In The Trenches
This site exists for one reason: To improve the personal and professional lives of Entrepreneurs and CEOs running Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs)
Nobody knows what it’s like to be an Entrepreneur or CEO unless you’ve been one. Personally and professionally, we face both challenges and opportunities that few others can relate to. Though many understand the rewards of company leadership – like compensation, decision making authority, and independence – few understand the sometimes arduous journey that’s required to get (and stay) there.
As both a CEO and Entrepreneur, I have had many successes and (many more) failures, each of which has imparted upon me lessons that can’t be learned in any textbook or classroom. Despite the fact that countless leaders before me have learned similar lessons through their own experiences, I’ve found that many of these lessons never get communicated to, and utilized by, other leaders who may be most in need of them.
That’s why I created In The Trenches. My hope is that this site plays a small role in improving both your personal and professional life through learning from my own successes and failures in leading a small to medium sized company.
Latest From The Blog
Listen to This Blog Post “Trying to drink from a firehose” is a common expression that is often used to describe a situation in which one has a difficult time processing an overwhelming amount of information within a given periodContinue reading “Lessons From my First Month as the CEO of a Newly Acquired Company”
Listen To This Blog Post Particularly in my early years as a CEO, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes whenever somebody suggested that I needed to codify and publish a set of core values for my company. Weren’t coreContinue reading “Why Your Company Needs a Set of Core Values (or Why Yours May Not be Having an Impact)”
Listen to This Blog Post The entrepreneurial journey is full of innumerable risks: Your largest customers can leave at any time, and for any reason. The market may change faster than your company’s ability to adapt. Your largest supplier mayContinue reading “Busting the Biggest Myth About Selling Your Business”
Latest From The Podcast
My Guest Mario Nigro is one of Canada’s preeminent M&A lawyers, and currently serves as a Partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity & Venture Capital Groups at Stikeman Elliot based out of Toronto. His practice focuses onContinue reading “What M&A Lawyers Want CEOs to Know About Selling Their Companies”
My Guest Rich Manders Co-Founded and led iAutomation, a Massachusetts-based machine control and automation company, and grew the business from $0 to $90M in sales with 180 employees. After selling that business to The Riverside Company (a leading global PrivateContinue reading “Rich Manders: Lessons from Founding, Growing, Buying, Selling, Coaching, and Investing in SMBs”
My Guest Rich Mironov is one of North America’s preeminent Product Management thought leaders. He has spent 40 years in the software industry in numerous capacities, and currently acts as a Coach, Consultant, and Interim Executive for CEOs and HeadsContinue reading “Building and Managing a World Class Product Management Discipline”
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About Your Author
Steve Divitkos is the former CEO of Microdea, a document management and workflow automation software company serving the transportation and logistics industry. Steve acquired the business from its original founders in 2014, and successfully sold the company to a strategic acquirer in 2020 after having served as its CEO for approximately seven years. During Steve’s tenure as CEO, Microdea’s equity value quadrupled, providing his investors with a 20% compounded annual return on their original investment. In his first 5 years as CEO, Steve doubled company revenue, achieving a ~15% compound annual growth rate, leading to Microdea being named as one of Canada’s fastest growing businesses for four consecutive years between 2014 – 2017. Since that point, he led the company’s transformation towards a subscription revenue model, growing revenue from recurring sources from ~40% of total revenue in 2014 to ~80% in 2020. He helped grow the company’s customer base to include 80% of Canada’s largest trucking companies, and one third of North America’s largest logistics companies. Under his leadership Microdea was ranked as one of Canada’s best places to work for 4 consecutive years between 2017 – 2020, when the company was named as the 46th best place to work in Canada for all companies with fewer than 100 employees. Upon his departure from the company in 2020, Steve had a 100% CEO approval rating on glassdoor.com.
Prior to his time at Microdea, Steve served as the Founder and Managing Principal of RedLeaf Management Partners, a private equity firm focused on acquiring small to medium sized private Canadian businesses. Prior to that, Steve worked in both Private Equity and Private Debt at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the $456B independent investment management organization charged with investing the assets of Canada’s national pension fund, supporting over 20 million working Canadians.
Steve received his MBA from Harvard Business School, and his BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, where he graduated with distinction. Steve lives with his wife Krista & daughter Mila in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.