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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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Viewing Topic: Search Funds

Steve Ressler – How to Invest in Search Funds – Ep. 62

My guest today is Steve Ressler. Steve has been an entrepreneur for much of his career in software and government services and has recently been translating that experience into search fund investing, among other projects. A good portion of our discussion focuses on evaluating and scaling niche software businesses and whether niche means limited growth prospects or a formula for other markets. I’ve gotten to know Steve pretty well and

Justin Vogt & Ed Redden – Creating a Long-Term Holdco at Evermore Industries – Ep. 59

My guests, Justin Vogt and Ed Redden are the co-founders of Evermore Industries, a holding company looking to acquire industrial service companies with a time horizon measured in decades. Justin and Ed also happen to be the co-founders of the Stanford Search Fund Club during their time at Stanford. They hosted over 20 events and met professionals all across the search space and used that experience to shape what they

Deepa Talwar – From Silicon Valley to Searching on Main Street – Ep. 58

My guest on this episode is Deepa Talwar. Deepa is currently searching for a company from her home in Fort Collins, CO. Her background includes working with prominent Silicon Valley tech companies like Uber, Thumbtack, and Stripe, and she decided she wanted to become an entrepreneur, but not in the typical Silicon Valley way. During our conversation, we talk about how her tech experience gives her a new perspective when

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.

Ryan Lechner & Nico Gimenez – Searching with a Partner – Ep. 31

My two guests for this episode are Ryan Lechner and Nico Gimenez who have raised a traditional search fund together as partners called Bonsai Group and are a few months into their search. I’ve had searchers with partners on the podcast before, Sam Rosati being a great example, but I haven’t had them on the podcast before together.

Brian Vanderheyden – Owner of Richmond Alarm Company – Ep. 30

My guest is Brian Vanderheyden who ran a search from Chicago starting in 2015 and 2 years later in 2017 acquired a company called Richmond Alarm Company in Richmond, VA. Richmond Alarm was founded 73 years ago and Brian acquired the business from the founder’s two sons who had taken over the business from the father.

Betsy Brandt – Preparing to Search – Ep. 25

I’ve done a few search fund focused episodes, for instance last week’s episode focused on life during a search. In this episode exploring search funds, Betsy Brandt joins me to talk her preparation in launching her search fund, Forest Park Capital.

Jules Brenner – Life as a Searcher – Ep. 24

I continue exploring search funds and with this episode I talk with a searcher who is in the middle of the process and thus is experiencing it’s ups and downs live. My guest, Jules Brenner, runs a self-funded search called Manufacturing Succession and as the name implies is focused on acquiring a manufacturing company.

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.

Defensive Capital – Searching in the Defense Industry – Ep. 21

I’ve wanted to record a few episodes that focus on specific themes, industries, and strategies around acquiring small companies and this episode is the first in a few to come. My guest today is an anonymous Twitter account named Defensive Capital who I’ve gotten to know over the past few months. True to the account’s name, he works in supply chain in the defense industry and our conversation focuses on opportunities for entrepreneurs and searchers in the industry.

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.

Will Schoeberlein, Golden Southeast – Ep. 13

My guest on this episode is Will Schoeberlein. Will started his career in investment banking and private equity before taking a leap to Southeast Asia to work on startups and software. He finished his time in Asia in Japan where he met his wife and he has since developed a small company acquisition thesis on the Japanese market. 

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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.