I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. — Robert McCloskey

Overcomers: The Challenges of Small Businesses in Today’s Market

Someone once wrote that, “Small business isn’t for the faint of heart.  It’s for the brave, the patient, and the persistent.  It’s for the overcomer.”  When you consider what small business owners face, it is no wonder that only the overcomers succeed.  While many large businesses have the luxury of embedded capital, tax write-offs, and economies of scale, small to medium-sized businesses inhabit a space that is very sensitive to... read more

Making Work-Life Balance Manageable

In March 2013, Erin Callan, the former CFO of Lehman Brothers, wrote an article for the New York Times entitled, “Is There Life After Work?” She describes how her work became her life over time; she writes, “Each year that went by, slight modifications became the new normal. First I spent a half-hour on Sunday organizing my e-mail, to-do list and calendar to make Monday morning easier. Then I... read more

The ROI of Novel Reading

While recently browsing comment boards about novels, I came across one particularly interesting comment. “I fail to see the return on investment, in spending so many hours reading Asimov’s Foundation series, when I could be reading something about human evolution, psychology, etc.,” wrote the commenter. The post concluded with a request, “So please, explain why I should invest 100 hours reading science fiction novels.” This question seems particularly pertinent... read more

Life-long Learning is a Team Sport

When you look at the greatest teams across sports, businesses, and other organizations, you often find unity at the heart of these teams, binding them into a cohesive unit. For a team to be successful as a unit, they must continue to challenge each other to get better. As a team-player, one of the best things you can do is push yourself to continue learning and growing. If you... read more

How To Turn A Losing Record Into A Winning Season

In the world of sports, a 1 and 26 record is none too impressive. In professional sports, about the only thing this record would ensure you is a chance at the first round pick the following year! However, in a lender-partnership relationship, a 1 and 26 record can take on a completely different meaning. Two experienced project managers had a 1 and 26 record which led their business down... read more

VCF Presents featuring Mr. Kenneth Marks

At the most recent VCF Presents, our guest speaker Kenneth Marks discussed how to increase the value of middle market companies. He undoubtedly has the gift of explaining complex processes and ideas in a clear, straightforward way. Marks generously gave away his latest book, “Value Levers: Increase The Value of Your Company From 3X to 7X”, to the entire audience. His talk centered around how to increase the value... read more