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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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David Krock – Operating for Serendipity – Ep. 44

This is the second time I’ve had David Krock on the podcast, the first was episode 6 where we broadly discussed his investment firm, Sunset Coast Brands which has now become PermaVentures. This second episode with him goes off the beaten path a bit.

Brandon Laughridge – Blending Real Estate and SMBs – Ep. 41

My guest is Brandon Laughridge. Brandon lives in Kansas City and owns a property management company North Terrace and a furniture and home interior store Nell Hill’s, along with a growing real estate portfolio. This is the first episode on the podcast where we discuss how real estate overlaps with owning small companies, something I hadn’t spent much time thinking about until meeting Brandon. Those on Twitter will recognize Brandon

Matt Estep – Picking Low Hanging Fruit Off the Ground – Ep. 40

My guest Matt Estep got his business start early in life when he started a go-kart manufacturing business in high school with dreams of eventually being a professional NASCAR driver. The business still exists today but Matt sold it with other plans in mind.

Lacey Wismer – Getting More Women in Search – Ep. 37

My guest on this episode is Lacey Wismer. Lacey runs her recently started search investment fund called Hunter Search Capital and has been conducting research on female searchers and unique challenges they encounter while seeking and operating a business. We talk extensively about women in search along with how she’s seen the model grow over her career, alternative models in search, constructing a searcher’s board, and how she’s instilling entrepreneurial

Mark Sinatra – Going Off-Playbook as CEO – Ep. 35

My guest, Mark Sinatra, raised a traditional search fund with a partner in 2006 after graduated from Wharton and a year and a half later acquired an HR company called Staff One HR. I’ll let him tell the full story but there were significant ups and downs running the company including moving the company from Southern Oklahoma to Dallas, managing staff turnover of roughly 85% during that move, and losing their biggest customer who was 30% of their revenue.

Collin Hathaway – Investing and Operating in Home Services – Ep. 32

My guest today is Collin Hathaway. Collin runs a small micro private equity fund in Seattle, WA called Skylight Capital and has developed a strong core competence in plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and other home services businesses. He also has one of the most interesting stories I’ve heard of getting into micro private equity.

Mason Myers – Buffett Inspired Ownership – Ep. 27

My guest today, Mason Myers, has spent the last 10 years building an incredible investment vehicle called Greybull Stewardship. With Greybull, Mason has acquired 11 portfolio companies with an evergreen fund structure with opportunities for LPs to add or withdraw capital only every four years.

Trish Higgins – Chenmark Five Years Later – Ep. 23

Trish Higgins was the guest on my very first podcast episode and was kind enough to share her time with me when I had no downloads, no show, and no website. Funny enough, that first episode is still my most downloaded episode to date. A lot has happened since then and I’m very excited to have Trish on the show for a second episode. In this episode, we cover Trish’s recent move to the operating side, how Chenmark has evolved including what’s become easier and more difficult over time, and we dive briefly into landscaping.

JR De Agostini & Max Artz – All About Owner Outreach – Ep. 22

I’m continuing to focus on specific themes within small company investing and this episode focuses on owner outreach during a search. My guests for this episode are JR De Agostini and Max Artz from Peterson Partners who ran their own search and are now running the search investment fund at Peterson.

Clearing Fog – Ep. 18

My guest on this episode is a person who writes anonymously on Twitter under the pseudonym Clearing Fog. We connected a few months ago on Twitter and in this episode we talk about his career in investment banking and private equity, why he writes anonymously and his thoughts on writing publicly, and what he’s thinking about next.

Greg Geronemus, Footbridge Partners – Ep. 17

My guest today is Greg Geronemus. Greg and his partner David Rosner founded a search fund named Footbridge Partners after their time at Harvard Business School and acquired a tour operating company called smarTours. Four years later they sold smarTours to a private equity firm and raised a fund to invest in other searchers.

Update with Mikel Berger, Little Engine Ventures – Ep. 15

I recorded this episode with Mikel Berger from Little Engine Ventures and another with Justin Turner from Traction Capital Partners to hear from investors on what’s going on in their companies today. I asked Mikel what he’s seeing in his portfolio companies, community, and what he’s been advising his companies to do.

Michael Girdley, Dura Software – Ep. 14

My guest on this episode is Michael Girdley who is chairman and head of strategy of Dura Software, a holding company that acquires small software companies based in San Antonio. Michael is also a co-founder of Geekdom Fund, a small venture firm, and a co-founder of Codeup, a coding bootcamp in San Antonio.

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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.

2020 Annual Letter: It’s Business Time

While 2020 was turbulent to say the least, it was the best year of my life. I married my lovely wife in late August, adopted a corgi, and began working on the Think Like an Owner podcast full-time.

2019 Annual Letter: Gaining Traction

Before getting to the podcast, 2019 was a tremendous year personally. I flew to DC for a FinTwit gathering hosted by Jamie Catherwood, graduated college with a new job, and got engaged.

2018 Annual Letter to Readers and Listeners

As a fun goal for myself, I’ve decided to start writing annual (and possibly quarterly) letters for the Think Like an Owner project to reflect on the growth of the podcast, discussion around the micro private equity market, and my personal learning.