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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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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

Trilogy Search Series Ep.1: Nikita Sunilkumar & Kush Das – Ep.106

Welcome to the first episode in our trilogy search partner series with great entrepreneurs and investors from the traditional search world. Today, I am joined by Nikita Sunilkumar and Kush Das who both search and acquired home healthcare businesses through the traditional search process. Kush acquired Ennoble Care and works as a CEO today. Nikita acquired Crown Health in June 2020 and, in fact, just recently sold in early 2022. Both Nikita and Kush are fantastically talented entrepreneurs, as well as being friends which will be

Michael Curry & Keith Burns – Earn The Right to Lead – Ep.105

My guests on this episode are Michael Curry and Keith Burns who together have acquired 11 diagnostic radiation and other physics services businesses since 2014 through their platform Apex Physics Partners. This episode is loaded with wisdom and insights. I had a number of alternative titles I considered based on quotes for the conversation like “the CEO of Delta doesn’t know how to fly” or “putting out fires with your face.” Ultimately, earning the right to lead felt right as we talk

Lori Harrington & Bruce Vanderzyde – Searcher and Seller Perspectives – Ep.104

My guests on this episode are Lori Harrington and Bruce Vanderzyde. Lori launched a search in October 2020 and recently acquired Bruce’s company Anterra Tech at the end of 2021, which offers business intelligence software for the construction and real estate industries. This episode is a great discussion of how building a better relationship with a seller, negotiating upfront, bringing great advisors, and emphasizing strong and frequent communication can lead to a successful deal. Whether you’re buying or selling a business, this conversation

Live From SMBash: Justin Burris and Tim Ludwig on Majority Search – Ep.103

My guests on this episode are Justin Burris and Tim Ludwig who together have co-founded a new search investment fund named Majority Search. Majority Search aims to be the preferred buyer of small companies while giving searchers the chance to own the majority of the companies they operate. This is a brand-new model they’ve spent the last year working on, and I’m so excited to see it finally become public.


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