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The Hidden Cost of Being a Hands-on Boss With the Founder of Create & Cultivate, Jaclyn Johnson

In 2012, Jaclyn Johnson founded Create & Cultivate, a media company that educates and inspires women to succeed in business.

By 2018, Johnson had grown Create & Cultivate to eight employees when an acquirer offered her a staggering $40 million. Unfortunately, the deal was too good to be true. When the acquirer discovered her hands-on management style, they pulled out.

Learning from her mistakes, Johnson implemented a collection of strategies to ensure Create & Cultivate could thrive without her.

By the end of 2019, Johnson had grown to $14 million in revenue ($4 million EBITDA) when acquirers came knocking again. This time she was ready. Create & Cultivate was acquired by Corridor Capital in a deal valued at $22 million.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Ensure your business can succeed without you.

  • Build a thriving online community.

  • Create partnerships with well-known brands.

  • Avoid a common error made during due diligence.

  • Respond to a shrewd acquirer looking to get your business for a discount.

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More About Jaclyn Johnson

An entrepreneur who started both her companies with a laptop and an idea and grew them from self-funded side projects into multi-million dollar businesses and nationally known and recognized brands. Visit


Earn-out: Earnout or earn-out refers to a pricing structure in mergers and acquisitions where the sellers must “earn” part of the purchase price based on the performance of the business following the acquisition. Source.

Due-Diligence: Due diligence is an investigation, audit, or review performed to confirm facts or details of a matter under consideration. In the financial world, due diligence requires an examination of financial records before entering into a proposed transaction with another party. Source.

Letter of Intent (LOI): A letter of intent (LOI) is a document declaring the preliminary commitment of one party to do business with another. The letter outlines the chief terms of a prospective deal. Commonly used in major business transactions, LOIs are similar in content to term sheets. One major difference between the two, though, is that LOIs are presented in letter formats, while term sheets are listicle in nature. Source.

Look-Back Provision: If the Company or any of its Affiliates consummates, or enters into a binding agreement to consummate, a Look-back Event within six (6) months following the Call Closing Date then, upon consummation of such Look-back Event, each Holder shall be entitled to receive from the Company an amount in Cash, payable by wire transfer of immediately available funds to an account designated by such Holder, equal to the product of (x) the excess, if any, of the applicable Look-back Value over the Call Price, multiplied by (y) the amount of Common Shares sold by such Holder pursuant to the Company’s exercise of the Call Right. Source.

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