EP22 From U.S. Army to acquiring over four businesses in the past 10 years with Jeffrey Evenson

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Jeffrey Evenson attended West Point, a military academy in New York. And then he joined the army for just a short time after leaving West Point. After grad school, he earned an MBA, gained a lot of knowledge about finance, and ended up trading stocks as a job. Eventually, he moved from the trading business into investment management, working for a boutique investment manager. Then he became a pension fund manager for Anheuser Busch in St. Louis. While he was managing pension funds there he kind of thought he should probably learn how to sell beer and so he did and became involved in the sales operations side of that business. Then he ended up working in a mergers and acquisitions group. Basically, they were buying and selling distributors of beer and wholesalers of beer. For him, that was the first time he really understood what you learn about mergers and acquisitions in grad school.

Episode Highlights:

    • In 2008, he acquired his first business.
    • He talks about how having the option of actually being his own boss was very compelling.
    • Being in the army and having the leadership skills to build, motivate, and inspire teams has made Jeff’s calling to cast a vision for a company.
    • He shares how his military background gave him important core values in his life whether it was leading a company or helping people to buy companies.
    • It is a process of working with a seller for Jeff in order to acquire a business. The person won’t sell the business if you haven’t built trust with them.
    • He discussed more about his first acquisition.
    • The acquisition process itself is all about building candor and building a relationship with the seller.
    • After the success of his first acquisition, Jeff narrowed down all the other companies they bought in different industries.
    • In order to acquire businesses or acquire equipment, Jeff used SBA loans.
    • For a partnership to work, it requires two adults to enter into a partnership and it requires knowing each other’s strengths. Agreeing that we’re not the same person and knowing where what holes were filling for the other person.
    • He talks about his day job in The Lion’s pride and the organization he started: Thayer Gate Project.
    • Jeff shares his final advice and thoughts for people who want to acquire a business.

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