly more painful but resulting in a better outcome faster instead of kicking the can down the road, is vital to success.”
– 00:49:41 – “A lot of people would be inclined to take the path of least resistance there and be like, I don’t want to lose somebody over this.”
– 00:50:23 – “You know, attacking the problem, not the person.”
– 01:01:43 – “And so by putting them in touch with that opportunity, kind of go through this natural cycle of spiritual Rubicon where they come into touch with the wounds of their early life as a young man and turn them into a blessing and really have a healthy relationship.”
– 01:06:01 – “If I want that, I’m going to have to compromise on some of my values and I’m not willing to do that.”

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