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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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Caroline Matthews & Connor McCarthy – Acquiring Youth Summer Camps – Ep.116

My guests on this episode are Caroline Matthews and Connor McCarthy, a husband and wife team running an investment firm called Canyonlands Funds that acquires youth summer camps from Maine to Florida. Both are extremely passionate about the outdoors and met on a trip to Bhutan while getting their MBAs at Stanford. After working in private equity for a few years after graduating, they decided to become entrepreneurs in the

Ayo Phillips & Peter Lohmann – All Things EOS – Ep.115

My guests on this episode are Ayo Phillips and Peter Lohmann. Both operate businesses and property services and management and also run Traction EOS in their companies. EOS rightfully gets a lot of attention in the small business world for providing a structure to grow and being what Peter calls it as a culture in a box system. But every operator uses EOS in slightly different ways, and I wanted

Kaustubh Deo – NYC Private Equity to a Tree Service Acquisition in Seattle – Ep.114

My guest for this episode is Kaustubh Deo. Kaustubh recently acquired a tree service business in Seattle through a self-funded search after working in private equity in New York. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Kaustubh over the last two years and have found him to be one of the most insightful thinkers in the search space. A good portion of our conversation focuses on concepts like risk-reward

Alex Mears – Lessons for Search from Large-Cap Private Equity – Ep.113

My guest on this episode is Alex Mears. Alex started his career in investment banking and consulting before leaving for the Navy and eventually returning to private equity at the Carlyle Group. Two years ago, Alex launched a non-profit called Search and Acquire to support veterans pursuing search. And he just recently announced a search investment firm he’s co-founded called the Brydon Group to invest in searchers from all backgrounds. I’ve

Tony Layne – A Turbulent Journey of Entrepreneurship – Ep.112

My guest on this episode is Tony Layne. I met Tony and his wife Cassi at SMBash in February after several folks strongly recommended I talk with them and I’m glad they did. Tony and Cassi are lifelong entrepreneurs in various ventures, but by far, their most successful venture is Senior Dental Care, now called Aria Care Partners under private equity ownership. Senior Dental Care started as a mobile dental

Tom Birchard – Kicking Off a Home Services Rollup – Ep.111

My guest on this episode is Tom Birchard. Tom has spent a great portion of his career managing service and operations teams for Ingersoll Rand and Trane, and as of March 2022, has taken a president role with a family office to acquire home services businesses. The family office is Whitney Wilder and it’s technically a multifamily office based in St. Petersburg, Florida, that operates like a private equity firm, but without a fund, giving them lots of flexibility, investments, and timelines. The office

Trilogy Search Series Ep.2: Ryan Turk – Ep.110

My guest on this episode is Ryan Turk. Ryan raised a traditional search fund in March 2020 and closed on Radiation Detection Company only nine months later in December 2020. Prior to searching, Ryan served in the Navy aboard nuclear submarine USS Michigan as an officer managing their onboard nuclear power system. Ryan used this experience to launch his impressively short industry focused search. Ryan and I talk about the pros and cons of being from the Navy prior to becoming a CEO,

Preston Holland – Transforming Flying Magazine – Ep.109

My guest on this episode is Preston Holland. Preston is the COO of FLYING Magazine, which was purchased in July 2021 by Craig Fuller and has been going through a broad transformation to a modern media business. Preston and I became friends over our mutual love of aviation and media, and our conversations are always wide ranging and leave me with a new idea or view of the world. I’m

David Dodson – Searching, Investing, Teaching – Ep.108

My guest on this episode is David Dodson. David started the second ever search fund after being a Stanford case writer, purchasing Smith Alarm Systems in 1989. Over his career, David has been the CEO or executive chairman of five companies, has and continues to invest in search funds today through his firm Futaleufu Partners, and he is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaching classes about search and the management of small companies. My conversation

Glenn Gonzales – How to Fly Private as a Business Owner – Ep.107

My guest on this episode is Glenn Gonzales. Glenn is the founder and CEO of Jet It, a fractional share private jet business with a unique model serving customers across the country and in Europe. Prior to founding Jet It, Glenn was an F-15 pilot in the Air Force and sold private jets on behalf of Gulfstream and Honda. This episode is a deep dive into all options available for business owners who want to fly

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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.