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Think Like An Owner

The Think Like an Owner podcast seeks out conversations with small company owners and investors to learn how to acquire and run small companies, with a focus on search funds, micro private equity, and permanent capital.


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Freddie Bellhouse – Building a Holding Company in the U.K. – Ep.126

My guest on this episode is Freddie Bellhouse. Freddie and his partner Nick Ashford are co-founders of Fordhouse, a UK-based acquirer of small companies. In the eight years since they’re founding in 2014, they’ve done 25 deals and are beginning to consider more fund-like permanent capital structures for future acquisitions. I was fortunate enough to meet Freddie’s partner Nick in New York City, and we hit it off immediately. He’ll

Rob LeBlanc – Designing an International Search Investment Firm – Ep.125

My guest on this episode is Rob LeBlanc. Rob is a co-founding partner of Ambit Partners, a search investment fund founded in 2020 that invests in searchers worldwide in countries like Paraguay, Spain, Germany, and South Africa, where Rob is based. Together with his two co-founding partners, they have raised a $25 million fund with plans to back 50 to 60 searchers in this first fund. Today, they have funded

Brendan Anderson – Building a Compounding Advantage – Ep.124

My guest on this episode is Brendan Anderson. Brendan started his post-banking entrepreneurial career by acquiring Stam, Inc., which manufactures custom bent tubing before founding a private equity firm called ScaleCo where he has raised three funds and acquired 21 companies to date. He built his career by being an operator first and learned to become an investor, a path that’s given them a big leg up when talking to

Trilogy Search Series Ep.4: Kristen Glenn, Jennie Ellis, and Cyrus Symoom – Ep. 123

The 4th episode in our Trilogy Search Series features Kristen Glenn from Reverb People. Kristen is an HR professional with over 15 years of experience in HR Leadership and Business Partner roles. We also have Cyrus Symoom, the Co-CEO of Clariti Software, Clariti helps governments across North America with permitting and licensing solutions. Finally, we are joined by Jennie Ellis, who is an Operating Executive specializing in Talent Acquisition with Trilogy Search

Joe Heieck – Time to Sell or Keep Going? – Ep. 122

My guest on this episode is Joe Heieck. In 2015, Joe acquired gWorks, a software company that takes geographical information system data from government cities and counties and helps them visualize that data on their website among other services. Since then, they have grown impressively well both organically and through acquisition and have recently recapped their investor base through an investment by BV Investment Partners to continue their strong growth

Craig Fuller – On The Intersection of Media and Data – Ep. 121

The intersection of media and data has been the top idea on my mind for quite some time now. And my guest today, Craig Fuller, runs one of the best modern examples of this concept in action. FreightWaves, founded in 2016, is a media and data company focused on trucking, freight, supply chains, and all things logistics. To date, they have raised $91 million, will hit $42 million in revenue

Poppy MacDonald – Uncovering Government Data at USAFacts – Ep.120

My guest on this episode is Poppy MacDonald. Poppy is the CEO of USAFacts, a not-for-profit data company founded by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to gather, organize and share data about the US government at the federal, state, and local levels entirely for free. Many of you will know about my fascination with media and data companies, and this episode with Poppy is a continuation of that strong interest.

Ujwal Velagapudi – “I’ll close in 2 emails” – Ep.119

My guest on this episode is Ujwal Velagapudi. Ujwal has acquired nine small companies, pieces of real estate, and other investments over the past few years and has stumbled upon quite a number of unique companies. He’s invested in a vending business, virtual assistant business, commercial real estate, a sports bar, and several others. This episode is about getting started and is a departure from our usual episodes about larger

Trilogy Search Series Ep.3: Tom Klein and Roland Lessard – Ep.118

My guests on this episode are Tom Klein and Roland Lessard, Tom and Roland launched a partnered search after running a background screening business together and acquired a language service business focused on intellectual property in 2016, which they sold last year in 2021. In both companies, growth through acquisition was a core to their playbook and we spend a ton of time diving into best practices and things to

Michael Arrieta – Building the World’s Best Holding Company – Ep.117

My guest on this episode is Michael Arrieta. Michael is the founder of Garden City and has raised $51 million in permanent capital to acquire family-owned businesses across the country. The raise was completed in March 2020, and already they have three wholly-owned companies and minority stakes in two. Michael came highly recommended by Brent Beshore, and I can see why from our conversations. It’s clear that Michael is a

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Letters

Each year I write an annual letter to readers and listeners to reflect on the evolution of the podcast and my personal growth.