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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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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.

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. 

Mikel Berger, Little Engine Ventures – Ep. 10

My guest, Mikel Berger, is the co-founder and partner of Little Engine Ventures, along with co-founder Daryl Starr. Little Engine Ventures is a very unique investment firm in the already unique world of small company investing. They have a strong regional focus of companies within a 2 hour drive of Lafayette, IN and are building a firm, brand, and community that resonates with small, midwest business owners.

Tim Ludwig, Ohana Capital – Ep. 9

My guest on this episode is Tim Ludwig, managing partner of Ohana Capital in San Diego. Tim is a search fund investor through Ohana and has extensive experience, having invested in 75 deals over his career.

Andy Ellis, Localize Capital – Ep. 8

My guest on this episode is Andy Ellis, a managing partner of Localize Capital in Pittsburgh which, as the name suggests, focuses on investing in companies and entrepreneurs around the Pittsburgh area.

Kevin Graham, Site Arrow – Ep. 7

My guest today is Kevin Graham, an Australian native living in Thailand running a web hosting company called Site Arrow, which he uses as his acquisition vehicle to buy other web hosting companies.

David Krock, Sunset Coast Capital – Ep. 6

This space has some of the most unique backgrounds and my guest on this episode is no exception. David Krock joined a band as their drummer coming out of high school, did not go to college, and wound up starting a recording studio which led him on a path to entrepreneurship and micro PE investing, which he does today through his firm Sunset Coast Capital.

Author’s Chat: Walker Deibel & Searchfunder.com

This episode is unique and is a joint episode with Karen Spencer from Searchfunder, Walker Deibel, and myself, and is something I’m calling “Author’s Chat.” I recently sent out a survey to see what content listeners and readers might enjoy hearing most and many of them said that conversations with authors of books relevant to micro PE would be interesting to them.

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